I’ve been reading a lot of training books lately, and by the way, I am not a trainer, just a person who loves their dog and wants to help. Triggers are things that set your dog off, things that scare him or her. For example, my dog is scared of other dogs since being attacked. When she sees a dog she will most likely stop, freeze, and stare at it. If she does not respond to me, she has reached her threshold. A threshold is when or where your dog cannot handle the trigger.
So when I am walking my dog and she notices another dog then I will start feeding her treats. Yay! Another dog! (That’s what I need to think to stay calm, dogs are experts at reading body language so act happy I tell myself). I am hoping that one day she will see a dog and look directly at me. This will tell me she has learned dogs=treats (hey they aren’t that bad are they?). And hopefully this will become a routine. Eventually (and very slowly), I would move her closer, and the hope is that one day she will be able to be next to a dog without snarling and lunging. This may not happen, but the hope is that it will. I don’t like to give up and I refuse to give up especially on a family member who needs help and is scared.
Hoping I am training her correctly, I have enlisted the help of a professional who hopefully will agree to work with me. She has experience with reactive dogs, which comforts me immensly and hopefully will teach me all the skills I need in order to help my fearful dog.
**Note: I have added 2 links, one is a fearful dog website where I have learned so much about helping my reactive dog. There is lots of information on how to help your dog. You can also order “A Guide to Helping and Training a Fearful Dog.” I have also added Debbie Jacob’s blog, which is very useful.
I do not personally know Debbie, and I am not affiliated with her, although I love her site! My blog is my own personally, and my training with my dog is from many books I have read, but I have no certification. This site is purely used by me as a stress reliever, and should not be followed as a prescription for training. I have already stated I do need more help and will hopefully find a trainer soon.