Advocating for your animal
Recently a client and I have been working together to help their young dog feel more confident at the dog park as many other dogs will mount him due to his unique brand of pheromones. One of the big things we discussed was advocating for your dog in situations like the dog park or dog beach. It can be hard to ask another owner to remove their dog from the situation or to make the choice to remove your own dog, but when we are able to support our dog in these situations we can find our little buddies to feel more confident as they have our support.
This is particularly important when I work with reactive dogs. At times I have come across off lead dogs in areas where they shouldn’t be, and I have made it clear in a polite but firm way, they need to move their dogs away from me and the dog I am working with. I want to be able to create the best possible scenario for the dog to succeed, and while we can’t control all stimuli, we can make sure we are doing what we can to provide that safety.
As we spend time in lockdown more and more dogs are out at the dog park. Some might not be used to this frequency, or they may be going at different times of the day, which creates different energy and play matches for our dogs. Anxiety is high at the moment, but remember to keep as calm as you can, and focus on your pooch.