CODA – ENGLISH MASTIFF
CODA’S owners called me, reporting that their 11 stone, 11 month old puppy was taking over the house!
He was very boisterous indoors and even at this age he was still not fully
house-trained, often fouling and urinating in the kitchen when left.
His heel-work was non-existent and the owners were not confident in their ability to walk him on the lead, without being pulled from pillar to post.
On my initial assessment,
I quickly ascertained that Coda was very much being allowed
to do what he liked.
There were very few rules and limitations in place.
The amusing sight of Coda’s owners being squashed down to one end of the sofa, whilst he took up three quarters of the space, spoke volumes! Coda was fortunately of a very friendly, loveable disposition but clearly lacked respect for his owners.
Whilst aggression is rare in this breed, this level of dominant behaviour could clearly have led to more serious problems.
An immediate action plan was drafted, giving Coda’s owners clear guidance on setting out rules, boundaries and limits for their dog, so that they could reclaim their home! A series of basic obedience sessions were conducted in the absence of the owners, teaching the fundamentals of heelwork, sit, down, recall etc, to this very large boisterous dog. After a few sessions, the changes in the dog were dramatic and his owners were then involved in a final obedience session and given a detailed action plan for the future.
Feedback from them was positive right from the start. Coda had been transformed from a totally unruly dog into a balanced, calm family pet where guests could call without the threat of being knocked to the ground. The house-training issues were quickly resolved with simple techniques including his feeding regime and with the correct type of collar and lead, his heel work was dramatically improved. This is an extract of their letter to me:-
“A few previous sessions on a group dog obedience course had not improved us or Coda and it was very good chance that we saw a local advert for Peter’s services.
Peter approached the problems with true professionalism commencing with a formal interview to assess us and the dog. A number of obedience sessions followed and culminated in a written report which highlighted behaviour issues and practical
Within a week, Coda had made excellent progress on all fronts – including house training – and was certainly much calmer and less prone to disobedience. Peter clearly took the challenge of managing a very
large dog in his stride.
A year on and we have a very well-natured, sociable and mostly obedient dog and feel we were very fortunate to have come across Peter who comes with our warmest commendation.”Martin and Debbie.