Join me for the second part of my interview with trainer Victoria Baker as we dive into her specialty- leash reactivity! She shares her proven training methods to stop your dog from barking, lunging, hiding, or growling on walks.
Is your dog barking at leash at other dogs?
Last week was the WHY of leash reactivity. This week is the HOW to fix it!
On this second of my interview with certified dog trainer Victoria Baker, we address HOW to train your dog to calmly walk on a leash with answers to questions like:
Victoria brings her expertise as a reactive dog trainer in Denver, Colorado to help doodle parents around the world understand why your dog barks on a leash but not off and that reactive dogs can get better. Understanding how to build trust and a feeling of safety can cure this issue for your dog!
Catch part three of our conversation where she explains to fix the issue of "Frustrated Greeters" on Episode 26 of the Doodle Pro Podcast (released 12/20/22). On that episode, she'll guide you on how to stop your doodle from pulling and walking on walks because they are desperate to play with who is ahead!
Find full show notes at https://thedoodlepro.com/25
Visit instagram.com/thedoodlepro for behind-the-scenes peeks at the doodles Corinne works with daily!
Before we start this episode, I just must give a shout-out to the most recent review on Apple Podcast. This is by cloBug99, who said, this podcast has a lot of tips. I have an adorable golden doodle, and these tips help. I tell my parents, all of them, because I'm nine. This helps my puppy, whose name is Charlie.
CLObug99. I am so happy to hear from you. I have a 10 year old boy named Gavin, and him and I talk about training all the time. Your golden doodle. Charlie is lucky to have you. If you would like a shout out on the Doodle Pro Podcast, Be sure to leave a review on your favorite streaming service.
Thank you. CLO Bug.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: I am so happy to have Victoria Baker back with us. She met with us for a previous episode discussing why your dog is reactive, when on walks if your dog is barking, lunging, or hiding. And today she's going to tell us what to do about it, how to help our dog through this so that walks could be more pleasant for you and for them.
Victoria Baker: Hello. How are you?
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Wonderful. So when I define reactivity in my mind, it just means a larger reaction than is usually expected for that situation. And it could be hiding. It doesn't have to be loud, but it could be tail tucked, but just a bigger reaction to a stimulus that another dog might be okay with. How would you define reactivity on walks?
Victoria Baker: If you can tell that the dog is anxious or fearful or just not comfortable, then that's reactivity, right? You want the dog to feel happy, safe not afraid of novel stimuli when they're outside and that kind of stuff. And anything less than that is actually reactivity. . Excellent.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And we're gonna discuss the two reasons why a dog might be barking or showing reactivity or hiding while you're on a walk.
You discussed this in their previous episode that the two motivating factors can be distress, where they're a fear or anxiety about what they're seeing and they're trying to create distance. And then eustress is when they have an over excitement and wanna get to whatever it is they see another dog that they wanna play with, or another human that they like across the street.
So we're going to first go over the more common reason, which is the fear, anxiety, and trying to create distance.
Victoria Baker: Yeah. And a lot of the techniques using the fear reactivity also translates to the frustrated greeter as well. Great. So, whenever you're working with fear we, wanna start with the dog, where the dog feels safe and it's not up to the human to determine that.
So we go back to the other podcast, we discussed a little bit about body language and how to read your dog's signs of stress, anxiety and fear. And so that's kind of part of it. At the same time, while you're going to work on counter conditioning, how your dog feels about a certain trigger.
The more your dog knows how to do stuff for you, or that you can be instructional and your dog understands, will elevate the dog's confidence. And that's really all we're working with here, is making the dog feel confident and safe. So I'm not gonna go over these things, but at the same time, you can teach your dogs how to target, how to walk on a leash, how to heal, how to sit in front of you and how to look at you so for those emergency situations where your dog's just not quite prepared for it you can actually distract the dog with other alternative behaviors. They don't always have to have it done.
You can do it the same time and it's totally different than treating the fear. So the first thing you wanna do when you're working with the dog is to load a marker. So a marker is a sound that tells the dog what it did when it heard that sound was something super and it just earned a reward.
