From Cute Puppy to Mad Max
Whatever happened to that cute little bundle of fur, fun and teeth? He grew up!
- JUMPING ALL OVER YOU
- GRABBING CLOTHES
- SEPARATION ANXIETY when left ALONE
- ANXIETY in the CAR
- CONSTANT BARKING
- RUNNING OFF when off lead
- SOILING in the house
- AGGRESSION towards other dogs
- AGGRESSION towards you, the owner
- AGGRESSION towards other people
- FEARS – eg. of specific places and things, hiding from or barking at visitors etc.
- Excessive PANIC over fireworks and storms
- OBSESSIVE OCD BEHAVIOUR like spinning, licking, shadows etc.
In the natural world, for the first few months of his life a pup would stay close to his family. through them he learns The Rules, he learns What He Should Do (instead of only what he should not do), he learns Manners and Effective Communication skills. He learns through play. He learns respect. With his elders to protect him, he is introduced to the big, wide world of hunting, scenting, socialising and self-preservation.
Nine months old, when a young dog is in the throes of adolescence, is around the age many young dogs are abandoned by their owners.
A puppy, whatever his breed, is a ‘dog’ in his head. Without a proper ‘dog’ start in life he can become a teenage delinquent.
Instead of early months being socialised and taught ‘The Rules’, and being to able to test the boundaries with consistent and fair results, he does what he chooses, when he chooses. probably too late he is taken out in the big world of danger, strangers, dogs, cars, noises, smells. Nobody has shown him, in ‘dog’ terms he understands, who is looking after him and making the decisions. He is trapped on the end of a lead! Even worse, he may feel he has to protect his humans as well. This is scary.
He is cuddled and kissed but that doesn’t help. He is shouted at but that doesn’t help. Smacking him doesn’t help.He becomes increasingly confused.
So, he barks and gets shouted at (he’s getting attention at least). He growls. He nips. He messes indoors, he disobeys, destructs, chews – anything to GET attention or to make his agitated soul feel a bit better. By default he’s burdened with the Important ‘Decision-Maker’ Job every minute of the day and night. He patrols. He barks. He seldom rests. He becomes over-tired and touchy.
He is constantly told NO. He lives up to a bad reputation because he’s never taught YES.
Then, one day, he is fetched by someone in a van and taken to rescue kennels.
There are lots of unknown dogs in separate kennels, crying. He no longer has a family of his own to belong to. He’s isolated (the worst punishment) so he cries too.
Soon he’s in another human family. He’s cuddled and fussed. It’s nice. They are compensating for his past. Even more than before he jumps up, barks, pulls his new owner over, jumps up, guards. He attacks other dogs.
Soon he’s back in the rescue kennels.
Eventually he’s found another human family to live with. People who ‘understand dogs’. People who ‘control’ dogs by using force. Even more than before, as he battles against more painful opposition, he jumps up, barks, pulls his new owner over, jumps up, guards. He attacks other dogs.
This cycle can continue until he does someone real damage. He’s a ‘dangerous dog’ and he’s ‘Put Down’.
His nightmare has ended.
However tragic this sounds, it’s never too late. Contact me.
Whether you have a rescue dog still needing ‘rescuing’ or whether you want to give your puppy his deserved ‘dog’ start in life, we can give you the tools to repair the situation so that your dog has the relaxed and happy life he deserves.