Posted by Amanda Beasley on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Under: Reactivity Training
So after 10 days of being on the program, we had to travel otu of town, then I ended up getting really sick, so it was a total of a month that the training was put on hold...and boy were we sorry! It was like the first 10 days of training never happened. I had not realized how much she had regressed, so the first time I took her out for a training session she went way over threshold 3 times, and we had one miserable dog on our hands: now afraid of all sounds slightly out of the ordinary, and even worse, terrified of the lights of cars on the road (which have never been a problem before). So, as you can imagine, we were also miserable: no sleep, all of the windows and glass doors shut out completely so that even light from cars could not get through, explosions from her every time she went outside to potty, and music blaring 24hrs. But, the night of the third day, our calm and happy dog finally returned to us =). Since then she had another 10 day challenge, then was put on every-day/ every-other-day, for the last two weeks. This past week we have seen a HUGE change in her. We can finally watch movies/tv without her blowing up at least once because of a sound effect of a dog, horse, cow, odd sound, etc. Now, if she notices at all, we just tell her to get her toy and we throw it for her a few times to work out the frustration. After the 10 day challenge I let her meet a few dogs in the dog park: always getting warmed up outside the fenced area by chasing her ball, while closely watching the dogs in the park, and her body language toward them. If I felt like it might be a good match (usually a happy indifferent dog who was very interested in the tennis ball but would come up to the fence to say hi with a calm expression), I would let Kenzie say hi to the dog through the fence. If she decided to be nice and wag her whole body with friendly submissive ears, then we would go inside for the dogs to meet and play ball. This had happened four times in the past 2 weeks. Today we had a breakthrough because a dog barked at her quite aggressively through the fence when we were pretty close, and she did not even flinch. Also, we ended up going in the dog park with these two nice aussies, but then the owner grabbed one of the dog's collars and held her against her knees, and when kenzie went over to say hi, the dog started snapping and growling at kenzie because she felt cornered. I asked the lady to let go of her dog since it was making her be aggressive, and when she did, the dog was fine. What I loved about that interaction was that kenzie actually had a dog face to face with her snapping and growling, and kenzie just lifted a lip and took a step backward, good girl!!!!! Counting the first 10 day challenge when we first came to Oregon this spring, we have been in reactivity training for 5 weeks, only 3.5 weeks since the month break and three days of misery.
In : Reactivity Training
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