Pack Walk with Joanne

Another successful pack walk today, Sue starts by giving us the rules, pointing out dogs that may be spunky about dogs or humans, general rules, etc.

Today Riley got a treat, my friend Joanne join us and she handled him and she did a great job with him.





We walked for about 40 minutes and then back for dog weaving.  We came across one of Abby’s biggest trigger twice, a dog with a human on skates. She reacted the first time and was perfect when we saw them again.  All in all she did good, and Riley did great.

One by one we all went down the gauntlet weaving through the dogs Abb’s was pretending to be a very good dog until she came across a new dog and she snarked but only once.  Riley on the other hand was really good for Joanne!

The small things

Abby, since the beginning of time, has been uncomfortable with change, unfamiliar places and small spaces.  Doesn’t like when yard decor changes, if a person is standing where there isn’t usually a person standing, won’t come in the house if the door is all the way open, she just likes things to be the same, like how we return home from a walk.  We usually go in through the side gate around back and in the back door.  Rob changes it up, lets the dogs go to the back and he goes in through the garage.  Abby doesn’t like it when we do that, she stands at the door looking as if to say “hey you are going the wrong way”.

training opportunity

So over the last couple of weeks I have been coming in from our walk through the side door and encouraging her to follow me.  To get to the do you need to go in front of the Chevy, not a lot of room so Abby until recently refused to go that way, and in her defense she is a big dog.  Over the last few weeks little by little I have coaxed her into coming with me past the car.  Now with some hesitation she is passing the car on a regular basis.

I guess I have believed that all of my interaction with Abb’s is a training opportunity, but lately I’ve found success in working on the oddest of things, like getting her to go past the Chevy.  I think these small odd things spill over in a good way to the bigger things I’m working on…

Final Training Session – Training at the dog park

We headed back to the hotel from the morning training in Pacific Grove.  Time to do a little work and fortunately the pups we more settled in the hotel room so there was no pacing just napping.  I worked for a couple of hours and then checked out of the hotel and headed back to the Dog House Inn to hook up with Sue for our final training session.We walked the path adjacent to the dog park working the dogs inside the park at first, several challenges provided from the other side of the fence.

Once a steady stream of dogs started coming and going from the park I started working leash reactivityAbby with dogs on the path.


The last dog we worked with was amazing that I could walk Abb’s so close to other dogs without any reactions.


dog training

leash reactive training


We walked a long way with this dog and Abby seem uninterested, amazing!  I never thought I’d be able to do this with Abby, never in a million years and here we were walking next to a dog and human we didn’t know.


So in the end I accomplished what I had set out to do, I gained a lot of confidence with the new training method.  With Sue’s help I’m taking Abby to a whole new level.

Evening Training Session

We did a short session tonight, and short was good.  We walked with Sue’s & her house mates dogs, all four of them, which at first sight of them I freaked, my bad.  I ask Sue to walk Abby on the way out and she walked Abb’s out with one of her dogs.

I walked Abby on the way back, we had a few dog challenges and a lot of people activity, which in hind sight was good for me, Abb’s was calm through everything we passed.All of the car time Riley seems to be better about the amount of room he takes up, Abby wasn’t all scrunched up in the back, an unexpected benefit of the training activities.

“My dog just wants to play”

“My dog just wants to play”  Words I heard during a training session last week and they have been on my mind since.  It has thrown me back to when Abby started reacting on leash, and it makes me cringe.

So I was in a training session last week with Sue, our new trainer and I was hit by a simple statement.  We passed a lady with a young German Shepard and she said as we approached “my dog just wants to play”.  The dog did just want to play and that is how it all started with Abby.  Just wanting to play turned into frustration and on to aggression.  I hope she has better luck than I did.

Where did the the year go!

