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Sorting Nancy’s reactivity to traffic

This is Nancy the Jack Russell, a very lovely, but quite nervous dog.

She is reactive to traffic and sounds like just been brutally murdered whenever she sees a car. They live just off a very busy road in South Shields which is not helping Nancy.


We took Nancy to the Leas and saw her doing her thing off-lead. She's interested in the traffic from quite far away - she would chase, try and bite the wheels and she was quite frantic off the lead, something wasn't right so the first thing we did was send her to the vets and unsurprisingly Nancy has a luxating patella, which is clearly affecting her behaviour, it’s limiting her thinking ability when she's off-lead and it's making her a lot more frantic.


They previously had another trainer who was apparently qualified, but their idea of fixing Nancy was to tie her to a tree next to traffic which stressed her out completely and when it didn't work, they put a head halti on her and start walking her down next to a lot of traffic thinking that this was going to fix her, this method is called ‘flooding’, it doesn't work well and it's not nice for the dog at all.


A big shout out to Nancy’s brilliant owner for recognising that this trainer wasn’t right and continuing to find help elsewhere rather than being put off. She ended the session and found a real trainer so now Nancy is with us.


We've started building focus and implementing a lot more calming behaviours in all walks of life by:

  • Make sure she can’t see traffic from the house or car

  • Teaching some basic impulse control and foundation training that will change her behaviour around cars

  • Have her wait in the house and then straight into the car without looking around

  • Counter-conditioning to noise triggers in the house (which she has already picked up)


We're going to start counter condition and to Nancy we're going to use engage/disengage type of game where she takes two steps forward and one step back and gradually just gets close to the traffic doing that.


Quite a long road ahead for Nancy but she’ll 100% get there.


If this case sounds like your dog and you are having a similar issue, or a different issue entirely, book a FREE assessment call with us by clicking HERE.

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