I recently had the distinct pleasure of working with Zeke, an English Bull Terrier and his loving parents, Dr. Glen and Mrs. McClure and their staff at Strong Veterinary Hospital, Livonia, Michigan. Zeke had the problem of becoming overly aroused when meeting people which resulted in him mouthing their hands, jumping on their legs and nipping their pant legs. Some people misinterpreted his behavior as being aggressive but it was not. Instead, it was pent up energy and a lack of appropriate meeting behaviors.
To modify Zeke’s behavior, he participated in my board and train program. His behavior plan focused on preventing situations he wasn’t ready for, managing his environment, and teaching him new alternative desired behaviors. Regular exercise was also introduced to Zeke via individual and group dog walks at local parks via my Outdoor Adventure and Remote Adventure classes. This exposed Zeke to new challenging environments with the distraction of other dogs being present.
Because of Zeke’s high energy, the use of a remote training collar, used at a low setting was crucial to his training program. Zeke quickly learned how to self compose himself and offer appropriate greeting behaviors. The remote training collar (also known as a “shock collar”) does not hurt the dog but instead is like a tap on the shoulder to get his attention. Through follow up sessions with the McClure’s, the technical knowledge of how to utilize the remote collar correctly and humanely was easily transferred so that Zeke would also listen to his parents.
During a recent follow up session, Dr. McClure advised he is now able to relax and enjoy his evenings with Zeke, Zeke is much calmer in their home, and he now greets his veterinary staff with a much calmer demeanor.