Harvey is only three years old and has been on steroids for months during which time he has been very subdued. Now that he is being weaned off them he is livening up and his barking and lunging at other dogs is worsening. There doesn’t seem to be a pattern. He has many dogs he loves, but with others he can be unpredictable. I wonder whether he may not feel 100% still and could some days be more touchy than others, or whether on certain days he is more stressed. His lady owner in particular is on edge now when she takes him out, and this will not be lost on Harvey.
Harvey has had extensive training before he fell ill, but it simply did not address this problem. However well trained he is, ‘training’ can’t alter how a dog feels inside. He probably feels threatened and wary, maybe grumpy. Training can’t get rid of this. However, if his owners abandon trying to train it out of him and start to look at things from Harvey’s point of view, to understand him and to deal with his behaviour as a leader would, things will surely be changing. Time and patience is required. Harvey will start to look to them for guidance and protection, and his owners will be able to relax on walks again.
Basically, if a course of action has been followed for months, years even, and it hasn’t worked – then it’s time for something completely different!