Behaviour Case Study

Diesel & Harvey

Behaviour Bites

with Dr Ash Hargreaves BSc DVM MANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour) 

This is Diesel and his little buddy Harvey. (Diesel is on the left with the big smile!)

Diesel came in for a behaviour consult a few months ago. After more than 10 years of living with each other, Diesel a normally very placid 11 year old Border Collie, had recently started showing aggression towards his 13 year old Lhasa Apso pal, Harvey.

He also started to show aggression towards other dogs when out on walks. Diesel’s family realised it had become a real issue when after another incident, poor little Harvey ended up at the vets for a cut near his eye.

After discussing the situation with Dr Ash, it was clear that Diesel’s behaviour had changed since the family moved to a new town. The change seemed to have increased Diesel’s general level of anxiety. The aggression between the two dogs occured most when they were in a specific area, on the patio near the back door. It was also, apparent that walking on lead near other dogs was fairly new to Diesel. In their old town he was mostly off-lead.

Diesel’s management plan included behaviour modification techniques involving a lot of treats.

He was initially started on anxiety medication to help him feel calm and to assist his learning.

A few months on …

The reports on Diesel’s progress have been very positive. Diesel has not been as worried about seeing dogs on walks any more. Walk times are much more enjoyable for everyone.

Most importantly and to the family’s relief and delight, there have been no more incidents between the two old friends. Best buds again!