What a lovely pair they make. Five year old Djembe is sleek, graceful and aristocratic, and 7 month puppy Marley is a scruffy pup!
It’s hard to believe Marley is so young, not only because of his size but because he is so well behaved. He is cautious and easily scared – you can see by his ‘look-away’ in my photo that he’s is uneasy having the camera pointed at him. Djembe on the other hand is a real poser, but despite of her aloof manner she is not as confident as she seems.
The main problem is Djembe’s increasing protectiveness where other dogs are concerned. She is fine with people so long as they approach in a sensible way – I walked into their gate and the dogs were in the garden. They were curious but that was all.
Djembe lived with another dog who evidently felt protection was her role, but sadly that dog died and Djembe’s behaviour towards certain other dogs worsened. On top of that, six weeks ago they took on Marley and now Djembe has him to look after also.
It really kicked off when, out on a walk, another dog went for Marley. Djembe wasn’t having that. Then they went to a beach and Djembe was a nightmare, instead of being able to run free and happy as she had done last year, now all time protecting the family and Marley from possible approaches from other dogs.
Over the next few weeks and months (it will take as long as it takes and they will need to be 100% consistent), both dogs will learn how good it is to walk on loose leads with no correction, halti or choke chain. They will walk beside their owner wherever he decides to go because it’s pleasant to do so. Djembe will learn to trust him to react appropriately as a leader when they meet other dogs. Marleys’ general confidence should improve and Djembe, whilst always being protective to some degree because it is in her nature, won’t be constantly on the lookout for trouble when they are out.