Okay? And to load a marker, you just make that sound and you follow with a treat. Now you wanna make sure that you make the sound and you pause and then give the treat, cuz you don't want your hand movement to anticipate the treat, you want the sound. We can mess that up really easy by doing it at the same time, you make the sound and you give the treat.
So I use a clicker, but you don't have to use a clicker. You can use a verbal marker. When you pick a verbal marker. And I would always load a verbal marker as well, cuz you're not always gonna have a clicker. I pick sounds that I don't normally say in the English language and I don't like to use words that infer praise either.
It's not a reinforcer, so I don't like to use yes or good, but a lot of trainers do. It doesn't really matter as long as the sound is crisp and consistent. So your inflection doesn't constantly change. The other thing besides teaching basic. Skills of leash targeting and being able to loading the marker.
You also wanna desensitize the leash because when the leash goes tight, when you're out on a walk, the dog gets aroused no matter what. Whatever state of mind he's in, as soon as he feels that restraint, it's gonna increase it. So if he's fearful, you're gonna increase that fear. If he's feeling aggressive, you're gonna increase that aggressiveness.
So you wanna desensitize the leash and you should look at the leash instead of a form of restraint as a form of communication. And so the leash should be loose unless you're trying to communicate with the dog in some way.
So when the leash goes tight, you have the clip of the leash and the clip of the leash is hanging when the leash is loose. And in a J. the leash goes tight, that clip starts to go up and that's an indication to the dog that it's losing its handler. Not an indication that the handler's trying to jerk him around somewhere.
It's just, Hey, my handler took two steps to the left. I took step to the right. The leash is starting to go tight. I better check in to see where he's going. Uhhuh, , because I want to follow .
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And what's key about this, Victoria, is you are not using the leash to make what people call corrections. No, not at all.
That would be different if somebody had been taught to pop the leash and tug it really fast to tell their dog that they're doing something wrong. We want a different relationship with our dog and a different relationship with the leash of collar than that. Yes.
Victoria Baker: It's a form of communication.
Yes. Not restraint. When I'm working with the dog, the only time the leash goes tight is when the dog makes the leash go tight. And then I'm more like a brick wall, right? The leash is attached to me and there's a certain length of the leash. And I teach the dog when that leash goes tight to move into that pressure versus away.
And we spend a lot of time on that because when the dog doesn't feel like it's being held back, then the dog's arousal stays at an even level. And when the dog arousal is low, you're not having reactivity. So really, we're always working with the arousal levels. So we wanna do whatever it takes to bring the arousal level down and it helps to walk on a front clip harness.
Right? It helps to have a relaxed handler. Who's not tense with that leash, cuz as soon as you tense up that leash, your shoulders get tight and you don't even realize how you're holding your breath. You don't even realize how tense you are. As soon as you, you see the trigger . And the dogs train us to be just as reactive as them as well. So I spend a lot of time on little exercises saying, oh, we have a little leash pressure to the right. You go to the right, you get a mark and a treat as soon as you give into that leash pressure so that when I feel that pressure, it doesn't anticipate anything except for, hey, I might get a treat and I should follow my handler.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And that is before they're seeing the triggers. You're laying that foundation before any reactivity is starting. No, .
Victoria Baker: Hey, when you're training reactivity, The reactivity never starts. Beautiful. Okay. Reactivity training, like true reactivity training is boring. Nothing's happening.
Everybody's happy. Everybody feels safe. The dog's getting treats and there's no barking lunging, growling. Once you have the barking lunging growling, you're too late. You missed your opportunity to do any training. Yeah.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: They're out of their training brain space.
Victoria Baker: Yep. They're, in survival mode and that's it.
So that, that's another thing. When we went over the other podcast, we discussed, when dogs visualize something or see something as a threat, it's gonna kill 'em. There's no gray area. Oh, it's just a minor threat. It's not a big deal. They're just gonna steal my money. They're not gonna bite me. Nope.
