When the call came to help tame Tyson, an aggressive Staffordshire Bull Terrier I knew it was an urgent case. Tyson was a rescue dog and in four months had been involved in three serious dogfights.
His distressed owner told me how Tyson had been abused and abandoned by his previous owner and how she had done ‘everything’ to comfort and reassure him.
Tyson slept in her bedroom and cuddled up on the sofa in the evening but his aggression had just grown worse. His distraught owner knew one more incident could lead to him being put down.
Having listened carefully to his owner I slipped on his lead and took him for a walk. Tyson told me an entirely different story. He WAS NOT aggressive; he was stressed. Trapped in a world he didn’t understand Tyson needed a LEADER.
We moved Tyson off the bed and into the garage, banned him from jumping on the furniture and took control of his walks never allowing him to walk in front. We instructed him to ignore other dogs by snapping his lead and telling him to ‘leave it, ’ all signals his canine brain recognised as LEADERSHIP.
Tyson’s stress level deflated like a punctured tyre and he now attends our training classes where he’s a real personality and the calmest dog in class.
Tyson will eventually join our therapy team helping other distressed dogs to find balance.
Way to go Tyson!