Over time I have realised certain patterns in dog behaviour difficulties. For instance, it is more unusual for a dog who walks casually and peacefully on a loose lead to be scared or aggressive towards dogs it meet on walks.
Another is that most dogs with problems relating to stress in the house mostly also have problems out on walks.
English Bull Terrier Lenny and Staffie Lyra are exceptions to this – and it applies to both dogs, which points to it being more to do with the owners’ own behaviour than their dogs’, and is testament to their owners’ better guidance skills when outside on walks.
Lyra is extremely agitated, anxious and excited when ‘outsiders’ come into the house, (you can see her looking away when I pointed my phone at her for the photo). Initially she flies all over the place barking, and then she redirects her frustrations and energy onto Lenny, licking, chewing and goading him. He is a much calmer dog but may eventually start on her also.
It took Lyra a long time to settle down when I was there.
It’s the ‘at home’ PG (Protection and Guidance) Leadership that needs attending to. This sort of interaction which is the equivalent of human quarrelling, pushing and shoving needs to be nipped in the bud, not by using scolding or commands but by splitting them as another dog would do. They simply need to learn not to do it, and Lyra needs an acceptable replacement activity on which to unwind. It would be quite bad manners for humans to be carrying on like this when people came to the house! It may initially mean waiting for quite a while with the dogs in another room before Lyra in particular is sufficiently calm to be brought in. They also need more visitors, ‘guinea pigs’, so people visiting becomes more commonplace.