Zeus: Building Trust

Last week, I met with Miniature Pinscher/Pug mix Zeus and his human to assess his behavior and determine what he needs. Here are the results of that meeting.  Zeus is fearful, tense, anxious, mistrustful, and he does become reactive under certain conditions. But, I am happy to say he is not aggressive. I met with him and his owner at a local dog park in order to observe his behavior, and I have to say I was both surprised and pleased by how he tried to control himself when he had to deal with two overly excited dogs, and one dog-aggressive dog – none of which were leashed.

With the dog-aggressive dog, I had to put myself between him and Zeus. The other dog’s hackles were up, his body was rigid and his legs had stiffened. He was not interested in greeting; he wanted to attack. Seeing that, I immediately placed my body between him and Zeus, and told the other dog’s owner that her dog was making Zeus nervous and I was trying to prevent a fight. The dog’s owner said nothing, and made no attempt to recall or correct her dog. The other dog became more intense. He managed to get around me and nip at Zeus. Zeus snapped at him in response. Still, the dog’s owner did nothing.  I had no choice but to take control of her dog while keeping Zeus behind me and out of reach at the same time. Thankfully, Zeus understood that I was trying to protect him from the other dog, and he gave me enough trust to enable me to deal with the situation calmly, quickly, and effectively.

By the end of the session, Zeus was walking much better on the leash, and recalling better. I also noticed that he was starting to look to Angela for guidance – something Angela said he had never done before. He still has a long way to go before he will be completely balanced, but he and Angela both made tremendous progress. I have no doubt that with time, patience, and consistency, the future is going to be much brighter for Zeus and his human family.

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