Step one ...Identifying the trigger...George is always one to let out a "We're over here bark" which just stops at that. I don't think it's a bad thing either, I'd prefer to let someone or animal know we're over here too. It's also my cue to have the dogs recall to me so the person/s or dogs are not bombarded by my crew.
We normally just wait to the side of a path while they walk by or stop to "say hello". I have that on cue. If the person initiates interaction, "say hello" means you're released to interact just remember...four on the floor.
If the person doesn't stop I'll either dole out treats, have them do tricks, or just reward the stays while we wait until they pass and their reward is to play ball or just go back to what they're doing. All depends on how excited they are. I'll do whatever they need in order for them to be successful.
Some people aren't dog people so I think it's also polite.
Here's where shortly after I shot this video, you'll see the path where George barked AT someone AS they're walking by to say hello...something he hasn't done since his fear periods as a puppy.
I've come to learn that there will always be something that is too much stress for George's little body to handle. We'll just tackle one thing at a time.
Plan of action
....no group hikes...George and I need one on one time
We'll actually park ourselves (stationary first...adding movement once George understands which behaviour needs to be addressed and what I'd like to see happen instead) ...can you tell we've been through this before :P Start off in a low traffic spot, as in barely any people or dog traffic and then let life happen around us while we work together
1-Jean Donalson is blunt but I love her breakdown of D & C, CAT & BAT and for those who aren't familiar.
2-Dr. Patricia McConnell, Feisty Fido I love all her work!
3-Leslie McDevitt 'Control Unleashed" is also a wicked resource and has a few games & exercises that are really helpful working when you're out and about with them. They're where I got the relaxation exercises from. You actually start them in home, then take the show on the road. They work wonders on front doorbell work too!
4-I'll even use TTouch, or slow massage. Important also is biofeedback like; heavy sleepy eyes, deep relaxing breaths to help them remain subthreshold. All based on Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt, Calming Signals by Regis Turrid, and Clinical Behaviour of Small Animals, Relaxation Protocol, exercises by Karen Overall.
Alice at Dogsmart is my guru it comes to reactivity. I love learning and keeping current, plus having someone with an eagle eye critique my handling only speeds up the success! As a species we're always evolving...hopefully for the better.
I'll also have to track down some DAP spray and put it on a bandana around his neck to see if that helps keep him calmer while we work through this.
This is George...normally happy and funny and so very sweet! I'd love to see more of this body language when interacting w/people and dogs!