For three years I partnered with our local library and offered free Thursday Night Community Lectures, about once a month. It was an awesome way to share information beyond my classes, meet new people, and talk about varying topics that were really interesting to me.
The topics varied from food, to behavior, to traveling with a dog, and sometimes I had guest speakers with me. The size of the crowd was totally unpredictable, from 2-65, it was a bit like gambling!
Now that we have the Dog Gym, I am reviving this program a bit, but letting it come full circle with Live Demo’s. I know for me, I learn best if I can see something in action.
Last night we had a demo on Handling the Reactive Rover. Franny was my demo dog, if you read her series, Living with a Dog Outside of Neutral, you know she was the perfect choice!
We had such an awesome group of folks last night. All responsible handlers, all involved in the dog world to some extent, and all with great questions! It was so inspiring that we accidentally went on for two hours!
Some of what we touched on –
- What type of reactive do you have? happy, cranky, fearful, etc.
- What are the triggers?
- Was the reactivity event caused, on going environment, temperament, combination?
- Management in the home with a reactive dog.
- Management when out and about. Making choices for where, when and how.
- Reading your dog’s body language better.
- Why is taking a deep breath important and so under rated?
- Crate training, and crate use. Voluntary safe place that elicits calm.
- Basic exercises to encourage a more relaxed dog, relaxed handler. A two-way street.
- Default behaviors of sit, come to me, between, relax when we stop. All should be voluntary.
- Building trust so your dog feels safe with you.
- Using your voice as the first leash, and webbing for insurance
- Why harnesses?
- Having a support system so you feel good about your dog, your choices, and your work. Feeling empowered by the good work you are doing instead of beaten down.
- Small micro steps, not leaps and bounds.
- Rocking your dogs world in the biggest kindest kind of way when they make a healthier decision when faced with choices. Meatballs growing out of the floor!
- and on and on … again, a great night!
Nancy, here is to many more great Thursdays!
ps. my daughter took these photos as part of her summer project. She mentioned after reviewing them that I might not be able to talk if I had my hands tied behind my back… hahaha Very funny Piper!