I have always had a strong interest in animal behaviour and welfare. However, it was after rescuing Freddie that I decide to become a behaviourist. He is my inspiration and the reason I continue to be so passionate about dogs.
Before Freddie, I thought I knew a lot about dogs and how to train them. Freddie showed me I was wrong and forced me to relearn everything I thought I knew.
He had a bad start to life and at the age of 5 months was almost euthanised and labelled aggressive before being handed into the sanctuary where I worked. From the moment I laid eyes on him, I knew he was the dog for me. He appeared to be an excitable, happy puppy, but it soon became apparent what was meant by his aggression. It became clear he had been scared in the past and his only form of defence had been attack. He would run away in fear from the broom and growl at anyone who walked past him when he was lying on his bed. Building trust and making him feel safe were the first steps to reducing this. After lots of positive reinforcement he began to feel safe around familiar people and his fear of certain objects was reduced.
In the past two years I have watched Freddie transform but there is still some way to go as there is no quick fix. It takes time, love patience and work. Throughout the years there has been tears but there has been a lot laughter too. And in between that, there are those magical moments when he shows me just how much better he is. And when I watch him, curled up asleep, safe, sound and content. I know that it is all worth it.