I have been fence shy while walking my dogs lately. Meaning, dogs behind fences that charge and bark at my dogs stresses us all out. It is now stressing Stan so much, he is reacting. Pip and Stan are a combined 125lbs, so we practiced individually today for 15-20 minutes each, visiting our barking neighbors from a distance that each could handle. We used our clicker and lots of boiled pork and we all increased our confidence a little bit more.
Pip passed several barking dogs and actually managed to quiet one by keeping her head low as we passed. She was happily chasing the falling meat after every click after every bark. If she had stopped eating, we would have retreated. We started at a distance, worked a little closer, then went the other way, then attempted again when the barking dog was moved inside by their owner. We had many successes today in a short and sweet walk.
I would never let anyone hurt her, especially in the name of training. I ‘alpha roll’ her using treats and gentle belly rubs. I move her using her vocabulary, food, encouragement and work hard to keep her leash loose and not yank her around. I have worked to help her trust the world and most of all, me and it has paid off.
Any dog has a 50% chance of biting or becoming aggressive. I guarantee you tip the scales the more gentle and respectful you are to your dog. Any act of aggression even in the name of training, tips that scale over time. Be kind to your little gods and goddesses who wear fur!