Over the past few weeks it has been amazing to see the progress that Buddy has made!
On Saturday I took Buddy out for a walk – I like taking him out on his own so that I can give him my full attention and can be aware of everything that is going on that could cause him to become anxious.
Katie-Jo bought Buddy a yellow lead which has ‘I need space’ written down it – this has become a great warning to people approaching him making them aware that he can is a reactive dog.
On the walk on Saturday Buddy was really excited as we set off, I was armed with a pocket full of treats and eyes peeled. I had already got a route planned out as I had taken Toby and Teddy out together just before. I knew the route I planned would be great for him as it was on the streets, and it was quite a quiet route but we would still encounter people and different things that I could help him to overcome. At one point we went were faced with a family of three heading towards us head on, but I got Buddy to sit and watch me with his treat, I crouched next to him and he didn’t bat an eyelid – the little girl in the family group made a beeline for Buddy when her Mum said to her that she shouldn’t touch this doggy as he was a special dog who was still learning and you could tell because of his special lead (once again the lead paid off!).
During this walk Buddy also encountered two dogs. The first dog was a medium sized dog which made him prick his ears up and his attention honed in on it straight away, but with my trusty treats I kept him focused and he moved his attention to me and relaxed again. Not long after this we met a man with a Shitzu and Buddy seemed more intrigued by this dog we watched it for a bit and then he went to head towards it then backed away then headed towards it and sniffed it (huge progress!) after that he lost interest. We stopped at a big bit of grass and ran about a bit, practiced sit and stay then we headed home.
It was so good to see that Buddy has in fact made progress, as anyone with a reactive dog knows 6 days out of 7 you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall with them. But Buddy has such a loving personality it is great to see it come out of him on a walk for a change compared to the barking maniac that he can sometimes become!
– Stacey xo