After years of dealing with Miles’ reactivity towards other dogs and getting pulled around, his owners reached out for some help to get another pair of eyes on it and see if we could help.
As is common with many of our sessions we assessed what a typical walk with Miles and his owners looked like. Tight leashes, no eye contact or engagement, getting stressed out by the environment, panting and pacing. These behaviours almost always go hand-in-hand with reactivity and addressing these plays a considerable role in rehabilitating reactivity.
We got to work teaching leash manners, marking and rewarding behaviours we liked, and building relationship. Then we moved onto handing these skills over to Miles’ owners so they could consistently paint the same picture without us moving forwards. Within no time he was a dream to walk and offering eye contact and engagement like they’ve never seen.
Next we got to work on his reactivity with dogs and like advised 80% of the reactivity completely dissolved with clear and confident handling. Miles’ reactivity was a combination of frustration and nerve so getting his focus on his owners and reducing the perceived stressors in the environment is absolutely essential in calming his mind and getting his head on his shoulders.
By the end of the session Miles was walking beautifully with both of his owners, non-reactive to our dogs and offering eye contact and engagement like it was going out of fashion.
5+ years of struggling, avoiding dogs, turning the other way, and walking him at silly times, improved drastically within an afternoon. Just needs to be proofed and Miles will be a different dog in no time.
Really good work guys! Very happy with your progress and it was great seeing your handling skills develop so much in such a short time!