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Sydney is reactive towards dogs and people on walks. Because of this I got in the habit of walking her at night or in the early evening when there aren't many people out. I had been working on her reactivity for over a year before I settled into this routine because she would get herself so worked up that she wouldn't accept treats and there didn't seem to be a whole lot that I could do to keep her calm.

Anyway, today I decided to try walking her to a friend's house during the day. This required passing through residential areas that usually have a fair amount of people around. I was prepared for it to be a very stressful journey. I thought for the heck of it I would bring some treats and the clicker in what I thought would be a vain effort at some training. I secured a small, open tupperware container of treats inside the open outer pocket of my bag so I could access them easily and decided to work on "look at me."

OMG, I don't know what switch went off in her head but she quickly began responding to clicks and taking the treats eagerly. Not even halfway through the walk she was sitting and providing "look at me"s on command (and regularly "checking in" by looking at me). This was enough to keep her perfectly calm while letting two dogs, a group of children walking with their dad, several joggers and (*drum roll please*) two bikes pass by without issue! She even passed two house parties (a bunch of people spilling off of porches onto the sidewalk) without a peep or a lunge! (Her only slip up was a slight lunge at a bike that kind of cut us off on our way home...not really her fault.)

Anyway, this might not sound like a lot but for us it's a big milestone and gives me hope that she'll be able to accomplish all the goals I set a long time ago. Honestly I had basically had my peace with the idea that I would have to settle on management for the rest of her life. Maybe someday soon we'll be able to go for long, leisurely daytime walks or even have her sit with us at outdoor cafes without her being a nuisance like a "normal" dog. :D (Special thanks if you got this far...sorry for writing a novel. ;p)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
YAY!!! good work Sydney! And good for you keeping with it .... it give the rest of us hope! :)
Thanks, I hope it does give others hope! :)
 

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Congratulations! That is a "huge" deal! ... Wow ... how long did it take? It is never fun not being able to take your dog places with you or just on a daily walking routine.

I am having to start this training from the beginning just as soon as I can get the book ordered and read it.

Eddee is reactive to people only in a non-stop very annoying ... terribly loud jumping and barking spree! :) It was another nightmare at the vets office in the waiting area the other day! Lol! :) The vet said I should get a citronella collar ..... I want to train differently. I started a thread about it. Maybe you can give me some pointers ... seeing you have done such a great job! :)
 

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Congrats!! That must have been such a proud walk for you & Sydney! It's so nice to see one's hard work paying off. Well done!
 

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Celebrate the small victories!! Awesome! Actually, I don't think this is small, its big! I would be proud if Caeda was that good in those situations.
We've had the switch go of in Caeda's head for stuff recently that I've been considering bragging about, and it is SO awesome I completely understand your excitement. Congratulations! I'm really happy for you and Sydney! Lots of hard work paid off!
 

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Thanks everyone! :D

Congratulations! That is a "huge" deal! ... Wow ... how long did it take? It is never fun not being able to take your dog places with you or just on a daily walking routine.

I am having to start this training from the beginning just as soon as I can get the book ordered and read it.

Eddee is reactive to people only in a non-stop very annoying ... terribly loud jumping and barking spree! :) It was another nightmare at the vets office in the waiting area the other day! Lol! :) The vet said I should get a citronella collar ..... I want to train differently. I started a thread about it. Maybe you can give me some pointers ... seeing you have done such a great job! :)
How long? Well it took about 15 minutes for her to catch on to paying attention to me = treats...if that's what you're asking. I don't know how many pointers I might have considering I only got this to work yesterday but I will stop by and look!

She wasn't quite as attentive today but she was still accepting treats so that makes my job fairly easy. I've been crossing the street whenever I notice a distraction then getting her to look at me when it gets closer. She doesn't always respond the first time, but getting her to do it at all is a victory I can build on. Today she started whining at a dog that passed...I thought she would be ok with the distance but the dog must have been a little too close I ended up loading her up with treats while they passed. The fact that she would take them despite the distraction is great. I can work with that. :) She didn't respond at all to 3 others dogs we saw, but I think I can probably attribute that to the heat. I think she was too tired to care by that point. ;p
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I only had my phone on hand, but you can't take pictures like this in the middle of the night! :D

 
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