Getting on the offence

"Dogs know when they are in the presence of leadership" ~Sean O'Shea
Have you ever marvelled as someone else took your dogs leash and you watch your dog go from raging lunatic to perfect pup? I know I have! When I was struggling with my reactive girl, I saw this happen with my own dog and it gave me incredible hope about what was possible for my dog and I... with a whole lotta work of course lol! 😉 Now this transformation in my dog wasn't because she liked this person better or that this person was 'alpha' .... no, it was because this person was giving her something that I hadn't yet learned how to give her. Leadership. He gave her instructions on how to walk and behave in every moment and created a space for her where she felt safe and protected. I had been so busy fending off her bites and worrying about her tantrums that I was always on the defense. What I needed to do was get on the offence. I needed to give her information through her remote collar BEFORE she had the melt down... she was actually having the melt down because of a LACK of information from me. The trick to remote collar training is to communicate with it to the dog BEFORE the explosion. BEFORE anything goes wrong. Snuff it out when that explosion is just a baby spark... that's how you preemptively squash reactivity using very low levels. If you try to interrupt reactivity after the dog is exploding (physically doing the actions of barking, lunging, biting, etc.) then you are way too late and anything you do will only frustrate the dog more and make her reactivity worse... like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. But if you communicate through the remote collar at the earliest signs that the dog is THINKING about becoming reactive (ear flicks, closed mouth, tense jaw and muscles, etc.) then you can squash that spark before it turns into a blaze. It's like putting out a grease fire by capping it with a pot lid... it just fizzles out

Kristen Cameron