Merlin first came to us in tragic circumstances in the New Year. we all fell for this lovely softie, but he had one problem – dog aggression. He was rehomed twice but returned both times due to his strength on the lead when he encountered dogs. But he’s now gone to a wonderful home on the south coast where his new owner is going to address the problem to improve it if not totally cure it. He’s written of his progress so far:
“As you will see from the attached photo Merlin now has a substitute pig!! Just collected it from Pets at Home, had to order it online as they don’t stock them in the shop. He is made up with it! That and a Blue Dinosaur I bought him on Sunday.
“I have discovered he has obviously been taught just about every command going, sit, stay, come, shake hands – everything. Except how to walk on a lead. Have tried heel and it seems to have some effect. Probably he was taught it, as I can’t see why someone would teach him everything else and not how to walk on a lead. Have been doing some vigorous sit, stay, wait by your bowl stuff as that really helps keep him focused, so in a way trying to raise his threshold level of “losing it” when he sees another dog out. He is a lot calmer for sure on the lead at least.
” I am booking him in for a few one to one sessions with a behavioural therapist. Recommended by a local dog trainer. Apparently they can really help with fear, anxiety issues.
“He is a total delight. So gentle and at ease now at home. The cat bopped him on the nose yesterday as Merlin invaded the cat’s “personal space” (cat has serious issues). Merlin just looked at bit dazed and walked off as if to say “what did I do?” He’s funnily enough giving cat a wide berth today.
“He has absolutely no aggression in him at all. I trod on his tail in the dark last night by mistake and nothing, just a little squeak. I was mortified, Merlin milked it!! 3 biscuits later he was apparently satisfied I didn’t mean it!
“The pig is going to drive me nuts.
“Anyway – all good down here. He is just wonderful, and will be even more wonderful if I can get him to at least remain calm around other dogs to the extent he doesn’t cause them any distress and just walks by. I am realistic and am not expecting a cure, some improvement would be better than nothing and I am confident it will come”
Merlin is so enjoying all his new toys, especially his pig which was bought for him following information that it was his favourite toy in his last home. He really seems to be enjoying his new life and we so hope his fear aggression of other dogs can be significantly reduced so he can enjoy life even more..