I like to call her
This past fall when we moved from Iowa to Ohio, Mia struggled with adjusting to our new surroundings.
Our new vet did not think that a change in Mia’s behavior was promising. He attributed this to the fact that since Mia has been reactive on a leash for most of her 8 years, a change was highly unlikely.
Now allow me to digress just a bit. I am quite stubborn. All I need to hear is “it can’t be done” and I am determined to make it happen. Game on.
I reached out to Dog Guy Josh . He offered some great advice as well as resources to help me stay on track.
In the past, I focused on how to change Mia; I needed to take a look at myself, (link to A New Train of Thought) how I was handling her, my thought processes, my physical and emotional reactions to her behavior and how those reactions affected her. Now maybe that would seem like the first obvious thing to address, but I just didn’t get it. It took a dog expert willing to take the time to answer my plea for help, and offer sensible, compassionate advice. When he also suggested BAT, a positive training method, well, let me say that this one-two punch really made the difference.
We have seen some success. In recent weeks, I have seen her choose to sit when a neighbor passes us by on our walks and have seen her turn away after catching a view of another dog in an adjoining yard. She will still react if people/other dogs are to close – but when a safe distance is achieved and she chooses to turn away or stay calm, she is rewarded with lots of treats ! I am so pleased with her progress and hopefully Mia is happier too.
This community of dog owners/dog lovers we belong to, BlogPaws©, pet chats on Twitter – the individuals in these groups genuinely support each other. A big thank you to my friends and followers in these communities. We find ourselves bound by the love and devotion we have for our dogs and are willing to lend a paw in the form of advice and emotional support to others. Your continued support is invaluable.