When I first found Jimmy, a Pomeranian and Terrier (or Dachshund) mix at a local shelter, he had feral and aggressive dog behavior.
He was one of many dogs who always ran to the opposite end of the pen when people came to pick out a cuddly dog to adopt. Jimmy wouldn’t let anyone (except maybe one or two female volunteers) get close enough to even touch him.
Exclusive Video Shows Jimmy’s Aggressive Dog Behavior Transformation
This is the video I shot and edited when I worked with Jimmy’s aggressive dog behavior during the 3 day’s prior to adopting him in 2013.
Jimmy’s Aggressive Dog Behavior Kept Him Institutionalized
Jimmy’s aggressive dog behavior kept him in that shelter for 19 months, and he probably would have never been adopted. Dogs who bite or show aggressive dog behavior don’t last at all in most shelters.
Fortunately for Jimmy, ARF is a No Kill Shelter, but his aggressive dog behavior meant that I had to catch him before I could help him! With the help of a young volunteer girl, we were able to corner Jimmy and throw a blanket over him.
I had to hold him steady enough with my boot while I cautiously put a leash over his snarling, snapping and fully frightening face. Dogs who show aggressive dog behavior can be quite scary and formidable. Think Opossum!
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It only took me 3 days to reverse most of Jimmy’s aggressive dog behavior. Jimmy probably took about an entire year before he finally stopped over-reacting to people touching and petting him. I called him “Jumpy Jimmy” for a couple years and now I just call him “Chicken” because he’s still kinda shy at first.
It’s Been Five Years Since I Adopted Jimmy
Jimmy still loves to play bite and fight with my hand when it’s under the covers. He has never biten me too hard when play fighting. He growls quite convincingly but holds back on his actual bite. It’s hilarious and tickles sometimes when he really gets amped up about “playing Feral”. It’s amazing and quite heartening to see how far Jimmy has come from his days living in the tree and in the shelter.
Every day that goes by, I tell Jimmy that “Jimmy had a good day today”. He gets shy sometimes when he understands what I’m saying to him. These next two photos were taken of Jimmy by a volunteer who took him to her home, months before I ever met him.
Jimmy Is Like Many Dogs in America
For any number of reasons, dogs all across our country find themselves dumped on the streets or into shelters. Once there, their bad attitudes grow and their hopes for another home quickly dwindles.
This deadly combination makes it many times harder for them to ever get placed into any home. It boils down to finding the needle in the haystack of possible people and conditions to take a biting dog. Mostly, dogs like Jimmy who had aggressive dog behavior don’t have the luxury to ponder life’s mysteries before they are Euthanized.
Some People View Dogs as Expendable
Unfortunately, many people really don’t see dogs included as their family members. Some view dogs as something expendable and of something they could simply return or maybe just dump on a country road when they don’t want them.
It’s a rude fact that if the dog doesn’t happen to be a perfect listener in the first few days, their owners may easily abandon them and perhaps start over again with another. Maybe the dog pees on a carpet or floor because the owner forgot to take it out to go pee after 4 hours? When you gotta go you gotta go, but that doesn’t matter to some people.
Another sadder side of this type of dog abandonment story is when it’s done to people’s senior dogs. Dogs that have had full lively and loving lives…until…their owners want a younger dog due to mounting medical expenses or whatever excuse makes them justify returning their pet.
There are more dogs running wild from being dumped everyday across america, than there are immediate homes to put them in, even if they were all wanted.
If a dog isn’t near perfect in America, there is a very good chance that it will eventually be tossed or replaced or Euthanized.
Find Your Diamond in the Ruff
Just Because the dog doesn’t immediately perform to it’s owners “Great Expectations, is not an acceptable reason to dump them. The possibility is high that it will slowly and painfully die on the streets. Domesticated dogs are rarely able to compete in the wild.
If you give a dog a fighting chance to actually learn to understand you, you will be amazed at your “Diamond in the Ruff”. Get credible and effective Dog Training and enjoy the benefits of owning a dog instead of enduring a lifetime of it’s liabilities!
Let me help you and your pet create a measurable lifelong connection.
Give Them Structure from Calm Assertive Leaders
Did you know that dogs can read even the most subtle eye contact and hand gestures in your body language? Dogs get the majority of their directions and rules and understandings from us humans. Humans give dogs their daily living structure.
As Leaders, we must be very Clear and Concise in our directions before we can get back any clear and concise responses from our canine pets.
Jimmy is obviously one of my favorite success stories…here’s another one!
Ever give your child a request and it ignores you?
Equate your dog taking in and understanding instructions to that of a 4 year old child. If you give your child a request and it ignores you, don’t you patiently give it another and another until it clearly understands?
Parents just don’t give up on their babies. They keep trying until it’s able to process the important information you have for it to learn. Surprise!!! It’s the same procedure for Dogs!
Start with Creating a Proper Line of Communication
Dog training means that your dog takes in the information you give it, and proves back to you that it understands it. The response may not be perfect every time, but it always needs to be enough to either get a reward or a simple correction. That is the essence of learning and training.
My philosophy of dog training starts with the quality of the human/dog bond. It begins with creating a proper line of communication. I call it STOP SIT & WAIT. Leash training to me is like using a direct telephone line (if you will) straight from you to your dog. I want to help you call up either him or her and get them on the line!
People ask me…”what are the most common types of jobs that people call you to help them with?”
A Feral Dog Can Be Domesticated
I teach dog owners to build a constructive and cooperative relationship between them and their loving Pet. The dog owner needs to simply learn to make his/her intentions extremely clear and concise to their pet.
Just like the 4 year old child, the dog also needs to learn how to listen and understand what it’s owner is telling them. Dogs must understand the various degrees of intensity or urgency that accompany each request, hand signal or command.
So, Can a Feral Dog ever be tamed? I say…Most Definitely! Be who your dog looks up to! It’s the Way of a Dog!
True Life Story Becomes Next Children’s Book
This story was so compelling to me that I decided to write another children’s book about Jimmy’s true story. I entitled it…Jimmy’s Tree. Here is the link to Jimmy’s Tree Story! Here is the cover painting for the book.
Jimmy’s Tree is slated to be out Spring 2018. Sign up for email notices and updates on when and where you can get pre copies of this book. Jimmy’s Tree will be illustrated by Sheila Sanders of Sheila’s Art Studio on Facebook.
Above is the painting for the Cover of the book.
Below is the portrait Sheila Sanders painted of my dog Jimmy.