Black Labradors Raj and Sumo lying on the rugI’m just back from seeing two wonderful black Labradors, both male, Raj and Sumo. They are no problem at home, friendly, polite and biddable, and if it were not for behaviour around lead walking and getting into the car, they would be the perfect dogs!

Raj now has three legs. A couple of years ago he had several operations which ended in amputation. It seems the trouble really started after what must have been a traumatic time of his life.

Raj gets frantically excited around getting into the car, so much so that he may even redirect his overflowing stress by lunging at Sumo. Going in the car usually either means going to stay with the couple’s son, or an off-lead run. At first sight of a suitcase Raj starts working himself up, frantic to get to the car. He jumps, whines and screams. Once in, he needs to grab something and has to be held to allow Sumo in safely. Getting back into the car to go home is exactly the same chaos.

The two dogs are well-disciplined and well-trained – wonderful at home. There have chickens roaming freely in the garden that the dogs ignore, and they get on well with the cat. They are good with children. But, when it’s time to go out, they change.

Walks start off in an excited fashion, with pulling on lead and with lunging towards dogs and people, not necessarily aggressively but because they seldom encounter them. These are big dogs, and the lady owner is quite petite.

Having made sure that all aspects of leadership are in place at home – which is nearly the case already – we now have specific strategies to transform walks into something where the dogs walk loosely (after some work), and most importantly, an incremental plan to transform Raj’s behaviour around entering the car. With calm walks and easy behaviour around the car, these dogs will indeed beĀ  perfect!

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