Saturday, 5 April 2014


We had another difficult encounter with a dog in the week during which Alice went berserk. It was along the narrow towpath again. I saw the dog coming and put her on the side away from the dog but I couldn't stop her barking. I'm not sure how I should have handled it... maybe I should have turned and walked the other way. The problem was the dog's owner was jogging so they would have caught up with us. I'll definitely try to think about doing this next time, and decided I had to just put this down to one step along the way to getting her behaviour under control.

Today was much more promising. We went for an early morning walk to Sonning Meadows, further along the River Thames, downstream from where I walk the dogs during the week. It's wide open fields with lots of room for them to run. There were quite a few dogs out but they were a long way off so I made sure they were out of sight before letting any of the dogs off the lead. Before I could do this I saw someone I regularly bump into. He has a whippet that he keeps on the lead and a Weimeraner bitch who runs free. He's really nice and very understanding of Alice's behaviour. He's seen her go berserk every time we meet him and he takes no notice. This time I positioned myself in front of Alice and bent down to make eye contact with her. I said "hey" "hey" to her every time she tried to look around me. She made some whimpering noises but there was no barking at all and no lunging at his dogs. I was able to stand near him talking, all the while watching her, without her getting agitated. He even commented how much better she was than normal. I was pleased with how she responded and especially pleased that when I let her off the lead just afterwards she didn't start frantically chasing Daisy like she did the last time I let her off just after meeting another dog. It seemed like this time the adrenaline hadn't kicked in nearly as much so when Comet chased her down she responded and stopped chasing - last time she wouldn't submit.

Here they are chasing with Comet making sure she stopped when he told her. He couldn't quite catch her but he went over to her when she attempted to chase Daisy again. It's interesting to watch his body language and her's as she responds.

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