French bulldog does strange bow with his back to peopleEnzo seems to live in a little world all of his own – probably because his life is just so confusing. He is a four-year-old French Bulldog.

Enzo has a lot of change to get used to. His young owners live in London and have lots of friends. They pick him up, cuddle him and make a lot of fuss; he is taken on the underground and buses.

He will be left with different people in different places. He also stays with the parents and at the moment he is in their large, quiet house in the country for several weeks.

Enzo has problems. He will suddenly attack the two Springer Spaniels where he is now staying. The brother has a young Pug and he goes for him also. On walks he is kept on lead around dogs because of his behaviour. He obsesses with anything that moves, whether it’s leaves or bits of rubbish and will be constantly looking, pulling and pouncing. He chases cars.

He is a very difficult little dog to read. With no tail we get no clues from that end. With his flat face only his eyes give a clue. It is very likely that in the past he thinks he has given other dogs warning signs to keep their distance but they have simply been unable to read them, so now he goes straight into attack mode. The more activity and action there is around him, the more volatile he becomes. But it looks as if it’s out of the blue. Compared to Spaniels he appears inscrutable.

His body language is unusual. He does a strange little bow – see the picture. With most dogs this would be an invitation to play, but with Enzo he has his back to the people.

The parents want to spend the time he has with them helping him to become calmer and happier. With people he is gentle and obedient if somewhat disengaged; lots of pampering, being carried about and play fighting may be fun for the young people, but it’s not good for Enzo. After one day here he already seems calmer. They will work on his behaviour with their own dogs and dogs outside. They will work on his obsession with chasing things. With lower stress levels in Enzo, the poor Springer Spaniels will be able to relax again in their own home.

Six days after my visit: For two days Enzo hasn’t gone for the other dogs once. What I didn’t mention here is Springer Willow’s pulling on lead. Willow had a ‘no pull harness’ and short lead but she still pulled. Her lady owner did my what she calls ‘crazy walking’ for a few days and then the recommended soft harness with ring on the chest arrived. “After I spoke to you I decided to try Willow out with her new harness and lead, and I can honestly say I am amazed! There was absolutely no pulling, and it was the most enjoyable walk I have ever had with her!”
Twelve days after my visit: Enzo now has a harness like Willow’s, and I took them out together today and it was all fine, very little pulling from either. I also took Enzo alone, just 100m and back to do a little leaf/car chasing avoidance, and he responded really well, so I am planning this maybe a few times a day… I can’t believe how calm everything is, thanks for your help and support, we both feel really positive about how the training is going feel confident now about addressing Enzo’s car/leaf/rubbush issues, and even encountering other dogs. In fact we met another dog in the field today, Enzo and the other dog were on leads, I called to explain that I was training Enzo to be better around other dogs and explained that I was going to arc around them, this Enzo managed calmly, he looked across at the other dog but did not seem to get stressed or anxious- he didn’t pull on the lead, or stare, or bark, and the hairs on the back of his neck stayed down, so that felt good!
I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.