In the last few months, I’ve helped a 15-year-old Yorkie in ill health get over his life-long fear and extreme aggression toward other dogs, showed a friend who’d inherited a nervous and people-aggressive 5-year-old border collie how to communicate with the dog to help it become calmer and non-aggressive toward visitors (they also both get more sleep at night, since the dog is not on constant high alert for every little sound), and taught a puppy some much-needed social skills so it can now have walks to the park without a major display of teeth and growls every time another dog passes by. Having a calmer, happier dog has multiple benefits – for the dog, and for you!
For many years I’ve been working with problem dogs, showing them and their owners how to return to a more balanced state. Like people, every dog is an individual and there are no cookie-cutter formulas – every dog and every situation needs to be assessed, and each training plan is customized to the dog’s and owner’s needs.
I’ve learned that it almost doesn’t matter what caused the dog to become the way they are – it can be fixed, it can be healed. Dogs live in the present moment, and therefore we work with them on a “right now” basis, helping them to leave any past traumas behind. They seem to do it easier than most humans.
And as much as I work with the dogs, I work with their humans, too – teaching you how to be a part of the solution for your dog. It’s often easier than you think!