We called Bark Busters to help us with our 2-year old bloodhound's fear and anxiety relating to people visiting our house. Paige has always been friendly with strangers she meets on walks, or in parks, pet stores, Farmer's Market, etc, but since we moved to a new house in the Summer, my husband and I had noticed Paige becoming increasingly anxious when people she didn't know would come to visit. It seemed to be a very uncomfortable experience for both pup and visitors!
Deb Boswell came to see us in early February and while I was nervous for how Paige would react to a new stranger in the house, I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised with how she reacted to Deb's visit, which I credit completely to Deb's understanding of how to interact with dogs. She allowed Paige to come to her at her own discretion and did not force interaction with Paige, which allowed Paige to assess Deb on her own terms and feel comfortable on her own.
During the first lesson, Deb evaluated Paige's behavior and pointed out some of her behaviors which indicate she sees herself as the pack leader, rather than my husband and I. Deb gave us some insight into how dogs view social hierarchy and the importance of the pack leader role. In the last two years, we believed everything we did for our dog was to show her that she was loved and a member of the family, but in reality, we have reinforced in her mind that she is running the show. We now feel that we have the understanding critical to help Paige realize that she does not have to be the "head of security" of the house, and that she can just relax and be a dog. While we know we have many months of consistent training work to do with Paige, we have already noticed an improvement in her greeting strangers at the house, following us instead of leading on walks, and allowing my husband and I to take on the leadership role.
Many many thanks to Deb and Bark Busters for their great work and continued support!
Bark Busters dealt with Barking, Jumping up, Pulling, Recall