This problem is very common...
This unwanted behaviour can be changed with a combination of ‘One to One’ sessions and then introducing the dog and handler into a group class environment.
The initial ‘One To One’ work is vital – the client learns what provokes this behaviour and what to do when their dog reacts badly to another dog. Depending on how severe the problem is, time is spent building up the exposure to other dogs slowly and safely – putting a dog with this problem straight into a class with a group of other dogs would be hazardous, to say the least!
When the One To One work is complete, the ultimate step is to get the client and dog into a class to interact with other dogs in a controlled and safe environment. The course includes various ‘dog to dog’ socialisation exercises and all the usual basic training needs and takes place outdoors, where the handlers and dogs have the space they need. By putting these dogs into a class of their own, it means the group can work together and be supportive and sympathetic towards each other – all working towards a common goal.
Approximately 80% of dogs that complete our “dogs with social issues” can be successfully integrated into a normal training class. The remaining 20% need more training to continue the good work or have ‘dog to human’ issues where it would be unsafe to bring them indoors, in close quarters with other clients.
We would be fighting nature if we expected our dogs to love every strange dog that they meet, but it is not too much to expect them to behave appropriately around each other. It is achievable!
Dogs are not mature until around 2 years old, younger for small breeds and sometimes later for big breeds. This is because a young dog needs guidance from mature animals until maturity. Therefore nature makes dogs very adaptable and flexible in their relationships when pre 2 years, as they may need to move packs, still needing guidance from older dogs to survive.
Once the dog is mature, they become less flexible in their relationships as nature and evolution make them stay with the pack to take on the teacher's mantel to the new young dogs. This is often why dogs develop issues with other dogs at maturity; the owner may not have seen any sign of this before and will be shocked at what appears to be the sudden change at their dog's lack of acceptance of other animals, who are seen through the dog's eyes, and another and alien pack.
What happens in a session...
On arrival, the dogs are left in cars while the humans meet (if your dog won’t be safe in the car alone please bring someone with you to stay with the dog)
Welcome, introductions and goal settings
Dogs will be brought into the garden one at a time each one being settled before the next is introduced
The session is bespoke to the group each time, working at the speed the dogs need.
Finally dogs back in cars, allowing handlers time to reflect on their learning and discuss if the goals set have been met. Also to ensure the handler is clear on how to further training at home and make plans for the future training session.
Who would be best for this course...
Does your dog lunge and bark at other dogs?
Does your dog dislike other dogs?
Does your dog get over-excited at the sight of other dogs?
Do you dread taking your dog out for a walk?
Do you head in the opposite direction if you see another dog when out with your dog?
Do you walk your dog at odd times to avoid other dog walkers?
Did you answer yes to any of the above? Get in touch with us today. We would love to help you and your best friend...