Posts Tagged ‘dog aggression’

Wordless Wednesday – I’m So Proud of My Dog Pierson

July 24, 2013

Remember my post about ideas for working with Pierson on his dog aggression on February 9th of this year? Or the follow up post on the group walks we’ve been going on to help leash reactive dogs on May 15th? Well, I’m happy to say that the hard work is paying off! Look how close I was able to get Pierson to these other dogs without him going bananas! And it’s not just working on the group dog walks. It’s working on walks in our neighborhood too. I still have to cross the street to go around the other dogs, but it is much easier to distract him and keep him from acting out. I’m so proud of my fluffy boy!!!

Dog Pierson in Group Walk

This is a photo from one of the first group walks. Look how far Pierson had to stay behind.

Dog Pierson Group Walk

This is Pierson on our most recent group walk. We got even closer than this towards the end of the walk but I didn’t get pictures.

Pierson Group Walk Photo

Look how close we were at the end of the walk! It’s like the saying goes, “A tired dog is a good dog.”

Pierson Group Walk Group Photo

Everyone is proud of Pierson’s progress.

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Idea for Working on Pierson’s Dog Aggression

February 9, 2013
"Look!"

“Look!”

Dogs have been a part of my family for my entire life. The longest I’ve ever been without a dog by my side was during a three week vacation. So I understand dog behavior, and I am a good dog trainer. But I fall short in some areas, such as in dealing with dog aggressive behavior. More specifically, in dealing with Pierson’s dog aggression.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and asking questions on blogs about how to work with him. Some of the information just seems wrong and much of it makes a lot of sense. One of the methods I first learned about was in a book titled, “Feisty Fido, Help for the Leash Reactive Dog” by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. and Karen London, Ph.D. This method is now commonly called Behavior Adjustment Training or BAT. While I liked this method a lot, there was one thing that I had a difficult time with.

In order to do this training method, you have to have another person with another dog help you. Who has that kind of time? I could get a friend to help me now and then, but there is no way they would be able to help consistently until Pierson is trained. Even if I got two or three friends, something always comes up.

If I could afford it, I could hire a dog trainer who specializes in BAT. But let me be honest, I really don’t have the money for it. And I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who don’t either. There must be a way I can do this by myself.

Using BAT to Help with Dog Aggression By Yourself
Finally, someone sent me a link with information that will allow me to work with Pierson by myself and consistently. You can find the full article by Kathy Sdao HERE. She is a dog trainer and even has a dog training book available. Here is what I got out of her article and how I will use it with Pierson:

We will go to a park, a park where dogs have to be on a leash. We will hang out someplace where the sidewalk is in view but not so close that Pierson goes bananas when he sees another dog. This is called the threshold level.

Then I will use what I’ve learned from the BAT method. When Pierson sees the other dog, I will get his attention with the ‘look’ command. When he looks at me instead of the other dog, I will say ‘good boy’ and give him a treat. I believe BAT says to click then treat but I don’t use a clicker.

As Pierson gets better at turning to me whenever he sees another dog, I will reduce his threshold level by getting closer to the sidewalk where other dogs walk. As time goes by, I will eventually be able to sit right beside the sidewalk without having Pierson react at all when a dog goes by. He will look to me instead.

Since parks are often frequented by dog-lovers here in Lawrence, I will be able to consistently train him without inconveniencing my friends or emptying my pocketbook. When will we start? Well… since I hate cold weather, I have to be honest and say that we won’t start until spring. I will keep you posted. 🙂

Feisty Fido book cover