A lady arrived at my training session today asking for help with her nervous/aggressive dog, Sammy.

It was clear from his body language this little guy was not only frightened of other dogs… he was scared of the world.

His owner was all over him the moment I got my Labs Shadow and Cobra out of the truck petting and stroking Sammy as the little guy withdrew behind her legs.

“You need to trust me here,” I told her taking Sammy’s lead.

I asked Cobra and Shadow to lie down while I walked Sammy reluctantly around them. I spoke not a word but calmly walked him past my dogs over and over again. After a few minutes I called my guys to heel and all three trotted along at my side.

As we walked Sammy’s tail came up from between his legs and started to wag. His owner burst into tears saying he had been unable to walk with other dogs for years and immediately swamped him with a dramatic show of affection.

I explained it was this flood of tearful emotion that was driving Sammy into his shell.

This little guy didn’t need bucket loads of tears what he needed was help. Help to deal with the world around him.

Over the next half hour we dealt with some of his other phobias all of which he handled much better than his owner who was visibly shaking. Sammy desperately needed calm, clear leadership to show him the way and a quiet ‘good boy’ to let him know he was doing well.

I’m going to concentrate on Sammy’s owner going forward. Now that she has seen how well Sammy responds to practical help in place of emotional overload I’m sure they will become a good team.

I have a behaviour clinic at The Three Greyhounds Inn Fun Dog Show in Allstock WA16 9JY from 1pm on Saturday, July 27.

If you’d like me to work one-on-one with your dog to resolve any issues you can text me for a fixed appointment on 07590 560012 or just turn up on the day and I’ll see you ASAP.

(The only cost will be a £10 donation to a local animal charity)

By The Dogfather Vic Barlow