So, as our loyal readers/followers know, Wheaton has an issue when on his lead ~ he has a fight or flight freak out when we encounter another dog, even if it’s just barking at us from behind a fence. I now have a little side purse and I carry a ziploc baggy of assorted kibble with me and as we near a “trigger” house (one where he knows there’s a dog) I call his attention to me by saying “here” and he looks at me, gets a treat. Walks past without a bark, “here” gets a treat. As a food motivated dog, this seems to be working (for the most part). We still have a huge issue when passing another dog…..especially if that dog is having its own freak out!! They feed off of each other in their own freak out festival! It’s only been a week or so, I’m hoping it will get easier. He’s loving this new system! Daisy keeps looking over with disdain, she’s behaving perfectly and gets nothing, then I offer her a piece and she’s even more disgusted that it’s just kibble. Not worth it for little Miss D…if it ain’t liver or some other tasty treat she’s not interested.
Now, I know you’re asking, “Jenn, why did you wait so long to do this?” I did try this, I just didn’t commit to it. I’d stuff a few morsels in my pocket, when I remembered, but consistency is key and I just wasn’t training myself to do this for him. To commit to one method and stick to it no matter what. Now I’m sticking to it. Every time we go for a walk I grab my “kibble purse”.
At some point I hope we can walk past another dog with Wheaton looking at me for his “good boy” reward! He is actually a very smart dog. His fear gets the best (or worst) of him sometimes but he wants to do good. He’s such a wonderful boy, I want him to be at ease on a walk. I want him to feel safe and confident.