Why does a reactive dog need to leave it?

Oreo when we first got her

So, I just got back from Training Session #2. Oreo was much more comfortable at this session, even laid down a few times and had very soft eyes. She did very well with the previous things we have been working on (leave it, off, trade game, and so on). We discussed switching vets at the same clinic, to someone perhaps more knowledgable. She was put on Clompramine, but does not have seperation anxiety, and it seems to have no affect after a month of upping the dosage.

We are going to work on a more advanced “leave it”. You may be wondering why should I practice leave it with a reactive dog who needs to work on much bigger things. Well, this works on focus and makes her think. When she is running after something she will have some practice thinking wait, let’s look at mom and then think. This works on eye contact also. Oreo is pretty good at leave it, so we skipped a few levels of training. We are setting down the foundation.

We will also be working on “here” and “touch” (hand and finger targeting) but from distances, in the air, and all over the place. This allows her to be less afraid of things, and also for her to come to me. For example, yesterday our neighbors grill was moved and a big black cover was put onto it. It was blowing in the wind and Oreo went out and was barking at it. I put my finger on it and said “here”, and she came over and touched it with her nose and got a treat. After that she was fine with it.

We will be working on a protocol for exiting doors, such as the bedroom if someone is here. First we will start by having her sit with her leash on and stay. I will look through the door, click and treat if she stays there. I will do this a few times, then advance through the door and tell her to come. She will have 10 seconds to look at me when I call her name. I then click and treat. Then I have her do a few things (Tricks and such) and click and treat for focus. Then we go back into the room and PARTY!!!!! (do lots of things she likes for 20 seconds). This will lay a foundation down for everything we are doing.  Eventually (hopefully by next week) we can move to doing this in the car. Next time the trainer said she will get her dog at a distance and I will do the protocol from the car. AHHH!!! I hope it works… haha she is very reactive towards dogs, but this is what the training is for.

We meant to do some work with the muzzle, but we forgot. Unfortunately we were interrupted by someone walking in the door, after I believe I locked it (maybe the other trainer had a key?) and Oreo couldn’t calm down. I need to slowly move her away. When she looks at me click and treat away from what’s bothering her. It took her at least 5 minutes to stop barking, but very intense, so no strangers in the house or any house she is in for a long time until that’s worked on…hopefully? We will see how it goes.

I am also going to get her a thundershirt to wear at different times during the day and hopefully this will help.

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