This is just an update entry!
Oreo had private training again with the “big black scary dog” and the trainer. This time we backed it up. Instead of being in the barn, we worked in the poll barn, a much bigger, more open area. I went in first and attached a 50 foot lead to Oreo. The trainer came in with her dog, who stayed near her and Oreo got to investigate. She smelled around and eventually would get closer to the end of the leash. We only saw 2 nervous licks the entire time, and we were there for over an hour!! YAY!!! She ventured to the end of the leash then would look at me and run back. After a while she would get closer and play bow and even sit and relax yay!!
That is the goal-we want her to be able to RELAX around other dogs, so one day she might be able to greet and play with them. She is very conflicted. At a distance, and even a few feet away she wants to play, then as she approaches she slows down and freezes. Sometimes she will play, sometimes she will snarl and want to bite. We are working towards rehabilitating her after she was attacked. I would NEVER force her to go near other dogs, especially because she is afraid. But I know she once LOVED playing with dogs and couldn’t get enough. Now, she shows me she wants to, but is too scared and unsure, so I am doing this for her, so maybe one day she will get what she wants…to be able to play and not be scared of being attacked by the dog again.
Her reactive training went well. We had some observers who may be attending the class. One was a man!! WOOO! I say that because men hardly ever come and most of the dogs are afraid of them. Oreo was nervous when we did parallel walking. Parallel walking can be used with just a person opposite of you and your dog, or a person and a dog. Basically you walk parallel to someone, so you start at the same spot, parallel at a certain amount apart. If it’s your first time, give it tons of distance and look for signs from your dog to tell you if you are too close or far away. This exposes your dog to the trigger at a safe distance, while you can click and treat your dog for looking calmly at the person or dog. Remember, don’t push your dog too much! Stay at a distance and take it slow, do a few reps walking back and forth and give your dog a break. We did three back and forths with the man and she was nervous. I gave her a break, then later we tried again a bit closer.
Further down the training road we had her meet him, and she LOVED him the most out of everyone! I think she just needed to MEET him and have him give her treats to know he is okay, a friend. I wonder what would’ve happened if I had her meet him first. I don’t think she would’ve been nervous when parallel walking then, it was just because he was a stranger. She has become “Stubborn” like a “mule.” She will sit when I ask her to walk back to the car with me. She used to hate people, now she loves them so much she won’t leave. I had someone walk with us back towards the car and she did fine then. I guess loving people too much is better than hating them!