We adopted India a beautiful German Shepherd when she was 8 months old, she had been kept in a outdoor cage, she was under weight and had never been taught how to socialize with other dogs or how to lead walk. She had been bought previously to be used as a guard dog but was a big softy so wouldn’t have done a very good job!!!
After bringing India home it soon became clear that she was very anxious, she wouldn’t sleep, she would pace a lot in the house, she would bark at any dog that she saw outside the window, she would bark at dogs on TV and it was when we would take her out for a walk we found that she would bark uncontrollably, lunge, stand up on her back legs every time we saw another dog out for a walk. It got to the point that we would have to walk her at 4am when there was no one else around and then in the afternoon I would take her for a field walk where I could let her off the lead as she only reacted when she was on the lead.
I tried all the different methods detailed on the internet, I hired a behaviourist that only came once but made no difference, I would have to hide down alleyways when I saw other dog’s coming as the reaction was so intense that it was really upsetting for not only the poor person and the other dog but also for India she was permanently stressed and anxious.We had got to a very low point, feeling as though we were not able to provide a happy life for India or enjoy the beautiful puppy that we had brought home this was when we had put a message out for help.
Laura contacted us, she would work with us for the next few months, she would meet us once a week and would carefully start desensitizing India to seeing other dogs whilst she was on her lead, not many people are familiar with leash reactivity unless you have had a leash reactive dog yourself, it was in this training that we would learn to not only how to walk past dogs without India reacting but also how to not be anxious yourself when passing the other dog as when India had reacted in the past you came up against a lot of negative reactions from other people which had damaged our confidence.
Fast forward to now India is a completely different dog I can now walk past any dog without any barking, she still gets very excited and would love to play with any dog she sees,but I can now walk right through town and even Windermere at its busiest! With dogs everywhere I am completely confident that India can handle the situation and be finally comfortable with her surroundings it has been amazing to see India being able to enjoy her walks, she now looks happy, comfortable and not always on edge, she even sleeps too. I can’t recommend Laura enough she put in so much time week after week and was not for giving up on India, she is just brilliant…..