Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The art of corners with a reactive dog

Once you've lived with a reactive dog, or an overly enthusiastic dog, life is never quite the same.

Things that other people take for granted become impossible dreams - like being able to walk more than one of your dogs at the same time.

This week in puppy class, an owner asked what to do because her lab puppy kept grabbing and chewing on her older dog's lead.

And my amazing puppy class trainer was momentarily stumped.

Because one of her dogs is overly enthusiastic, while the other is nervous and worried.

So she'd never dream of walking them at the same time!

Normal for those of us with reactive dogs just doesn't look the same any more.

I think as reactive dog owners we often end up being more sensitive and aware of the world round about us. We learn how to scan the environment and assess potential threats.

Our dogs learn to respond quickly and promptly. We make more demands of them so we can allow them a little freedom.

Here's Clare walking towards a footpath junction with her off lead dogs. Some of them would struggle if they suddenly met a person or a dog round the corner, so Clare asks them to walk beside or behind her until the coast is definitely clear.

You can see what happens when the dogs are released to go off ahead, and why it's essential they didn't just barrel round the corner!

Do you need a little extra help?
If you're struggling to adapt to life with a "less normal" dog, whether that's over excited greeting, anxious about strangers or worried when seeing other dogs - we can help.

You will learn valuable skills and games to play with your dog at Rehab Club. There's also the chance to practice in a real-life situations with other dogs but in a controlled way.

Want to come to Rehab Club?

You need to be working with WCC as a behaviour or training client, and have completed at least an initial assessment with us.

We run sessions on Tuesday afternoons (York and South Cave), and Sunday mornings (South Cave)

Wishing you safe corners this week!

Morag & Clare

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