Buddy’s human and I were incredibly impressed with his coping skills this week. This was taken after his behaviour consult and as you can see he was taking life in his stride! What a chiller 🥰
On Buddy’s morning walk, he was startled by another dog, causing him to feel overwhelmed and bark. Our plan was to focus on his reactivity with dogs that day, so we remained mindful of his emotional threshold being lower as we practised reinforcing his new ‘aggression replacement’ behaviours.
To ease Buddy in we used a stuffie dog. Then my bullie, Chester, assisted by providing a calm trigger, building up to leaping about performing tricks while edging closer.
It was a great experience for both of them, lovely soft bodies and beautifully responsive behaviours. We were very proud!
1 week later
Well didn’t Buddy just do super today!👏
Working on his confidence, trust and coping skills around dogs, he spent time in close proximity to my bullie Chester while remaining relaxed and engaged.
This session we added a little more pressure to encourage Buddy to use his coping skills, while remaining vigilant to relieve that pressure should any subtle body language indicate he was uncomfortable.
Buddy found he could actually tolerate the experience of not being cued and reassured when around another dog. He took time to assess, moved away when he needed more space, and confidently approached when he wanted more info.
The only time Buddy showed dissatisfaction with a little grumble, was when we switched places and Chester approached ‘his’ cardboard box sniffing game. Both dogs were given a box to snuffle in and relaxation was restored. To end the session we walked parallel, giving the dogs more opportunity to learn about one another up close while moving in the same direction.
Next week we will do more of this to continue strengthening Buddy’s trust, before working with another dog to help generalise his developing belief that dogs can respect his boundaries and pose no threat.
A way to go but he’s doing fantastic! Go Team Buddy! ⭐