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Jonah & Roxy


Meet Jonah and Roxy, a German shepherd and Labrador retriever.

Roxy being a Labrador retriever had enjoyed the retrieving game for several years before Jonah, a young male German Shepherd came to join the family. Roxy loved her special time spent with her people playing ball as well as the benefits of the great exercise.

When two different dogs with two different instincts collide, it can look like this: Roxy following her instinct to retrieve a ball, and Jonah following his instinct to herd a moving object – in this case that was Roxy!

This caused several problems for everyone, Roxy no longer could play and get the exercise and Jonah got frustrated about not having a job to do.

What We Did

With Jonah’s high drive to work and eagerness to please his people, it didn’t take long for him to learn new habits when Roxy was playing fetch.

Over several sessions spread out over couple of months, Jonah’s desire to herd Roxy started to fade.

By redirecting Jonah’s attention to other “jobs” while the desire to herd Roxy kicked in, Jonah soon was able to stop the undesirable behavior and Roxy could finally play again.

I am happy to report that Jonah can now watch Roxy do her “job” of retrieving and Jonah has been given other duties!

We called Anna to help with a problem we were having with our German Shepherd Jonah and Roxy our Labrador retriever. Roxy, who had previously loved playing fetch with us, gave it up altogether, as every time she’d go for the ball, Jonah would decide it was his job to herd her. Roxy decided playing fetch was way too much trouble and ignored the game altogether and essentially denying herself and the humans in her life of some good quality time together. We needed help coming up with strategies that would allow us to manage Jonah’s need to herd with Roxy’s desire (and ours) to play fetch and interact with us. Anna came up with some excellent strategies and Jonah, being a very smart and eager to please dog, caught on almost immediately. Now Roxy is able to get her fix of fetching and we’ve got a much better behaved German shepherd.

Thank you!

M.D.