Is social distancing really a new thing?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been social distancing for many years. Yet, it’s only now that other people are taking it a little more seriously. Nobody in their right mind wants a killer virus entering their system. It’s a shame it’s taken this to get the distance you as a reactive dog owner needs.

Back in 2007 I found myself in the ruined realms of reactivity. A dog weighing 60kg, lunging, barking and snapping at everything we encountered, with me on the end of the lead hanging on for dear life. This meant I quickly learned that social distancing helped me massively with my out of control dog. And because of his size and behaviour, kept others away from me too.

The dog in question was called Titon. My first German Shepherd, who underneath all of the exterior ‘aggression’ was actually like the B.F.G. He wouldn’t leave my side and did everything I asked of him… inside.

Outside however, it was as if I didn’t exist. The only thing keeping us together, really, was the lead. The same lead I had to grip hard on to like I was hanging onto a rock cliff to avoid from falling. My heels sliding along the floor trying to prevent from being dragged along behind him. When Titon lunged and pulled, it would put any of these lockdown workouts to shame.

So, many years ago I learned the benefits of social distancing and how implementing it bought peace, calmness and silence. There was nothing to bark at on the peak district hillsides. Though I knew it wasn’t a long term solution

Self isolation allowed me to do many, many things with Titon. By staying away from other people and working on the core elements and foundations of dog training, it not only enabled me to build his confidence, relax him, (and me!) to better our relationship, to get him to listen and learn to what it was that I wanted from him. It also taught him to be okay around these scary distractions in the end too.

Social distancing isn’t a new thing. Not for barking dog owners anyway.

Now it’s a government rule, it’s going to be THE perfect time to get your shepherd better trained and better prepared for the distractions, when they start coming back. Because they will, we ain’t gonna escape them forever.

It’s time to train now.

Depending on why your dog is barking will determine their response through lockdown. The above is aimed mainly towards fearful or anxious dogs. But what if your dog is losing out on interaction time? What if they’re used to meeting and playing around with other dogs.

You’re likely going to be seeing an increase in barking there too. Your dog isn’t going to understand why they can’t go and see the dogs they’ve just spotted across the way. They aren’t going to comprehend why they’re being kept on the lead and walking away from things they want to say hello to.

The bigger the dog, the harder it’ll be too. I’m talking to you as a German Shepherd owner, when they pull, lunge, drag and bark, it’s hard work. I don’t want it to get harder for you.

Social distancing will come with it’s pros and cons for everyone and each type of barking dog but the main lesson behind my blog today is not to let the barking escalate or ignore the underlying problem.

Let’s do something about it. Now, whilst we have the time, and the resources available to us.

Don’t look back on this 8-12 or however many weeks we have left and go ‘Oh shit, I’ve wasted all of that time I could have been training and now my dog is a raving barking lunatic, every time we see something’

Don’t be that dog owner.

To make the most of this unprecedented time, let me share with you some things that can quickly and easily help you. How does a free barking dog training challenge sound?

Seven days, live with me, working on training techniques to tire, train and transform your barking German Shepherd.

It’s completely free, and I’ll be starting it in a couple of weeks time.

All you will need is a German Shepherd, an ability to listen and learn and then implement what it is that I give you to do.

To join us in the challenge, simply click here

We’re going to have a barking, banishing, blast.

Speak soon,
‘The Dog Charmer’

P.s. I’ve also released my third book called Cope with Crisis that’s going to be live on Amazon this week.

Go grab yourself a copy, it’s just 99p for the launch week.

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