One-year-old Angus’ has moved from living with one man to living with a family of three in an active household.

Previously he had to be left alone for hours in a crate or put into kennels for weeks at a time.

The family have taken him in and immediately – and understandably – began introducing him to their world. A number of people have visited their house. They have taken him for long walks including to busy places.

He has only been with them for five days.

Too much stress. He’s too aroused.

Angus has now bitten all three of them, mum, dad and adult daughter. He has no previous history of biting.

This can only be because his stress levels are so high that he can no longer cope. He’s so aroused that one small thing – the final straw – kicks him over.

Back to square one

I suggest they go back to what they should have done when Angus came to them five days ago. To take things slowly and introduce things one at a time. Let him absorb one thing, one new place or one new person before introducing the next.

He wasn’t used to having the constant company of several people when they invited more over. He was so excited and aroused that he jumped all over them.

Angus has a new home and a new garden to get used to. He hasn’t got to know the world just outside in their street and they are already taking him to a variety of new places, some busy. They may play ball on walks which revs him up further.

It’s either on the walk or just when they arrived home that he suddenly jumped up and bit them. The walk will have simply been ‘too much’.

Walks and taking it slowly

Angus is unused to wearing a harness and lead. He is a little nervous in the car.

I suggest they stick to one walk for now – the walk to the nearby woods. Let him get used to that and leave the ball at home.

Because the short street walk to get to the woods is stressful for him, I suggest they do the short trip by car. Short journeys ending up at the woods should cure his slight nervousness of the car.

Meanwhile they can do lead walking around their close. He can learn to walk nicely without either the excitement or stress of going anywhere.

Positive reinforcement

For now Angus needs a lot of encouragement and rewards for everything they ask him to do. He needs to be nursed along patiently and given time to settle in.

NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete ‘report’ and is always written with permission of the client. If you listen to ‘other people’ or find instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog it can do more harm than good. Click here for help