The Bitey End of the Dog

Jessica Wheatcraft CPDT-KA, CDBC

September 12, 2022 Michael Shikashio CDBC Season 3 Episode 27
The Bitey End of the Dog
Jessica Wheatcraft CPDT-KA, CDBC
Show Notes Transcript

Dogs that bark, growl, lunge, snarl, and snap when on-leash. Also known as leash reactivity, this is one of the most common issues a dog trainer may be asked to help with.
In this episode of The Bitey End of the Dog, I have the pleasure of chatting with Jessica Wheatcraft, who I consider one of the best out there on understanding and working with this issue. Jessica and I take a deep dive into the topic of leash reactivity and explore advanced concepts that we can incorporate in even the most difficult of cases. And don’t forget to check out The Aggression in Dogs Conference where Jessica will be presenting on this very topic of Advanced Concepts in Leash Reactivity – What, When, and How to Change Criteria.

For additional resources on helping dogs with aggression, visit:
https://aggressivedog.com

Here is the special link to The Aggression in Dogs Master Course and Expert Webinar Bundle. Offer expires on 11/1/22.
https://aggressivedog.thinkific.com/bundles/the-aggression-in-dogs-master-course-and-expert-webinar-bundle

Don't miss out on the third annual Aggression in Dogs Conference  9/30-10/2/22:
https://aggressivedog.com/conference/

About Jessica:

Jessica Wheatcraft, CDBC, CPDT-KA is the Owner and Director of Behavior and Training at Instinct Dog Training San Diego. She and her team help San Diego dogs and humans live better lives through practical, positive, and effective training & behavior programs. 

Jessica has over 15 years of training and behavior consulting experience, working with thousands of pet dogs and their families. She has specialized in behavior issues for the past 10 years, specifically leash reactivity and aggression cases. She takes a comprehensive approach in understanding each individual dog, and tailoring her training plan accordingly. 

https://www.instinctdogtraining.com/personnel/jessica-wheatcraft/


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dogs that bark, growl, lunge snarl and snap when on leash, also known as leash reactivity. This is one of the most common issues a dog trainer may be asked to help with. In this episode of The by the end of the dog, I have the pleasure of chatting with Jessica wheat craft, who I consider one of the best out there on understanding and working with this issue, Jessica and I take a deep dive into the topic of leash reactivity, and explore advanced concepts that we can incorporate and even the most difficult of cases. And don't forget to check out the aggression in dogs conference where Jessica will be presenting on this very topic of Advanced Concepts and leash reactivity, what, when and how to change criteria. And if you are interested in hearing more about applicable tangible and immediate steps you can use to help your own dog or in your cases, I just launched a subscription series called Help for dogs with aggression, which is an additional format to this podcast where I walk you through a variety of aggression cases, and how to solve them. You'll find a little subscribe button on Apple podcasts where the by the end of the dog show is listed. Your support of the show is very much appreciated. Hey guys, welcome back to the by the end of the dog this week, I've got none other than a good friend and colleague Jessica week craft kind of go way back now that I'm thinking about it. We've known each other for a while. And she's the owner and director of behavior and training at instinct dog training San Diego. She and her team helps San Diego dogs and humans live better lives through practical positive and effective training and behavior programs. Jessica has over 15 years of training and behavior consulting experience working with 1000s of pet dogs and their families. She has specialized in behavior issues for the past 10 years, specifically leash reactivity and aggression cases which we're going to talk more about. She takes a comprehensive approach and understanding each individual dog and tailoring her training plan accordingly. And she provides case coaching for trainers. And you can find her at Jessica Wieck craft.com, as well as your instinct training business. She kind of has two hats on. So welcome to the show. Jessica. Thank you so much, Mike, I'm thrilled to be here. Yeah, I'm excited to jump in this conversation because we're gonna be talking about advanced concepts and leash reactivity. I know we've, I've had other guests on, we've talked about leash reactivity in general. But this is something you specialize in, and you're going to be talking about the aggression in dogs conference about it. And I'm super stoked for that. Because I think what can happen with a lot of our clients is they get stuck or even trainers get stuck in their cases. Because we know a lot of the approaches out there, right we've had, I've had Grisha, Stewart on with behavior adjustment training, I've talked to Shawn will and masa and Ishimoto about constructional aggression treatment as well on on the show. And so there's, there's lots of different approaches Lesley McDevitt to look at that she'll be a guest as well on the podcast this season. So we can definitely talk about that. So you also focus on assessment and being one of the most important aspects of working these cases. And if somebody gets stuck, right, if they have like an advanced case, so you want to talk more about that and sort of your process for assessing these cases? Sure, absolutely. I think that whenever I have a reactivity case that comes across comes across my plate, the assessment procedures, and the information gathering that I take in is really important because it sets the stage for what my overall plan is going to be for that individual dog in that individual client. And so I tend to be pretty, pretty darn detailed and asking a lot of questions and making sure that I have all the information that I need to make sure that I can support that client and create like a training and behavior plan that's going to be the most effective for them. So as far as when you're kind of assessing, there's certain aspects of the case you look for from well, maybe we'll talk about the dog first. And that way we can shift to the client and what you look for there. So when you're looking at the behavior history, for instance, what do you look for in the assessment? That's a good question. So when I'm getting the dog's behavior history, there's quite a bit of information that I'm going to be getting. But I would say, some of the pieces that I am always going to want to make sure that I'm gathering is one, this dog's history with other dogs. Because when we're working with dogs that are reactive to other dogs on leash, we have to somehow formulate our best educated guess on how that dog might feel about other dogs because that plays a huge role in what our approach is going to be. So for example, if there's a dog who goes to daycare, we all know these dogs, right? They, they're totally fine at daycare, and they actually have really appropriate play and maybe even have fantastic social skills. Then when they're on a leash It's a whole different story, they might be lunging, barking, just totally wild and out of control. And if somebody would see that same dog in each of those contexts might not even believe that it is actually the same dog. Because I know that I've seen that many times myself. So there's dogs like that, who have actually a lot of sociability towards other dogs. And so that's one piece, that's going to be really important, because I want to understand, like, how does this dog feel about other dogs, and a lot of that is just going to come from that dog's history with other dogs. On that same note, though, a lot of people don't always have the history of their dogs, you know, a lot of people are adopting a dog from a shelter or from a rescue group or something. And there just isn't a lot of history with that dog. And so some other pieces that I'll look for is again, just trying to get as much detail about has this dog ever lived with another dog? If so, how long? How does this dog behave towards other dogs in various contests? So I want to dive into, like if the dog lives with another dog, that's one thing, but then how does this dog behave when it sees other dogs in its neighborhood? What about if it goes somewhere outside of the neighborhood? Like a park or something? Is there any difference in the dog's behavior there? What about if you bring your dog to like the vet or the groomer, What's the dog's behavior like there, so I'm trying to get as many pieces to the puzzle so that I can best understand and help me point in a certain direction of like how this dog might feel about other dogs in general. And, of course, I'll also look for any significant events that might have happened in the dog's past, there's quite a few dogs that I've worked with that had gotten attacked by another dog or had had a traumatic experience with other dogs. And that then changed their behavior. So maybe they were indeed