Sorry to disappoint last night but I had a little tech problem, user related, of course!
I have spent the last few days discussing various types of barking behaviors and training methods for them. What I want to focus on today is what we can do for the underlying causes of barking – stress, anxiety and fear. We know about the Touches – first discussed on 2/15/2015; specific mouth work was covered on 4/13/2015 and Body Wraps were first introduced on 4/18/2015. Just scroll back to those dates to refresh your memory about these discussions.
What I have not covered is the Ground Work, called ‘Playground for Higher Learning’ by Linda Tellington-Jones. Through the various excesses included in ground work the dogs learns how to think and cooperate by learning to make good choices because he learns how to concentrate on a specific challenge. As dogs learn and work through the various obstacles he also develops self confidence. It means that he is learning to pay close attention to his handler through the signals communicated through the leash, your voice and your body language. This is so important for your dog as he learns to depend upon you, his handler. This is the foundation of team building. A calm, confident dog can learn, can cope and can let go of stress and anxiety.
I’m attaching a YouTube video to give you a better idea about the Playground and how the dog/handler relationship is formed. At 2:28 there is an excellent demo of the Labyrinth, the cornerstone of ground work obstacles. Please note – most of these dogs are on harnesses or a variation in order to keep the pressure off the neck. A very special thank you to Laura Fisher for this video.