I said good bye to another client today!
In most businesses losing clients is probably not a good thing, but in mine it’s one of the best feelings there is. Every client I say goodbye to is a client who I have helped understand and work with their dog better and, quite simply, they don’t need me anymore.
Twelve weeks ago I attempted to have a conversation over the phone with this client. We couldn’t hear each other speak as her dog had spotted another one and was having a ‘meltdown’ on the end of the lead. Today, they walked out of the field side by side with my own dog, having just spent a delightful time together (despite the rain). She was heading to the pet shop to replace the ‘nervous’ harness she had with a prettier one.
Taz has joined the ‘recovering reactives’ club. She feels so much more able to cope with other dogs when out and about, and her Mum is feeling much more confident as well.
People often think that dogs are giving us a hard time when they bark, twist and lunge on the lead at the sight of another dog. In actual fact, it is them that are having a hard time. Imagine if, every time you left the house you never knew if whether there would be a *insert your worst fear* around the next corner, and if there was, whoever you were walking with couldn’t see it and clung tightly to your arm propelling you towards it. Would you leave the house in a state of anxiety every time ? And probably have a breakdown whenever you saw your worst fear in front of you? This is how our reactive dogs feel.
There’s sadly no quick fix for reactivity, but with patience, knowledge and consistency we can help our dogs see that other dogs aren’t scary, and that they can trust us to help them out of situations if they need to.
Working with a positive reinforcement trainer can equip you with the tools to help your dog. As odd as it may sound, it’s one of my favourite things to work with families on, seeing everyone’s confidence increase and walks becoming fun, instead of a trial, is so satisfying.
So, if you are fed up of late night walks, loving rainy days because no one will be around, and really want to help your dog cope with life please get in touch – after today I have a space!