Last week, Wynston's owner was marveling at how well he has done on the past two walks. She said that he is never as calm on the walks around their neighborhood, and gets growly when he sees another dog, even across the street!
During our PEDs walks, he is one cool customer - ingoring or showing only mild interest in the other dogs around him, checking in with his owner frequently, and even walking smack dab in the middle of the pack! - due to the fact that his handler is relaxed!
Being able to balance calmness and vigilance is a tricky, yet vital task in walking a reactive dog. As we get nervous, our pooches feel that they, too, need to be nervous, causing some dogs to turn that into reactivity. Wynston's person has been able to tone down that nervousness, helping Wynston to calm down as well. The important step is that she still remains vigilant - knowing where the surrounding dogs are, knowing Wynston's comfort zone radius, and making sure he checks in regularly.
We're still working on finding the perfect balance with Edison. With time, patience, and practice, we'll get there!
Do you have any tips for keeping the balance between calmness and vigilance?