All dogs are gonna bite you. They're, knife wielding mouths full of knives and razors that are gonna kill me, . And that's how the dog views it. So if you think about that while you're out on a walk, walks can be pretty scary for a dog who's fearful of people or dogs or scooters or bikes or cars any of those things can induce the, that primal reaction where they go back to their instincts.
And when a dog is scared, doesn't know what to do, they lunge, bark, growl, and bite.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: So especially if they're feeling that restraint from us, tightening the leash, right? Because now they know they can't escape. , correct?
Victoria Baker: Yeah. So I spend a lot of time working that leash pressure, and it's real easy, no distractions.
You're just, the leash goes tight, you move, you get a click in a treat over and over again so that when that leash goes tight, the dog's yeah, it's tight. What do I need to do? Okay. So those are things that you work on simultaneously. But the real crux of helping the dog get over its fears is counter conditioning how they feel about a certain trigger.
And there's a few protocols that I use for that. So I use bat, which was developed by Grisha Stewart, which is behavioral adjustment training, where I put the dog on a longer leash where they feel they have some autonomy over what happens to them. So they're not like feeling like they're. tied to a tree.
Yeah. . And they are able to make choices. So when you're far enough away, when a dog is nervous of something out in the distance, the first thing a dog does is put their nose down and go in the other direction. Not a whole, like 10 feet in the other direction, but their nose is down. And that accomplishes telling the dog in the distance or the person in the distance that dog's not a threat.
Yeah. And it also puts them in a different place. In their mind, the olfactory portion of their brain lights up, it lowers arousal, and they get out of that primal, reactive brain and they get into more of the thinking brain. But you're also letting the dog make a choice. We set up the dogs and we make 'em go towards each other, and we never stop because we have to get from A to Z in a certain amount of timeframe and the dog's just not ready.
to move forward, yet it needs to assess the situation to determine whether or not dog's a threat. Just by putting a dog on a longer leash and respecting his choices from a distance that he feels safe a lot of times takes care of the reactivity.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: I know both you and I love our biothane kind of thin longer leads, like it's just wonderful to handle.
You could wash 'em easy.
Victoria Baker: Yep. Yes. They don't get snagged and they don't get any heavier and all of that stuff. So counter conditioning is changing a dog's emotional response to seeing a trigger from, oh my God, it's gonna kill me to yay. I'm gonna get a treat. And that's all it is. And the only way that can happen is if it happens below threshold.
Knowing your dog's body language. If a dog can't take a treat, if the dog's ears go back or the tail gets tucked or the hackles go up, or the tail goes straight up and curled, and it's like this , yes, he's at threshold, right? The next thing to go is lunge bark. And you don't wanna go to that point.
So you wanna back it up just a little bit and let the dog feel safe and where a lot of trainers disagree or have a different way of training, I like to mark the dog so marking tells the dog that it did something good. Yes. When it looks at the trigger and if you have a really short triggered dog and , you wanna get it before the dog starts a reaction, right?
You wanna get it before he feels stressed. And sometimes the dogs will trigger office smell. before they actually see the trigger. So if that happens, I will mark an ear twitch because that gives me an indication that he knows something's in his presence and he wants to keep an eye on it. Or I will mark the nose in the air before the look if I have a quick triggered dog.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: I was just saying, as for listeners who are multitasking, I would say come back and listen to this because what Victoria's telling you is likely different than you might've heard on a YouTube video or some neighborhood trainer Victoria's telling you like the next level advice of when the dog is looking at the thing that can cause reactivity or fear or anxiety
she is delivering that treat when they're seeing that animal or whatever it is that they're nervous about. .
Victoria Baker: I'm marking it. Yes. Cuz I can be Johnny on the spot with the marker. Yes. Thank you. And the marker actually relaxes the dog because the dog always know, whoa, I did something good, right?
Whereas your voice, if you say something, has an inflection in it and it, you, the dog knows. The dog knows exactly what's going on in your head. .
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And what people are told differently is they give a command or a cue and then mark and reward. Asking, the dog to turn away and turn their back on the thing that they think is gonna kill
Victoria Baker: them.
