Meet Maggie the Cocker Spaniel

Maggie's owners contacted us to help Maggie with her excessive barking and reactions. These would happen on walks, in the car, at vets, in new places and during social events outside the home.


During her assessment, it was found that Maggie was struggling with her arousal. This meant she would easily become overwhelmed by changes in her environment. This led to outbursts of excessive barking for her to cope and relieve the pressure of her building frustration. Frustration can be something that working dog breeds struggle with so there can be genetic predispositions to this behaviour.

Treatment plan

We introduced a lot of self-control tasks for Maggie to help her with her impulse control and frustration tolerance. We also change her schedule around triggers that set the behaviours off. This meant also going back to basics and reducing her exposure to new things. This was to reduce and stop any learning of the barking behaviours.


Maggie's owner has been incredible during this process. It involved a lot of changes to Maggie's management and daily life. However, the improvement in Maggie has been tremendous. Maggie still has some learning to do, but so far her reactions have been dramatically reduced in both amount but also intensity. Maggie is making better decisions in herself too and is a much happier dog!

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Forrest Animal Behaviour