Josh in the sand run, after having a number of runs around and panting.

Living with an aggressive dog 19


by Erik Prins


The final post in this series

This will be my final post about Josh’s journey. It has been 10 months of stress, and confusion even for the vets and other professionals. As I have mentioned before, medical problems which cause pain can translate into anxiety, fear and aggression. Because Josh’s aggression remains unexplained we did try to exhaust all medical avenues. We have not done a CT or MRI scan as the vet did not feel that the symptoms displayed justified such an investigation.

What is so brilliant is that all the techniques I have put in place have truly helped Josh. Changing my nonverbal communication, using systematic desensitisation, habituation, enrichment techniques and, providing a safe and secure environment. These have helped Josh even to such an extent off what I thought was possible. Currently, Josh is with another foster family and there have been no reported signs of aggression.

Three photos of Josh, one a headshot near the canal, in the midlle photo of Josh, Caesar and Barney muzzled in the sand run, the third on a tender moment with Josh and my wife, Josh wanting a cuddle whilst he is not muzzled.
moments with Josh

I am so proud of Josh and Daybreaks Trust

I am so Proud of Josh and what he has achieved, his ability to learn and what he has taught me. But also of Daybreaks Trust, who, through Joshes darkest days stood by him. They also trusted my methods and supported my judgement call about not euthanizing Josh, which can be such an easy answer. One that might be used too quickly rather than giving a dog a chance. Whilst we need to be cautious, I do not feel this post is the right one to talk in detail about PTS as I want to keep it on a positive note.

Sometimes, it is important to give a dog a chance. In the right environment with the right support, a difference can be made to a lot of dogs. Josh shows, that even whilst we still do not fully understand the reason for his aggression, there can be light at the end of the tunnel.

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About the Author


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.