fairly social. But then they got attacked at the dog park or, or, or off leash dog came in, and attack them when, while they were on a walk. And now, they are starting to have a lot of conflicted behavior towards other dogs, where maybe they're friendly with the dogs that they still know. But any new dogs, the their behavior is much different. So there's a lot of nuances that I feel it's really important to dive into, so that we can change our approach because my approach for a dog who had a traumatic experience with another dog is going to be a lot different than a dog who has fantastic social skills and is just really frustrated on leash and just has a lot of big feelings when they can't actually get access to another dog. Yeah, so it sounds like a lot of your focus is on determining the underlying emotion or motivation in the case is through that behavior. History. Right? Yes. So what if you have a case where there's a dog that maybe has no history? So it's a recent, very recently adopted dog? And you ask the client, you know, what's your dog like, with other dogs? And they're like, Well, I'm not I don't know, because I'm just too afraid to bring it around other dogs. So when I see other dogs, dogs barking and lunging, I don't know what to do. So to do any kind of assessment for that, or what is your what is your procedure for that? Yeah, I do. There's always going to be some history. So I will still poke and prod with those clients. I'll ask specific things, a lot of these dogs that if we don't have a history, and they were either in a shelter or a rescue group or a foster home, so there's some detail somewhere that maybe that maybe the owner themselves didn't find relevant. So they didn't think they needed to share it. But it could be that that dog actually lived with some other dogs in the foster home. So I'll try to get some questions about that. Was that something were they? Did they engage in play? Was there anything where he had friends? Or was it something where well, the they went to the foster home because they had just gotten neutered, so then they were actually on crate rest for a week, and then they got adopted out. So then we know that that dog actually didn't really have much contact in that situation. Or if the dog was at a shelter, if they happen to have any of the shelter paperwork with them, I will either ask to see it, or just simply ask the question over the phone. So I'm always going to poke and prod for some history because there's almost always something some little piece that I can gather some information from. If there's dogs where I just genuinely we don't really know how this dog feels about other dogs. When I do an in person consultation, I will often bring a stuffed dog just when I have like a large stuffed dog that I bring, and I will do some assessments with a stuffed dog so that a, we can be safe because we don't really know the history of this other dog towards other dogs. And so in my experience, that's the safest route to go is to use the stuffed dog for that and it's just and it's just for information gathering. You know, there's some pros and cons to using stuffed dogs. Some dogs just know that they're not real and you can get kind of what I call a false positive where they seem to feel pretty comfortable with a stuffed dog and it could be because they know that it's not real or it could also be that well it's simply not moving so it's appears very calm. and there's no social pressure that the stuffed dog is, is sending towards the client, dog. And so, so there's, when I'm doing those assessments I don't. And I see the dog's behavior with a stuffed dog, I don't take that as like, Okay, this is exactly how this dog feels. But I can look at the dog's body language and how it approaches that stuffed dog. And that is a piece that I do use to better understand how this dog feels? How does it approach the dog? What part of the body does it come into contact with first? Does it avoid the dog completely? So there's a lot of just body language that I can also use to my advantage to see again, how how might this dog feel about other dogs? Yeah, and the topic of stuffed dogs sometimes can be controversial. I know, there's a lot of controversy about using them in dog training, but actually Dr. Victoria Clawson on the show yesterday, I recorded her episode, and we're talking about stuffed dogs, and how useful they can actually be for assessment. And so I think it really depends on when we're using them how we're using them. And we could talk more about that, certainly, as well as the work we do when we're actually using them as decoy dogs. But let's shift now towards the human side of the assessment. So we've kind of gotten a little idea of, you know, assessing for underlying emotions and feelings and what why the dog is wanting things to maybe get closer or go away with their behavior. And so what about the humans? What kind of questions you ask there? Or what are you looking for when you're assessing that side of the case? Well, most humans that own reactive dogs are frustrated, because it's embarrassing, it feels very limiting to have a reactive dog, because I mean, gosh, you just want to take your your darn dog out for a walk, you know, like, like, we just want to enjoy this. And so I think that for a lot of humans, they I tend to see a lot of frustration. Sometimes they're exasperated by the situation, sometimes they also don't understand it either. And that is again, going back to the context, how a dog's behavior can be just very contextual. So like in one situation, the dog might be fine. And then in another situation, the dog has a reaction. So I also find that I tried to do a lot of education with the client from the beginning as well, because there's so many nuances with reactive dogs, and some of those nuances can come down to things as simple as for some reactive dogs, when a dog is walking towards them, that elicits a much larger reaction. And that I would say, across the board, most dogs like face to face, the dogs walking right towards them, you're gonna have allergic reaction, even if that dog might be much farther away, versus a dog that's walking away from them, and might even be closer to the dog like closer in proximity, but their back is turned so then their reaction might be different. It could also be something as similar as, again with the other dog is doing in terms of, for some random dogs, if another dog just ignores them, then and there's no social pressure that's involved, they tend to, I've seen them where they are, it's easier to walk past them. And it's not, you don't get as big of a reaction. Whereas other dogs, when you have that social pressure where that dog is looking or showing interest in the clients, dog, then you get that reaction. So I go over these types of things with my clients, especially as we're out and about and walking with their reactive dog. I'm always pointing out things of body language, what I'm seeing, I'm also taking note of stress levels, because there's also tends to be a fair amount of trigger stacking that can occur with reactive dogs were at the beginning of that walk, they might be a little bit more under threshold, so to speak, but then the more dogs are the more triggers that they tend to come across, then their tolerance levels go down. So So part of what I'm also doing as with the clients is helping them understand all of those pieces, because they're really relevant to the overall process. But I also will look at their own handling skills, because it's, especially if you have a large dog and they're flailing around at the end of the leash. I mean, that's just a lot to hold on to. And, you know, some clients don't feel like they can hold on to their dogs. And so they're keeping them really really tight leashes were, they might clam up really easily like a dog comes, they just freeze because there may be watching to see like what their dog does. And then and then everybody's just frozen, waiting to see what the dog does. And then he reacts anyways. So I tend to see that as well. So I'm also looking at some of the dynamics of like the owners leash handling skills. What do they do if you happen to come across the trigger? And then how does that dog respond to the owner when that occurs? Because that's also important, because that could go both ways. Some dogs can respond really favorably to their owners, and I can see like, Oh, they've got some good communication here. Or maybe the stock actually has a pretty nice foundation of training in that piece might look really good. Or it might be this owners really struggling with just handling, you know, their dog or having some situational awareness of, you know, the ability to see something coming, assess the environment quickly, is there an out that they can move away too quickly? So those are some other things that I'm also going to be looking at from that client. How do you answer the question when a client says, or asks, I think the dog can sense how I'm feeling so like, they can read our minds or something like that. Or they have the sixth sense of like sensing our energy or