Never Settle



Mia has always been reactive on a leash.
It was my mistake to accept this behavior.

Mia exhibited aggressive behavior to passerbys and other dogs when on the leash at an early age.  At first I thought she would “outgrow it”. As time went on, it became clear this was part of her personality and I accepted it.

When we lived in rural Iowa our walks were for the most part, quiet –   until we passed a jogger or dog walker.  Trying to make Mia sit as the offending subject passed by was an exercise in trying to keep her under control (not to mention a test of strength for my arms!). Efforts to move her away (make that drag her away)were not pleasant, but it at least would put distance between us and whatever had taken her into another reactive scene .  After an especially difficult outing with an incident of barking and lunging, I would research training methods designed to alter this behavior, but none of them that I tried seemed to bring improvement.

Now Mia has gone from a country girl to a city girl. In our new location there are many more distractions, passerbys, dog walkers.  Her reactive behavior had ramped up to new proportions.

I only had myself to blame.

So with a renewed determination I started to  research various training methods related to this behavior.  I knew I only wanted to look at positive training methods.  But I felt lost, overwhelmed. Her behavior on occasion had brought me to the end of my leash.

I decided I couldn’t give up this time.   I reached out to a dog trainer/blogger DogGuyJosh.  He was kind enough to provide encouragement and great advice. I  downloaded his free e-book on Clicker Training  :you can download it here !Clicker-Training-for-Dog-Lovers

DogGuyJosh also  recommended
Behavior Adjustment Training by Grisha Stewart. BAT-bookA




If you have an aggressive dog I strongly encourage you , DO NOT GIVE UP.  The combinations of these resources changed my thinking, changed my outlook on behavior training and changed my relationship with my dog.  These resources will make a positive impact on you and your dog. That is what Mia needed – to be understood and for me to understand.

If you have had behavioral issues with your dog, how did you solve them?  Share your comments!


Thank you to DogGuyJosh for the information he provides on building a better relationship with your dog
and for his permission to share his e-book.

Thank you to Grisha Stewart author of BAT and BAT2.0.


  1. Susie Smith says:

    Hi Theresa!
    I’m glad to hear you are all settled and enjoying your life in Ohio. I enjoyed catching up with you through your blog.
    I have a similar problem with Jack and barking and jumping when people come to the house. I am going to download the clicker training book. Did it work for you?

    • Theresa says:

      Hey Susie! Glad to hear from you! Yes the clicker book really was a big help. Hope you enjoy it and see improvement with Jack. Let me know how it goes.

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