Updated: May 5
Jasper is a three-year-old Spanish Podenco whose earlier life left him anxious with a fear of other dogs, unfamiliar objects and sometimes people.
Walks were a nightmare with his constant pulling and the prospect of him exploding at the first sight of another dog.
We could not let him off lead in parks to blow off steam fearing he might be a danger to others or simply run away.
We would walk him around town for two or three hours a day hoping this would tire him out and calm him down. Unfortunately, this just left him trigger-stacked and he became increasingly agitated and uncontrollable during walks, and often seemed anxious and disconnected from us at home.
A behaviourist volunteering with the Spanish dog rescues suggested that he spent time in a day care setting, where Jasper could be exposed to dogs in a safe manner. We contacted the Vet Creche, who had previously treated Jasper, and they in turn put us in contact with Clare.
In our first class, we discussed how dogs learn and how we can best help them to learn essential life skills. We were shown how to develop a connection with Jasper and as this grew he came to trust that we would deal with threats before he had to.
We have been training with Clare and her team for 7 or 8 months and have seen a marked difference in his confidence at home and he is less stressed at seeing other dogs. Jasper is making steady progress and we now have a happier, more confident dog who loves cuddles and attention. He also loves to learn.