some some kind of woowoo thing like that. But how do you answer that question, when the clients convince it's, it's really the dogs picking up on their feelings. So I think that there's some validity there, in the sense that there's probably some very, very subtle things that the owner is doing, that the dog is picking up on. And those can be things like they hold their breath, they're not breathing anymore, they might inadvertently just kind of tighten their grip on the leash, which the dog might feel, even if the leash doesn't actually get shorter or tighter, the owner might just grip that leash a little bit more, you know, there could be many things that the dog is picking up on. I think, from a more practical perspective, really, what's happening is that there's just a long history of learned behaviors from the dog is experiencing something with their owner. And it's in this context, and there's just a really long history of like associations that have been built. So it's something that I do think that yes, the dogs are picking up on things that the owner is doing. But it's also things of just just a long history, that the two of them together have been out. And they've been in a lot of situations where the dog has reacted. Yeah, I usually explained it to at least my students using the differences between emotions and emotional responses. So the dogs can't necessarily tell what emotion we're experiencing, because that's subjective to the individual. But they can certainly see our emotional responses, like you'd mentioned the whole thing, that breath or maybe tensing up or doing something that that sort of becomes a very clear cue in the environment that, hey, this is the context or something bad's about to happen, because you're doing that thing again. Right. So yeah, do you see that in your cases, sometimes with it's like a very consistent, but subtle thing that you're able to pick up on? I do? I do? Yeah. When when we're working with these cases, it's that we're working with both ends of the leash. So it's not just the dog, it's always, you know, the owner, as well. And that always has to be a large focus in terms of helping them feel as confident as possible, and as prepared as possible, giving them the tools to know what to do in the situations as well. Yeah. And so a clear distinction, I think, between this type of case, and many of the other types of aggression cases, is the emotions of both the human and the dog. You know, it's not that that doesn't matter in other cases, but I think more so in this case, because of the connection that's happening between the leash and the owner at the really during the entire time that they're out and about, would you say that's true? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And if you think about just just behavior issues in general, I mean, a lot of them are occurring in home, right? How many of us are dealing with, there's resource guarding there's aggression towards guests, you know, there's a lot of behaviors that happen in the home. And it's just different when you're out in public, you know, with your dog, because there's just so much more going on around you. So there's a lot more layers to addressing leash reactivity, I, in my opinion, that we have to take into consideration, then perhaps something that's just occurring in the home where everybody is more comfortable, and you don't have people from the general public looking at you, or coming across your environment. So there's I think it's I think it's it's a lot more complex when you're taking these things out in public. Makes a lot of sense. So let's segue to the how do you select the techniques you're going to use because again, we're talking about all the acronyms that are out there, bat cat lats, engage, disengage, desensitization and counterconditioning. There's a lot of different techniques and systems that have been developed over the years are helping dogs with leash reactivity. And I'm sure you're familiar with most of them. And so what is your selection process? Or how do you determine this particular cases would Deuce would be suited? Well, for just straight desensitization and counter conditioning? Or maybe this dog needs this particular approach? Do you have a certain way of approaching that yourself? Yeah, I do. So some of that's going to come down to when I first meet the dog. So when I do my in person, assessment, I always want to take the dog out on their typical walk with the owner. This is something where I'm not taking them out in the sense of like, let's purposely bring them out to see a reaction. My goal when I go out with the owner and the dog and to just assess Just like what's your normal thing? Like? What's your average walk? Let's just do that so that I can see like on a day to day basis, what is this dog and owner experiencing? And how is the dog responding? And so when we're out walking, and I'm looking at this dogs, a lot of does assessment of body language, I am looking for a couple of key pieces. So one of them, I just want to see how does this dog feel about being outside in general? Is this a dog who is feeling really stressed just by leaving the house, they're pulling on the leash? They're hyper vigilant, they seem frantic. They they won't eat, there's, you know, can't respond to unknown behavior. So another little thing that I always do in my assessments is asking the owner What's What's your dog's easiest behavior? For most dogs? Like sit? You know, what's the what's the thing that they know best? And then asking the owner, can you ask your dog to sit right now I just want to see if they'll respond to you. So seeing how the dog might respond to to any sort of previous training or known behaviors, that's one piece. I'm also going to assess their body language that when they actually see a dog, what do they do? For example, there was one dog that I worked with, and she lived in a condo, like a condominium type community. So it was something where there's pretty tight spaces between them and a lot of other dogs, but there was a lot of outdoor space. So this wasn't a high rise, but it was just a, like a condo community. And so it meant that a lot of the walks had to be on like a pathway that went around their complex or somewhere in the in the parking lot. And this particular dog did a significant amount of sniffing, and that was just her way of just coping with with the environment and in just coping with her stress. And when this dog would see another dog, it would almost always resort to sniffing first, like seeing other dogs gonna be like, Oh, I'm just going to do this, you know, don't mind me, I'm just sniffing over here. And it just wasn't until you know, the dog ended up getting a little bit too close, that that dog would then switch out of sniffing and then exhibit some other behaviors of staring, lunging, and barking at the other dog. So when I saw that this particular dog just tended to actually take care of things in in a really good way, you know, sniffing Hey, that's fantastic. Let's go with that. So, for that particular dog, I tended to do a lot more like bat related type approaches with with this dog, I also just tend to just to reward the sniffing, and then we eventually, so of course, starting at a further distance, and then eventually coming closer together. There were some other behaviors that you know, we went in there, we taught as well, I think it's equally important to have a pretty solid foundation of other behaviors, you need to be able to call your dog away from something so you can move away from something quickly. So even though I will use other approaches to deal with like the actual, when you see a dog, we do this, I will also always have a set of foundation behaviors that I want to make sure I can rely on so that if the dog cannot make a good choice, or if we just really need to support this dog more than we have some behaviors that we can pull from as well. So that's an example of one dog that just had a lot of that used a lot of sniffing, and that's how they dealt with their environment. And then, you know, there's other dogs where it typically seems to be pretty simple, like one of the things that I tend to go to pretty frequently is a bit of like a look at that or like engage disengage, because that's really what the dog is doing anyways, they see a dog and they look at it. And it, it's also the easiest, one of the easiest behaviors, to just start reinforcing to because it's, it's pretty simple and it's in, it's simple for the owner to see it as well, oh, my dog saw the other dog, I can mark and feed that. So I will often start with something like that. But again, it's hugely dependent on the individual dog. And then I'll also have many variations of if I'm going to be doing rewarding the dog just looking at the other dog, I might also get really strategic with how I'm delivering the food to help defuse that situation even more and reduce any like frustration or tension. So there's many other nuances that again, depending on that dog, I might also be incorporating. So do you mean like treat scatters or reinforcement happens in a different