"Look at That" -- Instead of... (barking and lunging on leash)
with Melissa Dallier of ACanineAffinity, Training Advocate

Does your dog react on leash to exciting, scary or unpredictable things in the environment? This might be other dogs, people, squirrels, skateboards, motorcycles etc..? This might look like: barking, lunging, whining, spinning or generally seeming out of control.

When our dogs are in this state of mind they are often feeling frustrated, over excited, afraid or a combination of all of these. Emotions take over and we as their humans can't communicate what we want. Instead we need to teach them to have a more "appropriate" conversation with us!

"Look At That" training is a wonderful tool developed by Leslie McDevitt as a part of her Control Unleashed program and it is a way for us to have a conversation with our dog. They tell us about the things they see, and we reinforce them for remaining cool and collected.

For this you will need

  • A Mat or Blanket
  • A clicker or marker word that has been conditioned
  • Treats
  • A neutral item your dog has no feelings about

When our dogs are able to look at, or sniff towards, or NOT look at something they find overwhelming without reacting and we reinforce that behavior that will be repeated! Remember that we need to work under threshold, which is usually a greater distance than we expect. Distance is your friend!