I have enjoyed reading the magazine for a while and always find something in there to help me. Now I wonder if I can ask for your help please?
I have a two-year-old Staffie and I desperately need help with him. For the first two years he was wonderful when we were out, quiet and well-behaved. He loved to play with every dog he met, although some were not interested and I would have to restrain him.
At 12 months he was attacked and bitten three times in three weeks, each time by dog off the lead whose owners said “He wouldn’t hurt a fly” immediately before the attack. Then for the next 12 months 80 per cent of new dogs we met would bounce up wanting to play then at about 10ft distance they changed and tried to attack him. Every chocolate Labrador and spaniel went for him (amongst other breeds) and owners would stand there unable to understand why their dog would attack Max when they were fine with all other dogs. Max remained stationary and silent during these incidents then began to lie down when he saw a dog approaching and would just lie there until they had passed. As a result we both became scared of meeting new dogs because we did not know how responsible the owner were. I had two major altercations with owners who refused to put their dog on a lead even when they were standing over the neck of my dog growling at him.
He is now two years old and the worm has turned!! Now he behaves ferociously with all dogs he meets who he did not know in his first 12 months and I find it difficult to hang on to him. To me this behaviour is quite understandable, but it has to stop and I don't know how to do it. Can anyone help?
I did belong to a Kennel Club training group, but he became so scared that I would have to carry him in and just sit with him (there was no way he would work with other dogs there). I am still talking to them to see if we can try anything else. I have tried chastising him then because I realised that his behaviour is based on fear I have tried comforting him to calm him down whilst dogs pass. He wears a DAP collar. All this is having a little beneficial effect but nothing near enough to resolve the situation.
I really would be most grateful for any assistance you can give me.
Many thanks in advance
Lyndon Buck, Desborough, Northants