Ollie

OLLIE – PYRENEAN MOUNTAIN DOG
PROBLEM – SEPARATION ANXIETY, DESTRUCTIVENESS ETC

Peter received a call from Somerset couple Paula and John Heeley, who had recently adopted Ollie who had ended up in rescue through no fault of his own. Having got him home, there was problems with him being left alone, as well as some fairly destructive behaviour, together with some enthusiastic chasing of the couple’s four cats who had beaten a hasty retreat upstairs ever since his arrival. This was a fairly straightforward job of showing them how to set some boundaries and rules for this huge but friendly dog and to ensure that whilst feeling sorry for his predicament, not making the big mistake of showing it in their day to day leadership:-“Having spotted Ollie on a rescue centre’s adoption page and, having had a
Pyrenean Mountain Dog as a child it seemed like fate had taken over and he
had to be ours.  Within the month we collected him and brought him home to
Somerset to live with our four rescue cats.  This is where the trouble began
as it appeared that Ollie had never been told that chasing cats was a no no.
We persevered for a while, keeping him on a lead if cats were present but
frankly after a few too many chasings the cats had had enough and wouldn’t
venture downstairs past the stairgate.  At the same time Ollie was also
suffering separation anxiety and not sleeping without someone in the same
room, this is fairly common with rescue dogs.  This meant that we had to
take turns sleeping on the sofa in the lounge but after trying to build up
the time he spent alone at night he had a particularly destructive night and
chewed through several pieces of furniture.We rang Peter not, to be honest, out of desperation but more anxiety after a
labrador had snapped at Ollie’s face and he had pitched in to full battle at
this.  We were unsure if, having settled in, this was going to be the norm
rather than the exception and felt that we needed a guiding, experienced
hand to enable us to do the correct things from the start not wanting to
exacerbate any problems.

I am very pleased to say that we felt completely at ease as soon as we spoke
to Peter who arranged to visit us in Somerset.  We were very impressed with
Peter’s calm and gentle manner with Ollie and his knowledge and experience
was apparent immediately.  It was very reassuring to have Peter confirm that
Ollie was not an aggressive dog or indeed a “cat killer” and after doing
some training with our most confident cat that things almost immediately
started to calm down.

Peter taught us how to handle an excited Ollie in the presence of cats and taught us interruption techniques which I am happy to report have worked.  In fact, so successfully that Ollie and Charlie the cat share the sofa now with our other cats slowly beginning to follow suit.

Again, with the separation anxiety Peter suggested a bedtime routine that he
guaranteed would work within a few days.  He was right and we all welcomed
being able to sleep in our own beds.  Finally, the aggression towards the
dog was discussed and control and appropriate techniques were suggested by
Peter, including using a different harness to gain more control if needed.

This has worked and now Ollie has settled in well and has met all the
surrounding neighbourhood dogs we know Peter was absolutely correct and that
there isn’t an ounce of malice in him.  So sure were we that he recently
accompanied us to the Royal Bath & West Show with huge success meeting
countless dogs of all shapes and sizes and nothing but a wagging tail was
the order of the day.  Children too are a great favourite and he just lapped
up every pet and cuddle offered by both children and adults alike ALL day
long – and there were many!

In short, thanks to Peter’s knowledge and experience we have very quickly
been able to realise Ollie’s potential of being the fantastic family pet
that we wanted him to be.  It is not always easy with a rescue dog,
particularly a very large one but Peter immediately dispelled any concerns
we may have had and gave us the confidence to just enjoy him.

Peter – you were absolutely correct when you told us we have rescued
ourselves a very lovely dog, we cannot thank you enough for your help.

I would also like to confirm to anyone reading that Peter is absolutely true
to his word and is very much on the end of the phone if you need further
assistance.  We did because Ollie had taken to protecting his new home
somewhat enthusiastically and would launch into a full on Pyrenean bark and
lunge session jumping at the window and door if the doorbell was rung.
Again, Peter’s suggested methods for calming his territorial behaviour down is
working and he is already beginning to get the message that he does not need
to be quite so protective of his home when someone comes to the door!

Suffice to say we would have no hesitation in recommending Ashclyst Dog Training and Behaviour to any and all that may be in need of help with their problem dog behaviour.”
JOHN & PAULA HEELEY, SOMERSET