So much has happened over the summer, we did 3 classes at ARF in Walnut Creek. Unleash the madness 1 and unleash the madness 2 twice. Abby has made some real progress, the Prozac was a good idea, it has helped training a lot…

Sara at ARF tried a new thing with Abb’s, abandonment training, and okay it’s kinda as bad as it sounds… So you hook you pup up to two leads, you normal lead and a long line. If they react, you drop your lead and run (yes run) away from your dog. Abby looked flabbergasted when I did it to her, I felt terrible. She didn’t react after that, so its very affective…

We’ve been out of class for a month now I need to see what on the schedule at ARF. Sara approved us of K9 nose work so it looks like Abb’s will get a bit of a break from leash classed

It’s been awhile…

So Abb’s is doing well, why, I’m really not sure. We just finished our second class at ARF. After ‘Unleash the madness’ they created a ‘Unleash the madness II’, which is an on going class that we can do multiple times (hopefully different dog combo). In addition to the classes I put Abb’s on puppy Prozac, it was a hard decision but I think it was the right one. She has been on the drug for 6 + weeks now and we should start seeing a difference and I think we are. But, she has been in two classes and has some new dog friends, so I guess it probably a combination of everything. I have noticed lately that in hard situations Abby has checked in with me before she has gone “BlaaaH” at the other issue… And came back to me straight away and gives me her full attention.

We started a new thing our last session at ARF. We put her on a long lead (held by the instructor) as well as her gentle leader (held by me) and when she reacted to one of the harder dogs I tossed her lead over her back told her “No Way Abby” and ran away from her. She freaked and ran after me, it was hard to do to her but it seemed to work. You react, you loose you human, it was hard, the look on her face, but she immediately turned her attention to me.

On a great note she is doing really well with people. We have had a lot of house greetings, and two of the people that come over we aren’t doing the gate greeting, she is just in a sit stay and then released to greet.

I guess it’s all good…

Abby and I are back in class

Abb’s went to our leash aggression class, second week for me first for her. The first class was just for humans, we learned what we needed besides our dog for the class.

The bring us in one at a time so no dog sees the other. In the training room there are several dividers and each dog went behind one. The didn’t see each other but they knew they were there.

We started with some relaxation techniques, most everyone brought a mat for their dog, but if you didn’t there was a blanket. We all got our dogs to be calm on the mat, even Abb’s seemed to relax.

We went on to working on ‘find’, which is simply tossing a treat on the floor and asking your dog to find it, all the dogs got an ‘A’ at that 🙂

Next they brought a dog into the room, it sat in the middle and the trainer went around to each partition and moved the curtain so your dog could see the dog in the center of the room. None of the dogs were too interested after the ‘tossin’ the treats’ exercise. We went around the room several time each time letting the dog look for a bit longer, they all did well. The next step was every dogs curtain was open and a dog would walk around the room, still no spunky puppies.

Next we practiced turns, we went one at a time out of our corner to the middle of the room, do a quick excited turn and return to the corner. Every dog but Abb’s did great! One of the helper dogs decided to peak through the partition and of course Abby saw him and she reacted so we did a real life turn. I got her back in a sit with a watch and the trainer made use do it again with out the dog surprise, she did fine.

The nice thing about class is that you can work again with a dog that you’ve had a reaction. I ask Sara if we could work a bit with the dog Abb’s reacted to and we did and she was great. With management she does really well, the age old problem surprises…

We have add good on Sunday and Monday, so more quiet walks than walks with reactions…. The right direction.

Our homework this week is to hang out where dogs pass (Of course at a ‘no reaction’ distance) for 20 minutes just letting your dog look and get cookies. Use find if it gets challenging or a toy. I really want to work on the toy, Abby doesn’t want to play with her favorite toy outside of the house, I want to change that. I got her a new fat cat tug and floppable for the training class, hopefully we will make progress with the dog play on walks.

Snack dogs running wild

So our challenge this week was a snack dog out and about at the tennis park. I saw it on Monday and headed a different direction, but Rob on Tuesday was surprised by the little snack. The reaction wasn’t as bad as it would have been in the past; the snack came running across the street at them. Why do people think that they can leave their dogs out unattended…