Photo of Barney, Caesar and Josh. Josh is wearing a muzzle and a GPS unit on his collar.

Living with an aggressive dog 15

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by Erik Prins

12/07/2023

Trust = No muzzle

Once I build up trust that Barney and Caesar would not retaliate. I could give my hounds muzzle free time when I was in the house and Josh muzzled. If Josh started something I could intervene quickly. This would be a firm and clear NO and sometimes I needed to physically move him away, luckily this became rare and more of an emergency scenario.  

Because Barney and Caesar no longer need a muzzle, provided I was present in the same room. I would keep them separate and slowly move it to a scenario where they would be in the same room with only Josh muzzled. I do remember at the start of this process every time we came back we asked the question, “I hope they have behaved”. Luckily they always had and were just happy to see us.

Josh on a Sofa with me not wearing a muzzle.
no muzzle Josh

Josh muzzle free

Once I managed to have Josh muzzled in the same room with the other boys. I could start thinking about giving Josh muzzle free time. You need to consider the risk to all involved which of course includes Josh himself. The starting point was myself being with him and no muzzle. As a reward, I would give him treats, hugs, cuddles and praise.

Once I managed to build that relationship with him and give him the confidence that he is safe. I would allow first Barney to be in the same room with neither of them muzzled. I would work with Josh and Barney for some time. Once I felt confident that Josh had built up trust, I changed Barney for Caesar. At all times I would be present. This slow step-by-step process would continue until all three of them were not muzzled first in the living or dining room and then in the garden where they would calmly be together.

PLEASE, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, I AM A PROVISIONAL CAB MEMBER OF APBC. IF YOUR DOG DISPLAYS BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR VET FIRST.

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About the Author

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Erik Prins

Hello, My name is Erik, I am a 3D (Dutch, Dyslexic, Diabetic), 55-year-old young man who lives with his wife, daughter and 3 Greyhounds in North Warwickshire. I volunteer as a dog trainer and run my own dog training and dog psychology business. I am proudly Dyslexic, please forgive my grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and you may be so lucky to experience my chaotic mind. I hope you will enjoy the content as it builds up over time.