Baxter was like a different dog
Today I visited Baxter again – the delinquent young Rottweiler I wrote about a few days ago. I must confess I was feeling a little apprehensive on the way there, knowing what a big undertaking this is going to be for his new owners.
For the past week his they have worked hard at being non-confrontational and keeping Baxter as calm as possible, doing all they can to give him kind, consistent, convincing leadership and keep his stress levels down. Four days ago I had a message from the lady saying he was being so bad she felt she couldn’t cope. I begged her to stick with it. Any attention she did give him immediately turned him into a growling, barking and biting demon, yet he did the same when she ignored him.
This is a familiar pattern, where things go worse before the corner is turned.
They have just had two good days without the manic episodes where Baxter loses control of himself, jumping and biting when he can’t get his own way. This might just be two days’ grace and a flash in the pan, but if he can be like this for a couple of days now, it can later be three days, then four – and is an indication of his true potential as his stress levels reduce, and he learns self-control and respect.
Baxter’s new owners are learning the very delicate balance between the amount of attention they can safely give him and overstimulating him – which quickly turns him into a dervish!
I could see a huge difference to the dog I met just one week ago. Today he was quickly calm, he only jumped on me a couple of times instead of the persistent fight I had last time, feeling his teeth and mouth and repeatedly having to tip his heavy weight off me. Today he didn’t use his mouth on me once. He was affectionate and biddable.
We must be under no illusion that there won’t be very challenging times ahead, but I am much happier about Baxter.