Tilly was attacked by another dog a while ago and she hasn’t been the same been the same since.
The lady has lived with the problem until last week when things came to a head. A workman left the gate open and Tilly rushed out and attacked a dog walking past the house, resulting in an injured dog and a very angry owner.
Now she can’t be trusted off lead. Look at her – you can’t imagine it, can you!
Tilly, a four-year-old mix of Patterdale Terrier and Lakeland, is an extremely good little dog in the house. She is great company for the lady and sociable with her friends.
Out on walks, however, things are different. As soon as they now see another dog the lady becomes anxious. She tightens the lead. Tilly will then hackle, lunge and bark. She has earned a bit of a reputation locally for her noise. This is a shame because she is great with dogs she knows, and in the past has been fine when off lead.
She is also ‘funny’ with men when out, and doesn’t like bikes and joggers. The lady dare not let her off lead anymore, scared she may bite.
Needless to say, the situation will continue to get worse unless the lady does things a bit differently.
There is quite a lot of groundwork to do at home. Tilly needs to be relieved of any guard duty so she doesn’t practise barking at passing people and dogs. The lady is going to work at getting her immediate and full attention as soon as she says Tilly’s name. It needs to become an automatic reflex. If she can’t get her attention at home, then she certainly won’t get her attention when she’s out.
Walks and other dogs will be approached very differently and this will take considerable time and more help.
There is no reason why she shouldn’t be on a very long line in open spaces and allowed to play if it seems okay.
Like the automatic response to hearing her name, she needs a similarly automatic response to being called. This work also needs to begin at home and where there are few distractions.
NB. The precise protocols to best use for your own dog may be different to the approach I have worked out for Tilly, which is why I don’t go into all exact details here of our plan. Finding instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog can do more harm than good. One size does not fit all. If you live in my own area I would be very pleased to help with strategies specific to your own dogs (see my Get Help page).