Thanks to the support and help from HULA (particularly from Sara) we were able to take Jake home after a week of intensive contact – taking him for walks, having him for a little while in our home etc. Our 2 little kittens were the major concern as we did not know if they could all live together without blood and fur flying!
The kittens soon developed a typical cats’ disdain for canines and in spite of being followed everywhere and the constant attempts by Jake to ‘round them up’ they showed him they were not to be intimidated and became extremely haughty - plus the occasional swipe!
An additional problem was that Jake got very excited and aggressive towards any stranger who rang the bell or (horror of horrors!) tried to come into the house. Our social life took a distinct downturn!!
On the plus side – he was devoted to us and always did everything he could to please. He was also keen to stay close and came when called if we let him off the lead (only in wide open spaces though and not if other people or dogs were close).
We take him to training every Sunday morning (at Lynne Davies’ school) and thoroughly enjoy it. Jake is a different dog now and a real pleasure in our lives. We are taking him to Cornwall in June – we are fairly sure he has never been on holiday or seen the sea – so we are really looking forward to giving him these new fun experiences.
One year on...So many people have related to Jake’s story on this website that we thought we might do a final (?) update on his progress.
Since he has been with us he has:
- Had 10 months of obedience training, becoming one of the best in his class
- Enjoyed several sessions of agility training and Fly-Ball
- Discovered the joys of paddling and swimming – in river, stream and sea!
- Learnt to walk confidently along busy streets without lunging at people or traffic
- Become a total pleasure to take for walks in the park with excellent recall, perfect manners towards other walkers and a sense of fun and playfulness towards all other dogs
- Learnt to ignore joggers and bikers
- Learnt to love our friends and welcome them into the house
- Been on lots of holidays: Cornwall, Derbyshire, Trough of Bowland, Peak District. We are going to Northumberland next year
- Started to enjoy coming to the pub with us and getting spoiled by the landladies!
- Makes a lot of unnecessary noise and can seem quite scary when strangers call
- Doesn’t like large men who get too close to him and put their hands out towards his head
- Occasionally gets ‘spooked’ by gunshots/strange noises/dogs fighting etc
We are opening a bottle of champagne this weekend (last in October) to celebrate his arrival in our lives. Without doubt, he is one of the best things that ever happened to us and we love him to bits.
Our huge thanks to... All at HULA (especially Sara); Lynne Davies – the best ‘dog behaviourist’ in the country; Ian and Dan who have trained him brilliantly; Justine – our friend who was the first to give him love and confidence; all our friends, relations and acquaintances who have survived his initial ‘scariness’ and apparent aggression and now love him too