And that creates more stress. And I don't want the trigger to induce a feeling in the dog that they have to perform for their. Because that adds more stress to the dog. I just want happy, I see the dog, I get the mark and the mark tells me, whoa, I did something good. Alls I gotta do is, look, I don't have to do anything.
I don't have to protect you. I don't have to , I don't have to bark, I don't have to lunge, I don't have to do anything except look at the dog. And then that earns me a reward and it helps 'em relax and it's consistent. And you wanna do it every single time. Cuz if you're only doing it one outta 10 times out on a walk, don't bother because they're practicing what you don't want nine outta 10 times and it's not gonna change behavior.
So as soon as the dog looks you, mark, and I'm saying I, you gotta be Johnny on the spot with the Yes. If you're two seconds late, you're gonna lose your dog. Cuz if your dog fixates for two seconds. That's it. They're gonna go into their instinctual mode of reactivity that they've practiced a lot and you've lost your dog.
And once your dog starts to bark and lung, you're done. You're just, yes, you're done. And you have to remove yourself and start over. You take that newspaper, roll it up and beat yourself in the head with it and say, what can I do better next time? . You just messed it up and that's ok. You gotta mess it up because it takes some skill and intuitiveness to know how to reach your dog.
And you gotta manage the marker. You gotta manage the treats, you gotta manage the leash. There's mechanics
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: involved that, yeah,
Victoria Baker: you gotta to, and you gotta be hypervigilant about your environment, right? And you we can only concentrate on one and two things at a time, . So don't beat yourself up.
If you mess it up, it's fine just take a note. do better next time. ? All right. So the dog looks you, mark, and then you treat. Now, the first couple times you do this, the dog is not going to know the game, so the dog's not gonna look to get the treat when it hears the mark because it hasn't played the game.
So you stick that food right up, that dog's nose, and it should be stinky meat, real meat, tr treats, you know something. The dog, no dry biscuits here, no really salivates for you. Stick it right up his nose, and you turn that dog's head, bring that treat to the ground so that he has to sniff to pick it up.
It makes him look away from the dog. We're not distracting him from the dog. We're just letting him enjoy his treat without staring at the dog. Because if you give the treat while he's staring at the dog, , then he's threatening the dog while he's eating the treat, and it just increases arousal. He doesn't even know he is eating the treat, okay?
So you have to move his, gaze away from the dog, put the treat on the ground. You can throw it, you can hit him in the head, you can throw it right in between the eyes, or you can stick it right at the nose, whatever. He needs to look away immediately, less than two seconds. And you have that much time to make it work.
And you gotta catch the very first instance that he looks, and what this does is it lowers arousal while he eats the treat, but it gives him an opportunity to look at the trigger again. And you're gonna mark, like the second he looks at the trigger. And sometimes that's he's eyeballing it as he's turning away from the treat and you're gonna mark and do it again.
A dog comes into the environment and into threshold. So let's say the dog's threshold is across the street, right? So the dog's a half a block up across the street, and you're like, all right. And he looks at the dog, you're gonna mark it, put the treat on the ground. He's gonna look away, get the treat, and he's gonna look again.
You're gonna mark, look, mark, treat, look mark, treat, look mark, treat, look, mark, treat until the dog walks by you and is out of threshold again, which is around 40 to 60 feet. Okay. And then no more food.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: The bar's closed Yep. Until the next dog. Yep.
Victoria Baker: And it helps me to put me in the right state of mind to talk to the dog, to tell him, Hey, we love dogs.
Oh my God. Alls you have to do is look at the dog and you get a treat. Oh, you're such a good dog. You wanna be really happy. When you see another dog. And you want to expect your dog to look at the dog and look away, and look at the dog and look away. And that's what you should be visualizing when you're given the dog a treat.
Instead of going, please don't bark. Just don't pull. Just don't lunge this time. I know the fear of embarrassment. Don't say those things in your head, because whatever you visualize, you're more likely. So you wanna visualize what you want. . Okay. So the best scenario when you do this in the beginning especially, is if you can control the environment.
