Two vets holding a dog and looking very puzzled not very sure

Living with an aggressive dog 3


by Erik Prins


After the recovery

Once his wound was fully healed. We started the medical investigations with Josh. A little bit of science here. Research has now established that pain, fear and anxiety are linked to aggressive responses. For this reason, we need to rule out medical problems which may cause, pain, anxiety or fear and hence aggression.

Now that I had started going down the medical route I first arranged a thorough medical check.  The vet was initially dismissive, despite showing video and photographic evidence. This made me feel as if I was wrong and being a paranoid parent. However, once he did the proprioception test (explanation of the test see he changed his mind and recommended an X-ray to be carried out.

Once this had been arranged I took him for his x-rays to be done. You do wonder at this point, …will they find anything? In a way, you hope they do, it could at least explain his behaviour and find a solution. For Josh and me unfortunately nothing was found


I am so confused

When you are dealing with dogs like Josh, your mind is also constantly thinking about what is going on. I have compared Josh with Jeckle and Hide, the one moment (usually whilst standing) he is as sweet as pie and very affectionate. The next moment (usually when lying down) he can turn into a raging monster. This confusion about what might be going on is sometimes demoralising as it simply does not make any sense.

Related Posts

Living with an aggressive dog 19

Living with an aggressive dog 19

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...

Living with an aggressive dog 18

Living with an aggressive dog 18

Freeze them. A final post on enrichment techniques I used with Josh and it is about the toys you can buy. There are many to mention but what I have used are Licky mats. I don’t just use any licky mat, I search for those which are deep enough so I can put lots of...

Living with an aggressive dog 17

Treats in multiple boxes Another one I use is treats in boxes. I start this off with treats in one box. Once they get this I do treat in a box which is in a box. I then do a third box etc. You might be wondering what is the purpose of this. I am glad you asked, the...

Living with an aggressive dog 16

Enrichment An area, I had not worked with, is enrichment. Research has shown that enrichment can improve the mental health of animals. What is enrichment, I like to describe it as ensuring an animal is making use of its normal instinctive behaviours and where possible...

Living with an aggressive dog 15

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...

Living with an aggressive dog 14

A leap of faith As we continued with the environmental management of Josh, working on Josh’s noise sensitivity and changing my non-verbal communication techniques to help Josh feel safe and secure. I started to work with Josh on being able to be in the same room with...

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.