• Michael D’Abruzzo

    Administrator
    December 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm
    954

    Generally, I try to make the old behavior as difficult for the dog so that I can work on counter conditioning. If I am stationary with the dog, I will put the dog in a sit ASAP and do resistance training asap TOWARD the dog of focus. This usually throws the dog off enough since they have to concentrate on holding muscles opposite of their natural response. I then quickly slide up and down the leash to counter condition with treats or my sweet luv’n! If the dog breaks, I use appropriate corrections (while keeping normal calm attitude and praise).

    If heeling it is very important to have timing DEAD on. If the dog is in heel position but looking at other dog this is the same as breaking position and immediately do appropriate body language warning, followed by appropriate correction (if dog doesnt respond to body language). This makes it hard for the dog to focus on the other dog and makes the other dog a cue to pay closer attention to you and be counter-conditioned. Even if the your dog is in correct heeling position, but looking straight ahead at an on coming dog keep doing slow steps and changing pace.

    For REALLY difficult dogs I wait until the dog is off-leash trained and heel with the dog off-leash. Have a second handler walk opposite side of distraction with a light-line attached to the “off-leash” dog. This gives the dog the feel they have no safety net and are more likely to pay attention to the handler and get over the hump. Obviously the leash handler of the dog and helper must be true LEASH NINJAS and know how to lock the leash well and know how to avoid contact with other dog in worse case scenario. Extra “safety” collars (slip loop) and a muzzle can be helpful too. At the beginning of the “leash ninja” video you can sort of see the technique of resistance toward the distraction when the two dogs lunge at eachother, but in the case of a focused training effort I would remain facing the dog during resistance and keep coming back to counter-condition. The video shows the technique just as an emergency move.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTe0kja5Tbw