We have had a rescued German Shepherd bitch for four years, who is now about nine years old. Since she came to us we have seen two behaviourists as she suffers from nervous aggression towards other dogs and also people if they approach too closely or try to touch her.
We have followed a program produced for us over the years, including once-a-week sessions with a vet-recommended dog trainer, on a one-to-one basis where we worked in a large paddock with different dogs, all on leads and walking at a distance that our dog can cope with without reacting.
For the past year we have been unable to improve her any further than that. We enquired whether any calming drug would help, but the most highly qualified behaviourist, who is also a qualified vet, did not think it would be a good idea. I believe the reason was that if she became too relaxed and over confident, she would maybe loose her "bite control" or "inhibition"? (She has never bitten, but has air snapped as a warning.) With us though, she has never shown a single act of any aggression whatsoever and is a perfect pet.
We are hoping that you would give us your opinion on whether any natural product could possibly help her. I know Dorwest Herbs sell calming products for fireworks etc and have seen advertised a product called Zylkene, but have no idea if anything would make any difference and we certainly don't want to risk making her any worse, as we have got to a stage where she is manageable. It's simply a case of it being a bit difficult to admit to ourselves that there is no more hope of any improvement.
Thank you if you have time to reply.
Bronwen and Keith Gould, by email