Today we’ve had the lovely Levi in with us for some training help with his reactivity towards other dogs.
After being attacked by another dog when out on a walk, Levi’s became reactive and aggressive to almost every dog he comes across. His owners have been to see a ‘Collie specialist’ a couple of years ago who advised them to avoid other dogs, that he’s just damaged goods and for him to wear a muzzle for the rest of his life.
Within minutes of meeting Levi the idea of him being damaged goods was already a laughable one, but we got to work and took a deeper look to see what exactly was going on. We introduced Levi to one of our own dogs and everything about his response was shouting frustration based. It was only when getting closer that any aggression began to really show.
With Levi he wants to bridge the gap between himself and the other dog to interact with them, but having been attacked and then experiencing subsequent negative experiences when greeting dogs, he signals that he isn’t to be messed with when he begins to feel apprehensive. Offence is the best defence as they say.
By teaching Levi to willingly disengage from fixation and rewarding him for calming behaviours, we can begin to paint a picture with less tension and frustration around other dogs. And once he’s in a calmer mindset he was functioning around other dogs without problem.
Moving forwards his owners will be starting to build training and playing into Levi’s routine to teach him focus and engagement, improving their relationship outdoors, and setting boundaries and limitations with his decision making.
Another awesome session with some really great owners. Good work guys and good luck in your training!