Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baby Steps...

Do you notice anything out of place in this picture?

How about now?

That’s right...that is Edison in the rink at Mud Puppies during "Yappy Hour.”

The group last Thursday was small in size and number – 3 smaller females – and super laid back!  After a few minutes, seeing how the the group was not the overly playful type, we decided to bring Ed in and see how he did.

A huge thank you to Madigan & Callie (and of course their owners!!) for being so cool about Edison’s presence.  Everyone worked with us to give Edison a calm and positive experience in close quarters with off-leash dogs. 

Granted, he’s a long way from being allowed off-lead himself, but we’ve made a re-focused effort on getting him in control while off-lead around other dogs. 
We’ll be starting an intro to agility class in a few weeks (all on-lead!), but the instructor thinks that Edison could become pretty good.  We have a local facility that does full-scale agility and we’d love to make it a hobby for Ed & us.

Until then, we’ll keep working with Ed to get him to that point.  This is a good start!

A very happy Edison

While Ed's not aggresive by any means, he does get way too excited and to a state that is practically uncontrollable. 
Does anyone have any tips for working to get a dog comfortable around others off-lead?


  1. Oh goody! I sure hope so people step up and leave their tips because we need them too! The only time Athena is comfortable around off-leash dogs is when we are at the park playing ball...otherwise she FREAKSSSSSSSSS OUT!

  2. Ray gets that way ON leash too, so I'll be interested in hearing any advice.

  3. You need to gather with other's that have dogs that have limits to their levels of excitability and work toward creating calm for all before the ball is thrown etc... Any time any one member of the team becomes too excited he/she will need a consequence of back on leash until they bring it down a notch. This is probably the most difficult thing to practice when dealing with high levels of excitability but you need to nurture the calm and disagree with the excitement. Remember you can't bring a dog down from a heightened state of excitement if you go there with him/her. Leaders are always Calm, Confident and in Control. When your dog is at his/her worst that is when you have to challenge yourself to be at your best as far as your leadership position is concerned!

  4. I don't have tips, I need tips!
    We are a reactive dog household with Hades as the leader. (Actually Madden is the leader, but Hades you can trust off-leash, Madden needs to be without dog buddies.)
    Controlled play dates at home are our best friend and seem to have helped Hades in public slowly but surely. The more friends he makes the less excited I think he will be seeing dogs in general. He makes this horrible high pitched whine that just sounds embarrassing, and coupled with his hard stare it's quite the sight when in full effect.

  5. Kaya was the same way when she was younger. I would take her to the dog park(not the tiny cramped kind, but a big one that we would walk around) and keep her on leash the whole time while all the other dogs there are off leash. I'd spend the whole time working on focus, heel, down, sit, stay... Her reward was off leash time playing fetch, then back on the leash when we wanted to walk again. I did this for several months. It seemed harsh but once I slowly gave her more and more freedom off leash she was still looking to me for guidance and not interested in making a beeline for playmates. I actually found it helpful to have her very near rough-playing dogs so she knew she could be near them and still be obedient and not have to interact. Her drive for fetch was a huge factor also as an outlet for her energy and connecting to me.