Roxy had a verybad start in lifePoor Roxy is just ten months old, and probably a Labrador-Pit Bull  cross.

She had been living in one room, surrounded feces and urine, and the gentleman found her with two dogs he describes as ‘fighting dogs’ that intimidated her to staying in her corner. She is now living with a couple and their two-year-old son, and the adjustment is enormous. She is scared and confused. They have bathed her twice which terrifies her, and the water is still filthy.

She only poos once a day – on the sitting room rug. She holds it until she is alone at night. This is hardly surprising when all her life she has done it indoors, and because her new owners scolded her (she would immediately cower). She will be waiting until she’s all alone and nobody is looking. She won’t toilet on walks or in the garden (she won’t go outside alone).

Outside she is surprisingly calm unless approached by a person or until she sees another dog, when understandably she is very reactive. She has had no experience of normal dog to dog interaction. She will rear up, snarl, hackle and lunge.

I have started them off with ‘homework’ for a fortnight and shall go again. They need to start somewhere and the basics are gaining Roxy’s confidence, which isn’t done either by over-compensating as the were doing or disciplining her with a cross voice. She is super-sensitive and already showing signs of becoming overly attached to the gentleman, leading to possessiveness and growling. The toileting needs approaching in the right way, as does encountering other dogs on walks.

Roxy has had no healthy interactions with either humans or dogs, though I do wonder whether her very early days might have been different as she could actually be far worse. That is a tragic thought. You can see in the first photo she’s doing a deliberate ‘look-away’, showing her uneasiness at people looking at her.

The very first priority is a dog gate for the kitchen doorway. This will solve a lot of problems. Night time toileting will be on a washable floor, she will feel safe away from the’ barking chair’ at the front window and, most importantly, she can be separated from their two-year-old son if necessary.

 I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.