Bess & Ruby
This is a case study that should give hope to many people .But the owner /handlers of BOTH dogs need to take the credit for a fantastic result .Their attitude of not falling into the classic case of it is ALWAYS the other dogs fault and taking JOINT responsibility to sort the problem was a big factor in the progress made.
Many owners just resign themselves to thinking their dogs cannot change .Many can get really frustrated and depressed with the situation.
All I did was demonstrate that their dogs could behave differently together . I am just bringing experience and confidence in the outcome of the meeting.
A presence and authority can work wonders My own calm dogs influence this outcome .When this happens this then inspires the owners.
I can point out certain changes which will help the dog to owner relationship and demonstrate training with my dogs and theirs.
In actual fact the owners think I have changed the dogs. The reality is they have changed the dogs I have changed THEM.
The following is a testimonial that the client offered immediately after the visit.
We contacted George in desperation at the aggression between our boxer - Ruby - and a neighbour's collie - Bess. We (humans) are good friends and would have loved to have walked the dogs together. But sadly what had started as a few hackles had, over a couple of years, evolved to the extent that we'd turn in opposite directions if we saw each other out walking, with Bess and Ruby tugging manically on their leads and barking horribly.
Ruby had been well socialised with other dogs when we lived in the city, but shortly after we moved to the Dales village where we live, she was attacked by a local farm collie which left her with quite a big hole in her leg. It seemed that she'd become nervous of other dogs, and collies in particular. Bess was also increasingly unimpressed by other dogs passing her house. When we rang George to ask for his help we told him a tale of two dog-aggressive dogs that would probably need a lot of work to get to a point where we could even have them in the same area.
Incredibly - within about 30 minutes, George had them walking together, side-by-side, relaxed, no aggression behaving ...
George explained that it wasn't rocket science . He was just harnessing natural behaviour patterns.
In just over an hour George was off again - and we were staggered - and thrilled - by how quickly he'd turned things around. But could we keep it going?
We both started on new training regimes - picking new tricks to teach the dogs so that we had a focus for the training. Whenever I do intensive training with Ruby I'm reminded of how much she enjoys it. She really loves the attention and responds very well to an audience when we show off what she's learned.
From the day after George came, we walked the dogs together alternate days. The first couple of times out were hard work - we had to go so fast for the first ten minutes that I was just about ready to go home by the time the dogs got into the swing of it. But within a couple of weeks they were getting used to each other - enough that our friends brought Bess into the garden when it was sunny, and although we kept each dog in their own patch of shade, they relaxed into it really well.
Within a month our experience was completely transformed. We set out with the dogs on their leads and after about 10 minutes walking together they're able to go off lead. We even had them playing together in the water on a long walk when the weather was fantastic.
We've also been able to put the principles George taught us into practice around other dogs. A crowded vet's waiting room is no longer a problem for Ruby, and Bess recently enjoyed a long walk with about half a dozen other collies - these are things we just imagined were impossible.
The way George worked with the dogs - using his own (gorgeous) dogs to assess their pack behaviour - was incredible. He says it's just common sense but don't let that fool you. When your dog is stressed and difficult around other dogs it can make walking them miserable. It has been genuinely life changing for us and our friends, and most of all for Ruby and Bess, who are loving the new regime! .
Dogs and owners relaxed.
No eye contact between dogs. They are now together.
Message from George
Keep up the good work .I myself am encouraged and inspired by clients who get results by THEIR own efforts, good luck and enjoy your dogs .
Dog Owners 18th May 2019
Flash's (English Bull Terrier x sighthound) owner Mark texted in to BBC Radio Leeds whilst George was on The Paul Carrington Show asking for advice about his dog who was dog aggressive. Mark contacted George after the show and asked him to visit him and Flash.
Bearing in mind that Mark had been told by a behaviourist and also a dog trainer prior to George's visit that Flash would never be able to be walked with another dog and that he should be muzzled at all times (Flash, not Mark!). Flash was also excluded from dog training classes.
George went to see him this morning and as you can tell from the photos and subsequent email underneath the photos, the visit was a resounding success.
1st Stage - After an introduction with Ruby, Flash may not be over the moon but he is not displaying any aggression and note NO MUZZLE!
2nd Stage - The owner takes his dog and my dog Ruby for a walk with no problems.
3rd Stage - Owner handling all 3 of my dogs plus his dog, Flash. One calm, non-aggressive dog and one calm, relaxed and empowered owner!
EMAIL FEEDBACK FROM FLASH'S OWNER MARK:
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
I think that sums up how I feel right now after our
When we got Flash from the rescue center, we very quickly
realised that he had issues with other dogs. When out for a walk, if he saw
another dog he would go into what we called “Kill Mode”. He simply
wanted to go and attack the other dog and due to his strength, was a problem to
control. This aggression is something we have become accustomed to and a part
of our daily life whenever we go out for a walk with Flash and was something we
NEVER thought could be toned down, controlled or re-trained.
So you can now imagine my utter and total surprise and 100%
disbelief when after only 3 minutes with Flash you had him walking with other
dogs and without an ounce of aggression. 3 minutes!
I never thought I would see the day when Flash not only didn’t
react to another dogs presence but would be totally comfortable going for a
walk with THREE other dogs at the side of him. In particular I was amazed when
I took all four dogs for a walk and there wasn’t so much as a woof from
Flash. He was totally relaxed and happy. It was pure joy to watch.
