Walking Your Dog Not A Pleasant Experience?

Dog Reacting To Strangers  I recently had a series of lessons with dogs that were reactive to people when on leash.  The first dog was a Daschund that was recently adopted from Daschund Rescue.  This little guy didn’t like men.  He would growl at yardmen, construction workers or neighbors out for a stroll or jog.  It was difficult for his new owner to stop and talk.

The second dog was a very large breed dog that would react to anyone who wanted to come up and pet him when he was on a walk.  Both dogs were walked on a flat buckle collar which because of the size and stature of the owner, made it very difficult to have a pleasant walk with the dogs especially when they became reactive during the walk.

I introduced both dogs to the Gentle Leader which can have a positive effect on many dogs – that of significantly reducing arousal and anxiety.  The difference in control of both dogs made walks very pleasurable once again and along with that came a new found confidence in the owners.  Once confidence was restored in the owners, the dogs’ attitude changed as well.

Both dogs were put on a “no free lunch” program, meaning they had to sit and down for everything:  meals, access to the couch, doggie toys and their owner’s limited love and affection for a short while – also walks and potty breaks had to be earned as well.

To top things off we began to pair positive things with the gradual presence of particular types of people to which they were reactive.  What positive things you ask?  Why food treats of course.  And with one dog, it was also a game of fetch.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children and remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

Jim Burwell, Jim Burwell’s Petiquette

2 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Pam: Try getting your dog on a gentle leader. Greatly reduces pulling and anxiety. Be sure to purchase the gentle leader with the DVD so you can learn how to fit it properly and de-sensitise your dog to it. We use that on our lab Sammy, because without it when my wife tries to walk him, she looks like a tail on a kite. Also, very important, do NOT keep the leash tight when you see another dog, that signals your dog something is wrong AND encourages him to pull in the opposite direction which would be toward the dog. If walking next to another dog overwhelms your dog, when you see the other person walking their dog, take your dog back 10 feet or so, further away from the other dog, put him in a sit and praise for the sit.Gradually reduce the distance. This is desensitising your dog to what triggers the behavior. Good luck. Also if you want more info on dog behavior just mail to: [email protected] and you’ll get on our automatic email list—great info

  2. pam
    pam says:

    I walk my 110 lb lab/newfoundland every day. Sometimes we come across another dog owner walking their large dog. My dog wants to rush them and fight the other dog. Should a get an electronic goat training collar to stop this). I am being drugged and going flying through the air when he decides to take off. The only way I can stop him is to sit down; that way I only get drug one foot. Right now he is on a choke chain collar but it’s not stopping him.

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