Friday, February 27, 2009

Forgot the camera in the car.

I forgot the camera in the car at the dog park.
I guess I'll dig up a pic and a story.

Kira and Fizzgig.
Kira's people called me about some problems walking her. She was exhibiting some leash aggression. Pretty common problem. I think this is gonna be EZ. We schedule a training session, I sit with them to get some info. K and F are perfect angels in the house. Loving and sweet and really responsive to training. Kira's people are great at working with her. The dogs are on great food, get plenty of exercise, love and guidance. Cool. Out the door. Kira sees a dog and looses her tiny mind. She is like a badger! She is barking and growling and flopping around like an angry fish out of water.
Didn't expect that...
cool... i got problem....
We try a couple things. Desensitization, counter conditioning, long walks, short walks, snacks, great snacks, hamburger, solo walks, family walks, long leash, short leash, gentle leader, harness......
I have a talk with her people. They are so cool. They are working their butts off and still trying so hard. I can't believe how good and patient they are. I am running out of tricks. I am getting a little sad.
Then on a really crappy training walk, her owner says this "I don't care if she is perfectly trained...I just want her life to be better."
I was so touched. People call me to train for a lot of reasons. Bad dog stuff drives people crazy. They want to change the behavior so their life is easier. These people just wanted Kira's life to be easier. So, freakin' cool
Sing it with me "ain't no mountain high enough.. ain't no...."
I became obsessed with figuring this out. Nothing was going to stop me from getting Kira to her happy place..
and nothing changed.. for a while.
In a moment of inspiration or desperation, I took Kira out on a long leash and just followed her. I let her bark and approach and do her thing with no interference. I saw something I didn't see before. She was interested and excited and with enough freedom she calmed down. We started going to the dog park. She met more and more dogs on her terms with more freedom and confidence. Her walks at home became better.
Kira and Fizz rock the dog park 3 days a week with me.
No problem.
Fizz makes motorcycle noises when he is happy.

1 comment: