Wednesday, May 22, 2013

PEDs Walk: Relaxed, but Vigilant

We are so excited that we've had a few "dogs in progress" join us for our walks this past month.

We of all people know what it's like to have a reactive dog - how hard it is to take him in public, the focus it takes to ensure he is within his limits, and the embarassment we feel when he has a meltdown. We are so glad we could facilitate an environment where these dogs and owners can come and feel comfortable working on their issues.

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?


  1. Way to go Wynston and his owner, keep up the good work!

    It's so cool you have a group like this to be a part of.

  2. It looks like your walks are going so well. Congrats!

  3. Awesome! So inspiring!

  4. I'm so glad to hear your walks are going well and that Wynston is already seeing the benefits of pack walking! Way to go! :)