Bull mastiff Buster is mixed upFrom time to time I go to people where the man is calm and confident with the dog. The lady cuddles and loves him, lets him make all his own decisions, but is much less assertive.

The dog becomes increasingly bonded with the man and behaves like the lady is not particularly relevant.[divider type=”white”]

He seems mixed up

The couple I went to see this evening have had two-year-old Mastiff Staffie cross Buster for six months now.

Buster’s life revolves around the man and he takes little notice of the lady – especially when the man is at home. Despite her gentle and affectionate nature, Buster can be quite scared of her for no accountable reason.

He loves to lie down between them on the sofa. One evening while he was fast asleep she reached out and touched him. In panic he jumped up and ran upstairs where she found him cowering and shaking. This distressed her too. One can only speculate what damage a previous female owner may have done to him that’s made him so mixed up.[divider type=”white”]

Confidence around other dogs

Knowing that he wasn’t confident around other dogs, his new lady has worked really hard, for weeks walking him with other dogs and making great headway. Then, very disappointingly, a quarrel with another dog over a stick turned into a fight. The lady shouted. This terrified the mixed up Buster. He now refuses to walk with her any more unless near to home.

Now she panics whenever they see another dog, so walks that were previously enjoyable are now a disaster for them both.

With the gentleman walks are fine!

Added to this, they had to have Buster castrated as agreed with the re-homing organisation. Since then his personality changed. He seems depressed. Is it coincidence? Who knows. I saw a photo of him previously and he looked alert and happy. Now he is mostly worried and sleepy.

The first part of our plan is to work on the lady’s own confidence and for her to walk Buster near home only. This is where they are both happy. She will play a ‘guess where we are going’ game. She will rehearse what she will do when they see a dog, so that when it happens she is ready.

Buster is scared and doesn’t feel safe so if she, too, is in a panic she can’t help him.

The gentleman is decisive and confident so it’s little surprise that the nervous, mixed up Buster puts his faith in him.

And now, after about one month: “Buster is doing so well!! he is like a puppy again!! when i get his lead out for a walk he gets excited and actually walks like a proper dog down the road rather than plodding along with head down and when we let him off the lead he actually goes for a run and explore instead of sticking by our feet. he absolutley loves the field now and he gets so excited when he knows we are heading up there now!!
Last night something amazing happened, buster was far ahead of me on our walk and i could see his ears and tail go up so i knew he had spotted a dog i shouted to him ‘wait’ and he simply sat down. when i caught up i couldn’t see anything so i told him to continue and as i turned the corner i saw a young man with a huge bull mastiff ! buster didn’t even try and go over but simply looked at the dog and continued walking!! his hairs didn’t go up, he didn’t go over to the dog and he didn’t bark or growl!!  he just looked at me as if to say ‘lets go’!! i was so proud that even though he could see a dog he still sat and waited like he had been asked, and he didnt go and start with the other dog just carried on. he was so happy last night and i am hoping this was not a one off!!! he run all round the field and played in the garden for nearly 2 hours with a ball when we got home!! …..he even went and got his colar from his box and in effect asked for a walk,for a dog that never wanted to leave the house this is such an achievement!!