So it helps to have a decoy person with a dog that will stop walking towards you if your dog starts to go ballistic. So you know, you don't always have that and that's one reason why you have to hire a trainer is because trainers set those scenarios up for you so that the dog is successful.
you can control the environment, but there are certain places you can go where you can predict a dog's gonna come every five, 10 minutes on a leash. You can see 'em coming from a mile away so they're not surprising you from behind, from 10 feet and that kind of thing.
So the best scenario is to go out. And, do these kinds of exercises for about 10 to 15 minutes. And two or three dogs and they come at you in about one to two minute intervals. And that's it. So the dog appears, the dog comes within threshold, and you're reading your body language to determine that.
Look, mark, treat, look, mark, treat, look, mark, treat. Look, mark, treat. And I am not exaggerating how fast that should be. . I, really mean. Look, mark, treat, look, mark, treat he should like in the 20 seconds that it takes a dog to walk by, that dog should get 10 treats.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: We're not trying to be stingy here, no stingy.
We're asking for expensive behavior. We need to pay
Victoria Baker: accordingly. More is better. If you're in doubt, give a treat. and then people are gonna ask too what if my dog is barking and I missed it. I don't care. You're not gonna reinforce the bark. The dog's not barking to get a treat.
The dog is barking because it wants to gain distance from the dog that's coming at him. He's barking to get you to do something different. , move away. Yes. So you're not gonna reinforce the bark. And a lot of times the food in that instance isn't gonna counter condition the dog,
but it's gonna at least lower arousal if you can get the dog's nose down to the ground to take the treat. And when that happens too, when the dog starts to bark like that, I use the treat to be able to walk away 10 feet on a loose leash so the leash never goes tight. And then I can reset the dog outside of threshold.
try again. We're doing an emergency U-turn. Yeah. Yeah. And try again. And it's okay, let's take a little quick little breather and then come back and, try it again. . In this instance, we're not training behavior, we are counter conditioning and emotional state versus reinforcing a sit or a look at me or a heel.
We're just pairing good stuff with scary trigger so that we can actually change scary trigger to yay. Good stuff.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And if you have really good stuff, it's soft, it's stinky, it's small, like really good stuff. And you think that your dog hasn't reached their threshold and you're trying to deliver the treats.
Yeah. And the dog's refusing it.
Victoria Baker: Your past threshold. If the dog can't take a treat. Yep. Yep. They're too stressful. It's a good indicators. I've, done too much and then so, the dogs come by. Look, Mar, treat, look Mar, treat. Look, Mar, treat dog goes away.
No more food. Another minute goes by thought. Dodi da. We're just hanging out. We're walking. Oh, here comes another dog. Look, mark, treat. Look, mark, treat. Look, mark, treat. Look, mark. Treat no more food. Ladi, Dodi da. Life is good. My owner is insanely happy. I don't know why he's giving me all these treats and the next dog shows up.
Look, mark, treat, look, mark, treat. He's not looking as much anymore because he's starting to get the game. Alls I have to do is look. And every time I see my trigger, I get food. He's starting to relax now. Yeah. And it usually takes about three to five times. . A dog who is paying attention to its handler is just outside of threshold.
And isn't trying to get closer to the dog in question. The dog that we're training that's an easy scenario. So once the dog starts looking and then looking back at you, or faking the look you've won. Yes. Yes. You've won the game with that particular distraction. So a dog that's walking along across the street, paying attention to its handler is a lot easier for the dog to handle than a dog that's staring at him, pulling and lunging and barking at him and on the same side of the road.
So you have to work all those kinds of different scenarios and when the dog realizes, so behavioral adjustment training with the long line. honoring the dog's good choices that it makes to avoid a situation that it doesn't want to be reactive in. Right? It helps the dog know that you understand what he needs in a given moment to feel safe.
And when a dog can trust their human to feel safe, they start to relax a little. That they don't have to go crazy at the end of the leash to announce to the entire world that I'm not comfortable, right? Yes, my owner's got it, man. He gives me enough space and makes me feel safe, and then pairs everything with food.
