Two year old Mastiff X Bobby is a delightful, gentle dog who understandably is wary of men – most especially young men wearing hoods.
Abuse at the hands of male youths
He had an tragic start in life, suffering cruel abuse. He belonged to a group of youths who tried to force the gentle dog to be aggressive.
The lady has had him for one year now. At home he is calm, and he’s quite relaxed with a lot of physical attention and fussing from the teenage daughter. He fine with lady visitors. He is very uneasy around men, however particularly any man walking directly towards him or putting his hand out to him. Each time the son comes home from uni, it still takes Bobby a couple of days to relax with him.
The lady has worked very hard with Bobby over the past year and he has already come a long way. To start with he was so scared that he would frequently urinate when any sort of pressure was put on him. Now it seems that only high voices cause him to pee and occasionally interaction with a man. One has to wonder what sort of teasing and goading he must have endured.
The fallout from the abuse as a very young dog still has a hold on him.
Increasing distance from men
Unfortunately over the past few weeks there have been several incidents where he has ‘air-snapped’ warnings at men.
In one case his teeth met the man’s knuckles – if he had intended to bite there would have been more damage. Another man approaching and carrying a can of beer resulted in Bobby crouching and running at him, catching his leg before running off very scared.
The behaviour has started to include male neighbours and a man in their house.
It is a sort of vicious circle. Bobby feels threatened and is doing what comes naturally to a dog in the circumstances in order to protect himself – giving a warning by way of air-snap. The understandably emotional reactions of the men and his lady owner are increasingly making his apprehension of men worse.
Bobby needs help
Bobby needs to know that his lady owner is there to look out for him and protect him – in ways that he understands. He needs to be able to trust her.
Acknowledging his fear of males, she will now be sensitive when approaching a man directly. She will make sure the man understands the situation and ask him not to come too close, to avoid eye contact and to keep his hands away. She will explain the past abuse.
Whenever there is any doubt Bobby will for now wear a muzzle so that there is absolutely no risk whilst he learns to feel protected. The lady will do everything to help him overcome his fear of all men. She will make sure he comes immediately to her side when called, no matter what.
She loves him dearly and knows that if he bites someone for real, poor Bobby, despite the abuse, will pay the ultimate price