The dog and the bite
I don't believe in whitewashing or sweeping problems under the rug. Especially when dealing with dogs, this can lead to long-term problems. That is exactly why I very consciously dealt with the situation that brought me to the hospital three weeks ago.
The stormy young male Tiangang has harassed the sovereign old male PanHu and pushed him into a corner with no way out. In doing so, he ignored several warning signals from PanHu. A last warning signal from PanHu, a snap in the air, he answered with an attempt to bite PanHu's head. At that moment, I stepped in and PanHu's reaction unfortunately ended in my left forearm.
The x-rays in the emergency room showed that the bite went to the bone and had damaged it, not news to me as I felt that during the bite. Fortunately, the nightly operation showed that there were no other injuries. Since then, my forearm has been healing and the nerve pain is slowly easing.
While I was still in the hospital, it was clear to me that I wanted professional support, because I wanted a relaxed “pack” that I could trust again. Dr google and Dr Facebook are clearly the wrong address for this. I think that I know my dogs and can assess them, but like so many things with dogs, one's own point of view sometimes does not correspond to reality and an external assessment can be very helpful in the further procedure.
But how do you find a real expert among the huge range of dog trainers that mushroomed in Switzerland a few years ago? Best via recommendations! So I already had the name Carlo Schafroth from the Swiss Dog Specialist Center in mind and I contacted him and fortunately got a very timely appointment for an afternoon for problem analysis at our home. Because: The correct assessment of a dog's problem behavior decides on the success of the training.
While I was in the hospital and in the days leading up to the appointment with Carlo, we mostly separated the dogs at home, especially the males. On the one hand, because I am very restricted with only one hand and because my trust in my dogs and in myself as the owner has simply suffered quite a bit. At that time, the males only met with a muzzle, but without any problems.
At the end of the afternoon analysis I was quite happy and relieved. Glad, because I know that I assessed my dogs well and correctly and that gave me back a piece of trust in my dogs. Relieved, because I didn't ignore the situation and sought help to work out a solution and work on the "problems". And that's exactly what's happening now.
The pack situation
PanHu, Maya, Diting and Lily are a well-rehearsed and quite harmonious team, with PanHu and especially Maya as sovereign and calm anchor points. Diting and Lily are both often very insecure for different reasons. Tiangang is an insecure male bully with a very high energy level. And it is precisely this energy level that damages the harmonious pack situation.
So that Diting and Lily can lose their insecurity and become just as confident dogs as Panhu and Maya, we can take part in Carlo's "Free Friday" with these four dogs for as long as it takes. Tiangang needs more individual training to become a safer, calmer and more confident dog. This will take more time and time is something we don't have at the moment as we are expecting puppies in January that need to grow up in a quiet and safe environment as we don't want to put the next behavioral problem straight into the hands of the future owners. So I'm currently looking for a temporary foster home near me until the puppies are out of the house, so that I too have the opportunity to work with him.
Last Friday we went to Free Friday with PanHu, Diting, Lily and Maya for the first time, a program that is primarily aimed at highly aggressive dogs. And even if none of my dogs fall into this category, I am very grateful that we can participate. It was very exciting to see the mood and the changes in my dogs. Maya was calm and relaxed the whole time and didn't let any other dog disturb her. Panhu was a little unsure at first, but then calm and relaxed. Diting surprisingly aligned more with Panhu than Maya, and her insecure, fearful demeanor gave way to curiosity and forward movement by the time Panhu was relaxed. Even Lily, who always wants to flee from strange and especially barking dogs, reacted much more positively than I thought. I am very intrigued and excited about this Free Friday concept and really hope that Diting and Lily will lose their insecurity along the way.