And it's really consistent. It happens every single time. Now. I don't have to worry about taking things into my own hands. And the dog starts, the dog's cortisol levels literally plummet once they realize that kind of stuff. And what
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Victoria just said there is really important of the dog. Knowing that you've got their back and you're giving them that space, you're giving them choice.
And to me that means I don't walk up to my friend when they're walking their dog and bring my dog up to them. When I'm socializing with my neighbor, I am not able to multitask enough, even as a pro, to see my dog's, subtle cues of whether or not they're comfortable and they are tethered to me with a leash and they aren't given that full choice.
So I always give a bubble for my dog when we're on walks and even when I own my dog walking company. It was our hard and fast rule that we don't greet other dogs. Unleash. What
Victoria Baker: are your thoughts? No. No. There's no reason to greet a strange dog. Unleash. You don't know what that Dog's all. . And you can't trust people.
sound like a cute dog container. No, he's not. He's, we all have different, we all have different definitions. He's Jess. You're just an idiot. No. Be rude. If it is a neighbor that really wants to talk to you and, communicate something important to you, just tell him. You'll call him.
Yes. Or, you'll text him. And after I'm done, walking the dog. But yeah, don't be nice. I, know. And that's, that, that can be really hard for people. It is hard. I do the out stretch stand. No, not right now. Gotta go. I'm training. I'll
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: call you. Yeah. I always say we're in training cuz we are we Every day.
It's not a one and done. Every day we are training.
Victoria Baker: No, every interaction's a training interaction, whether you like it or not.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: So if that's starting to work, your dog's starting to look over and check in. You're starting to win this game. How long does this game go on?
Victoria Baker: It's different for every dog.
Some dogs, when they realize that they can actually make a choice and that you understand why he's making that choice and you make it with him and he feels safe, sometimes that's enough to turn it around in one session. It's just a different perspective of how the dog sees the walk.
But other dogs have a genuine fear of other dogs. That takes a systematic process in order to change how that dog feels about that fear. If you're afraid of heights, I'm not gonna go out in one session and put you at the edge of it a cliff and say, okay, you're good. You were safe. Nothing happened.
So it takes a systematic process and you can't go too fast. And every time that. Has a reactive event, the cortisol levels go up. it takes days to come back down. When you're counter conditioning, you're rewiring the neural pathways in the brain to go somewhere else.
And every time that neural pathway gets rewritten into reactivity, you've taken a step back, Uhhuh. And now you've gotta just, breathe. Yes. You'll take one, two steps forward, one step back. And some dogs, it goes really quickly because they don't actually, they're not afraid of dogs.
They're just afraid of a strange dog that they don't know might hurt them, but they actually love dogs. And that's 90% of the dogs that are out there. The ones that have the genuine, I'm scared to death of every dog I see, or every person are, the ones that have been. Not socialized at all, neglected or seriously abused, especially during the development period of four to 16 weeks.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: A lot of pet parents are in a hurry to leave the treat bag at home or to retire it quickly. So when we're saying how long it takes, how long should someone be bringing their treats?
Victoria Baker: Yeah, I don't understand that maybe if you can gimme a good reason why people don't wanna reinforce their dogs maybe I'll understand that.
But when my dog does something that doesn't come naturally to a dog that's overcome a tremendous amount of fear is a dog that people go, oh my God, you have such a well-trained dog. And I'm like, yeah, I know. I wanna be able to reward my dog in a meaningful way. And praise, eh, Praise usually doesn't cut it for the dog.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: So if a dog is starting to check in, how much longer are we using treats to reinforce
Victoria Baker: the well for that particular context? You don't have to keep giving treats just for looking at the dog. Now you can ask for more behavior. Now you can say, okay, we're gonna heal. Okay, we're gonna do this. And you can do other things cuz the dog's not worried about whether or not he is gonna die.
you can forego the look mark, treat look mark, treat, look mark, treat now and be instructional, say heal. And then you can reward him for heal. And then you can work on progressing your duration of how long he can heal for before he needs the reinforcement for feedback to continue to heal.
Yes. So it just more is better. You have to think. How long has your dog been reactive? If it's been years, then you're gonna be doing this for a long time. If it's only been since he became an adolescent he was happy go-lucky dog, and then has a fear period during adolescence, and he is eight months old and he is losing his puppy.
