Case Study: Tug
Welcome Tug, to The Pack.
Tug is a 4 year old Bull Terrier. His owner to came to us, all the way from Ottawa, in one final attempt at finding a solution to Tug's behaviour issues.
Letter from Tug's owner:
I have a 4 year old rescued bull terrier named Tug who is very reactive around other dogs. In the house, he's a happy go lucky guy, totally goofy and silly. Outside, however, is a different story I've watched a lot of Cesar Milan and read a few of his books and believe in the way, but I'm having difficulties getting Tug over this hurdle. I can't even walk down the street with him without a reaction. He does not have any dog friends at all. I don't socialize him because of the outbursts. He's also reactive with children, but not babies. My goal with him is to get him to a place where he can just ignore the other dogs - he doesn't have to be BFFs with them, just tolerate them. It's making my life very isolated and difficult, and let's be honest, his too. I've gone through five trainers at this point, but I just don't think I've found the right person/training method.
Alex and Michelle had great things to say about you, and the fact that they've already seen results in Cyber speaks volumes. I'm at the end of my rope with this guy and am considering relinquishing him to a facility that can handle him, but I don't want to give up on him yet. Are you able to help us?
Bonding with The Pack
Upon arriving, Tug's reactions to other dogs were very explosive, and could easily be interpreted as aggressive. After having the pack "evaluate" Tug further, it was evident that he wasn't actually aggressive, just extremely over-excited. Because he has no socialization skills, his strong (almost desperate) desire to meet other dogs, was misinterpreted as severe aggression. Dogs like Tug, who are not fulfilled, will often use these moments to release this abundance of pent-up energy and frustration. He's never done it the correct way, so he's conditioned to think that "his way of doing things" is acceptable.
So far, we've been focusing on the bond between Tug and The Pack through walks, feeding rituals and structured activities. He is settling in well, and we have seen great progress with each day that passes. We will continue to work on reconditioning Tug's behaviour, and slowly regaining balance.