Adding Structure to Help a Yorkiepoo Stop Reacting to Dogs on Walks

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 2, 2017

Lola is a five-year-old Yorkiepoo who lives in Los Angeles. Her guardian set up a dog behavior training session with us to get her to stop stealing and chewing clothes, stop charging the door and stop acting aggressive to dogs on walks.

Lola did really well on the greeting. She barked a bit, but didn’t jump up and settled down pretty quickly.

When I chatted with Lola’s guardian about the dog behavior problems she wanted help with, I learned that the dog didn’t have many rules and was rewarded with petting any time she demanded it from her guardian.

I have found for some dogs, a lack of structure can cause the dog to get the idea that they are responsible for their guardian. And if a dog thinks its responsible for a guardian, and the guardian doesn’t listen to the dog, this can stress them out and cause frustration on both ends. They try to protectively protect their human from other dogs by lunging and barking at them as soon as they get to close.

I suggested a number of rules and boundaries, showed her guardian how to enforce them and how to communicate with Lola in a way she understands and respects. Within a few minutes Lola was following the new rules on her own, was not as reactive to sounds she normally barked at and was looking to her guardian for direction.

To address Lola’s occasional reactivity or possible dog aggression, I went over a way to use positive dog training to teach Lola to look up and focus on her guardian on command. You can watch me go over this dog training trick in the video below.

Being able to redirect Lola’s attention away from other dogs when they are far enough away to not be considered a threat will allow her guardian to head off potential dog aggression before it actually occurs. Early detection and redirection is a dog training secret I learned from the best dog behaviorist in LA.

In Lola’s case, there is a good chance that once her guardian takes over the leadership position in the dog’s eyes, this will reduce her stress and perception that she is actually responsible for the human.

We finished up the session by going over Lola’s Roadmap to success. You can watch that free dog training video summary by clicking the image below.

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