Imagine this. A young, talented artist moves to New Orleans with her stubby little short-stack doggie named Bauer. She adores this guy. Her world revolves around him. He is her everything. But in this new, denser setting (with heavily-trafficked streets that provide ample “hiding” spots for dogs and people to appear out of nowhere at any given moment), Bauer’s reactivity went from easily manageable to imminently explosive. And Lillian was determined to address and modify his behavior. She decided that it was time for her to move past her Management Ninja days. (Not that there is ANY shame in management!)
And as it happened, YPBY had been tossing around ideas about how to help folks (who may not otherwise be able to afford it) get quality, reward-based training right around the time that Lillian reached out to us. And just like that, a t-shirt fundraiser was born.
The money we raised helped Lillian and Bauer go through a 6-week Reactive Rover course and a one-on-one session with yours truly, which gave them the tools they need to prevent and reduce his leash reactivity.
Lillian had already taught Bauer a slew of tricks and basic obedience behaviors before we got started, which laid a really nice foundation of trust and impulse control that set them up to succeed.
Bauer is now a graduate, and thanks to your support, walks are much less stressful for both him and his mom. He even made a new doggie friend while he was enrolled in class!
Lillian had this to say about her experience training Bauer:
I think the most helpful thing I learned, besides how to help change Bauer’s reactivity, is to just not be so embarrassed about it. Instead of feeling ashamed that I haven’t raised the perfect dog, I recognize that he is an amazing dog who just needs to learn some alternative ways to behave.
We couldn’t be more delighted about Lillian’s epiphany during our time with her and Bauer. Once we get past the embarrassment and anxiety that is all too often part of living with a reactive dog, amazing things happen. We begin to empathize. We begin to pay more attention to how our dogs perceive the things around them. We begin to care less and less about how other people perceive our dogs. And when we get to that point, behavior change follows.
Congrats, Lillian and Bauer!