Morning walks are typically very relaxing around our neighborhood. Sure we run into the occasional fox, chipmunk or deer but more often than not, I’m right on top of those things and can quickly avoid or redirect. What I can’t anticipate is the dog owner that let’s their dog(s) out into the e-fence without checking to see if anyone else is around.
Which is how I found myself wrestling Sampson and Delilah last Sunday morning, while the woman in question gingerly made her way up her driveway in her pajamas and bare feet in an attempt to get her dogs under control.
Both of us apologizing as we dealt with our dogs.
I may have mentioned these dogs in a previous post .
One dog is very docile (I call this one The Peeper) (s)he just looks, then runs to a different spot in the yard to see if there is a better vantage point. The other dog (I shall call The Speaker) because she is a barker. She will run to a safe distance and start causing a ruckus.
Delilah, my darling sweet chocolate, can be reactive with other dogs. Mostly I’m aware of what sets her off and work hard to either avoid the situation or work her with treats to help her through it.
Sampson is reactive in the total opposite way. (These dogs are literally night and day in terms of personalities.) Sampson is very social and sees all people and dogs as potential friends. I’ve also been working him with treats when we approach other dogs and people.
Except this time I didn’t see it coming and I didn’t have my treats ready. It ended up being a frustrating experience and not a happy way to start the day.
Flash forward to a week later.
I slept in a bit so our walk was around 10:00 am which means more people are out and about. As we approached the house with the dogs I saw their garage door was open and the woman was outside working in the yard. This led me to believe her dogs were out there with her and sure enough they were.
But I was ready! I had my hand in the treat bag and I was doling out Jones Natural Chews lamb lungs as fast as I could. Both Sampson and Delilah had their attention focused on me. Our walk past the house was somewhat slow, BUT there was no wrestling involved. Neither one of my dogs paid any attention to what her dogs were doing.
My attention was on my dogs and making sure Delilah did not remove one of my fingers, but the woman and I managed a brief exchange.
“Hi, how are you?”
“Good, how are you?”
As we passed the house I heard her say, “That works!”
Yes, yes it does. I’m hoping Sampson, Delilah and I are setting a good example for our neighborhood peeps and showing them there is a positive way to train your dogs.
Do you have a reactive dog? How do manage on your walks?
Yesterday I added 175 words to my book, bringing my word total to 44,664.