We have a new pet! But we don’t!
Joey is gorgeous. He’s a good natured, loving, affectionate staffy. But he is/was nuts! Over excited when anyone walks through the door. Barking at everything that makes a sound, anyone who walks past the door. We were exhausted and knew things weren’t going great for any of us!
In desperation I started looking for a suitable trainer, particularly since things seemed to get worse after my being laid up for several weeks. I found http://www.naturalleader.co.uk. Jennie Rudd was trained by Jan Fennell, the famous Dog Listener. I’d got hold of the video by Jan Fennell when we first adopted Joey, and had appreciated the gentleness of the technique. I tried to adapt some of the techniques, but I seemed to be ineffective. And despite the video stressing that all four areas needed to be adopted at the same time, I would fail to carry these actions through on a daily, let alone hourly basis!
Well, Jennie arrived yesterday at 10am. She requested that we put Joey into a separate room so she could start the consultation. We could hear the staffie cry as we chatted downstairs in the lounge and he was upstairs in our bedroom. She went through the details of how we were to respond when we let him in, she explained why things were currently the way they were in our house, and what we would expect to see in the minutes following him coming into the room, and what we hoped would happen eventually. Undesirable behaviour was to be ingnored, he was going to learn to respect our personal space, and undesirable behaviour such as mouthing and constant jumping up would be treated with temporary isolation from us, his “pack” (shut out in the hall).
Joey spent many, many, many minutes jumping up, mouthing, walking round, mouthing, jumping up. He was put out many times, and let back in when he wasn’t creating outside the door. He kept upping the ante when he realised his actions that would previously receive attention were ignored. And pretty soon he had gone to lie on his blanket. Not for long, but he was starting to trust us as his pack leaders.
Perceived danger was another area where we were given advise, along with separation anxiety, the hunt (walk), and power of food.
By the evening, Joey was lying on his side, completely zonked out. Sleeping like a log. Anyone who knows Joey, knows this is out of character for him. In 10 hours he went from being a duracel bunny to a snoozing lump. It was lovely to see.
Today he is trying it on. We were advised that it won’t be a sudden miraculous cure. This morning he has walked away from his food, challenging my authority, just checking that I actually can do what he needs. But the changes are there and very very evident. I would recommend Jennie to anyone with a dog they feel they can do nothing with, you can learn so much, and there seems a peace we didn’t have before, not least because we’re not calling his name every 30 seconds!