Many Would Have Said It Was Hopeless
Buddy and Daisy are Blue Heelers whose owners contacted us after Buddy had killed a family cat. Both dogs had a long history of fighting with each other. Serious fights that occured on a regular basis. While Buddy would always defer to Daisy, he was constantly in her space and seeking attention which she did not want to give. As sometimes happens with dogs, he did not read Daisy’s signals and eventually she would lash out and the fight was on.
Daisy would also resource guard food from Buddy. It got to the point where, even if they were fed separately in their crates in the same room, Buddy was afraid to eat. They would both be placed in a room when company was over because Buddy was fearful and reactive towards strangers. Especially men. If someone entered the room where they were sequestered, to grab a soda or for whatever reason, Buddy wood lunge, nip, and retreat. He had given people multiple bites of this nature. They could not be walked together because they would get into an all-out brawl with one another.
The Unthinkable Happened
The final straw was when Buddy killed the cat in an unguarded moment. Both dogs were separated from the cat but Buddy would constantly fixate on the cat through a window. An extended family member unwittingly gave Buddy have access to the area with the cat one day, and when the family came home the cat was dead.
A Second Chance
With all of this going on, their owners contacted K9 Heights Dog Training. Buddy was the main concern of course, with the incident involving the cat, as well as extreme fear of men, bite history, and need for socialization. But Daisy needed work as the instigator in there fights and with heeling and general obedience.
I spoke with Sonny and Danielle, the owners, extensively in the beginning. We have a comprehensive screening process for clients. Especially aggression cases. K9 Heights will only work with clients who are completely committed to success. Who understand there is no magic wand, that there will be work, and that there will be massive change at home, Often the change requires 180 degree turn around from what was previously going on in the home. Only people who understand this and are 100% committed to the work that this type of change takes, are accepted into our program. This is the ONLY way to achieve success. This kind of serious, concerted effort, teamwork, consistency, and long-term commitment to change.
The commitment that Sonny and Danielle had towards working with their dogs was clear from the beginning. They wanted to ensure that both buddy and Daisy could continue to be members of the family. Not only that, but they wanted for everyone's lives, dogs and humans, to have elevated quality. Working with both dogs, and this wonderful family, has been an amazingly rewarding experience.
Buddy did a 6 week aggression board and train with K9 Heights. Daisy went through our two-week On Leash Board and Train. Initially, we had planned to work them together for the last two weeks of Buddy’s Board and Train. However, the timing did not work out. So, after completing separate Board and Trains, I did in home lessons to work on basics, integrating both of them at home, and ensuring that Buddy was getting along with the family's other cat.
Touching upon equipment, e collars were used with both dogs and are excellent for off-leash as well as day-to-day activities in and around the home. For the initial work we did on getting them to walk together, we used pinch collars, which allow the handler to have instantaneous control and response. Then we transitioned to the e collars for walking as well.
A Bright Future
The results have been amazing! Never have I seen a family who put more effort into making training a success. I cannot say how impressed I am with all of them. Take a look at the video embedded in this blog and see for yourself!