Having a dog who pulls on leash, barks and growls at and will possibly bite other dogs makes going outside with a dog highly stressful for the owners and dogs alike.
Molly used to react very strongly to other dogs on her walks - as you will hear her owner Pam mention in this video - even dogs behind a fence would elicit a strong reaction from Molly.Pam knw there had to be a better way to get Molly to focus and calm down and contacted me for help .She enrolled in an in home program that consists of 6 lessons. Here we are in lesson 4 in this video and it is our first time working with Molly around other dogs. At this point Molly has the skills needed to control herself and it is more about teaching the human part of the equation how to properly handle the dog.
Beryl - is a standard Poodle and she is just the dog I wanted to use to bug Molly. Beryl is friendly and pushy and I allow her to constantly invade Molly’s space during her lesson. Molly reacts strongly - and Pam hesitates for just a second. Once pam remebers to keep walking and gives Molly the heel command - things smooth out. The second time we do this Molly’s reaction is much less intense. After that it was smooth sailing and Molly just ignored Beryl for the rest of our lesson despite Beryl being a complete pest (Thanks Beryl!).
This type of training is about much more than teaching a dog the meaning of the words heel or leave it. It is about an emotional state that we are trying to acheive. A sense of well being and calmness. Think of it like yoga for dogs who stress out too easily.
Teaching a dog like Molly to trust her owner and the training process means that Molly will feel comfortable while working and trust that nothing bad will happen to her in training and also out on her walks - resulting in a calmer, less defensive, less reactive dog. The less she reacts - the less stressfull each subseuquent walk is for her and this new energy just keeps feeding itself. Take a look at Molly’s body language and how relaxed her face and tail are while she is working.
A dog has a right to excercise it’s options! At times during the lesson Molly, who normally heels on the left even switches over to the right all on her own when passing by Beryl - in order to avoid coming too close to her. This was all Molly’s idea and one that we often see in training when the dog understands they dont have to react anymore to the dog/cat/squirrel/person like they used to in their past life. New patterns
can be a lot of fun and we like to bring our English Bulldog Clara Hughes with us as often as possible.
Since we live in the country - there is a certain amount of adaptation that she has to make each time we venture to an urban environment.For instance -the only green space near our hotel on this recent trip was several blocks away. So I taught Clara to go on the road near the sewer for our mutual convenience.
The crowds are intense and a dog needs to feel comfortable walking through them - especially when low to the ground like a bulldog. Feet and bags are constantly in her face.Clara enjoys socializing with new people and makes friends wherever she goes.
Every dog likes a treat. We’d go for a walk - I would grab a coffee and a hotdog for Clara.
Clara doesn't use a cage at home - but when travelling we bring it with us.It allows her to feel at home wherever we are and she hops in on command as in the video - when loading out from the hotel into the van.