Wednesday group dog behaviour walks
Our Wednesday lunchtime group dog behaviour walks are quieter then our Saturday sessions and as a result you can achieve a great deal especially with reactive dogs and we had two on today's walk, along with my two German shepherd dogs.
Dogs tend to react out of fear or a feeling that no one is in control so they have to be and if you have a dog with both then you have a very stressed out dog.
Reactive dogs are very complex and difficult to deal with and often need a lot of time to truly learn new behaviour and we had polar opposites today. Alex, pictured is learning not to be so overprotective of his owner and Harvey is just starting, at two years old to become protective.
Both are a result of their environment and both are good examples of how dogs can change over time, often without us spotting it or noticing the changes until they become very obvious.
They need the pressure of responsibility taking off them as it should be us who looks after them and makes sure they feel safe and relaxed. If your dog takes on the responsibility of looking after you, he might not cope and can get very stressed. The more stressed he gets, the more stressed you get and the cycle continues.
You have to break the cycle and you can only do this by behaving differently and doing different things which will allow your dog to believe you will not add to their stress. If you are adding to your dogs stress with corrections, both verbal and physical then you are adding to the stress which makes you part of the problem.
If you are part of the problem, you can't be the solution which means you are of no use to your dog which only puts more pressure on your dog.
You need to learn a different way of behaving because that will let your dog also learn a new way of behaving. If you can't or won't change, your dog won't have a reason to either.
Both my clients today are making improvement as we work with then and their changing dogs. Your dog is never trained or perfectly behaved, it is always in progress and that is what makes our relationship so special, we help each other for our whole lives.