How can you walk a 9 stone Great Dane who is people and dog reactive when you weigh little more than your dog?
I love it when small people get big dogs, especially big dogs with a mind of their own, and a dog that is a rescue as well.
I have been working with this dog and his owner for quite a while and they have been through some traumatic times that resulted in the realisation that they need to sort out his behaviour properly.
I work with people a lot, I offer advice on what I think is needed and this is not always taken onboard or applied as it needs to be and this is one of those.
They now do take on board what I say and do what is required and the difference in the dog is remarkable. At home, friends and family are genuinely astounded by how well behaved he is and by how relaxed the owners are.
Even friends who don't like dogs are now relaxed in his company because of his great response to his owners.
The challenge now lies outside where he sees people and dogs. There are many techniques you can use with a big dog but the best technique, and the one I use, is to convince him he is not a big dog, he is not stronger that you and he can't do as he wants when he wants,
Actually, that is the technique I use for all dogs but it works especially well for huge dogs like this one.
So how do you convince a huge dog that he can't drag you where he wants to go?
It is really very simple, as all dog behaviour is. It is all about decision making process and getting into the dogs decision making process early enough.
It is no good trying to correct a mistake because the dog has made a decision and he doesn't see that as a mistake if he didn't receive any communication prior to making that decision.
Your dog will always ask you before making a decision. Not verbally so it is hard for us to recognise but there will be a question asked. If no answer is received, then the dog will make up his own mind and come up with a decision which is usually one we would not have made.
This takes good observation skills and a readiness to act in a relaxed and non verbal way so your dog does not sense a change in your behaviour.
Follow this up with a lot of verbal praise when you have good behaviour and you are on the path to convince your huge dog that he has nothing to do except enjoy his walk with you.
What could be better? Sounds good? Need help with your dog? I will be happy to help you, give me a call.