It might happen in one session. . I have had that happen before.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: and Victoria's method that she's walking you through counts for people on bicycles. The neighbor who walks with a cane, the trash cans on trash day, it's not only seeing another dog, it's for whatever they are feeling fearful feelings
Victoria Baker: about.
Yeah. Whatever the trigger is. And there'll be multiple triggers. And it's best not to work multiple triggers together. You wanna work 'em individually before you start putting them together as well. So if the dog is afraid of people and dogs, you really wanna work people first before you start bringing in the dogs.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: When you're separating those triggers, you'd be using management to create distance, not letting them practice and forcing them to be around dogs, trash cans, whatever, while you're working on the other trigger.
Victoria Baker: Yeah. You're controlling the environment, so they're not experiencing those distractions.
Until they're ready to be worked or trained. And that's hard. Having a reactive dog is hard. There's no doubt. The process of getting them over it is actually very easy and it's doable. Yeah it's, really easy. It's easy, it's timing. And we mess the timing up because we wait until the dog looks away from the dog and we reward the dog for looking at us instead of looking at the dog.
So now the food has no correlation to counter conditioning the trigger. It's only reinforcing looking at me. And that's not what I re wanna reinforce it. I want to pair good stuff with the scary thing. I don't want the dog to think that it's getting rewarded for a sit. I want the dog to know the other dog is to why he's getting rewarded.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Yes. I think that is the key to this.
Victoria Baker: Yeah. And timing is very important. And you can mess up the timing too. And you can make food predict dog. And then again, the food isn't gonna do anything to counter condition that emotional response.
So you wanna make sure dog predicts food. So that's why you wait until the dog knows that there is a presence there. Looks at the presence mark, and then treat and put the treat on the ground. Again. You asked how long, so you start out with an easy dog. I always start out with my dog cuz my dog's perfect and my dog just lays there and she doesn't elicit bad responses from dogs because she's very non-threatening.
She doesn't care about the other dog. That's what you wanna start with, right? Yes. Or a dog that's walking happily paying attention to its handler is not a big threat to another dog. So you, that's your next step. And a moving dog is harder to deal with than a stationary dog. And if both dogs are moving, that's harder to deal with than if one dog is stationary and one dog is moving.
And you need to do that like in one session I will have the dog I'm working with be stationary and I'll have the decoy dog walk by. And then we'll do that a couple of times and then I'll switch it. I'll have the decoy dog stationary and I will walk by with the reactive dog. And then we'll do that a few times.
And then we will have both dogs moving. And if you think of
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: what our dogs are usually encountering, almost always both moving
Victoria Baker: always and always moving right at each other on the same side of block. Yes. Covid was so nice. It was because people would automatically cross the street for you. and reactive dogs had a little breather.
Yeah. It was like the best thing to them. Yes.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: We all had these bubbles by default. , there was no social pressure
Before we start this episode, I just must give a shout out to the most recent review on Apple Podcast. This is by CLO Bug, 99, who said, this podcast has a lot of tips. I have an adorable golden doodle, and these tips help. I tell my parents, all of them, because I'm nine. This helps my puppy, whose name is Charlie.
CLO 99. I am so happy to hear from you. I have a 10 year old boy named Gavin, and him and I talk about training all the time. Your golden doodle. Charlie is lucky to have you. If you would like a shout out on the Doodle Pro Podcast, Be sure to leave a review on your favorite streaming service.
Thank you. CLO Bug.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: of oh, I hope we make it past them.
Victoria Baker: Yeah. Yes. And there are exceptions, right? There are dogs that they can see a dog from 500 yards away and they'll still go crazy. And
I work with dogs like that. I just have a little bit different protocol and honestly, I just don't think that's a protocol that a lay person should try and do without some sort of guidance from a trainer.
Join us on episode 26 to hear the rest of my conversation with Victoria. She is going to share her protocol for how to work with what she calls frustrated greeters and how to help your doodle who is barking at Passerbys, either in the house or outside of your.