Flick is a four-year-old border collie. I collected her when she was seven weeks old and a week later she had growled and snapped at two dogs! I’ve always owned border collies and thought I had a fair understanding of their needs but it was to be a huge learning curve with Flick. At ten weeks old, I took her to dog training to socialise. She flew through the exercises effortlessly but became increasingly aggressive. The same thing happened at agility.
Flick was now two and a half years old and the problems were: growing aggression, chasing anything, and growling at me in the house. All advice I received was unhelpful and certainly not good news for Flick. The final straw was when she attacked another dog.
Yet another search for help which ended when I phoned Mike Grantham. He listened patiently and we prioritised the problems. Mike came to the house to observe Flick and I and our re-training began. Mike spent four hours with us and Flick showed her aggression over and over again. He didn’t give up and by the time he left he had addressed all the problems and I was left with clear instructions on how to continue. This was backed up by a written training programme specifically for Flick and me. Mike was also at the end of the phone for help whenever needed.
Now, a year later, Flick is a much-improved dog. If I’m not vigilant we get the odd relapse and I do have to keep one step ahead of her but I now thoroughly enjoy owning her and she safely enjoys our outdoor lifestyle. She is still pushy, compulsive, and stubborn but she is also very intelligent, more relaxed, happier, and much easier to live with.
All thanks to Mike and his very patient dog Paddy.
Claire Morton
Update on Flick May 2009
Just thought I would send you a quick update on Flick’s progress.
She’s a reformed character; perhaps not quite an angel – her halo slips every now and again! But people that knew Flick before your help can’t believe the constant improvement in her.
As I write this she’s asleep at my feet too tired to even bother watching television. She now spends nearly all day every day outside with me only being shut away for her own safety if things get too hectic. I can’t remember the last time she chased a horse or behaved in a way that meant she had to go in the house before she caused an accident.
No more growling when I groom or towel dry her; a lot less watching of television (she still can’t resist a football match!) and a lot less aggressive to other dogs. She is still quite protective of home but doesn’t bother with dogs away from home and at the vets etc. I think she’s less compulsive and more relaxed. Now that her behaviour is better. She is such a fun, clever dog to have around.
I have even had a week’s holiday and left her with a friend; she behaved. Long may it continue.
Many thanks again
Best wishes