I first met this adorable pair in December 2018. The reason for the session was Finn's excitability and vocalisation and Max's reactivity and both for loose lead walking.
During the private session we captured the moments of 4 on the floor with Finn. We started mat training and impulse control. This was especially helpful regarding putting harnesses and leashes on. We used the multiple dog game that involves impulse and stimulus control for this and 2 elevated couches for the dogs to sit on when "getting dressed". This has definitely improved the arousal associated with their walking gear.
We also started to teach a default look, and began loose lead walking training in the back yard to ensure that both dogs were able to stay below threshold and learn. During this time it became apparent just how anxious Finn is away from Max. Some Adaptil spray on a bandana helped, however was not the be all and end all. We added in Zylkene at this time. For Max we introduced the Look At That game for triggers at a distance.
With a follow up session in March we introduced the attention game in the back yard, with the plan to move toward the gate to exit the property and gate manners. This was especially hard for Finn.
We also added in moving the mats to multiple locations and focusing on calm in several settings. Dogs do not generalise, so need to practice behaviours in several scenarios. I recommended follow up with their veterinarian to discuss the potential benefits of medication for Finn.
I am so happy to say that during our most recent follow up in March, both Max and Finn (with the introduction of situational behaviour medication) were able to exit the property calmly, practice loose lead walking in the street and learn a new behaviour of emergency U turn. We also practiced with the mats in the drive way and switched between increasing arousal (running, walking, emergency U turns), to calming and chill time on the mats and one dog at a time.
I cannot be more proud of Max and Finn's parents. Both dogs have shown huge improvements and I look forward to catching up with them in future. We have other plans for confidence building and fun, as well as cooperative care behaviours and muzzle training (something all dogs should be able to do).