location? When you're when you're talking about that? Yeah, so it could be Yep, any of the above. In general. I will say that I probably reinforce most of the food on the ground when I'm working with reactivity cases most of the time not always because it's some of this is dependent on on how I'm doing it. But most of the time, if I'm just going to be working on the dog just looking at another dog, I almost always feed on the ground. It might be that I dropped the tree right past the dog's nose and maybe we're stationary. So maybe we're Watching another dog go bikes. So this part is also relevant in terms of how you're feeding is, well, what are you doing? Are you stationary? Because another dog is gonna go past you? Or are you actually trying to move past this this other dog, because I'm not going to do a tree scatter, which keeps the dog even more stationary, if I'm trying to get past the dog. So some of it has to just be from a practical perspective, like, well, what am I doing here, but I will say that feeding on the ground, the reason why I've just had done so much of it is I just find that it helps diffuse the situations even more, because the dog has to just stop looking at what's in front of them and drop their head to actually get the treat. And so whether I'm going to be standing still, and just marking and feeding for the dog looking at another dog, that's, that's coming by and feeding on the ground, or I might do treat tosses, like I might mark and then have the treat at the dog's nose and toss. And that's something that I might do, if I'm trying to create more distance from from another dog, if I'm trying to just move and feed and or for some of those dogs, especially the ones that are experiencing frustration on leash, because they just really do want to go towards the other dog, that treat tossing can be a fun strategy, just to make it more fun. Like, hey, I'm, I'm cool, you can play with me. And we can do fun games over here. And so I find that the treat tossing can be just more engaging for those types of dogs, as well. I will say one caveat to that is, that's one of the things that I'll kind of assess with the dog is how do you feel about you know, like a treat toss or versus feeding to the mouth, because there's some dogs that just don't really care for treat tosses, or don't like think it's very fun to move towards them. So in some of the situations I, if the dogs just not into it, then I'm just going to do your standard just feeding to the mouth. But it also depends on again, the behavior that I'm working on. So if I'm reinforcing eye contact from a dog, like offered eye contact, like you see the dog and you look at me, I'm going to be feeding to the mouth. Because that behavior is, in my experience, the dog is probably feeling pretty good about the situation like okay, I can see that dog and I can even look away and look directly at you, I'm feeling pretty comfortable with this process. And so in that situation, I'm going to be feeding to the mouth, because if I'm feeding on the ground, it's going to like interrupt my flow, so to speak, it makes it harder for the dog to look at the dog and then look directly at me to get that reward, it tends to get a little sloppy with the handling. Yeah, so that lots unpack there because I was thinking about the benefits of you know, feeding on the ground. For me, it's always been you add a little duration in between when the dog sees something and when so they're not quickly looking back. And, you know, it's it just builds you a little bit of time in between when the dog sees the thing and then they go and gets the treat on the ground. You get a little enrichment value out of it as well. And you also get the location of the reinforcer sort of acting as this is where you're gonna go next to get that reinforcer. So on the other side of the coin, though, you mentioned some reasons why you would hand feed, do you find some of the dogs that are kind of get frantic about the treats like so you throw the treat on the ground, and like, this is the last treat on the planet. So I must get it now whatever it takes me scramble over there. And it actually kind of creates a arousal or even frustration in some cases. Do you see that happen? Yep, yeah, so those are the cases, then I will do what I call slomo feeding. I just didn't like very slow, like I marked the behavior I want. And then I take the train, I'm like, I'm going to deliver this very slowly. And it might be to the mouth, it might be on the ground. But then I'm going to take down my movements, because if I'm being if I'm just creating a lot of motion for the dog to pay attention to, and it's increasing their arousal, that's it's a very important piece to that puzzle is that we're always looking for ways to reduce their arousal. And so so then I will do the slow mo feeding. Or I might, if it's a really really Sharky dog, I might then consider like a different type of food reward like peanut butter or something that they can like, lick out of a squeeze tube or something along those lines, I might do something like that. Yeah, I was just going to ask you about that in terms of tube feeding or food feeding out of a Food Tube or some sort of duration feeder and the benefits of that as well. So we're going to take a short break and then when we come back when we jump into more advanced topics on leash reactivity. Thanks for tuning in, and I hope you are enjoying this episode. 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And the master course gives you access to 23 modules on everything from assessment to safety, to medical issues to the behavior change plans we use in a number of different cases, including lessons taught by Dr. Chris pockle, Kim Brophy and Jessica Dolce. You'll also receive access to a private Facebook group with over 1000 of your fellow colleagues and dog pros, all working with aggression cases. After you finish the course you gain access to private life group mentor sessions with me, where we practice working through cases together. And if you need CPE, us, we've got you covered, we're approved for just about every major training and behavior credential out there. This is truly the flagship course offered on aggression in dogs, and is perfect for pet pros that want to set themselves apart and take their knowledge and expertise to the next level. Or even for pet owners who are seeking information to help their own dog. You'll receive all 14 webinars, the master course, mentor sessions, and access to the private Facebook group for all just the price of the master course, which is only$495. There's only going to be 50 bundles available in this offer. And I will drop a link to the bundle in the show notes for this episode. The offer will expire on October 9 2022, which is just one week after the conference, though the bundle typically sells out quickly. So please take advantage if you are interested, head on over to the show notes for this episode in the podcast platform, you're listening to this episode in and click on the aggression in dogs master course and expert webinar bundle link. Thanks again for your support of the show. And I hope to see you in the master course. All right, I'm back with the amazing Jessica, we craft we are talking about advanced leash reactivity. Let's jump right into some of those more advanced concepts. Before we jumped into the break, we were kind of talking about, you know, location of reinforcers how we toss treats on the ground how that can be. You know, when you think about it, there's so many nuances to just that aspect, you know, how we feed what we feed when we feed. So you can see where there's so much fine tuning that can happen in these cases, right. So let's talk about sudden contrast or people you had mentioned, like the high rise condo building type of situation, and you're in San Diego, and anybody else who's tuning in from a major city probably experiences a lot of the same issues where there's a lot of what we call SCCs, or sudden environmental contrasts, or the distance, you know what things we do to control the behavior a lot of times or to set the stage correctly is to have distance, or control the intensity or duration of exposure to those stimuli. But what do you suggest for clients that do live in the cities, when you get stuck into that situation where it's very, very difficult, you go out and it's like, hard to avoid the other dogs or the cars or things like that? What are your techniques and tools and strategies for that? Yeah, that's a good question. I think sometimes those are, those are always the hardest cases, because of just the environment and the lack of control that that we have over the environment, it makes it very, very difficult to execute your behavior modification plan the way that you would want to. One of the things with that is when it's a really reactive dog that happens to live in like a really high density environment, I think always want to make sure that that the client has some expectations that we're setting some expectations from the beginning, because there's many different facets to that, that's going to lead up to