When Brychwyn is focused and "working" he isn't leash reactive. That is how it was easy for such a barking, lunging, snapping corgi to earn his CGC, RN & RA titles. But what about walking though the neighborhood? It's much more difficult for Brychwyn and I to work as a focused team when there are speeding cars, bicycles, dips in the sidewalk, low tree branches and other pedestrians. However, when we are traveling, Brychwyn's leash reactivity seems non existent even just on short walks around a campground. So what's the difference between our regular neighborhood walks and a walk through a neighborhood 3,000 miles away?
I have recently seen that Brychwyn considers being a Cascadian nomad his job. He works hard at being quiet and well behaved when we travel. Posing for photographs is one of Brychwyn's favorite "tricks." He takes pride in greeting strangers in far of places the way he worked at the "accepting a friendly stranger" task for his Canine Good Citizen title.
So if Brychwyn has decided what his job is and works hard at it, my task is to guide him into using that hard working corgi attitude everywhere we go. I need to hone my reactive dog training techniques to help Brychwyn see that it his job not to lunge and bark at other dogs whether we are in front of our home in Seattle or on the other side of the country. Isn't it exciting that both Brychwyn and I both have jobs to do?
Many of my ancestors are champion herding champion corgis. Working hard and pleasing my human is in my blood. But as a city dog, it is sometimes difficult to understand what my job is when I am not in a training class or in the obedience ring. I need a job and am only satisfied when I am working!
Bethany loves to be on the road and I enjoy being by her side. She has explained how important is is that traveling dogs be quiet and stay close to her. Well, as you may have already guessed, when a hard working dog like me is given any significant task, I take it very seriously. I try my best not to spoil Bethany's happy travels with barking, lunging or snapping. Some dogs and people, however, make me believe I should let Bethany know our traveling security may be threatened. I don't think Bethany always minds my slightly over reactive behavior when it comes to keeping the pack safe.
Bethany also gets great pleasure from taking pictures while we are on the road. It is my job to pose as she pleases and I even make some creative suggestions about the photo locations and my positions. I do good work, don't you think?
WOOF (Working Out Our Fears) Support is an online group for reactive dogs and their owners to seek support from others who are dealing with similar experiences. This post is a part of Cascadian Nomads WOOF Support series. If you'd like to read more about Brychwyn and Bethany's leash reactivity journey, including training tips, click here. For more WOOF Support information click here.