I was just finishing up an installation in Wellington the other day when the client approached me and said, “I know this doesn’t have anything to do with the Out of Sight Dog Fence Containment System, but I have another problem with my dog besides escaping. He goes crazy whenever we start a walk. The funny thing is that he wasn’t always this way.”
Whenever a behavior drastically changes, there is normally a trigger or environmental change that is causing that drastic change in behavior. I started to ask them questions about their schedules, feeding habits, neighbor dogs, or changes in their family or “pack”. They thought about it for a minute and then said it all 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. Their dog was at full adrenaline as soon as the door was open and they couldn’t regain the dog’s focus 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. We came up with a very simple solution.
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. Since we did not include the driveway area from the garage door to the street as part of the containment area, this became the perfect exit point.
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. We were now ready to start the walk “calmly”.
Next, while the client firmly held the leash, we opened the garage door. The dog began to lose 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 proclaimed “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. Our client became the leader and his dog became the follower. If you have any questions about this or any out of sight fencing needs, please contact us at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers in Wellington and South Florida.