The "Mad Dash" at the Start of the Walkies
I was out at a client a few weeks ago that I hadn't seen for over a year. She told me that the reason she hadn't called me for so long was that everything with the training had been great, but that her dog recently started to go nuts anytime he would go for a walk. This started to happen when they added a new dog to the pack (they now have 5 dogs!). The new dog had a tendency to get the other dogs crazy and it always happened when a "walkies" was involved.
The problem was really quite simple. Her dog was at full adrenaline as soon as the door was open and she couldn't regain focus of her dog to maintain the control needed for the walk. We had to set up a new "exit strategy" that allowed for a calm and focused start of the walk. What we did was quite simple.
We placed the leash on the dog and everyone went nuts. That was OK because we then took the dog into the garage (with the garage door closed) by way of the laundry room. The rest of the "crazy dogs" were left in the house with a family member keeping them busy. We had the dog sit and stay for the client. We walked the dog in a circle once or twice and then had him sit again. He was calm and still and the client had complete control and focus.
Next, while the client firmly held the leash, we opened the garage door. The dog began to loose focus on the client in favor of "everything outside". We redirected the dog's focus back to the client with some simple obedience exercises until we again observed that the client had complete control and focus.
Now, we slowly walked the dog to the driveway. We had him sit and observed his focus. It was still on the client. We now began the walk slowly and calmly. The dog was perfect.
The client exclaimed "Wow! This is a different dog!". I explained that he wasn't a different dog, we simply provided the appropriate environment to allow him to give us focus and respect. We became the leader and he became the follower. For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.