Pets' corner: An over-excitable collie and a street full of cats

Your questions answered by Chamois Rose-Wood
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Collies in general are highly intelligent and can be difficult to keep as pets because they always need some way to channel their energy. (It's a shame we can't just give them the crossword to do.) Normally the loss of bladder control occurs in puppies, but because your dog is four, you should seek veterinary advice first to check there's nothing medically wrong with him. After that, you need to try some basic training: when you have visitors, make sure Louis has been out to the toilet and when your guests enter the house, keep him on the lead. Insist that they ignore the dog and talk to you instead, don't let him jump on them and keep him in a sit position. When the dog is calm, the visitors can greet him verbally, but with no physical contact. If you are consistent, your dog will stop this bad habit. For further help, visit the Association of Pet Dog Trainers website at

I have nothing against cats, but our street seems full of them. Every night there are several cat fights and the noise is horrific. What rights do I have to move the cats on? J Barclay, Guildford

Under the Protection of Animals Act 1911, you cannot “infuriate, terrify or torture” cats. I would be very careful about what action you take. If they are near your house, you could go into your own garden and make a loud noise to scare them off, without touching them, and this would probably interrupt any fight. To prevent the cats coming into your garden, you can make it very moist, because cats do not like water, but this may not be practical for your garden. Alternatively, you can put up netting to prevent them from getting in, or install an ultrasonic cat deterrent which is approved by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. You can speak to your neighbours and suggest they keep their cats in at night, for their own safety. If they insist on letting their cats out, you could recommend they get them neutered. That would decrease territorial behaviour and prevent unwanted kittens. If the problem persists, you can go to your local council and see what regulations they have in place for noise nuisance.

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