HAMISH – PARSON RUSSELL TERRIER
PROBLEM – DOG AGGRESSION AND DOG TO HUMAN
This Parson had been bought seven years ago as a puppy for Elsie by her son Mark and girlfriend Mary.
Unfortunately, Mark bought him from the landlord of a pub and had no knowledge of its breeding.
Mark had not seen its parents and realised very quickly that he had gone against all sensible advice in acquiring a puppy in this way.
It quickly became apparent that Hamish was nervous of people and other dogs and from a very early age he
reacted almost always with aggression towards dogs and unpredictably towards people.
Elsie has tolerated this for years.
Having Hamish castrated several years ago has failed to achieve any improvement. Hamish had been visited by a trainer about a year ago, but Elsie had not been impressed with the outcome.
On assessing the dog, it quickly became apparent that he was channelling his fearful aggression in an over-protective way towards Elsie.
She told me that he had on occasion bitten people who had got too close to her, including the new vicar when he visited her property! Elsie felt it was virtually certain that Hamish would bite me!
I am pleased to say that Hamish did not bite me and having used normal, non-harsh techniques he went to his basket.
Hamish was then introduced to one of my Rottweilers on the street outside and after initial shows of aggression, followed by interruption he walked quietly with her. Hamish was then introduced to his nemesis – Mark’s rescue Collie bitch, Guinness.
Guinness is quite fearful of Hamish, having been held by the throat on one or two occasions. With well-timed interruption, Mark and I walked both dogs quietly along the street together without further incident.
The session finished with me putting my arm around Elsie and also sitting next to her on the sofa – actions which would previously have brought about swift retribution from Hamish. This time, he remained in his basket and at times could hardly be bothered to keep his eyes open!
This is an on-going project but Hamish has shown immediate positive response towards his rehabilitation as a balanced dog.
“Amazing, I couldn’t believe the change in him in such a short time. He was like a different dog.” Mary.
“I felt sure you would be bitten and was surprised when you weren’t. That was very good.” Elsie.
Two or three more sessions with Hamish made vast improvements in his attitude towards other dogs. One of his big problems had been the way he would without warning turn on Mark and Mary’s rescue border Collie, Guinness in an extremely aggressive way.
Guinness was a fairly submissive bitch, but Hamish was jealous of her connection with Mark and would constantly try to herd her. He would fly at her and on more than one occasion had her by the throat or face. This was making an already nervy Guinness even worse.
After these sessions, by using well timed interruption and positive body language, Hamish was shown leadership by all involved. His attitude towards Guinness improved dramatically and there were no further incidents of aggression towards her. He still had a tendency to herd her but without the
One of the sessions was on his former stamping ground where he had gained a bit of a reputation for himself, but he didn’t show any of his former behaviour even when a particularly bolshy Boxer approached him in a very dominant manner.
Elsie, Mark and Mary still have plenty to do in completing the rehabilitation of this fiery little dog, but massive steps have been taken in the right direction. Hamish even had a go at agility but was somewhat outshone by Guinness!!
“The change in Hamish is pretty incredible really after all this time.
He has been aggressive with other dogs and also to some people, for the whole of his life and there has been a very real change in the last few weeks.
Guinness is becoming more confident which was the main aim for us as we just want to enjoy our walks together.
We now all have to remain strong leaders and continue to make improvements.” Mary.