Meet Kia the Lurcher
Kia was recently rehomed to his owners at the beginning of 2021. He had a tough start in life and was very lucky to have found his brand-new home with his new owners. He also now lives with two other dogs, who have become his best friends and family.
Due to Kia’s previous experiences, he did show prior food aggression in certain situations, however, his owners understood this before his rehoming and were managed his routines brilliantly to limit any problems. However, during settling into his home, Kia had started to show aggressive behaviour around the house, when he had unwanted objects or if asked to do tasks, especially towards the one owner. Therefore, to limit any escalation of the behaviour, the rescue and owners asked Forrest Animal Behaviour to help assist with managing and resolving the problem.
During his assessment, it was found that Kia was worried about touch. This is something we often see in dogs, as being petted is actually something dogs take time to learn to enjoy, often while in puppyhood. However, as Kia had a difficult start, he had mixed emotions with being petted and this would mean when he didn’t want the contact, he would use aggression to prevent the event. After working out the main areas of conflict in the home being objects and moving Kia from furniture, we started his behavioural modification plan.
First, we reduced any handling, so that no one was to approach Kia, unless he approaches for contact. Next, we started a training plan to introduce the drop cue for objects and the off cue for asking him down from furniture. We also introduced an emergency plan for what to do if Kia had any unwanted objects or used any aggressive behaviours. This meant we could allow some decompression for Kia with reduced handling and then teach other behaviours for Kia to perform to again reduce the need for handling.
Following our check-in, Kia’s owners have been brilliant with introducing the management for Kia and are doing well with their training plan for his new tasks. Importantly, they have had no further incidents with Kia using aggression in the house. Kia is now choosing to seek contact from the owners on his terms and even cuddling up on the sofa with both owners during the evenings! We look forward to hearing more of his updates, as he continues to progress.