Beanie: Walking Success
One of the rough parts about getting Beanie when we did is that in the middle of a pandemic lockdown, the obedience club aren’t able to operate (with outdoor participant limits being well below what they need to break even). We paid $120AUD for a “puppy preschool” at the local vet hospital, which basically only taught us a small handful of things we didn’t already know, but I was happy to spend the money just to have the ability to socialize the dog a bit, which went rather well, for the most part… but only lasted four sessions, and was itself interrupted so there was some delay between the first and last sessions.
Possibly as a result, and possibly just due to her personality, she’s very reactive to other dogs. Not aggressive, just misbehaves, barks, and jumps around a lot when there’s another dog within a very long range (sometimes as far as a hundred feet or more). Consequently, taking her on walks is quite problematic, we never get very far from the house before her behaviour turns to shit and we must head home.
Sabriena’s been working with her a lot to try and curb it, particularly with her barking at the school kids going past on their bikes, but it still didn’t really feel like we were getting anywhere.
We saw a recommendation from someone to drive our car out to the dog park and sit with her in the car, rewarding her for behaving herself, and then over the course of a few sessions moving the car steadily closer, then getting out of the car, and so on. This sounded pretty good so we had a go at it - naturally, we couldn’t find any damn dogs at any of the local parks on the first day!
Then today, we decided to try a different tack - driving out to the other side of the river, and going walking along the “rather bush” Langlands Track, which not that many folks use. We saw maybe four people the entire time, and each time we were able to get her well off the track and work on her behaviour. But you can see the results below:
Forgive the freedom-units because Sabriena’s a recovering American - this is a pretty fair effort, and at the end of it she was ratshit. We went home, she napped pretty well, hung out for a bit to watch TV with Sabriena and Duncan while I worked, then slept all night.