Sherlock used to have a hard time staying calm and quiet. He wouldn’t sleep at night. He barked and whines and howled in his crate. He was very reactive to other dogs...
My daughter was having a play date and they were making lots of noises upstairs. Nevertheless, Sherlock was able to just relax next to me without a peep!
This is a great progress for him and l am really proud!
Impulse control is so important. When we see a reactive dog, we don’t necessarily work on the reactivity right away. One thing we always try is to work on impulse control away from the trigger of the reactivity first.
If you cannot get a dog to relax without his trigger, how can you expect the dog to listen in front of his trigger?
All these things are connected. When we can get a dog to relax away from his trigger, we often see a big improvement when the dog sees the trigger.
That is why exercises like this can be very helpful. Instead of confronting the worse reactivity, we can soften everything up prior by working with other less intense issues, which allows us to tackle the big problem without lots of conflicts when the time comes.
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