Corrina called me and expressed that she had been in tears because walking her dog was very stressful.
Her dog, Millicent, a Boxer / Labrador Mix, started barking and lunging at every dog she saw on their leash walks.
Corrina is very educated and had spent tons of time socializing Millie and even taking a course at Petsmart.
When Millie began barking at dogs, Corrina talked to the instructor and she was unable to guide her in the way that Corrina needed to have happy leash walks with Millie again.
That’s when she talked to the Aurora Veterinary Clinic, and they recommended Four Legged Scholars LLC (Aurora Dog Trainer).
Corrina purchased eight one-on-one training sessions with us. They began to see progress very quickly.
Millie knew many basic commands. We needed to get Millie to listen to these same commands when she was around other dogs.
These commands included: leave it, target, “this way” (turning around and walking in an opposite direction when Millie saw a dog), watch, and loose leash walking.
Millie began learning to perform these commands with hard distractions in their home environment. The owners then implemented them on their leash walks.
Within three weeks, they noticed huge improvements in Millie’s ability to be more responsive to commands and was barking less at other dogs.
We also spent time performing counter conditioning with Millie around other dogs.
When Millie saw another dog she got chicken. She began to associate other dogs with chicken and her reactions lessoned even more.
In fact, during one of our training sessions Millie actually shifted from a super stiff stressed body to a wiggly relaxed body.
From there she chose to sit all on her own within the sight of the dog that use to trigger so much stress for her.
It was amazing to see this. Corrina and I practically cried in excitement and relief to see this huge shift.
Our training sessions, progressed to Sunny Lake in Aurora. Dog training began with getting Millie to walk on a loose leash in this highly distracted area and respond to numerous commands.
We also did much counter conditioning around other dogs. It was amazing to see Millie see many dogs and not react at all.
There were some dogs that she did react toward and Corrina and her partner Gary learned how to redirect her so that she could stop reacting and regain her composure.
Both of the owners agreed that when she reacts she calms down much faster.
They have continued to walk her and are actually enjoying their leash walks now. In fact, they see many dogs where Millie would have reacted toward in the past and now she doesn’t react to them at all.
There are times she still reacts and again the owners feel confident in how to handle the situation and Millie calms faster.
Both owners and I agree that as they practice with Millie more and more the reactions will keep lessoning until she hardly reacts at dogs anymore at all.
This will be a day to celebrate and we know it is a day that will arrive.
Corrina and Gary Martin with Millicent (Boxer /Labrador) Aurora – Dog Trainer