Tuesday, 1 April 2014


Bit of a set-back on Saturday, but still much to learn from it.

I was picking up a pooh on a narrow section of path on the way to the open field where I let the dogs off and behind me a Staffie suddenly appeared off the lead. Alice went berserk and Comet had a bark as well. The owner had another dog on a lead and just carried on walking past without attempting to get control of his off-lead dog, giving me a dirty look as he went.

He was going in the same direction we were heading so I let them get way ahead of me and then let Daisy and Comet off, and then Alice. She immediately started chasing Daisy and when Comet chased her she wouldn't submit. She just kept on bundling with him. I got the impression that her adrenaline had been raised when she had seen the Staffie and she was too hyped to stop chasing when Comet had a go at her.

It was a nice day and being Saturday there were a number of people out walking the tow path, including dogs so I put Alice back on the lead.

There was another dog on the way back to the car, just before we got to the narrow path again and I managed to keep her relatively calm... just a few grumbles, but she was clearly still hyped up.

When I think back over how I handled it I realise I was walking much too slow on the way back and I should have been more aware of the need to walk at a brisk, normal pace. I did try to maintain eye contact and said "hey" "hey" a few times, which worked. But I think she might have been calmer if I had walked more quickly.

As for the first dog, I don't think I could have avoided Alice barking but maybe if I'd walked briskly in the opposite direction to the man and his dogs and concentrated on the heel work and praise this might have calmed her down and she wouldn't have been so hyper by the time I'd walked back to the fields again and let her off.

I'm making Alice wait a few seconds before giving her the reward and have also been doing some more "find it" work... she's almost got it.

This is the narrow path earlier in the year just before it completely flooded, looking back towards where the car is parked. The second photo is the field the path leads to where I let the dogs off the lead - the towpath is to the left. It's a great place for them to run but difficult on the narrow path if I meet anyone with a dog.

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