David and Jan contacted me from their East Devon home about their ongoing
dog aggression problems with Kayla a 3-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback.
owned two Ridgebacks, but Nandi the older of the two was no problem at all.
Kayla was a more highly-strung bitch who would follow Jan from room to room
and was really insecure.
David and Jan had taken to walking their dogs in
out of the way places in order to avoid problems, but even then one incident
had led to David being pulled over by Kayla and fracturing his leg. David is
a big chap so of course this made his wife Jan even more nervous of Kayla’s
As normal, I attended their home to assess the situation with the dogs. I do
get a bee in my bonnet about these behaviourists who insist on the client
going to them rather than going to the clients home. Only by observing the
dog in its home environment does one get a full and detailed picture of what
is actually going on. Both dogs were allowed to sleep in their owners
bedroom at night and their were other obvious status issues which needed to
be addressed.
A staged encounter with my dogs showed that
Kayla’s aggression was fear-based but despite this, she would still be
prepared to cover some distance to get to a dog when she felt she had the
reassuring back-up of Nandi. A programme of socialisation and rehabilitation
over the next few weeks soon had Kayla on the mend and also, significantly
improved Jan and David’s confidence in Kayla’s behaviour.

"Peter, just thought I would update you on Kayla. She is still very calm and behaving extremely well. One of the most important things you helped me with was my confidence and making me believe that I could learn the skills required and that they actually worked. Your calm, matter of fact approach was just what I needed. With grateful thanks for making our lives so much easier." Jan and David.