With all that has been going on, and the business of it all, I failed to post when Benson found his home. My daughter has always been fond of Benson, and towards the end of October everything worked out so that she was able to give him a forever home. It looks like a perfect match. Congratulations Erin, Drew, and Benson!
I did a quick run through with Benson to see how well he would listen, and now have a plan of action to get him on track. We are going to be heavily focusing on three areas – the recall, threshold work, and working around other dogs.
While Benson has a decent recall, I want it to be spot on. I want the kind of recall from him that when he is in drive, I can call him and he turns and immediately runs to me.
He is also doing pretty good with thresholds, but I want him to be perfect. The front and back doors are going to be areas where he absolutely cannot pass without permission. I will begin working on this from greater distances on the other side of that threshold so that he knows that regardless of whether somebody is there to hold him accountable or not, he still may not pass.
Already, Benson is offering his best in and around the house with other dogs, but I have a feeling this will be very different away from the house. So, Benson and I will be taking several walks in areas where I know there is heavy dog traffic.
Those who follow me pretty closely will remember Benson. He came to me for training last year at 8 months old for three weeks to learn some obedience commands and to learn how to let go of some major reactive tendencies. He has been doing very well. He is no longer resource guarding his food. He is super obedient and no longer barks nor lunges at people, inanimate objects, or cars. …until a little before December.
In December, I boarded Benson for about a week, and was told about his new reactive tendencies towards other dogs. He is just aggressive with certain dogs – lunging at them on leash, and chasing after them if one approaches while he is off-leash. So, for that week, I worked with him and sent him and his owner home with a session that showed her how to handle Benson and continue his progress. She has done a great job, but there was an accident.
Last week, Benson was able to escape his house and attacked another dog in the process. Because of this accident, he has been classified as a “hazardous animal.” His owner is rightfully worried about him and the care he needs. (She has a very demanding lifestyle right now as she is working towards getting her Masters.) If Benson has another incident, the city in which this occurred will have him put down. She struggled quite a bit with her options, but ultimately decided to put Benson through the Rescue to Rehab program.
For the next several weeks, I will be working to stop Benson’s aggressive behavior towards other dogs, and get him into a frame of mind where he can just exist around them. I am not looking for him to like every dog he comes across – that’s asking a lot of anybody. But if I can get him to ignore and exist around other dogs, I just might be able to find him a home that can continue the work he needs.
I will do my best to keep Benson’s story updated. Please follow along. 🙂