Jetta is a rescue from our local animal rescue organization (Portage Animal Welfare Society). I adopted Jetta in January of 2008. She is the first dog I have had to deal with who had many issues to overcome. She was scared of men, cowered whenever you raised anything above her, had problems passing dogs on our walks and would attack the vacuum on a regular basis. Our first year and a half together was a very long road, and a lot of work.
Because of issues I was having with her, I was constantly researching on the internet, reading books and watching television shows. This is when I discovered Ceaser Milan. I liked a lot of the things he did and the reasons for doing them. I had some small success with some of his methods and had great success with others.
I decided to take Prairieburn k9 Academy’s workshop in July 2013 to see if I could gain more trust in Jetta and hopefully lessen my anxiety about her meeting strange dogs.
A predominant part of the workshop is the pack walk. It was a great experience watching Jetta walk side-by-side with Debbi’s shepherds. As Debbi pointed out, Jetta has a strong herding instinct and prey drive and thus, on the walk path, she is likely looking to herd everything that approaches us. I learned that it is my job to tell her “no, we are not herding today, move on”… but I needed to do that calmly. Jetta’s herding instinct was also the reason for her attacking the vacuum. The problem was simply solved after a one-on-one visit with Debbi at my house. We incorporated skills Jetta already knew – sit/stay, while I vacuumed. Problem Solved! I never imagined I would be able to put Jetta in a dog park. As Debbi pointed out, my anxiety and lack of confidence about Jetta and other dogs was contributing to some of the issues. It was a very good experience for me when we were taught how to enter/exit a dog park and learned proper god park etiquette. Jetta listened to me while we were in there and she was very well behaved. I now know that if i choose to go into a controlled dog park in the future, we are much better equipped to handle that situation.
Taking Praireburn k9 Academy’s workshop helped me recognize how Jetta and I could work more effectively together to make out life more pleasant. Calm and Assertive does work!