I have been working with Massi (Blonde Husky) for 5 sessions now and there is nothing like trial by fire to see if the training/conditioning is working. I was walking a pack of 5 dogs on Saturday and we were passing the back yard where Massi and Gordon live. I thought I saw them from a distance but when we got to the part of the park where their backyard is they weren’t there. I keep walking and then I see the dogs in their neighbors yard. I’m thinking this isn’t right; the dogs have escaped their backyard. I didn’t have to wait long, next thing I know they are in the park and running straight for my pack and Massi has no muzzle on, which isn’t good. I always muzzle her when meeting new dogs but it’s not going to be this time. I call her name and ask for a sit, she complies. She then gets right in the face of a Jack Russell/Pug she has never met. No growling, no lunging and I just reach down and redirect her gaze with my hand because she is fixating on the dog. Now I am going to walk them back to their backyard without being on a leash. Gordon inserts himself right into the pack like he’s going for a walk and Massi walks beside me on the right (not her usual side) beside the Pug. She takes off down the street and I call her and she’s right back beside me. I lead them to the backyard and get them in and close the gate. Now I knock on the front door to let the owners know their dogs got loose but are now safely back in their backyard.
I don’t know if it would have been different if it had been someone else (Massi is used to me) but it was a test that we all passed. I didn’t panic and just took charge over Massi to get control of the situation and it worked just like it should. Massi is benefiting from the work we have done together. No bites, not growls and no lunging, this is very good.