John and Dale Soundy rang me about their male Staffie Casper’s behavioural issues. Dale often felt intimidated by him in the home and they both experienced some dog aggression problems with him when out on walks.

He had never hurt a dog, but of course Staffies suffer from much negative publicity these days and his lunging and growling at other dogs was becoming a significant problem.

Dale was within a few weeks of giving birth to their first child and was naturally concerned, due to Casper’s occasional domineering behaviour towards her in the home, particularly in John’s absence.

I have worked with many couples who have had concerns about their dog’s possible reactions to the arrival of a new baby and also some adoption cases where social services have required a behaviourist’s input with regard to a family dog, prior to a child being adopted.

Following a home visit to deal with Casper’s status issues by changing their regime and of course Casper’s, together with some real world training sessions to deal with his dog aggression and recall issues, we had a completely different dog within a matter of weeks. John and Dale had their baby son and their have been no problems whatsoever with Casper, who has proved to be a typically child-friendly Staffie, as the vast majority of them are.

"We rang you as we were concerned about Casper’s behaviour, not only towards other dogs but also the way he was a bit of a bully towards my other half. We were about to have our first child and of course we were worried that Casper may have issues with the baby. You gave us some great advice on how to reduce his status in the home before the baby arrived and also how to integrate the baby into the family without making Casper feel excluded.

He has been great with our son ever since he came home from the maternity unit and we trust him completely, although we would never leave him alone with him. You also made major changes in his behaviour towards other dogs and we even sorted out his recall! No doubt about it, you did exactly what it said on the tin!"