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Meet Ollie, a young Shih Tzu in a busy household.

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Our Gateshead dog trainers have headed out to see Ollie and his family after Ollie had bitten their 14-year-old daughter in the face, resulting in lots of blood and a trip to the hospital.



Since the bite that took place almost a year ago, Ollie has reacted to the girl every single time he’s seen her - there is little doubt that he would bite again given the chance.


This has been incredibly stressful on the whole family and meant constant management systems in the home.


Initially, Ollie had been to the groomers, when the daughter had tried to put the harness on when collecting him, he jumped up and bit her in the face.


Again, another case where a behaviourist working under vet referral is paramount to the success of the case. We have been able to discuss this case between us and really work as a team here.


After this, they asked another dog trainer to help resolve the reactivity who used a method that just sensitised Ollie to the girl even more - after 5 sessions with them, the relationship is now worse.


Here’s what we did:

  • Wrote a list of all of Ollie’s triggers

  • Completely separated Ollie from the girl

  • Removed all other triggers for a period of time.

  • Build calm behaviours and allow Ollie to relax and enjoy enrichment to rebalance his stress levels.

  • Invited the daughter to puppy classes where she could rebuild her confidence around dogs.

This alone changed Ollie’s reaction to most of his triggers, and we were easily able to counter condition to those that were left. To prevent Ollie from trigger stacking again while working on his behaviour towards the daughter, the vet has given them a behavioural prescription.


Both Ollie and the girl are clearly suffering from deep-rooted trauma from this situation, but we have now started to counter condition Ollie and give him an alternative, operant behaviours to do instead. This is a long road ahead but we will certainly try our best to resolve this and avoid Ollie from having to be rehomed.


Fantastic work so far from everyone! Keep it up!


If this case sounds like your dog and you are having a similar issue, or a different issue entirely, book a FREE assessment call with us by clicking HERE.

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