In a very short time Millie had settled5-year-old Bull Mastiff Millie is always shut away when people come to the house due to her seemingly aggressive reaction to them, so they were worried before I came. This is Catch 22 because without exposure and habituation in a controlled way she will never get used to people. Always shutting her away will get them nowhere.

Anyway, within a very short time I took the photo on the left! It proves what can be done if all the humans send out the right signals. On the right the big baby is on the sofa having a cuddle.

Millie is too scared to go for walks near home. When her lead comes out she may run and hide. She shakes.The big baby is having a cuddle on the sofa

If she is told ‘To the Car’ she will pull frantically to get there, but once in the car she is fine; walking further from home is okay apart from a tendency to rush barking at people and other dogs when she’s off lead. She is regularly walked around town, unfazed, and into shops. She also goes on organised big group dogs walks and behaves perfectly.  It is when they are near her own territory or in her house, when there are only occasional people or dogs, or when they appear suddenly that she reacts defensively by rushing them and barking.

Where lead walks near home are concerned, she first needs desensitising even to her lead bing picked up – and I suggest a special front-D-ring harness rather than a Halti so that she’s more comfortable. This needs working on in tiny steps. First she needs to feel happy in the presence of the lead or trailing it around the house. Next walking around the house on lead. Next the garden. Next in and out of the gate – and so on. Done several times a day a few minutes at a time, using encouragement and rewards, she should soon be walking around outside the house on a loose lead.

Millie has the makings of a really brilliant dog if understood right.

A couple of weeks later Millie is happily going for local walks. Here is a video!