Cooper’s owner Sandy contacted me shortly after she adopted him from down south. She knew he had issues and what those issue were but she wanted a little guidance with the best way to train a reactive dog. Because she was such an experienced dog owner, I knew Cooper was in the best hands possible.
Even though I reserve the right to muzzle a dog, I don’t if I can help it. I don’t want my first days with a dog associated with muzzling them. In this case I didn’t. I worked Cooper to the point before reaction. Anything more, I switched places with Sandy and instructed her instead.
It was important for Sandy to start working obedience with Cooper in order to establish her role in his life. She absolutely needed to be the leader in his eyes. If not, nothing we did would matter.
Sandy knows that Cooper will probably never be reliable around strangers but for her this situation is manageable. We talked at length about prevention and how important it is not to put Cooper in certain situations and then what to do if reaction happens.
Cooper will be a work in progress for some time to come, but I’m confident that Sandy knows what to do in order to make life easier and safer for both of them.