Pepper went from barky and insecure to confident and quiet on the walks.
Pepper, a small mixed breed who was re-homed at an early age came to his new wonderful family when he was four months old, after living with four different families. Pretty early on, Pepper started lunging and barking at other dogs on walks. It was difficult to get Pepper’s attention and it was impossible to calm him down no matter how hard his owner Sanna tried.
Sanna decided to contact me after a few months when she realised that this is a problem that won’t go away.
After diving into Pepper’s story, it was easy for me to see that he is an insecure guy. We therefore started his training journey with a stress detox.
“Feels great that I now know Pepper more and I can see his signals when he starts to get stressed.”
Most of the stress came from home, as Pepper lived with another dog and children. We focused on creating a calm zone where he could rest undisturbed and the more he rested at home the better the dog meetings became.
After the stress detox, we started building Pepper’s confidence, as a lot of his fears come from here. He got to try lots of weird exercises that helped him understand that weird things aren’t scary. This in turn made him more brave on walks.
“it has been a super positive experience for a stressed and scared dog and we have learned so much.”
The last thing we worked on was for Pepper to learn to walk away from, and simply ignore, dogs on walks. This is a skill that many dogs lack and the reason why Sanna didn’t connect with Pepper when he saw dogs before. We taught Pepper that it’s OK to walk away from things you feel afraid of, and knowing he could do that made him feel more confident in all dog encounters.
Sanna says that it “Feels super good that I got to know Pepper more and I see his signals when he starts to get stressed.”
What she feels is the most important thing they’ve learned in their months with me is “The stress cup and thinking that it’s important that he gets his rest.”
The last time we spoke, Sanna told me that they can now go to a park where there are several other dogs and Pepper has no problem keeping his distance when he feels unsure. He very rarely barks and can sometimes even go up and greet dogs he likes. Simply a harmonious and happy dog.