*Dear Tabby – Advice for your animal friends

What are your little darlings getting up to? Is it driving you crazy? Want to change it?

Ask Tabby. Tabby knows all.

The new page “Dear Tabby” is an experimental advice column for all your animal’s behaviour issues. I started Dear Tabby on facebook a few days ago and it is very cool but I find the whole facebook format a bit cumbersome. Thought I’d try it here to see what happens.

So here’s how it works. Click on the page “Dear Tabby” then just ask your question in the comment box and I’ll answer it. To get the ball rolling, the first three people to ask Tabbie a question will get my new e-book “An Introduction to Communication With Animals & Nature” FREE.

8 thoughts on “*Dear Tabby – Advice for your animal friends

  1. Hi Graham,

    Good to see you here.

    No. It won’t confuse her. Many animals want their names changed and have better behaviour after a change to their preferred name. My cat was after me for a long time to change his name from Blueberry to RA the sun god. Cats love being named for gods but I have my limits on how much power he gets around here! Finally he let me know Sunny would do. He’s happy with that.

    My son’s cat, who was peeing all over the house stopped when he got the name he wanted. Originally Baby (baby’s pee everywhere after all) Thor :) was much better behaved.

    If the new name “feels right” it probably IS right.

  2. Dear Tabby,

    How much cheese is too much for a little (10 pound) cat to eat? He’s a real cheese monster. I have to eat my cheese in private when he’s not watching. Is it bad for him?

  3. dear tabby, ive just got a 4year old labrador he is realy good,the only problem is if he seen a dog when i let him off he will want to run off and play.the owner before me used to meet up with friends ,and they all let there dogs off to play so he thinks its the norm.he loves to play with his ball,go in the water all lab things,but i do not want him running off .can you help to make him the perfect dog thankyou john.

  4. Hi John,

    Dogs are highly social creatures. Most dogs (and all the Labs that I know) love getting together and goofing around. It IS normal. I expect what you don’t like is not so much him going to play but his running off and ignoring you when you ask him not to go or in calling him back. These are simply training issues. I think you will feel much better about his enjoyment of play with other dogs if you develop an “instant recall”. That means that no matter what else is going on, he comes when you call.

    The best way I have found to teach this is sort of counter intuitive but works incredibly well. You can start in your yard or even in the living room. When he is occupied with something/anything – even sleeping – call his name and when you see the slightest acknowledgement of your call, even just an ear twitch in your direction, say (very enthusiastically) GOOD BOY. He will probably come to you to see what you are on about. When he gets right up to your knees say COME in a loud authoritative voice then immediately give him a treat. Timing is everything. The second you get an acknowledgement that he has heard you call his name give him a happy GOOD BOY! Then say COME only when he is right up to you. This way he gets the idea that when you say COME his place is right there with you.

    When you both get the hang of this and your timing is good, go out and work with it in the big world. Once you all have the hang of it in the big world you can substitute, from time to time, BIG enthusiastic petting for a treat. Eventually you don’t need the treats all the time and your dog will come to you instantly at the call of his name and a GOOD BOY. Do Not use the word COME when he is not right there with you except in extreme cases. If you have called his name and said good boy a few times and he is ignoring you, then you can use the word COME and he will come. DO NOT get in the habit of saying COME when he is away from you. Go back to basic training again if you find yourself doing that very much at all.

    I find a good instant recall is a great start in feeling good about your dog in most circumstances. For further training there are some good books out there from which you to gain more insight. You might also consider enrolling in an agility class with him. He will use up a lot of that Lab energy and you will both learn a lot more about working together and playing well with others.

    I hope this helps.

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