I wrote a post back in February on the trials of my rescue dog Toah. Part Pit bull, Toah is a scary looking dog with yellow eyes and serious issues – he was extremely afraid of people and aggressive toward other dogs.
But my problem with Toah wasn’t him, he wasn’t the wrong dog, I was just the wrong owner. I needed some serious obedience classes.
My core issue was that you cannot be passive or lazy when you have a dog with issues. Through my friend Beverly Ulbrich, the Pooch Coach, and through reading all the resources on the web, I learned how important it was to establish the hierarchy in our “pack” (our family). I also learned how incredibly important it is to consistently reinforce that he was on the bottom of that hierarchy – below the children. Once Toah realized his place in the pack, he became so much more comfortable!
Today Toah has made wonderful progress and will stand quietly next to strangers – though he still tries to run if they try to pet him. He plays well with other dogs and is never aggressive on the leash. I no longer worry about him when people come over to the house. He comes right up to them with me. But I never give up the training. It is the consistency that makes him aware of his place and that is what makes him comfortable.
Since Toah is in such good shape, there is more time for fun, so here is a binder with some fun puppy sites:
One fun thing about Toah is that in addition to Pit Bull, he is part Corgi with short little legs that make him look like a pocket-sized pit. This is my binder (that I still refer to occasionally) on dog training. It also has some additional pictures of Toah.