I realise that this is only the start of Flash’s
retraining and socialisation but you have given us the one single thing we have
been wanting for so long - HOPE! We now know that Flash can be socialised with
other dogs if the right dogs are used in the socialisation process and I
am looking forward to attending your training classes.
Finally I must compliment you on the three dogs you brought
with you. I have never seen such well trained, obedient and relaxed dogs
before. Their behaviour when faced with Flash’s initial aggression was
impeccable and I truly believe that they played a MASSIVE part in Flash’s
subsequent reactions and calm demeanour.
Again, THANK YOU George and I look forward to our socialisation
UPDATE 20th FEB 2010
Mary, Mark's wife wanted to see Flash's new found behaviour around dogs with her own eyes, so George paid them another visit.
Flash looking cool as a cucumber with Ki, Ellie and Ruby
Flash with Ruby in his own backyard. It should be the human's decision who can enter their territory not the dog - RESULT!
UPDATE: JUNE 2010
Flash is not only attending socialisation classes but as you can see from the photos below has being enjoying doing some agility. He is making excellent progress and is on the road to a calm and fulfilled life due to the dedication of his owners and some guidance from Dalesman Dog Psychology.
Mark Pearson 18th May 2019
Dear George, thank you for the walking class last night. I was pleasantly surprised with Mac's behaviour, yet again you are right, keeping cool and positive is the key. I have passed on your cards and given you a raving review, nothing less than you deserve.
Thanks' again, Dianne & Mackenzie-Maze.XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Dianne 18th May 2019
This dog was a referal from the vets due to .anxiety even when left for short periods The following are updates and correspondence between myself and the client.After a home visit a new regime was worked out .the clients have worked very hard and have made significant progress.
Just a quick update on Max. Everything seems to be progressing nicely, he is becoming much calmer generally and we have left him on his own for quite lengthy periods of time e.g. 4 - 5 hours and he has been fine, not too silly when we have arrived back which again is progress.
I am absolutely delighted you are makeing progress with Max YOU and your husband are the ones that are makeing the difference, and need to be congratulated. Anxiety is notoriously difficult to cure and needs consistent treatment over a period of time .You have obviously taken on board my suggestions and are trying to think more like a dog. I would like to see him in the kennel.
Perhaps I could talk to you before and incorperate some behaviour training whilst in the kennel, what you dont want is him going backwards.
Thanks for the update George, we are back from holiday as of yesterday and Max is still responding well and appears calm and contented.
Our son, picked him up on Thursday and said he was much calmer and settled than usual. Apparently when they arrived home he ran all around the house looking for us but once he realised we weren't back he settled down immediately
I took Max out and tried some obedience he responded amazingly I spoke to both girls who deal with him and they said the difference from last time is tremendous. He according to them, has not scratched the door once. His visual calmness is very obvious.
You both need congratulating because you have obviously put some effort in and are carrying out the regime.
Eileen 18th May 2019
I first contacted George back in May after seeing a notice advertising a dog talk by a 'dog psychologist' listing the ususal dog difficulties - constant barking, dog pays no attention, runs away, obsessed by other dogs unfortunately i could answer yes to all of these. I have a 22 month old Australian Shepherd whose main problem was constant barking for attention when he was outside and could not walk past any dog without wanting to play or getting too much in its face causing problems - he is a very bouncy in your face sort of dog.
The barking was worrying me to the point where i was dreading a visit from the dog warden, however it was easily solved on George's advice and he has never barked excessively again if he does bark all it takes is 1 'be quiet' and it stops. In fact we went to visit a friend and Thibault was barking like mad at her husband so i said quiet and he intstantly stopped, the feeling that yes i could control my dog was quite amazing.
The meeting other dogs was a different ball game George made him walk around the dogs on our street who fly off at him he had him wrapped round his little finger oh Thibault knew he could not step a paw out of line he did not even look at them, the authority George had over him was outstanding Thibault's whole demenour had changed he was doing as he was told, George was not rough or aggressive he was just in control. So George left and i had to carry on the good work my problem is I anticipate too many problems - is he going to see a rabbit, or a sheep or a dog or a duck or a biker anxious is not the word so for a number of weeks all seemed to go well dog not doing bad but I did not really seem to have the control i wanted and then we got in to a few scrapes and fights and as nobody else seems to be able to control their dogs i felt i was back at square one so i called in George again and I saw him today it went really well, he brought Ruby and showed me how to introduce dogs to each other properly back end first we stopped and talked to several dogs Thibault calmed down and seemed to tune in again, I know i can control my dog and am determined to do so which is why i can't tell enough peope about George and his good work, the latest problem i had was my mum got a border terrier puppy on Monday and i was worried how i was going to introduce my dog, but with George and Ruby they all got along fine not having eye contact is the key and something i will do now with every dog we meet. Gaining control of my dog is now something i look forward to every time we go out.
Vic 18th May 2019
Thank you for the session on Friday.
We were struggling to make Rupert our Weiaeramer behave. Especially now we have the baby .The settee lark was making it impossible to change her and needed stopping, which you achieved almost immediately .You showed us how to stop the MOUNTING behaviour and also prevent repeats .He seemed to respond to the down which we found difficult .We had no idea what dog psychology was and didn’t know that we could use this to change the relationship between ourselves and Harvey. I do now understand we must work at the methods you told us .And to achieve our family and companion dog will take time.
Thanks for pointing us in the right direction.
Anne & David 18th May 2019