Face the issue
IT’S very common for owners to avoid situations their dogs dislike.
Most owners with nervous or boisterous dogs will choose a walk where they won’t meet any other dogs. Some owners avoid traffic, cyclists or runners.
This might avoid an incident, but it won’t solve the problem.
My little rescue dog Ellie was terrified of horses and cattle, so I made a point of introducing her in controlled circumstances where I could guarantee a good experience (usually with a fence between her and the cattle).
Once she adjusted I walked her in open fields on the lead where I knew we would see horses and cows. Little by little she became desensitised and now gives them no attention.
The key element in this process is you. Fussing and petting a stressed dog will just exacerbate the situation. You must remain calm and assertive until your dog draws from your confidence.
Aggression to other dogs is the number one reason people call me out and avoidance is definitely no answer. It’s important to understand that aggression to other dogs is often triggered by the handler.
The moment you become anxious your dog will know and react to the negative picture you have in your head.
It is vital to have your dog walking beside you on a loose lead, not pulling in front. You will need calm, balanced dogs to help you with this rehabilitation process.
You can’t do it in the park where anything could happen. Your dog must remain safe.
Help is at hand: visit my website, www.vicbarlow. com or text 07590 560012 to join one of my classes.
●● Vic Barlow training