Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Gracie on a leash

Gracie, a very bad dog!

Gracie looks really innocent but this Boxer can be a touchy, crazy, spastic animal.  She loves people but picks her dog friends very carefully.  On leash she can be so leash aggressive that people with their dogs run away from us because she sounds so fierce.  Since she was an unwanted stray dumped at my house, we have continued to work with her to tame her prickly touchy persona.  We have continued to fail. 

Gracie's got a couple good reasons for being so nuts. My brother-in-law found her as a stray running around a golf course.  It was estimated that she was 12 weeks old.  Every part of her body was infected.  The shelter vet had to re-dock, a poorly docked tail because the infection was so bad. 
She came to us after my brother-in-law adopted her but one of his dogs tried to kill her.  Oh and did I mention she also has separation anxiety.  I'll discuss that in a future blog post. 

Leash aggression is defined as an aggressive reaction to other dogs or people when on a lead.  Dog Trainer, Suzanne Clothier offers relationship centered training and suggests ways to handle a reactive dog on a lead. She says some of the behavior has to do with how the owner acts while we are walking our dog.  She says we are to blame.  That is good news for us.  It means maybe there is still hope for us and Gracie.  There are countless videos about how to handle reactive dogs and I have watched a few. Some offer the same tips that you get when you go for basic puppy training.  My dog is an A student in dog training class so the fact that Suzanne Clothier suggests the problem might be with me gives me hope.   In the meantime, Gracie and I will continue to walk across the street when we see you and your dog until we can get our dog walking house in order.

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