Attacked Three Times by Other Male Dogs. Walks Spoiled

Dogs have attacked Coco. Three times.

Off-lead, out of control dogs can cause so much damage. The actions of people who risk letting their own reactive dog run freely up to another dog can completely spoil the future walks of both the dog it attacked and his owners.

The young lady did everything possible to give her beautiful Shiba Inu, now eighteen months old, the perfect start in life.  She chose Coco so carefully from a good breeder and socialised him brilliantly to people, other dogs, noise etc. They lived in a flat in London and took him everywhere with them, habituating him well to daily life.

She really couldn’t have done more.

Attacked three times.

In giving him the opportunity to play and get to know other dogs, like all of us she took the risk of his encountering ‘the wrong’ dogs. On three separate occasions another dog attacked Coco. It seems they were males each time. Continue reading…

Can’t Be Trusted Off Lead

TillyTilly 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).

Little Floyd Has Lost his ‘Joie de Vivre’.

Floyd is a worried dogFloyd used to have such enthusiasm for life, but this has slowly changed over the past few months.

He also started to toilet in the house and it’s gradually becoming more frequent, particular when his owners have come home from another trip. Something seems to have traumatised him and a bit of detective work may have unearthed what that is.

The couple have had the eight-year-old Jack Russell cross (there must be Daschund or Beagle in there somewhere!) since he was a puppy, and he has always gone everywhere with them. They have geared holidays around places where he can be taken. This year they have been away four times. They leave him at home with their son and daughter (aged 22 and 18) so you would think that would be no problem. A couple of months ago immediately before they left him behind, the gentleman took him for his usual walk. He rounded a corner ahead of the man (something I advise shouldn’t happen) and was attacked by another dog. Then, as soon as they got home, the couple left him. The suitcases were in the hallway and they were ready to go.

Each time they have returned from being away they have found him increasingly nervous and skittish, and the toileting has increased. When they come home from work he no longer greets them but stays in his bed. Even a pending walk is no longer anything special. He regularly displays signs that he is trying to keep calm – he lifts his paw a lot, he licks his lips and he yawns.

The dear little dog has always been the easiest dog you could wish for with a wonderful temperament, so they have got away with more than they might otherwise in terms of running around after his every wish and over-exciting him. The gentleman in particular jumps to his every wish. Floyd only has to bark and the man is on his hands and knees! The son winds him up with rough play until he can hardly cope. The lady is firmer. Floyd lacks the security that comes from consistent rules and boundaries.

We owe it to our dogs to provide them with ‘leadership’ in terms of guidance and decision-making.

All his family want is for him to be back to his old self, and they are willing to do whatever it takes. They have had him thoroughly checked over by the vet, because in cases where a dog’s behaviour changes a physical reason must be ruled out.