family vanhounds

Still working on the reactivity

June 18, 2021

I’m so proud of this hound. Otherwise know as: Bonnie, Bonnie-boo, Bonneroo, Bonners, Bonnington-bean, princess-Bonbon-of-the-waves, Madame Bonnington, beanie-boo, string-bean, baby-boo and also Bon-Bon, but sometimes Bonnieeeeee!

She’s doing so well with her positive reinforcement training. It’s changing her every day. And although we’re not the most diligent with learning all the new tricks, we’ve got so good with this when Bonnie sees a new hound.

Our biggest problem these days tends to be other dog owners whose dogs aren’t on leads. It’s not really their fault – we’ve been like this in the past – they kinda say in a cheery voice, ‘Oh don’t worry! Mine’s a really friendly dog!’
Yes but ours isn’t.
And it can be hard for some people to understand, especially as they see Bonnie walking happily with Kit (and even with friends’ doggies she’s got to know) who all make Bonnie look super friendly. She’s also wonderful with other people, and children.

But strange dogs still scare the shit out of her, and we’ve got that reactive behaviour under control, but only so much. So if a unknown dog, not on a lead, invades her space, or worse, jams it’s nose up her arse (even in a friendly manner) she’s going to react badly. Sometimes the other dog owner looks horrified that our hound has reacted so viciously and I want to scream ‘I told you so!’.

I think the next step will be to get one of those yellow leads that says ‘nervous dog’ as it makes us take note when we see hounds with them.

Anyway – it’s nothing personal when we take a wide-berth around you and your lovely hound(s) – it’s just the best way to keep BonBon calm and happy and able to continue her walk without having a total meltdown.

Finally – if you don’t understand why I’m giving her treats when she’s being reactive, and you’ve decided I’m rewarding bad behaviour, that’s fine, but please hold tight to those judgements, keep them deep-deep-on-down in your stomach and don’t feel any obligation to spew them out into the world.
Love ya!

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