One-on-One Sessions — From Triggered to Calm

Protective Riekee Learns Submissive Leash Behavior

The beautiful dog I would like to highlight this month is a one-year-old German Shepherd female named Riekee. Her owner Josee reached out for assistance — she was afraid to leave Riekee in a kennel’s care due to her protective and aggressive behavior. 

After talking with Josee, I learned that she rescued Riekee when she was 7 months old with no knowledge of her prior background or treatment. Josee and her family found Riekee to be extremely protective of them. While that was great for their family, it also made Josee reluctant to take her anywhere because she feared Riekee’s aggression toward outsiders. 

I knew that the best way to improve Riekee’s distracted, protective tendencies would be to get this girl in a calming cord and work with Josee on a new leadership style, backed by confidence. Riekee needed to learn how to submit and trust Josee, and this one-on-one leash behavior session is where that would happen. 

Riekee Was a Very Distracted and Easily Triggered Walker

  • Due to Riekee’s aggressive barking and lunging, I had her owner secure a muzzle on her.
  • Riekee was very reactive to distractions and especially triggered by other dogs and people. 

Then we began. With every iteration, I could feel Riekee relaxing into the exercise and the Calming Cord™. After only a short time, I reached down and removed the muzzle with confidence; we were working together well! When I returned to my client in the driveway, Josee stated, “I can’t believe what I just saw.” 

Then it was Josee’s turn to handle Riekee on the leash and Calming Cord. I instructed Josee, and she continued to relax into the training as she acquired more confidence. It was a joy to witness her new budding relationship with her beautiful girl Riekee. By the end of the session, not only had Riekee developed a keen eye for walking with her owner, but Josee was like a whole new person herself!

  • Riekee developed the habit of regularly checking where she was in relation to Josee.
  • Josee walked with confidence and attention to Riekee, quickly correcting her behavior when needed.
  • By the end of the session, Riekee could ignore bicyclists, other dogs, and that strange guy walking behind them who kept giving tips to her owner. 

I always remind my clients that patience and practice are necessary. In order to reach a desired outcome, repetition and consistency are keys to success. Even though she saw significant improvement after our session, Josee continues to work with Riekee in order to achieve the best relationship possible with her furry friend.

“Within about five minutes, she was already starting to behave better. Within one hour, she was walking by my side without pulling and without the muzzle. She had been directed to the right way of walking. No longer aggressive, she was submissive.” — Josee, Riekee’s owner 

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Struggling with aggression, leash behavior, jumping, or barking?

Leash behavior like Riekee’s is a common canine issue for many families. It’s one of the reasons I began offering private 90-minute focused training sessions at my home/kennel. My objective is to assist my clients in significantly improving their dog’s undesirable behaviors that their family is struggling to correct. 

  • My calm proactive approach combined with my custom-designed equipment featuring The Well Heeled Way® Calming Cord™ will make a significant behavioral improvement during our session or I will not accept a fee!
  • I also strongly encourage a family member to videotape anytime I am demonstrating with their dog so they have a valuable reference tool. In return, I will video my client with their dog as I am actively coaching them and forward them all those videos as well. 
  • The most important thing I teach is K9 leadership. Dogs need a calm, confident, and relaxed leader willing to establish clear, concise, and consistent criteria.