Her head was like a bank with a very large ‘fear account’
Hazel is a beautiful young dog that has had changes in her life and has had a few scares.
When I first met her she was highly reactive to so many things –the front door, strangers in and out of the house, loud noises, other dogs just to name a few.
As I explained to Hazel’s owners – a dog’s brain is like a bank. Their fears continue to be deposited in their head until they end up with a ‘large fear account’. Once the fears are addressed or the dog desensitised to them – there are then withdrawals happening from the fear account which makes way for contentment and enjoyment of life .
None of Hazel’s fears had been addressed – she was kept away from any place that may have potential stressors or triggers.
Mia, Harry and I set about training Hazel in walking on the lead correctly – which she now does very well – on just a collar and lead. We have also desensitised her to knocks on the door – first by getting her to relate strangers with good things and then using a knock on the door to become her cue to station on her bed.
She is now being taken out to see the source of loud noises and is not reacting to neighbour noise or sightings. Just the other day she walked beautifully next to my dog and was very calm and relaxed.
Hazel is still a work in progress.After three training sessions with me and being lucky to have two humans who are dedicated to making her life less stressful and who are working consistently from Hazel’s training plan – Hazel is ‘almost there’.
If your dog is fearful and/or reactive – please don’t use band aid measures.
Get the help of an experienced, reputable professional trainer/behaviourist to empty that fear account and make your dogs life and yours peaceful again.
NOTE WELL – Do not ever engage a trainer who uses force in any way , shape or form.