Luca

FLATCOAT RETRIEVER

PROBLEM – DOG AGGRESSION, LEAD PULLING, CYCLE CHASING.

 
Paul and Chris from Wadebridge in Cornwall had serious problems with Luca’s aggression to other dogs.

This was predominantly on-lead but there had been off-lead incidents on the Camel Trail, including one where he had chased and pinned down a Golden Retriever who had taken him by surprise. His behaviour on the lead was very worrying and difficult to handle. He would fixate on other dogs as soon as they came into view and would then lunge and pull towards them, snarling, barking and rearing up. They had taken him to a local training class to try to improve his behaviour, but he was so bad that the instructor had banished them to a corner of the hall. This was not a situation which was likely to improve without some skilled intervention and I travelled down to

Cornwall to see what I could do. Results were fairly immediate and following some further environmental sessions with me, the confidence of dog and owners was clear to see. Here are Chris and Luca’s thoughts:-

"We had owned a number of rescue dogs before we adopted Luca and considered ourselves experienced dog owners. When he came to us at age 18 months, it quickly became apparent that Luca’s difficulties with aggression towards other dogs were more than we were able to manage alone. When out on walks, whether on or off-lead, he would lunge at other dogs, barking, growling and attacking them if he could. Our walks were a nightmare of nasty and potentially dangerous confrontations.

I booked Luca into a local training class, but we were made to stand alone in a corner away from the other dogs as he would ‘have a go’ at them. The whole exercise was counter-productive and embarrassing and I abandoned the classes. Things only seemed to get worse as time went by and we even considered returning him to rescue. However, after a search on the internet we came across Peter Mounsey’s Ashclyst dog training website. The transformation in Luca started immediately during Peter’s visit to our home.

Peter gave us the confidence to tackle Luca’s problems using an approach that taught us to set out the boundaries, using Luca’s natural strengths and interests when training and most of all, not to panic. Along the way he gave us many useful and sensible tips in handling our dog.

The result is that Luca no longer looks to ‘savage’ every dog he meets and the implied threats of litigation we used to receive from other dog walkers have been replaced by compliments about his hugely improved behaviour. He is now no longer fearful of other dogs and has gradually become more sociable with them and walks calmly at our side, something we would never have thought possible a few short months ago. He is developing into a wonderfully obedient dog, full of character.

Another of his problems was his tendency to chase cyclists – a huge problem on the Camel Trail! Peter’s training methods have also really paid off in this regard and Peter taught us how to instantly place him in the down position when a cyclist is approaching, even if he isn’t at our side and he now drops into the down on the approach of cyclists without even being told. This was also replicated on another walk recently, when without being prompted by us, he dropped to the floor without hesitation on the approach of a horse and rider. He had seen them in the distance, but we had not!

Luca is still a work in progress, but he is now 99% reliable around other dogs and attacks are a thing of the past. Without a doubt, he can be added to Peter’s impressive list of success stories. Thank you so much Peter, with your guidance Luca has changed out of all recognition and confirmed our belief that we would be rewarded if we were helped to give him the chance he deserved.”

"Paul and Chris Freeman.