Case Study

Wes & Teddy

Issue

Wes and Teddy came to training together from one household, and had several challenges: human and dog aggression, growling/showing teeth, nuisance barking, no recall, insecurity/fearfulness, pulling on leash, food aggression, possessiveness. One incident noted in which Wes had confidently bitten owner’s 15-year-old daughter while she was attempting to take away a bone. Teddy was originally scheduled to only partake in the guest home portion of training (and not the board and train). However, upon Blair picking up Wes, he noted that Teddy was barking aggressively, and training package was changed to board and train with guest home package as well. This was changed because the guest home package (on its own) is not open to human-aggressive dogs, and Teddy was demonstrating that he was not going to warm up quickly enough to Blair to have an effective training experience in only three days. With this additional time, Blair was able to build the relationship with Teddy in time for the owner’s guest home stay for the remainder of the training to take place.

Training

Board and Train with Guest Home Stay Program

Starting the 21-day program, Blair implemented perception modification before behavioral modification. This is utilized to kick them out of the leader-of-the-pack mentality, calm their ego, and for Blair to show them who (humans) makes the rules.

Teddy: 18-months-old, very young male who has had an extreme lack of exposure in his life due to his older dog sibling’s lack of control on walks. Blair noted he was very scared of everything, but acted out aggressively, and barked at everything. Teddy was not walked much. Once a relationship was established with Blair, he then exposed Teddy to the world: showing him what’s appropriate and not appropriate. Examples of this included trash cans, stop signs, cars, bicyclists: communicating and teaching: “We don’t fight it, we don’t run away from it, there is acceptance from it.” And communicating to Teddy: “If I, the human, am okay with it then you, the dog, are okay with it.”

Wes: Previously had been walked, but was aggressive, and would lunge at other dogs and humans on leashed walks. He is a 75-lb pit bull, and very hard to control. Blair noted he was fearful, and did not perceive that anyone was really in charge of his household. Naturally, he felt the need to fill that void, but made bad decisions coming from his insecure state of mind. Family was never allowed to have other people in the home because both dogs would bark and become aggressive. By Blair showing Wes someone to look to for guidance, and letting him retire as sheriff, Blair was then able to get Wes to calm down, relax, and expose him to the world: showing him that life is not so scary, and he did not need to attack it. This provided Wes the balance he needed to maintain a calm and relaxed demeanor.

Guest Home: Mother, father, daughter (15 y/o), son (12 y/o). All were involved in training, able to absorb the information, and get ready to apply it for the return of the dogs to their home.

Follow-up

On returning the dogs to the home, the owners already had neighbors and friends lined up to come to the house as a distraction. This was big: the owners hadn’t had anyone in their home for 6 months because of their dogs’ behavior.

Went for walk first, recalibrating the dogs before moving them back into the home atmosphere (which they had both previously thought they were in charge of).

Once back in the home, Blair taught the family how to do proper introductions for guests to come into home, which is now a safe and controlled environment. This was done by applying impulse control through place command. When release from the place command was done, and proper technique for introduction was applied, anyone was now allowed into their home safely. This needed to be taught in the dogs’ actual environment, which is why Blair always does in-home transfer sessions after any training program.

Husband called Blair with a question: how to correct correctly when someone enters the home. Husband had been using technique backwards and once corrected, had no more issues. Owners have since had many additional guests come in and out of home without issue.

Owners had been walking the dog’s off-leash in neighborhood. This is not recommended by Blair, but shows significant signs of improvement (from previously lunging atpeople and other dogs on walks).

At one month out, Blair showed up and everything had been going well. Went on walk, no additional issues to go over. Banking last in-home session with Blair.

Received another call from the wife: owners were having a homecoming party with 20 girls, and wanted to know how to handle dogs during the celebration. Blair advised owners to crate them with so much commotion during party and sleepover. Significant change from not being able to have anyone enter the home besides those who live in home.

Blair noted during call: one of the worse things to do with a dog is to work too fast and introduce too much at once.

In most cases, it takes a human longer to learn than it takes a dog to learn. Very important to be able to teach both to create balance and calmness amongst humans and dogs in their home.

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