Case Study - Daryl
Why I was asked to see Daryl?
Daryl is a three-year-old German Sheppard dog. Mum contacted me as she was showing aggression to her parents when they were moving around the home by lunging and barking at them. She hadn’t bitten but had grazed her mother’s elbow so needed it resolved. She was showing signs of severe separation anxiety to mum and had to be crated when she left the room.
What did I find when I got there?
I arrived at the house and she was on lead but not restrained. She ran to the door and was jumping up and barking at me. I was informed that this was normal behaviour when someone knocked on the door. I quickly noticed that she was very nervous with her tail and ears lowered. I stood quietly in the hallway and, after a couple of minutes, she went back and sat down next to mum.
We moved into the lounge and I noticed that actually, she was very well trained and had a close bond with Mum, so much so that no one could go near her without Daryl guarding her.
So, what did we do to help Daryl?
We started to do move around the house with mum controlling her behaviour. After the initial couple of barks Daryl started to settle more quickly and was taking more notice of what her Mum said and the treats that were coming her way instead of what Mum’s parents were doing. We even had Daryl’s Mum and her Mum sitting next to each other which they had not been able to do for a long time !
We then started to work on the separation anxiety and Mum could leave the room for a couple of minutes without any barking or Daryl trying to follow her to see where she was.
How are things now?
Mum and the family have continued the training plan that I put in place and Daryl’s behaviour is improving all the time. They are now able to open the door without her running ahead of them, scaring off their visitors, and enjoy moving around their home with much more confidence than ever before.