Leave it… The Next Step (the car)
OK if you have not heard me talk about how to work with reactivity in dogs I always preach 3 things:
- High Frequency (Every Day Practice)
- Short Duration (No more than about 15 minutes per practice session)
- Under Threshold (the dog must not be reacting, no barking, lunging or growling)
So we have already talked about Watch Me and Leave it and we have been practicing them in the house and should have a good grasp but the minute we head out into the world with other dogs… In all likelihood those behaviors are not going to work very well because you will break one of these three rules… 😯
So, now we are going to talk about how to begin working around dogs at distance and under threshold!!! Then we will talk about how to stair-step up the distractions till we can actually be around dogs on leash without a reaction (this will require tons of homework and lots of time so don’t get to excited) This is a slow process….
This first step is sneaky and pretty easy…It requires a car, a Big Box Pet Retail store, lots of extra good treats and your dog!!! I want you to go at around 430, and I want you to park at the very, very, very back of the parking lot (the bigger the distance the less the distraction) And then just wait, but while you wait, start practicing your Watch Me’s and as the evening progresses the traffic will increase and so will the number of dogs you pooch will see. As you start to see more dogs work with Leave it as well as the Watch Me command! The goal is de-sensitizing your dog to the presence of other dogs, all the while getting tons of cookies 😆
If it is going great or rough don’t go to long, just pack up and head home after about 15-20 minutes… Its more important to do this every night than to push longer and frustrate the dog. As nights go by the dog will pay more attention to you and less attention to the dogs! The next step, will be simple but as I said, next time 🙂
What should you do if you find a stray dog…microchipping your pets is a must!
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