Stewie’s Transformation Story
His case is one of a very insecure and entitled little dog who thought he could own his world and control everything in it. When Stewie caused his owners to be evicted from their rental due to his aggression, they decided that enough was enough, and they signed him up for a board and train program with us here at Take the Lead.
This little guy was very intense! He would not let anyone inside his house that wasn’t one of his 2 owners, and because he would attack anyone who entered the home, he also controlled their social life (aka, they had non!!).
He was a very insecure and fearful dog that would take his stress out on anyone and anything he didn’t feel comfortable with. That also occasionally included his owners. He would guard items around the house (like a pair of pants – see video), and if they tried to take the item he would snarl, lunge at and attack them. He also decided that they weren’t allowed to hug in front of him, otherwise he would bark and lunge at them.
Learning to be handled
Stewie came to us severely overweight and aggressive. As you can see in the video of stewie in his crate the first day we got him in for training, also him walking on leash outside.
Our game plan was to work on his health in tandem with his behavior. As many times those can affect one another. We switched him to Pawtree dog food to start him on a healthier food, and he went through a detox period from his previous food. The first week or so was mostly focused on switching his food over and building a relationship. He didn’t trust me yet, so we took it slow. We used a lot of food work in his training to build trust and confidence.
During training we found that he would attack things like brooms and vacuums, and he was very afraid of things like a drill or motorized tools. We worked on building his confidence around those objects.
He also would attack you if you tried to groom him/cut his nails. (this would have been the kind of dog that needed to be sedated for a nail trim!). not any more! (see video)
He was also very aggressive to other dogs. He didn’t want anyone to be near him! So if any dog would come close he would try to attack them. Over time we were able to socialize him and integrate him into a pack life (video of pack walk). Now he thoroughly enjoys going on pack walks with groups of dogs!
Stewie’s rehab took almost a year before he was comfortable around new people and dogs. He continued to get better and better as time went on and he figured out he didn’t have to be afraid, and he wasn’t allowed to make poor decisions when it came to interacting with others.
Training tools used for Stewie: Lots of food (in healthy portions!) to promote confidence and encourage engagement with people, Slip collar and Remote training collar for off leash control, and also communication regarding his behavior. Stewie can now be off leash, with no collars on, around new people and dogs and does great!
Check out his hashtag on our Instagram page to see more pictures and videos of his training journey! @taketheleaddogtraining #trainingstewie