Event Information:

  • Jade Green

    We saw Murphy on the RSPCA website and were very interested from the start.  After speaking to the kennel and meeting Murphy we decided to go ahead and offer him a home, although there were some concerns. Murphy's history was sketchy but it was obvious that it was not a pleasant one.  All we were told was that he was fed cat food, which had resulted in a sunken stomach and being under fed. Also, that he didn't really have a bed, along with the fact that he had a challenging relationship with the oldest child (teenager). Unfortunately, he was not lead trained and greatly marked and sniffed, even though he had been castrated 6 weeks prior.

    Initially, we wanted to allow Murphy time to settle and understand how he would react in different situations.  Quickly, it was noticeable that Murphy would need rehabilitation and that we would need help.  The following problems cropped up within the first week:

    ●Possessive aggression over his food, bowl and articles, which resulted in biting.

    ●Marking and sniffing constantly on walks;

    ●Launching at traffic whilst on lead;

    ●Possessively aggressive over his bed

    ●Aggressive behaviour in his crate

    We were concerned that his reactions over food and articles would escalate and cause injury, as on two occasions he had gone for two of the older members of our family.  Therefore, we called for help.  Craig came to see Murphy and give us solutions to overcome Murphy’s behaviour problems.  First, Murphy's stability was assessed and then we discussed a way forward and how we as a family could support Murphy's rehabilitation, preparing ourselves with strategies to move forward. Craig fully understood that we needed Murphy to fit in our 5 person family unit and was extremely easy to talk to.

    Craig, straight away used feeding to see how Murphy would react and from his assessment guided us, especially with creating a hierarchy within the family. Craig encouraged a calm approach teaching leadership skills to help Murphy with his rehabilitation process. 

    Craig designed a system for us to put in to place stage by stage to overcome Murphy’s food aggression, which was very successful. Now we can remove his bowl safely and allow him to have a chew and even take it away. He trusts us now.

    Craig also helped us to understand how Murphy’s mind worked, he designed us a structure system for our day-to-day lives, and this was easy for the whole family to understand and to put in to place. This system brought quick progress, it was remarkable how quickly Murphy started to improve and learn. On his first visit Craig walked Murphy and at the same time educated us.  He covered how to hold the lead and highlighted the fact that how a person walks makes a huge difference and that our tension effects the dog. Craig described the walk as more of a 'dance' then a march and we have been dancing ever since. Murphy now really enjoys his walks and so do we.

    Our biggest lessons from Craig are being mindful, calm and good leaders around Murphy to regain a stable dog. He told us we cannot change the past but we can help to change future.  Straight away Craig gained control with Murphy, we found this fascinating. During our journey, Craig was always available to advise via email, he visited several times, as well as taking the time for telephone conversations.  His input has been invaluable as Murphy may of had to be returned to the kennel.  Now, he is such a lovely dog, affectionate and playful.  He loves the children and wants to be apart if our family.

    Thanks Craig