Now the lady’s life is back to normal, and because she is having difficulty walking Belle without her pulling and lunging at men, bikes and so on, I called again to demonstrate the loose lead walking technique.
As the lady opened the door, Belle was jumping all over me – so I could immediately see that my instructions had not been followed in this particular respect anyway! I suspected there would be other gaps. The lady was unable to ‘start’ the behaviour work for two or three weeks after I first called, so she had lost momentum and also forgotten quite a bit of the stuff despite the personal plan I sent to her.
So, I went out of her house again, waited a minute and knocked on the door once more. We started the way I needed to continue – I wanted the upper hand!
We waited about ten minutes before stepping out the front after having put on Belle’s harness and lead, so she was completely calm. Then I walked up and down and backwards and forwards in the street. Belle was a dream. We passed a man whom she ignored. She had confidence in me. That is the secret. Then the lady took over.
This is a perfect example of how the dog’s confidence and respect needs to be earned in order for the dog to walk nicely and have faith in the handler. Too many owners spoil their dogs to extreme, pander to their wishes, worship them, and then expect to take charge once the front door is open.
Soon this lady will be walking down the road with her beautiful big dog, and people like me will drive past thinking ‘it’s so nice to see a dog walking like that’.