Today we had this little lady in for a session on her barking, lunging, pulling and ‘aggressive’ behaviour towards other dogs.
Unfortunately, Staffy’s still get a bit of a bad reputation and are certainly one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented breeds out there. Generally they’re more focused on having quality interactions with their owners than they are other dogs, and you’re almost always guaranteed that they’ll sound like a land-dwelling dolphin.
After assessing Willow’s reaction to other dogs you could see that she was experiencing a combination of barrier frustration and low-level fear. Her inquisitive nature was attracting her towards dogs, but her fear of the environment and potential conflict was eliciting an outward display of ‘aggression’ with really little behind it. Within no time she was focused on her owner and relaxed in the presence of another dog.
We covered the basics that’re important for any dog in training and practised them with different types of reinforcement and distractions. Willow really just wanted to have a better level of engagement with her owner and needed an outlet to redirect her energy into. Her desire to interact with dogs at all is actually very low and was happening more out of lack of guidance than anything else.
Armed with the right knowledge of play and confidence building, we’re super confident lifting Willows low-level fear will remove her apprehension of new environments and greetings with dogs and make for a happier dog with even more desire for engagement with her owner.
Great work today guys!