Examples of Behavioural Problems


We have below listed some examples of behavioural problems that we have been able to solve. The success rate depends on the owner and his motivation to resolve the problem. In all cases where the owners have followed our instructions, it was possible to solve the behavioural problem. Unfortunately, there are some who expect that the problem can be solved as easily as by giving a pill. They are not willing to invest a little extra time and effort. In these cases, the result is obviously very variable. The following are just examples and many other types of problems can easily be solved.

Aggression against strangers and dogs Aggression against owner and anxiety
Aggression at feeding Urination and defacation when alone
Destructive behaviour and anxiety Pursuit of bicycles and anxiety

Breed: Boxer

Sex: Male, castrated as young due to cryptorchidism

Name: Sebastian

Ager: 2 years

Problem: Attacks all strangers, even if they are far away when he sees them. Attacks all male dogs.

Lynn og Andrew had obtained Sebastian when he was 4 weeks old. He was so small, that he invited to lots of affection. This had continued to the extend that he, at the age of 2 years, was still every night at bedtime put to bed on the sofa with a blanket over his head and was kissed good-night. Sebastian was incredible affectionate and loving towards Lynn and Andrew. He played with them a lot. Always, when they were near, he had a great need to touch them. He had, however, on several occasions gone too far and had mounted their legs. The first time Lynn and Andrew had seen signs of aggression was when Sebastian was 5 months old. At this age he began to growl at other male dogs and from the age of 8 months he would attack them without any warning signals and without hesitation. When Sebastian came to us he would also attack people he did not know even if they just walked by on the sidewalk, and Lynn and Andrew were no longer certain that they were able to control him - even if he was on leash. He would never attack people that came to visit them in their home, even if he did not know them.

Lynn and Andrew were very attached to their dog, but also realized that unless they were able to solve the problems, they would have to depart with him because he was becoming a danger to his surroundings. They were therefore very motivated to follow all the instructions we gave in the correction program. This meant that after 2 months Sebastian would no longer attack strangers he saw at a distance. After 3 months Lynn and Andrew could take a normal walk in the street with Sebastian on the leash without him showing any aggressive behaviours and now they trust him so much that they regularly take him for walks in the street. 


Breed: Great Pyrenees Mastiff

Sex: Female

Name: Bell

Age: 8 months

Problem: Attacks on father in house. Sexual behaviour towards the children's friends. General anxiety. 

Bell's family consisting of the father (Ron), mother (Liz), and four boys at 9, 8, 5 and 1,5 years respectively, had lost their previous dog and had obtained Bell when she was 6 months old. She was at that time a rather insecure dog who was afraid of cars and actually preferred to stay at home instead of going for a walk. Bell had just turned 8 months old, but she had not yet received any sort of obedience training and she would furthermore steel from the kitchen table on a regular basis. On day Ron caught her in the act and yelled at her to make her drop the steak. Instead she attacked Ron, knocked him over and stood over him growling and showing her teeth. After this little episode she went back to eat her steak. This caused Ron and Liz to seek help. Ron was in general not afraid of dogs and was himself not really concerned about Bell, but they were both very worried about letting Bell live and play with their four sons. It also came out that Bell occasionally would mount friends of the children and that she would pee in the children's bedrooms in spite of the fact that she was not in a hurry to get out.

After eight weeks, Bell had stopped stealing from the kitchen table. She was much more friendly towards the children and for 4 weeks she had not tried to mount anyone or had peed indoor. Ron explained that he in general perceived Bell as being more calm and in balance with her surroundings. It had become easier to take her for a walk. Very importantly, Bell had become more attentive towards what Ron and the others in the family asked her to do. Bell also appreciated the company of her family more. Ron also said that he was not at all afraid of Bell anymore. She would not make any attempts towards stealing from the kitchen table and Ron could take any item out of her mouth. Finally, Ron and Liz were not any longer in any way afraid to let Bell play with the four boys.


Race: Cocker Spaniel

Sex: Female

Name: Bella

Age: 5 months

Problem: Aggression in connection with feeding and food in general.

