Good training day..
Dog Trainers, just like everyone else have good days and….not so good days. Yesterday was a VERY, Very good dog training day. I helped a client get her pup back out on Town Lake without attacking every dog it saw.
I had a call earlier in the week from a woman who was having some "issues" with her very large Great Dane. This otherwise perfectly friendly giant of a dog was turning into barking wheeling snarling tasmanian devil when he got in the presence of other dogs. Since this woman lived right on the Town Lake hiking trail this was starting to prove to be a serious problem to say the least.
We agreed to meet when we knew there would be lots of dogs on the trail so that I could get a good idea about what was going on with this pup. The good news was, that the dog started talking to me right away. He was giving off all the signals that let me figure out what was going on with him and we started working on this stuff BEFORE we ever even saw another dog. I had the owner practice the new commands and techniques several times before we got to the busy part of the park and everything went smoothly.
As we approached our first dog the pups owner visually tensed up and got ready for the "huge barking and pulling fit" that usually occurred. Strange things happen when you work with your dog…the dog did exactly what she asked it to do and sat down quietly. It watched what was going on with the other dogs close by but didn’t exhibit any of it’s former behavior. Amazing.
Well, we still needed to practice more so we moved on into the park and a few minutes later a wonderful little eskimo pup came bounding over. The owner tensed again but did what we had been working on and the giant Dane sat down again and was a perfect gentleman. We kept this up for the remainder of the session and it worked without exception every time an off leash dog ran up to us!
When it started raining we headed home and had the opportunity to talk on the way a bit more. It’s amazing what happens when you give a dog a job, and when they really understand what they are supposed to be doing. In truth, it calms them down and can work wonders for their "manners" in previously stressful situations. A little dog training can go a long way.
This morning I got a call from the owner who told me that she was amazed. She had taken the pup out this morning for a walk and didn’t have one single incident with other dogs. I think she felt like she has a new lease on life with her pup.
As I said earlier, it’s a wonderful thing when all the training pieces come together at the right time. The dog told me what it’s issue was, the owner was willing to call in a trainer, and the path we started down proved to be the right one right away. Not all pups work this easily but when it happens that fast, it’s a wonderful thing.
Austin Dog Trainer
Fidelio Dog Works
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