I had a relaxing Sunday afternoon with two friendly dogs. Sitting there with Noodles the lurcher asleep much of the time and Tofu a brindled cross breed a bit more active but happy, it was hard to imagine that these same two dogs could be so fear aggressive to other dogs when out on walks.
I briefly walked in the garden with Noodles. She was so tall it was like leading a pony!
Noodles had been attacked several times by off lead dogs so was very much on the defensive. They had recently acquired Tofu from Wood Green for company for Noodles. In many ways this has helped Noodles enormously, she is much more relaxed in the house and when the owners go out. However, Tofu isn’t an altogether good influence on her! Egged on by Tofu, the two together are a menace when out on walks. They pull and lunge at dogs and would attack if they could get to them. It is a dangerous situation for the owner who may also be pushing a buggy, and the chaos upsets their little girl.
At home there are excessive bouts of barking, with the slightest noise setting them both off, rushing from the front of the house and out through the dog flap into the garden. I only witnessed this once in the three hours or so that I was there. This is because we had created a calm atmopshere so the dogs chilled. Both dogs, incidentally, are wonderful with the two-year-old daughter. They love her and she loves them.
The people have worked very hard with both dogs from the start, and have made great progress already. We are now filling in a few of the basics which are less to do with training the dogs, more to do with changing their own behaviour, so that the dogs see them as the protectors, providers and decision-makers. We have worked out a strategy for making walks enjoyable – basically by going back to square one and starting all over again in a totallyl different way than ‘dog training’ and ‘correction’, a step at a time, with the dogs understanding that the only way to get anywhere will be on a loose lead. The work has to start before they even step out of the door. It will take time!
If you live within my area, would you like me to help you too?