having a dog be able to be more successful in that scenario. So it's not as simple as, okay, let's your back has to go in an elevator and there might be dogs that are coming in. So I'm going to just just feed your dog like just continuously and in the food is going to fix the whole thing. But I will just ignore everything. And I'll just take the food, because that often doesn't happen, the dog doesn't care about the food enough, or it's just not familiar enough with the behavior. So I think when in those scenarios, kind of going back to setting those expectation to the client, I want to make sure that they understand it's going to take some time to build your dog's skill set. This is something where you are also probably going to your dog is going to have some moments, even with the best prevention and management strategies that we can come up with your dog is still going to have some difficult moments. So some of those are going to be things that like okay, well what can we control? Because that's always the question when we when the environment is out of control. Then I think of like, okay, well, what what can we control? And so, those are going to be things like you know, typical things the time of day that you're taking your dog out. Is it truly necessary that you had to take your dog out at that time? That would be one thing. You know, obviously high traffic times if your dog doesn't have the skill set in order to do that, that would be something that for the time being you'd want to avoid? Does that mean that you might need to set up a potty station for your dog? If you have a balcony or something? Does that mean that, that you have maybe more control over their exposure to the outside by just simply having a potty station on on a balcony or something? Is that one solution that we could use in the meantime? Is it that depending on the size of the dog? Is it possible to just carry the dog? If it's small, and it feels safe in your arms? Is it possible to to carry the dog until you can get to some sort of location where it feels more comfortable? Or if it's a smaller dog? Is there like a stroller or something that you can put the dog in, that might help that dog, you know, feel more safe, and perhaps have a little bit more of a visual barrier? Is there the I think they're called Thunder caps now that I always referred to them as common caps? For some dogs? Is there a common cap that could work? You know, granted? Yeah, it looks silly. Your dog has it on people who can give you weird looks. But is that something that we could use her yeah, that that might also be an option is that also maybe an option of getting your dog just out the building as easily as possible, and maybe just getting in the car for the time being and driving your dog somewhere. So that's part of, I think, most most training plans when you're working with your activity cases is that we want to make sure that we're preventing the behavior from occurring, because while we're doing that, we're also trying to reinforce other behaviors and try to set up scenarios that your dog is going to be successful in. And that means that the owner has to do a bit more legwork in terms of making those things happen. And so it might mean that for several weeks to a couple of months, maybe they do have to get their dog out first thing in the morning, maybe they're driving them somewhere that's a more quiet space, maybe it's an industrial park, maybe it is a just a parking lot. Maybe Maybe it's a sniff spot, I use a lot of spots with my own dogs, just because I don't have a very large yard. And I want to be able to have a space that I can exercise all three of my dogs. And so I tend to use snip spots. So what can we control? Those are all things that we that we could control, while also working on your training at the same time, and slowly building that dog's skill set. while also being realistic, that the environment is really tricky. You're going to have some bad days here. Because that's just is just what happens when you have a reactive dog and you're getting them in public. It's not ever going to be that one day, just because you're doing the training that your dog is just never going to react again. I tend to see that it's is that reactivity is always going to be there to some degree. It just depends on what factors happen to come into play that might have it rears its ugly head again. Yeah, I love the way you frame that too. You know, what can you control? That's such a great way to actually flip it around. Because a lot of times our clients is like, it's just out of control, or there's nothing you can show it feels helpless, right? And so if we shift the framework to you know, what variables can you control, and it starts to give them ideas. And you had mentioned some other things, I'm going to define a couple of the terms you're just talking about for the listeners that might not have heard of things like thunder cap, so thunderclap is something that blocks the visual stimuli to an extent it doesn't completely blind the dog, they could still kind of see through it. But it does diffuse some of the intensity of certain stimuli great for car rides, especially, you also mentioned sniff spot, which is that could be colloquially for a place where the dogs go stiff. But there's actually a great company that sort of like the Airbnb for places for the dogs to go, you can rent some space for dogs that have this issue. Maybe they don't have, they can't go to a dog park, or they can't go for those walks. So you can rent somebody's yard and a lot of locations now. So and you also mentioned some interesting concepts. You know, one of the things that it sounds ridiculous, right? Get a stroller for your dog. And you can imagine if I go to a client, like dude, go get a stroller for your dog. And the look I would get. But you know, the way I've learned to convince my clients that these things like thunder caps are using, you know, alternative kind of what may seem strange at first is that we have to advocate for our dogs, right? Because if not, we're just kind of taking them out into a war zone every day on these walks. And a lot of clients actually thank you for that. Because they also have some anxiety relief from getting that permission to do other things. Right. Would you agree? They're like you're helping the clients a lot to kind of navigate that process as well. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So I want to shift now towards that dog you were talking about earlier on in the show about the dog just can't function goes outside and loses it like nothing's working. They're not taking food. Doesn't matter where you go. You could drive to a different location. You could put the dog in a stroller, you could throw in a thunder cab, you can do all these things, and still nothing's working. What do you do then? What do you recommend in those cases? So I will help me clarify this. So when we're saying that the dog is just really struggling being outside in general are you referring to that it's it's very difficult to find that dog's point of success meaning like, it's it's it struggles, whether it's outside or away from maybe in a different environment or so forth. Like it's just really struggling to, to learn, maybe picture a dog from a, you know, Brighton from another location that's very rural brought into the city, and it's just panicking and generalized anxiety, and all these things are happening in that environment. Because it's such a foreign, overwhelming environment. Yes, yes. Okay. Yeah, I understand what you mean. In those cases, I tend to find like, when dogs really struggle being in the environment, maybe they have kind of like an environmental anxiety. And maybe it's a little bit of like, from noise, if it's a very noisy neighborhood, and they are having some sort of likings anxiety over noise, again, always want to make sure like, what is it right, I'm always trying to, to really to figure out like, is it just the environment? Is it that the noise is also layering into this? So I want to make sure I'm like really understanding what exactly it is. But there are I mean, there's a lot of dogs that I work with that just really struggle just being outside in general. And so those are the dogs that I tend to focus a lot on, really building their foundation and their training at home, because that is the one environment that they are comfortable in. So if that is that dog's point of success, and when I kind of think they're referred to a point of success, there's, it's just where, where's your starting point? Where can the dog be successful, and that there's always a point of success for every dog. And so I'm going to find it. And if I'm doing my assessment, and we're taking the dog out, and we're just finding, like, wow, it's just dragging us around, it won't eat, it can't respond to anything, then that's not that dog's point of success. And I'm gonna bring it back, maybe, how does this dog respond closer to home? How does this dog respond if it's inside, and I tend to have the most success with those dogs by really honing in and building a very, very strong