Bella was a very charming cocker puppy. Her owners, Cathy and Jim had gotten her by accident. Bella had been given as a gift to one of their friends. However, she did not under any circumstances want a dog and the person giving the dog lived in a place that did not allow dogs. In spite of the fact that they did not have a specific wish for getting a dog, Cathy and Jim volunteered and accepted to have Bella. Everything went fine. Two moths before Bella visited us, she had had a stomach infection for which the vet for a period had prescribed canned dog food. However, after this event, Bella had become very nervous and aggressive every time she was fed and had even bitten Jim as he touched her while she ate. This nervousness and aggression became worse and worse to the point where Bella would bite every time someone did something she did not like. For example vets often do this! Cathy and Jim would not under any circumstances accept to have a dog that in any situation would exhibit aggressive behaviour and they therefore came to us to ask if it was possible to correct the problem, or whether they would have to depart with Bella.

After three months Cathy and Jim could again feed Bella without any problems and she did not appear to be aggressive in other situations as well. However, Cathy and Jim were sceptical and did not fully trust Bella. About 6 months later, in connection with a different matter, we spoke with the vet that normally treated Bella. A few days before Bella had been to the clinic to receive her vaccinations and a health check. The vet told us that she in a rhetorical manner had said that she had better place a muzzle-cord on Bella when she gave her the injection to avoid getting bit. Jim had in a surprising voice said that this was definitely not necessary any longer. He explained that after completing the behavioural correction program they had not seen any aggressive behaviour in Bella and that they now trusted her completely. Quite correctly, the vet was able to give Bella her vaccination without any problems.


Breed: Short-Hair Dachshund

Sex: Male

Name: Sofus

Age: 7 months

Problem: Urination and defecation in apartment when home alone.

Sofus was a very well-kept Dachshund. It lived alone together with its owner Bob. They appeared to be very attached to each other. Bob had changing working hours, but each time he had to go to work, he was very careful to ensure that Sofus had ample opportunity to pee and go to the toilet before he had to be home alone. However, in spite of this Sofus did everything inside the apartment every time Bob went to work, also if he only was gone for one or two hours. Sofus was usually completely house-broken and could easily keep it for 9-10 hours if Bob was at home. Bob had finally reached the conclusion that Sofus was revenging itself on him when he left. Bob was very sad about this, but on the other hand he did not think this behaviour was "fair" and this was beginning to destroy the close ties between Bob and Sofus.

The correction program resulted in a gradual reduction of the problem over a 6 week period and at the end of this period Sofus had completely ceased to pee or defecate in the apartment and he has never done it again.


Breed: Golden Retriever

Sex: Male

Name: Butch

Age: 6 years

Problem: Bites in and destroys doors and door frames when home alone. Fear of loud sounds. Urination in house even when someone is at home.

Butch came to us together with Karen and her husband Mark. In reality they were not the owners of Butch, this was their grown-up son who lived at home. However, as the work pressure increased he did not feel he had time to take care of the dog and it had therefore become more and more Karen's responsibility. She was very attached to Butch but, unlike her son, she was not ready to accept that he ate its way through the doors when he was home alone or that he would pee in a particular room even if he had just been out for a walk. She also felt sorry for Butch that he was afraid of loud sounds.

There were some start trouble with getting Butch corrected. It only took a few weeks to correct the problem with peeing in the room and then it was completely stopped. However, it was only after several trials that Karen managed to convince the rest of the family to follow the guide lines in the correction program that the remaining problems were solved. After a 4 week period Butch would stop chewingthe doors and the door-frames and after 8 weeks his anxiety reactions would be so reduced that Karen was fully satisfied with the result.


Breed: German Shepherd

Sex: Female

Name: Purdy

Age: 5 years

Problem: Pursuit of bicycles and motorbikes and fear of things

Purdy had been abandoned. She was found by her new owners, Jean and Richard in a ditch so weak of strength that she was unable to walk and with infected wounds all over her body. Jean and Richard came to receive help approximately 4 months after they had adopted Purdy. She was now a very beautiful and well-kept German Shepherd. Unfortunately she would chase bicycles and motorbikes and would if possible nap the driver in their feet. In addition, she was afraid of vacuum cleaners, brooms and similar items. For the first few months after her adoption, this was not the case, but now every week she would add new things to the list of items she was afraid of. Two weeks before they came to us, she had begun to raise her hackles and display a too confident body posture towards other people, e.g. friends of Jean and Richard who would stop in the street to chat.

After three weeks, Purdy would no longer chase bicycles and motorbikes and after 6 weeks she did not show anxiety reactions in any normal everyday situations. In spite of the fact that they had not given her any formal obedience training, she was now so obedient that they did not put a leash on her when walking in the city and they completely trusted her to behave perfectly towards other people.



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