Dear Mr Murgatroyd,

This morning I was taking my three dogs for their usual walk down the river. The two girls were way in front as usual and my male dog was pretty close to my side. I heard the girls barking and realised they were barking at a cyclist. I held the collar of my male dog to stop him chasing the bike as well, shouted at the girls to stop (which they didn’t do on account of me having no influence over them at all!) and apologised to the cyclist who happened to be a gentleman I know.

Thankfully he was fine about it but my male dog lunged at him as he passed so in order to not throttle the dog (because I was holding his collar) I put my other hand to his chest. I got a bite to that arm for my audacity and the dog flung himself away from me.

So, what is my question? Well, what should I have done in that situation? He is a nervous aggressive dog (and always has been) and I never get any warning growl if I am doing something he doesn’t approve of. Help!

Desperate of Órgiva



Well hello!

Now I know I’ve taken an awful long time to write my response, and I am hoping that in this time your neighbours still have their tyres intact and you your arms. This is quite a difficult situation and you will need to put in a lot of hard work here to solve the issue. Also I wouldn’t recommend going to the Tour de France this year.

Someone must be wearing their 'treat face'

Someone must be wearing their ‘treat face’

With Chester (the blonde gentleman in the photo), my star student, we introduced a new command in order to gain his attention at will. This comes in handy sometimes as Chester is particularly frightened of anybody doing anything that doesn’t seem normal. If we are walking along and somebody is mowing their lawn Chester gets extremely confused. “Why the hell does that human make such loud noises?” “Is that human trying to hurt my family?” those kind of questions. Although he is usually the most loving and friendly dog (the kind that licks baby’s faces without asking) humans doing weird stuff sends him loco. He screams and shouts like he is auditioning to be lead singer of a heavy metal band, and to be honest he is actually quite good based on the heavy metal I’ve heard before.

Now let’s talk about this new command. You will have to take each dog out separately in order to train them accurately at first. Get yourself a pocketful of treats, you know the kind dogs love that make you pocket smell like a zoo. When you are walking with your dogs, take out a treat and bring it up to your face and say “watch me” once your adorable little friend throws his head back and focuses on your treat/face then reward him.

Depending on whether you have a doggy Einstein or not this may take some time for him to master. However, with hours of repetition, you will have a command that allows you to draw your doggies’ attention to you at any time. I’m not saying this is going to be as easy 1.2.3 but it might just mean you can take a trip to a cycling event and take your little buddy with without fear of bicycle destruction.

Dogs love learning and they need to learn to keep them mentally stimulated. You will find that the more commands you introduce and the more time you spend on a daily basis teaching the commands, the more respect you will earn from you companion. I hope this helps.

Good luck!

Mr. Murgatroyd
Just a man that loves dogs



Luke Anthony Murgatroyd also blogs at OK. Alright. Already where he vents, into cyberspace, the opinions that he suspects the people close to him in the real world are fed up of listening to.

We at Valle Verde somehow doubt that, but would offer the warning that if you are easily offended, don’t go there.

He and his partner run Growls & Meows a pet hotel in Calahonda and you can also follow Luke on Twitter @lukemurga


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