reinforcement history of foundation behaviors. And the foundation behaviors that I pick are going to be again, dependent on that dog and what skills we're going to need, it might be like some leash skills, teaching the dog how to walk next to us, and to stay calm and focused. It might be in addition to that, maybe some relaxation protocols and how to come away from a distraction, maybe even how to offer some more just eye contact to the owner. So how to default into paying attention to the owner more frequently. So I tend to start actually building a lot of those at home. And then I introduced the outside world, just a snippet at a time. So I might just do a lesson with the front door open. And that's all we do. We're still in the living room, the dog has rehearsed these behaviors for a long time. And now all we're going to do is just how the front door cracked or maybe then open it all the way. And then maybe we're going to like go outside for like five steps. And we're just going to come right back inside. So I call those loops, I tend to do a lot of loops with that. Not in the sense of loopy training, which is another advanced topic, but not in the sense of that. But just in terms of like creating a bit of a pattern for the dog like, Okay, I'm going to start here, and we're gonna do, for example, the leash walking, we're going to walk together. And then I'm going to just carry that same behavior across the threshold of the front door and down the walkway a little bit, and then we're going to turn right back around, and I get to go right back to my comfort zone. And that is something that works really, really well for those dogs, because they just get so overwhelmed by being outside, that you can't have it be so black and white for them. You can't just have only be inside or then only be outside, I'm always going to look for a way of like, How can I just transfer some of the success I'm having in the home to eventually out of the home. But I'm going to do that in a very systematic way, and not ask the dog for a lot at first and always allow them to go back to that safe space. And then with time, I mean it's I always love love seeing the progress of these dogs. They eventually like oh, well cool. Now I can actually go all the way down the street and do this too. And then still circling back towards home. I always try to maintain that same pattern until I can see that the dog is like just genuinely feeling really comfortable and can function in that environment. How often do you bring in maybe veterinarian or veterinary behaviorists to incorporate behavior meds in those cases? Do you find those helpful as well? Yes, that's a great question. I'm glad that you brought that up. Yeah, that's a big thing. Yes, frequently, so especially if if a dog's anxiety is so strong outside where it were, maybe inside or hyper vigilance, whatever, you know, whatever behavior it is to where they really struggle functioning. Absolutely. I always have that conversation with the client either during that consultation because I might be able just to see through the overall assessment that there are just multiple stressors. Maybe this dog has been exhibiting this behavior for a really long time. Maybe they've even tried various trade thing approaches without success. And the dog is just really struggling to the point where like, we want to consider that dogs welfare. And if I see that from the very beginning, I'm definitely going to make sure that this client reaches out to their regular vet first, seeing what their regular vet might have to say about this and or potentially recommending that they work with a veterinary behaviorist even doing like a vet to vet consultation, we tend to do a lot of those here in San Diego with instinct because we tend to send a lot of our clients to Dr. Chris pockels, practice virtually, obviously, Houston in Portland. And then we also have Dr. Emily Levine, who is also involved with instincts. So it's really nice that we have access to this veterinary behaviorist, but they also offer virtual consulting either with that clients actual vet, or depending on on the client, they can even schedule with a veterinary behaviorist themselves. So we do find that to be very helpful. And it's something that for many cases, the hero medication has made a significant impact on that dog's ability to just cope with life better, and really helped make their training and behavior program a lot more successful. So let's shift to the other end of the leash now and talk about clients that are kind of similar in that regard. They are panicking, they don't want to go outside, you're trying to suggest things and they're just too afraid, maybe they've gotten pulled down off their feet, or they're very anxious about what their dog might do, or they're embarrassed or they feel guilty. So all these emotions on the human side, other than recommending medication for them. Just kidding. But what do you do in those cases? What do you have any strategies for that? where somebody's just saying, you know, what, just go this is this all sounds good, I just I, you know, I don't feel comfortable, you know, going out my front door, and I just would rather use the back yard or they kind of, they're kind of self reinforcing on the management strategies, but not necessarily feeling comfortable with moving forward. In that situation, it really depends on the client. So I'm, of course going to ask them like, well, you know, what's your end goal here, you know, like we do, you want to be able to take your dog out. And if they do, if that's something that's really, really important to them, then a couple of things that I would look at, there would be one, what kind of training program are we actually doing. So private coaching might not actually be the best option for that client, if they themselves are so nervous, and then the dog is also really struggling, those are situations where like a homeschooler day training program might be just better suited for them, because then we can come in and set that stage, and then transfer those behaviors over to the owner so that it's just an easier process for the owner to be able to take over, I might also look at what equipment that dog is wearing. So if it's something where it's a very large dog, or a very strong dog, in relation to an owner, who is maybe just doesn't feel as confident being able to manage or physically manage their dog on leash, I might look at the equipment. So it might be using a head collar, it might be using a head collar and a front clip harness and in combination, I might look at it that to see if that's something that can help the owner feel more confident. And it might also come down to me making like little baby steps with with the with the owner and the dogs. So like, maybe I'm going to hold the leash, and the owner is going to be the one that's marking and feeding. And maybe I'm going to start with a stuffed dog. So like something that's not real. So the owner also feels like okay, well I know that this dog isn't real. And even if my dog freaked out, it's not going to be able to hurt this other dogs. And so I might start with like something super easy with building that clients confidence with the stuffed dog, me holding the leash and so forth, and then seeing if I can eventually transfer those things over. But I would also say that for some clients, I've actually had a couple here or there who just decided, You know what, I have a really large yard. And this sounds like a lot of work, you know, what if I just don't want to take my dog out, you know, and then okay, that's fine. You don't have to No one's forcing anything. You know, there's no rule in dog ownership that like you have to take your dog out if you can meet their needs elsewhere. And so for some of those clients, then it's just goes to as just as straight management like okay, just you know, do stuff at home, giving them a lot of fun activities to keep their dog busy at home. And or maybe just using management such as you just your dog goes straight from the door to the car, and then you just drive somewhere and you just enjoy like a nice quiet outing somewhere else where you do feel really comfortable and then you just come home. And that's that's okay, there's some that's that's fine, too. It's hugely dependent on the owner. Yeah, celebrating those small wins can add up to a lot, right. And so let's back up to tools because we didn't get a chance to talk about what tools because certainly we know in these cases where a dog has aggression issues or is displaying you know, the barking lunging, of quote unquote reactive behaviors on leash That leash restriction or any kind of restriction of movements takes away the flight option, or it can build frustration behind the behavior. So, as trainers, we're often very heavily focused on you know, loose leash walking skills. But when it comes to equipment, we can argue that some equipment is going to feel more restrictive to the dog. And kind of restricting the the agency or the choice in the environment, that feeling of agency where they're able to say, I can move away if I need to, when