I am not going to show you how we train to achieve this as every dog is different and what worked for this dog might not work for your dog. Let's just say that just throwing food at the dog is not what we did - there is so much more to this type of work.
Dahlea - the reactive female Ridgeback
This young female Rhodesian Ridgeback is rather reactive to other dogs, so much so that it was getting impossible to walk her unless there was no other dogs around at all.
The Akita in the photo was a visitor and I could not help myself, but had include the dog in the photo.
Picture 2 from the top;
For our very first session in public, I brought my helper dog, Gypsy, with me. She's a Rottweiler and is completely neutral to all dogs, thereby having a calming effect on the client's dog.
Dahlea went into a frenzy when she first spotted Gypsy, trigger distance around 50 metres.
We were able to reduce that distance to around 15 metres after 30 minutes through counterconditioning.
Picture 3 from the top;
Gypsy again doing her magic - distance reduced again, this time we have the dogs in a down stay with pathways on either side of us with peope walking theirs dogs and lots more.
The owner has put in a lot of time and effort during the last couple of months, and the results speak for themselves.
They have now attended a number of group classes for reactive dogs without any issues and in the picture below, you can see them in the background with the dog not only calmly watching the more advanced group class, but she also did not bat an eyelid when a large group of people walked past with Greyhounds.
Make no mistake, there's been a lot of work going on in the background to get to this stage, and she's not home free just yet.
Having a helper dog like Gypsy is absolutely invaluable, but none of this would have worked if the owner was not prepared to do what it takes,April 27th 2022
The young Bandog.
Bruiser is Neapolitan Mastiff X aka a Bandog.
He is a formidable young dog; 12 months old and weighs in at 55kgs.
Young Bruiser needs some guidance and solid foundation obedience, but there also are an issue or two besides that which needs fixing.
He has a pair of seriously dedicated owners who will be doing a four hour roundtrip on Sunday mornings just for training.
Video shows a little bit of his progress as far as heeling and loose leash walking is concerned.
This is only our second session and he is nailed it, bearing in mind this was a low distraction environment.
Next session will involve working around another dog and then we'll slowly increase distractions as we go. It's al about building a solid obedience foundation and generalising behaviour.
The structure, obedience training and lifestyle changes implemented by the owner has started to pay dividends. He is now more attentive to the owners as well as respecting the boundaries they have implemented.
This is important for all dogs, but even more so when we're dealing with a powerful dog like this guy who is still growing.