We were in Sunderland seeing Otis the border collie.
Otis is very reactive to people (in his street) and dogs and makes the walks very stressful for his owners, although he is actually a really nice dog and lovely with people once he gets to know them.
Otis is also struggling to settle in the house when he’s in the same room as his owners, he needs attention the whole time and when he doesn’t get it, he then starts chewing the sofa and things like that, so we’re working on it as well.
The first step was to manage the environment - make sure Otis has been walked places he’s not going to react, make sure he’s not reacting out the car or out the windows in the house and everything like that is managed so there are no opportunities for reactivity. Next, we started introducing our marker word that they can use to teach him when he sees a trigger in a distance he can handle, he’s going to get a treat. We will start using it in the next session.
For Otis to be able to settle in the house, we used the mat and taught him to go on the mat and settle, that’s how he earned his dinner for the day, basically, he settles there instead of looking for something else to do, gets some food for doing it and then he starts relaxing in the living room. I’ve had the video since this session and Otis is doing really well with this we need to push the length of time he can do this now.
We also started teaching some loose leash walking with him. He does know a little bit of it already, but hasn’t been in the environment to really test it and put it into a real-world skill.
In our next session, we’re going to start working on other dogs and people and teach him that when he sees these things good stuff happens at a distance he’s able to handle, then we will gradually get closer and closer.
Otis did really really well, by the end of the session he was all over me, he is a really nice dog, just needs to get used to people and have better first impressions of people which he will definitely do.
He’s done spot on, so well done Otis & Co.
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