I've got a Rick the harness on because I'm not feeling restricted most of the time with that arm, but with the head collar on, I'm gonna feel a lot more restricted. How do you balance that? Or when do you how do you make that determination? Let's say you've got a client that has been pulled down to the ground. And you're, you know, the head halter, maybe with a double clip to the front of the harness is going to be the best option for control. But you're also seeing a dog that is saying, oh, now I'm really restricted here. So this is a big problem for me. So sort of an advanced issue there. But what would you do in that kind of case? Yeah, know that? Yeah, that's a great question. Well, when the dog is feeling restricted, and feels like it doesn't have the flight, the big thing that we want to keep in mind is, it probably only feels that way, if there's another dog around. So that's going to actually just come down to exposure, like, okay, so your dog has this equipment on, but then what are they then being exposed to? So probably something we're making sure that we're using, just being strategic about not having that dog be in certain situations until they have built either more comfort with their equipment, like feeling just comfortable and more relaxed in them, and or just building just their overall, you know, training skills. So that's one one relevant factor, we don't want to just slap a head collar on a dog and then just like, take it out on a walk and feeling really, you know, frustrated or boxed in by the actual equipment. So some of that is going to be just helping that dog, making sure that they're more comfortable with the equipment to begin with, I think is important. Some of it is also that for some dogs, like where I'm going to train with them at first is important I, when at all possible, I do try to have the dogs on slightly longer leashes if I can. And some of that is because it does give them a little bit more freedom. And I'm also able to see like, well, if this dog is on a longer leash, like What choice does this dog make, if the owner is it right next to it, and it doesn't have like a four foot leash on. So I'll use like 10 foot leashes, a decent amount of time, sometimes I'll put a dog on a long line again, it's really dependent on the dog and the environment that I put it in. Because when you're using longer leashes you also need to be cognizant of safety. So what happens if that dog sees something and then charges full speed at the end of the 20 foot long line, that's gonna be a heck of a lot of pressure that the dog is applying and you whoever is holding that whoever is holding that long line is going to probably have a hard time hanging on to it. So they lose the equipment has to be I think, in my opinion, you have to be very careful about what equipment you're using, what environment you're going to put that dog in. So I think for me, when I'm thinking of the question of equipment, How comfortable is this dog? How might that impact his behavior? I'm always gonna think of the environment piece first, like, okay, so well what environment Am I putting this dog in, and setting it up to where I can get success in one environment first, like where that dogs, you know, point of success is and then continuing to expand. And with the length of the leashes the gun, like for a lot of our clients, especially if you're living in a high rise, or you're just living in a tighter community, you can't have your dog on like a 10 foot leash, you know, all the way to the end, there's just safety concerns with that. So you do need to teach your dog how to feel more comfortable on a shorter lead. But I do think that being cognizant of the proximity of your dog towards other dogs in those scenarios, things like again, kind of going back to how you're feeding that it seems to like the other reason why I like two feet on the ground or do some tree tosses is because the dog feels like they can move more. So they don't feel like you know, they're in a sit stay and the leashes held, you know, one foot from their, from their head, and they're just being you know, funneled treats. That to me is a situation where a dog might be just more likely to feel restricted by by the equipment and so forth. See, this is what's awesome about specializing in a particular area of dog training and behavior, right? Because all of the nuances you've been talking about throughout the show, there's so many of them, right? When we think about just in leash reactivity or leash aggression cases, and all the variables that we can adjust the plans, we pick the client and the equipment, the reinforcement, where it happens, all those subtle things that you might not think about if you're taking a whole bunch of different cases. So that's my little side note for anybody that's training out there to specialize if you can, because you just get better at it right because you start to see those little details. So as many of the listeners know might know is that this show is not scripted. I never send my guests a list of questions ahead of time. I like to Just keep it very conversational. So I'd love to play a little game with you here and come up with a let's do like the top five advanced concepts or issues we might see in our leash reactivity cases. And kind of quickly what we could do about it to fix it. And I'll let you go first, to put you on the spot. I'll write something simple or something that you can get to in a couple of minutes time. So top five as in like, what are like top five? Top five, if you think like advanced, more advanced concepts, so not just you know, the reinforcer value, but maybe something and so you go first, and I'll go with the second one. So I would say one of the bigger Yeah, one of the big things is not tailoring that training plan to that individual dog, and not really understanding how that dog is feeling towards other dogs, I would say, is a big one. That's a big one, I think we have to like really try to do our best to understand that piece. Because otherwise, like what, how do we know what we're actually modifying? That's it, that's a big piece. And every dog learns differently. And so what's going to work for one dog may not work for another one. And there might be a lot of different nuances that you need to change based on that dog's individual preferences. And that's so important to you know, that goes back to the thing you were talking about the beginning of assessment and why it's so important, because out of most cases of aggression when we're seeing it, it can the dichotomy, the motivation can be significant, depending on the dog in a case versus, you know, let's say we have a dog that guards the food ball. Usually the motivation is pretty similar across the board. But dogs that are barking and lunging on leash, could have completely two different dogs could have completely different reasons and motivations. So excellent point. All right, I'll go second here. I will talk about the order of events. So one issue I see in my cases is when the client is really doing well with the food, they've got the food with them, they've identified a high value reinforcer, they've got everything going, right, they got the equipment that we suggested they're going on practicing, they've grown a great job, but suddenly, it's getting worse, or the dog stops taking the food. And sometimes the reason for that it's the wrong order of events, they're presenting the food before the dog sees the other dog or whatever they're having issues with. So now that hot dog starts to predict the bad things about to show up. So it's something that can be very subtle, because luring for instance, is very reinforced at the client, because they're pulling the dog away from looking at the bad thing. But then once they finish the hot dog, they're gonna eventually look back at the bad thing. And that is the wrong pairing of events. So we want to make sure that bad things are, you know, in air quotes, thing, bad things, such as other dogs for that dog predict the hot dogs. So that's, that's probably number two. To a lot of my top five. Yeah, sure. All right. Yes. Yeah. That's a great point. I'm really glad that you brought that up. Yes. Because we want the dogs to associate when I see a dog, then this happens. And that's a very common human mistake to like, Oh, let me just try to distract the dog. So then that doesn't actually see the dog coming. And then all of a sudden the dog is at its closest proximity, and then it notices and explodes. So yes, I would 100% agree with that when that's a Yeah, that's a good one. Okay, so the other thing that I would say is, common mistake is the rate of exposure that reactive dogs are receiving when they're out and about, people tend to think like, oh, I need to just have them see so many different dogs. And I need to do so much reinforcement of this. And I find that that always backfires. Because even if a dog is genuinely social with other dogs, but just feels frustrated, there's still icky feelings. I mean, obviously, the dog is barking and lunging. It's not relaxed. And so there's still stress involved. And I am