I’ve finally narrowed down how I plan to go about working with Johnny on his reactive issues. CARE for Reactive Dogs, Relaxation Protocol, Muzzle Training and of course Trick Training. I think each of these work hand in hand and will help him be more rounded and able to handle many different situations. There is so much support from all the different facebook groups and fellow bloggers and having a plan in place has really helped me get excited and motivated to work through this! This afternoon we went on a walk with CARE protocol in mind and it was much less stressful for Johnny, my fiance and myself. Ill post about that later tonight!
The beginning of the CARE Protocol states you should:
C- Consider the Dog’s History
A- Analyze and Arrange
R- Respite and Relaxation
Johnny’s history? He walks great on leash, doesn’t bark or pull lunging to get at people until they are within his strike zone,
Johnny’s Triggers? Stranger, Dogs, Kids. This is the order we are going to work with him as well. Once he’s calmer around strangers then we’ll work on dogs and then once he’s more reliable try desensitizing him with kids. He doesn’t seem worked up around moving objects or noises which is great!
Respite and Relaxation- This is where the relaxation protocol will come in handy. Respite is essentially a break from triggers so doing trick training and basic obedience to give him something else to focus on other then his triggers. I’m learning about the specific chemical changes that take place when a dog is stressed and how it can effect learning behavior and it’s fascinating! We have done some obedience training with Johnny but we’ll need to brush up on a few of the DRI’s in the CARE Protocol. We’ll also start the Relaxation Protocol to help reduce overall anxiety and reinforce his stays.
Equipment- Along with muzzle training I need to find a front clipping harness for Johnny. We’re also looking into window film for our big window facing the street to keep the dogs calmer when people walk by and we aren’t home. Although both the frenchies were crate trained Johnny never really was so I will incorporate some of this as well.
I realized I keep saying this training is for Johnny, but we’ll be working on this with all the dogs, individually at first and then as a pack. Thor is reactive with other dogs and is also unsure around kids which is really hurting him in getting modeling and acting jobs. Raylee only reacts when her brothers do but she does get over excited when seeing new people which isnt great on photo shoot days or when we are walking her with the Johnny and Thor. We’ve already started this training and I’m excited to start with the updates soon!
One thought on “The Game Plan”
The Relaxation Protocol was really helpful for Ruby! Her triggers are, unfortunately, everything that moves so we rely heavily on management as CC/DS is overwhelming and next-to-impossible in an urban environment. We have been having some success with cars, as long they are not too big and noisy, by incorporating an incompatible behavior (sit) when they go past. It sounds like you have a great plan in place for Johnny!