Jack is a large Doberman X aged about eight, and Winston is a Staffie/Chocolate Labrador mix or eighteen months. Beautiful, friendly dogs.
Jack had several homes before his present owner, and poor Winston had been kennelled from about six weeks old until he moved in with them at a year old. Considering this very unsatisfactory start in life, he is brilliant. With both dogs there are some problems that need ironing out, but the most dramatic is the barking at the window at the frequently passing dogs.
Barking and guard duty can be very stressful to a dog. Winston is a compulsive licker – licking people, chairs, the carpet – anything; he grabs ankles when people move about and when stressed he may either hump people or redirect onto Jack. So far there have been no major issues between the dogs, but it’s probably only a matter of time before Jack stands up for himself. Jack takes out his frustration and stress on his bed – humping that.
As there is nowhere for the dogs to go apart from at the front of the house, in addition to reacting to the barking in an appropriate fashion the only solution is to somehow make it impossible for them to see out – especially when the couple are out at work and not around to help the dogs. Jack is very tall, and Winston climbs onto something. He sometimes charges at the window like a battering ram and it’s only a matter of time before the window smashes and both dogs are out in the road.
The plan now is to get rid of as much stress from the dogs’ lives as possible and to keep things between the two of them well under control. Walks will eventually be a lot more pleasant with calmer dogs on loose leads , but this will take a considerable length of time.
I can tell already that the couple will have the patience and commitment to see this through. They have already come a long way with these two great dogs.
I visited five weeks later. the barking at the window has stopped altogether, aided with plastic covering on the bottom half that looks like frosted glass. They were struggling with Jack’s walks. See the story of my revisit and what we did.