Duke’s owners contacted us to arrange a training session and get some help with a myriad of problems they’ve been experiencing, including reactivity dogs and people, traffic, redirecting onto his owner and a fear of everything.
From day one Duke hasn’t had it easy, with his Mother being found after being ran over while giving birth to her pups in Romania. He was then put into a kill shelter before being picked up by a rescue and driven over to his new owners in the UK.
He’s been to other trainers and behaviourists, been told that it’s his owners he’s terrified of, that neutering him would help, that he can’t be fixed. The list goes on.
Duke’s issues are being caused between a split of two different emotional and psychological challenges. Barrier frustration towards other dogs, and noise phobias putting large amounts of environmental stress behind it.
Noise phobia is most commonly seen in dogs who’re frightened of fireworks, however in Duke’s case he’s frightened of your typical everyday noises. This leaves him in a constant state of stress, refusing food, disengaged and reactive.
Alongside this Duke’s reactivity to dogs is fuelled by frustration rather than fear. When he see’s another dog he wants to interact with them and when he can’t his frustration quickly builds, with the nervousness and fear pushing him over the edge into reactivity. Although the underlying fear is making it worse, frustration and fear should never be trained in the same way. Treat either of them incorrectly and you’ll only worsen it.
Due to the complexity of Duke’s behaviours we spent the full day talking, training and planning. By the end of the day we had a large improvement in his ability to cope in external environments, taking food out of our hands, being obedient around the distraction of our dogs, and with a systematic plan for building his confidence and managing his issues moving forwards.
A really great day of training and working towards helping a dog in need. Good work guys and well done for continuing to do all you can to support Duke in every way!