My Pug is Anxious, Not Naughty!

Unless it’s really quiet, Holly stays on her lead in the park because she gets anxious when other dogs are around. Off-lead she would run at them aggressively and I feared for her in case one day she met her match.

On-lead, we’re working on the problem with counter conditioning – where we help Holly associate the trigger (other dogs!) with happy feelings (chicken treats!), focus & self control – where we help Holly focus on me (and the chicken treats!) when the triggers are present, and functional rewards – where Holly learns to focus on the trigger and make good choices (chicken treats!).

Some dog owners don’t seem to respect our space though and I used to feel terrible when she snarled and barked at their dogs but, when I thought about it, I’m the one working with and controlling my dog and they’re actually the one with the dog that’s out of control!

Now I’m never embarrassed by her barking or snarling and I just concentrate on helping her feel less threatened!


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