a really big fan of balancing out reactive dogs, exposure to other dogs by like varying their routines as much as possible. So that couple of times a week, yes, they're getting out, they're practicing. They're seeing other dogs, but then a couple of times a week, they're going out and doing decompression walks or they're doing something where they don't have to see the things that they react towards, because making sure that we're keeping their stress levels low and that we're not actually exacerbating the problem by over exposing the dog is really important. That's a good point, because kind of segues to what I was thinking about, which is number four for this list is thresholds and properly identifying that now we have to define thresholds because it can mean different things to different people depending on which science you're talking about. Looking at. But for the purpose of this discussion, we might say barking lunging, growling was basically the undesirable behaviors are over threshold and anything else is under a threshold. That's the classical definition, at least in the dog training world. But some dogs might be more stoic, so there may be an absence of real, the subtle behaviors so the tongue flicks the whale eye or even even barking and growl. Link might have been punished out, or the dog has never developed that in the repertoire, which is rare but, and so we might see Stoik dog going from zero to 60. So there's no rules, just dogs just noticing, but you don't see those overt signs of anything until they start to actually explode. And a difficult time I think some people having is measuring is the dog actually okay with this thing? Are we far enough away? Are we keeping the intensity of the stimulus low enough for you to tolerate it in a comfortable way? Or at least that's what's most comfortable for you? And how do we assess for that, because not every dog is going to give us those obvious signals? So I often will problem solve that through looking at other behaviors, as you were mentioning earlier, does the dog engaged in cues that does the dog engage in play, so shout out to Dr. Amy cook and play away and it's a, that's a great barometer. Because most dogs aren't going to play and B afraid of something at the same time, a lot of dogs will eat and be afraid or have an issue with something. But a lot of dogs won't play into the same thing. So it's a great barometer. So in my cases where somebody's spinning their wheels, they're like, Okay, this is working, but it's not and the dog still seems to explode out of nowhere. And maybe it's even getting worse. It's sometimes the threshold issue that's not being recognized. So that's my number four. All right, you're up next number five. Yeah, let's see. So I would say that another big piece is that kind of situational awareness of the environment is something that I feel like a lot of it doesn't come naturally to the average person, and certainly not like the average dog owner. So really being aware of the environment that you're in. And like when I have my dogs out, I will. Okay, so with one of my dogs, I can take that dog out, and I'll have to worry about much because he's also the bed, I have my new dog who is actually displaying some leash frustration. So when I have him out, my attention is 100% on my dog, while I am walking, I am not listening to my podcast, I'm not walking with my friend, my I'm totally in training mode the entire time. And I'm always looking around me. And then I'm always assessing my environment of like, okay, well, where's my out? So if another dog was going to come towards me, is it possible that maybe they could go up somebody's driveway, kind of go behind a car? Is there a wider section of the environment that I might be able to move into easily? And that's something that when I'm working with my clients, as well, where I had mentioned earlier that sometimes the the, it's can be typical just to freeze, like, they're seeing something coming in, they're just like freezing. And so it's one of the things like when I'm out and we're coaching, it's like, okay, yeah, we see this stock that's coming, let's, let's look around us what some, hey, look, there's this kind of parking lot, you know, for this apartment complex that's over here to the right, it's going to be really easy, we can just go right down there, and then it'll be perfect, because we'll have a really nice setup that we can use, because now the dog is at a distance that it can handle. And we can use it as an opportunity to train. So it's something that when we're working with these cases, it's really important to keep dogs under, you know, obviously under special like we've been talking about, but it doesn't mean that we're just running from dogs every time we see them, it means hey, here's a dog, is this and can we use this as an opportunity to reinforce the dog on the behaviors that we're working on? But in order to do that, is there something else that we need to be aware of in the environment? Do we need to cross the street? Do we need to go up somewhere? Do we need to have a visual barrier to begin with, because maybe that dogs threshold? If it's across the street is too close, but and we can use a car as an example, as a as a barrier. But then once that dog starts getting a little further past that car, can we peek out from the car and actually trail the dog a bit? That's something that I always do with my clients is like this is about where can we set this dog up for success? And how can you get a lot of repetitions in in terms of the behaviors that you do want to see, I think that's so important. So having that situational awareness and not running from dogs when we see them, but rather, what can we use in in or in our environment, that's going to help us set that up. And then making sure that we're doing I think the other thing that I just want to throw in is making sure we're doing like several repetitions. So for example, if I'm working with a dog and the dog gets past us, and then I want to trail that dog a little bit, because the dots back is turned, it's a lot less threatening for my client dog, I'm going to do more repetitions. And I'm also going to use that as an opportunity to continue to build more of the behavior that I'm looking for. So for example, maybe if I'm going to do five repetitions, maybe the first two or three are going to be for the dog just looking quietly at the other dog great. And then maybe I'm going to pause after three and see if that dog could look and disengage or look and then look at me and then I can reinforce that for a while. So even if the dog is getting necessarily present, a lot of active dogs will still want to look in the direction that the other dog once was. And so I'm always gonna use those things to my advantage to continue to build more of the behaviors that I want. Because if we're only stuck in like At really tense moments, and that's all you're reinforcing, then that's all you're gonna get. So you have to, at times, most of the time still strive to get more this common responses get more of if you if your end goal is that the dog can look away and engage with you find ways to make that happen so that you have those opportunities to actually reinforce the behaviors that you want. Excellent, excellent. So excellent. top five list, I think we came up with there. So thank you so much, Jessica, we've had a really awesome conversation. Where can people find you and what are you up to next? So in terms of social media, I'm only on Facebook, I'm going to try to branch out a little bit more, I'm kind of an odd, odd one out where I'm just on one channel. So people can find me on Facebook. They can also find me on my website, which is Jessica we craft.com. And on there, I have information on case coaching that I offer for other trainers in their cases. I also have some webinars that are on there. And then I also have a course that I have planned to launch for this fall in winter, called unpacking leash reactivity, which is a comprehensive course, going over all aspects of working with leash reactivity cases. So that will also be on my website as well. And if it's a client, like somebody from the general public who's looking for help for their reactive dog, they can find myself and my team on our website at instinct, dog. training.com. Excellent. And I'm looking forward to seeing you speak at the aggression in dogs conference. Yes, the fall. So yeah, going forward to that. Thanks so much, Jessica. I appreciate you coming on and I will look forward to hearing from you soon. Okay, wonderful. Thanks for having me. What a fantastic episode, Jessica really has a deep understanding of helping dogs who have issues on leash, and I can't wait to hear more from her in the future. I'd also love to hear what you would like for additional topics in future episodes of both the body and the dog and the help for dogs with aggression subscription series. You can reach out by emailing podcast at aggressive dog.com That's podcast at aggressive dog.com I'd love to hear more from you and I thank you for tuning into the show. Stay well my friends, friends