Bonnie called us about her cute little dog Lexi, a Havanese. Lexi was barking every time people came into their house.
This was causing a huge amount of stress for her husband which of course created stress for Bonnie too.
She was also annoyed by Lexi’s bad behavior on leash, barking at dogs.
Bonnie lived in Bainbridge, dog training was her determined investment for now.
Bonnie decided to buy our smallest program which allowed us to focus mostly on the barking at house guests problem.
Bonnie learned a ton how to pair stressful situations with treats.
This is a simple technique called counter conditioning with lowers the stress response for dogs and increases their positive connection to a stressful situation.
Bonnie learned about reading Lexi’s behavior too. When Lexi was twitching her ears, lifting her paws, doing jerky movements, she was stressed.
Bonnie learned that this is when she needs to step in and make Lexi feel more comfortable.
As a result, she can actually avoid the barking problem all together.
She learned to pair treats with the following triggers: noises that triggered Lexi (such as car doors, car engines), doorbell, visitors entering the house, and visitors walking through the house.
Bonnie watched how Lexi was becoming more calm especially as visitors did calming signals around Lexi which help reduce her stress.
This was a huge success in Bainbridge. Dog training was working.
The visitors also gave Lexi treats. Lexi began to bark less and approach the visitors in a more comfortable manner.
During our last session, today, we discussed how to do counter conditioning with dogs.
Lexi did great with a fake dog that I brought. Most dogs that are reactive with dogs will react at fake dogs too.
Bonnie feels much more confident and happy on how to deal with Lexi now.
Lexi is much more calm now. With more practice they will be on their way to ultimate success.
-Bonnie Lawson with Lexi (Havanese) Bainbridge – Dog Training – Four Legged Scholars LLC