Meet Willow the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Willow's owners contacted us to help Willow as she was struggling with dog reactivity on her walks and visits to the vets.


During her assessment, it was found that Willow used to have lovely dog-dog social skills before the covid lockdown changes. However, since covid lockdowns, her behaviour had changed for both walks and vet visits. It was found with her assessment that changes to walks and social distancing had potentially caused increased frustration around dog-dog greets. This was due to excitement when she would see other dogs. In addition, we had some concerns about her movement after we performed a gait analysis. Therefore it was decided that pain could be involved in her dog-dog greets and her veterinary examinations.

Treatment plan

As with any possible pain assessments, Willow was referred back to her vets for a targeted assessment of the areas of concern. Once she was assessed and placed on pain relief we introduced some self-control tasks to help her with her impulse control. This worked in conjunction with redirection training with other dogs being around her. Lastly, we started some handling work and muzzle training to enable more safe and confident veterinary handling.


Willow was able to have surgery and ongoing medical care (even at a new referral centre) with her new learnt handling tasks. Willow has also managed to overcome her reactivity on walks and rarely reacts to any dogs! She has also been able to join new dogs on walks together! We are happy that Willow is now pain-free and recovered from her medical procedures with a successful outcome all around.

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Forrest Animal Behaviour