Brandi & Nancy – A Study in Leash Reactivity July & August 2011

For those that have seen the first installment I posted on You Tube here is the second and third from July & August of 2011. If have not seen the first video of Brandi and Nancy check it out and then see how things developed in this new set of videos.

In the July session it was apparent that Brandi and Nancy had made great progress. Both of them were calm, poised and very efficient. All the qualities that usually make up well executed dog training for leash reactivity.

We did not change the environment from the first video we shot in June.
The July set up was virtually the same with the exceptions we started at a much longer distance and had the benefit of the previous session video and notes.

The results were really great in the July session! We had Brandi outside for 20 minutes and she stayed under threshold the entire time. What was impressive is that she was at a distance that in the previous session may have had her go over threshold, especially with trucks and buses.

In the August session we had a set up with a dog. The results were pretty good however Brandi displayed more almost over and over threshold behavior than we would have liked.
• We knew going in that dogs were at the top of her triggers for reactivity.
• Prior to the session we did not have a definitive gauge for a distance that she’d stay under threshold for seeing dogs or any real idea of what the duration would be for dog sightings. Either a dog passing her or when she would pass a dog. So much of the session was to determine those parameters and detail a written plan for Nancy to follow.
• We had to contend with a few environmental variables. Though I did my best to set up the session so Brandi and Nancy would be -
1 – Far away enough from traffic so that would not trigger her and yet still see the dog.
2 – Not encumbered by passing people.
3 – Have some shade available for both dogs (and humans) in the areas we were working them as it was the summer.

Despite my best efforts we had a few sudden appearances and approaches by people that we had to triage as they were going to be close. It was great practice but it also may have been too much with dog sightings interspersed.

In addition the session was roughly 5 – 7 minutes too long. I should have ended it earlier.

The duration of the sightings were varied, as was the context of when Brandi would see the dog.

The distances were roughly about the same measured in car lengths. Due to time constraints I could not measure out a few of the areas we worked. When we move the session to our usual grass area I had a good gauge for traffic, but not dogs, as we had not seen a dog in the previous sessions. Which was odd as it is a very dog populated area and we worked in dog heavy traffic times. Go figure.

I determined it was the duration of the sightings – I.E. the individual trials and the duration of the session itself that resulted in a criteria build up that had Brandi going over threshold and almost over threshold more than we would have liked. This was also noted in the written report and was always considered going forward.

The August session is a great example of assessing a dog’s distances and durations for dog sightings.

In future session more recently from December 2011 and January 2012 you will see Brandi do much better based on the information gathered in sessions going forward from August.

I have been getting some great feedback from people around the world on the leash reactivity videos. People are reporting to be gaining knowledge and tangible help from the videos. This is resulting in success and less stress. That is great to hear! Thanks for reading the blogs, watching the videos and helping dogs!

Train safe, train smart, be sane stay away from the fear & pain and please have fun!

Onward and Upward!

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