LEISL- GERMAN SHEPHERD
LEISL is a rescue dog who is generally well behaved but can be aggressive around other dogs.
Tamsin, her owner has difficulty in getting her to walk to heel and in recalling her when there are distractions. This can lead to altercations with other dog walkers.
One recent incident has led to her being muzzled whilst on her walks.
I regularly walk this dog for Tamsin, without any problems whatsoever so it appeared that there may be some leadership issues to deal with. Tamsin, who comes from a background of obedience training was keen to get back to basics with Leisl who is a fairly dominant, prey-driven GSD.
We conducted some basic heel-work, concentrating on Tamsin’s body language, posture and positivity followed by some down-stays and recalls without distractions. These went well and a distraction in the form of Tara, one of my Rottweilers was slowly introduced. After a short period of calm assertive control of Leisl’s natural prey-driven instinct, she then continuously performed down stays and distance recalls almost faultlessly.
This session gave Tamsin a sound basis to go forward, but this is a dominant dog who will need firm and consistent management to prevent her answering that inbuilt prey-drive instinct. When one owns a dog like this, ones observation skills have to be honed to perfection. Not only does the owner have to constantly observe her own dog, she also has to constantly but calmly scan the area for the approach of other dogs.
The recall or down command has to be given promptly and with conviction, before the dog’s primal prey-drive kicks in. Leisl’s social skills have to be built up over a period of time, so that she views other dogs as potential friends rather than potential prey.
“That was a really good session Peter, thank you. We have since done further training on our own and Leisl’s down-stays and distance recalls have been excellent. She has since chased one dog despite my calling her, but she was wearing a muzzle so no harm done.
However, I feel that we will need further formal sessions during the Summer to continue the improvements made”. Tamsin.