Mike and Tina contacted me about escalating aggression and boisterousness from their 3-year old GSD Jake.
From a kennels with quite strong working lines, he had shown high levels of activity from an early age and had been bitten quite early in his life by another dog whilst on a walk.
Whilst Tina has most contact with Jake as she works from home, both owners experience the same
aggression problems towards other dogs whilst out walking him.

This can be either on or off lead and is generally when a dog enters Jake’s secure space. A number of stressful situations has resulted in Tina almost dreading taking Jake out on his morning walk, although she is clearly a dedicated and committed owner.

From assessing Jake in his home environment, it was apparent that whilst he is quite high ranking within
the home, he can also be insecure whilst out on his walks. This often leads to the ‘get your retaliation in first’ syndrome.
Tina and Mike become more and more apprehensive whilst walking him and so the vicious circle continues.

The obvious need here was for Tina and Mike to redress the leadership balance which had tipped quite
significantly towards Jake. A full action plan of measures to commence this was given to them and the correct exit and entry procedure to the home was demonstrated and practiced.

Whilst this dog has never displayed aggression towards humans, there is always a danger when dogs are aggressive to dogs, that a human being will be caught up in the middle of it and badly bitten.
Mike and Tina have done the right thing in consulting a professional before matters escalate any further.

Watch this space for further details .

Further training sessions with Jake have resulted in a massive decrease in his aggression towards other dogs.

Mike and Tina were instructed how to reduce tension on their walks and to show strong leadership to Jake. His heelwork and obedience have significantly improved, although the down is not his
favourite exercise! Following the use of well-timed interruption techniques,  he rarely, if ever, displays aggression to other dogs out on his walks.

He has been taught how to socialise, enjoying his play with one of my Rottweilers and we even witnessed play-bows from him.

This very large GSD had certainly made Tina’s life a misery in terms of dog-walking.
From having a circle of dog-walking friends, she had more and more felt unable to walk him in the vicinity of any other dogs, tending to walk him in areas where she unlikely to see anyone. The change in him has left her feeling much more positive.

The change in Jake has been incredible really. He is much calmer at home and he no longer drags us through the door when we take him out. My confidence in him was very low before, but slowly I am feeling much more confident in his behaviour, particularly on days like today when he has shown no interest in other dogs, even those passing very close to him.”