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Discussion Starter #1
Grimm has been doggy on-lead reactive, so recently we have been spending time with an aging senior-citzen black Lab guide dog to help Grimm learn calm around other dogs. I also have to credit Wisc Tiger (Val) here for her guidance in developing my calm, no-nonsense attitude that is helping set the tone for Grimm too. Here is the result of the help from both Val and Bekki the guide dog:

As we were playing in an area where a big bush oscured the sidewalk, Grimm was on lead laying on the grass, facing the sidewalk, chewing a stick. He was maybe 9 feet from the sidewalk.
Stupid of me,
this spot doesn't allow me to see who or what is coming from the left along the walk.

Suddenly, Grimm's old nemesis, a large male Golden mix, flounced by, tail skyward. In a split second, I deeply toned: "Leave it." Calmly. I left the lead loose. But every cell in my body just KNEW what was coming next-- that he would violently rocket forward barking/growling, furiously exploding like a cannonball leaving a cannon, dragging me with arm painfully yanked out of shoulder socket, my feet leaving the ground.

Nothing.

He just lay there. Nothing at all.

Grimm's hair barely semi-raised, he watched the dog mostly calmly, then looked up at me "Mom? There's a dog there... are you maybe gonna possibly take the tuggy toy from your backpocket so like, maybe, we might like maybe, umm, play, or something?"

You bet I did. Gently. While he stayed in his happy, relaxed down position. No stress. No tension. A belly rub even happened. Some MILD praise, soothing, not hyping.

10 mins later, we walked past this dog who was standing with his handler. We did not pass close on the sidewalk, I gave about 2 car lengths distance by walking on the grass. BUT-- Grimm did look a few times, I corrected him but remained c-a-l-m, sharing my vibe, but no tension in Grimm (except a few only just semi-eager looks at the dog) at all. Not even a raised hair this time. He even sat on his bum for the light to change, knowing the dog was just 3 or 4 car lengths behind us.

Then-- a black dot of a dog exploded shrilly at us about 5 - 6 car lengths away.. I admit that is pretty far, but earlier, he would've detonated in return. Grimm didn't even react. AT ALL.

Thank you, Val. Thank you to everyone who is helping me with Grimm. I still carry the throw-chain. I sometimes re-direct with a tuggy toy when we see a dog. I force myself to be calm, and authoritative. The lead stays loose, and I do, too. I think Bekki the guide dog is helping set the tone lots, too. Progress!! YEAH!!
 

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FANTASTIC! Your experience is so very good to hear. Heidi is leash reactive with other dogs...something I'm dealing with.

Congrats...you are on your way!
 

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Congratulations! I know how good it feels (and how surprising it is!) to have your dog actually NOT react when you think they're going to. Our Heidi is improving all the time. Every once in a while, she'll go off on a particular dog, but it's fewer and farther between episodes these days.

Keep up the good work both of you!
 

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Gosh, two Heidis! (I love, love, LOVE that name!) Yes, it is a delight when things start getting better. Hopefully, it will continue. Leash reactivity is frustrating to fix/scary/embarrassing!
 

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No Heidi's here but AWESOME news for you and Grimm! He has come a LONG way for you with your dilligence and patience he has learned (and continues to learn) that calm is good!

 

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Good for you and Grimm, Patti!!!!!!!! That is great that he is being more relaxed, nice for you too.
 

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Way to go Grimm!

I am going through the same thing with my pup right now -- and I cannot wait to be where you are! I know all too well how frustrating and embarassing it can be when your dog is causing a rucus at the end of the lead and you're standing there trying to hold onto your balance, nerves, and sanity all at once and the person with the dog is staring at you like you have not taught your dog any manners and your dog is a vicious snarling beast!


Great job and hopefully we'll have the same positive results soon too!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Diligence really is needed.. this is not an easy problem to deal with. But, I love my boy! Thank you for the encouragement-- it REALLY means a lot!
 

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YES!!!! YES!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!

Go Grimm and Patti!!!!

Outstanding!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you, Kathy, Havoc, Kayos and Max.
This week hopefully more time spent with the calm black Lab senior citizen guide dog will help further. I can hope!
 

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sweet! good work.
 
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