15-month-old Bella came over to this country from Romania.

Wire Hair Fox Terrier’s history included being abandoned at about 12 weeks old beside a road. She was then in a Romanian compound before coming to this country and the rescue who rehomed her. She has lived with the couple for 6 weeks.

Wary when trapped on a lead.

Bella is friendly with people in the house though may bark when out and ‘trapped’ on a lead. She is especially wary or reactive when she sees another dog.

For the formative early months she will at least have been free to move away from threats. Within the limit of the compound. She probably will have had to hold her own against other dogs at a very young age.

The lady’s goal is to enjoy walks.

Bella is a perfect pet at home. The lady’s goal is to enjoy walks. This means Bella walking on a loose lead and feeling safe (not barking and lunging) when she sees another dog.

Six weeks ago they did start of slowly as advised by the rescue. They went out into the garden only for the first couple of weeks while she settled in. It was from that point that I believe they pushed ahead a bit too fast. They also didn’t make maximum use of the ‘garden time’.

So we are putting the clock back and starting again.

Now they will take baby steps – one step at a time.

The first will be walking around the garden, up and down. Onto the decking and stone surfaces, onto the grass, varying speed and direction. It will be a game of ‘walk with me’. The lady will reward and encourage both walking near her on a loose lead. She will reward returning to her when the lead goes tight.

It won’t be long before they achieve loose lead walking without the stimulation of encountering people and dogs.

Branching out

Then they will go out of the gate and do the same thing in the front garden.

Bit by bit they will include the quiet residential road that they live in. There are seldom other dogs there.

Encountering other dogs.

Now we need to look at Bella’s reaction to other dogs.

This is the point where people are tempted to go too fast and too close. A distance comfortable to Bella is crucial. She must feel safe. Another dog will now trigger good things, a happy voice from the lady, increased distance and food.

I would suggest while they work on loose lead walking near home that they take Bella somewhere open by car. Somewhere achieving space is possible. Then so that she feels less trapped, they can pop her on a long line.

She’s only been with them for six weeks, a very short time. Taking things slowly I’m sure the lady will achieve her wish of being able to enjoy her walks with Bella.

NB. The precise protocols to best use for your own dog may be different to the approach I have worked out here. Finding instructions on the internet or TV can do more harm than good sometimes. One size does not fit all  – every dog is different and every family or owner is different. If you would like me to help you without dog, either in-person or online, details here.