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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9259
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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I have a previously abused dog who is very fearful of

Customer Question

I have a previously abused dog who is very fearful of walking on the lead when he sees or meets other dogs. He is small and has one lame front leg so he feels at a disadvantage. How can I build his confidence and help him to relax on a walk.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Sally G. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and welcome. This is just a short note to introduce myself or to request needed information for your problem. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ as well as an assistance/service dog trainer, specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today.

When did you get the dog?

Can you give me an example of what you do when the dog starts to act out?

Do you approach other dogs when on a walk?

Do other dogs approach you?

What type of collar are you using?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
We have the dog for three months. On walking other dogs start to bark at their fence or gate. I walk firmly past but Bobby barks and jumps towards the barkers. I carry on and once past he does calm down. He does the same if he meets another dog out walking, yet he has fitted in with our own three dogs from day one. He seems to trust no other dogs.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I use a harness and lead
Expert:  Sally G. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for that information. I am sorry for the delay, computers are great until they have problems!

Dogs will do what works for them and for dogs that are fearful acting out works. So if you put yourself in the dogs shoes, his barking and carrying on makes the other dogs go away eventually. He does not really know that you will keep him moving or that another dog is going to pass anyway, he feels it is his barking and acting out that causes the other dog to be removed from his presence.

The key to helping a dog build confidence is to train him daily using a positive obedience method. For street walk when the dog is walking with you and you know there is a known issue that is about to occur you would use your Leave it and then a heel command. Thus this distracts your dog to something that it will be rewarded for rather than the acting out. When we have our dog's focus this gives them little to act out about because their mind is on us awaiting the next command. This is why we first give the dog a leave it, this tells the dog what you don't want it to do, then we give a heel which tells the dog what it can do instead that will yield it attention positively.

I am going to direct you to links for positive obedience training and you want to start in a non distracting place such as the home then gradually build to more distracting places once you see that the dog is listening to you. At this point I would just take him out for a potty reason and not go too far from home because to do this you are setting him up to fail as he only knows one way to behave when he comes upon a strange dog. We want to set him up for success.

I would use special dog treats for inside the home and non distracting places but up that ante to hot dog slivers or chicken slivers when you take it to the street.

I would do behavior adjustment training with him when you get to the street and I will direct you to a link for that as well which will help you to understand how to do all of this on your own.

Clicker training/positive method training/ print off

http://www.clickerlessons.com/

video’s to see how clicker training is done, scroll down to videos http://www.clickertrainusa.com/clicker-training-videos.htm

clicker maintaining focus http://www.clickertraining.com/files/auto-eye-contact.pdf

Training method BAT http://empoweredanimals.com/

http://empoweredanimals.com/BAT-basics.pdf

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