AVIA & TRAVIS – LURCHERS
PROBLEM – AGGRESSION TO EACH OTHER, POOR RECALL AND
Lynne and Phillip have previously rescued Lurchers from Ireland and rescued Travis just
over a year ago.
Whilst very timid and reluctant to be handled, over the months they had gradually gained his confidence so that he could be lightly groomed and generally speaking he wasn’t a problem to own.
A few weeks ago, they had rescued a second Lurcher from Ireland, a bitch called Avia.
She was quite outgoing and was happy to be handled but Travis was not quite so happy to have her around.
He had shown aggression towards her whenever she had entered his space, although this had never developed into fighting.
Lynne and Phillip were more concerned with Avia’s poor heelwork, which was making her difficult to walk and her tendency to show inordinate interest to livestock on the moors around their rural market-town home.
Off-lead, her recall was virtually non-existent and on a recent walking holiday she had chased some sheep. Fortunately, she had merely herded them as opposed to showing them any aggression, but as we know
farmers will often exercise their lawful right to shoot dogs which chase sheep, whether or not they are showing a tendency to savage them.
Ewes in lamb become extremely distressed when being chased and will often mis-carry their lambs as a result.
On assessing the dogs, there were some subtle signs of dominance from Travis and a programme was commenced to place the dogs on a more equal footing, with strong leadership from Lynne and Phillip. A programme of obedience was also started for Avia, commencing with exit and entry procedure from the home, heelwork and short recalls. Lynne and Phillip, two obviously caring people, were going to have to change their approach slightly with both dogs, becoming more positive and assertive in all their dealings with
Within a very short time, the previously strong lead-puller Avia was walking beautifully to heel not just for me, but also for Lynne and Phillip and she had been taught to lie down on command which she had
never done before. A short recall was quickly put in place and the signs for the future were very positive.She was basically a very sweet natured dog with a high prey-drive which needed channelling and her interest in food and affection was going to be the key.
A second session on Dartmoor around livestock was very successful.
Starting on a flexi-lead (the only time I advocate these leads for lazy dog walkers, is on initial recall work with dogs which can’t be trusted off-lead), and then on a long training line.
Initially working away from sheep, we moved closer and closer, interrupting any prey-driven body
language from Avia, followed up with instant recalls. Avia performed brilliantly and showed very low interest in the sheep which at times were within 30 feet. Much work has to be done before she can be off-lead around livestock, but this was good evidence that success can be achieved.
“So far, so good with Avia and Travis.
There was an immediate change at home, (less tension) following your recommendation that the dogs dont sleep on the furniture. . Avia’s heel-work has been much better and there is a much better atmosphere between the two dogs at home, with virtually no tension.
Today’s work on the moor was very encouraging, she showed very little interest in the sheep and it gave me much increased confidence for the future.”