Went to my first reactive dog class! It’s not your normal dog class. For one thing, the dogs aren’t all out at the same time. You drive there. Strategically park your car somewhere around the “farm” and walk them around, then make sure they are comfortable, set, and they can’t see out the windows to other dogs. People take turns working on their dogs specific needs.
For instance, a dog that is people reactive was taken out of the car and walked along a path, while a person volunteered to walk next to the dog and owner, feeding him treats. I was told this dog was super people reactive, and actually bit the trainer once. But now, he has made so much progress, and even wagged his tail!! YAY!!
Everyone else watches and discusses. We also sat in a circle for a super shy dog and let her eat from our hands/toss treats without eye contact. This gave the dog some confidence and get them used to people. Another dog walked on the leash while a man walked along with them 10 feet away. The owner gave treats to the dog.
The students in the class pick what they want to work on, and everyone usually gets 2 sets of practice, or more depending on how many people are there. Some of these dogs have made great strides which makes me hopeful, but every dog is different. Next Saturday will be our first go at it! Makes me nervous, but excited to know there are other people out there. It’s like a support group, but real life controlled situations are put into place to help the dog and owner!
In other news…I have seen some progress with Oreo. She has had dogs barking at her and she had no reaction! No running, freezing, or barking. She acted like they weren’t there. She also looks at me sometimes when she is scared, which is the goal! Additionally, when we were on the back porch a painter was next door and came out-she didn’t bark at all-was just looking curiously! She also saw a dog at the mailbox and no barking!! (which is usually common for her). Seeing some good things. Now..that painter man was outside the front door talking to my husband and Oreo didn’t like that, she barked, whinned, and was very nervous. Same man..different situation…different reaction…
Also Oreo looks forward to wearing her thundershirt (it seems that way). The other day she came right up to me wagging her tail when she saw it! Like she was saying pleassssssssssse. On another note I will be starting teaching again, so will be home less, and have less time to train with her, but intend to definitely continue!