Back in May 2017, Hatt as a community were approached by Bex Escott, asking if the dog owners within the area would be willing to assist with their 8yr old Boxer Oscar. He has had aggression problems since they adopted him 3 years ago. They are very considerate owners and Oscar has always been walked at a distant, though could still be heard with his Chewbaca cry across the fields. Bex & Dave have been working with a trainer in Plymouth and had great results. However when Oscar is home he still feels like top dog and almost reverts his behavior.
The idea behind the invite was to put Oscar out of his comfort zone and try to get him in a more sociable place. As a dog lover and owner of a new puppy I was keen to help where possible not only to help Oscar but also to improve Nelson's confidence.
So Nelson & I joined them, along with their trainer. Oscar did very well considering, though clearly he was uncomfortable. Nelson true to puppy form intended in pushing Oscar. Literally in Oscar's face trying to make him play. Considering his age and energy, Oscar was amazing.
The second week had a lot more community dogs and their owners turn up. Oscar again moved forward, though still hating his trainer's dogs. Nelson was not to far from his side with a little push from myself. After a couple of weeks there was a slight break through. Nelson & Oscar had a little kiss!!!!
Whilst out one night my husband bumped into Oscar, Bex & Dave, what was amazing was no crying from Oscar, almost on the verge of wanting to play? So with the aid of social media, Bex & I had a chat and arranged to meet without Adam and see how things went.
So in July we went to the local fields and met Oscar and his cousin Charlie for a get together. Aided with a long lead and full muzzle we managed a little running and a bit of play with not much noise, they even went in the water together, with things improving we soildered through. The following day we met again, no Charlie, No Muzzle and to our surprise, Oscar and Nelson greeted each other with fondness and had a run, OFF THE LEAD, in the long grass. They even went onto the water to cool down together.
Sadly Oscar does forget his old age and trying to keep up with a 7 month old pup took his toll. He was very tired and hurt his leg, so it had to ease up. Not wanting to fully lose the work, we arranged a little garden meeting (Oscar's home ground). Another successful day had, even drinking out of the same bowl.
Things have continued to improve with their friendship and we have even managed a car ride together in the boot and sat in a pub with them both.
Oscar is not my dog but every time I see how far he has come, my heart actually aches and it makes me so happy. I am proud of my little puppy Nelson for being so confident and pushing this freindship, as without this Oscar may not have allowed the progression to happen. Working with other owners who are willing to do some much to help their dog have a better life, is why I love what I do. We now call Oscar, Unckie Osc and continue to meet and assist him.
I hope you can see clearly from the pics and videos how Oscar's journey has gone, thus showing that with little help, training and commitment, even anti social dogs, can change their ways. He may only have 2 friends at this time, but that is more then 3 months ago.
Oscar really is a special boy, with special family. He now holds a very special place in my heart.