I had a call today from a lady who wanted help with her aggressive German Shepherd, Rocky. I told her not to lock him away when I called so I could see his behaviour for myself. Rocky went ballistic the moment I rang the doorbell, I could understand why he was frightening the
“He’s a lovely dog,” his owner told me he’s just very devoted to me and wants to protect me all the time.” She then went on to tell me an emotional story of how she’d rescued Rocky from an abusive owner explaining his ‘protective’ behaviour as gratitude.
Having listened to the owner I wanted to hear Rocky’s story so I accompanied his owner on a walk. A stranger appeared on the canal tow-path and Rocky went straight into fight mode.
“You see, he’s protecting me, “ she yelled.
I wasn’t convinced and asked her to hand Rocky’s lead to me. The moment we encountered a passer-by Rocky reacted exactly the same. I then tied Rocky to a tree, it made not one jot of difference he lunged at everyone who went by.
Rocky had been telling his story for years but no one had listened. Rocky was scared and with no strong leader to help him cope was doing the only thing he knew how…protecting himself.
Had Rocky’s owner not invented her own heart-rendering story she may have understood his cries for help. I’m delighted to say that she’s now much more in tune with Rocky and his fears are finally subsiding.