I met Shiloh, 18 month old Belgian Shepherd, about a two weeks ago. He has been rescued by his breeder. He comes from a loving family but unfortunately Shiloh had had a few bad experiences and turned up to be fearful aggressive towards people. I decided to take the challenge and rehabilitate him to be rehomed.
In this video, I'm assessing his behaviour.
Note: Shiloh had been assessed by another trainer when he was at his previous home and the report suggested to put him down or he will have to be fully retrained by a professional.
I suggested to the breeder to take him back and I would give him a chance.
My assessment started outside the yard. I had been watching him the entire morning, his interaction with other dogs especially. I noticed that he was quite dominant and confident with other dogs. When I came near the fence his tail was up and he was barking. We put the muzzle on for safety and I decided to get in.
I saw a unsecure dog, who doesn't trust human. He has suffered from a lack of structure and socialisation. He had been abused a some point by someone inside the community where he grew up, nothing to do with his owners, but we can see the scars from this abuse. It will take some time to reteach him that human are not monsters.
Lack of structure and leadership can lead to fearful/dominant aggressive behaviour. In Shiloh case, he is a dominant dog with a fearful aggressive behaviour. He will need an assertive leader, someone to help him regain confidence but at the same time, firm enough to not let him take over the relationship. In his previous home, he was in charge and unfortunately it didn't go down so well. Shiloh is very obedient, he had had some previous obedience training which is a good thing. But, we don't forget that an obedient dog doesn't mean a balanced dog.
Stay tuned for the updates on my Facebook Page for Shiloh's rehabilitation.