reactive dog

Henry is just our dog

crazy henry
I really don't know where to begin this story. You already know some of it. I was helping raise Henry when he was a puppy with the intention of giving him back to my daughter. We finally adopted him permanently when he reached 75lbs. Our daughter couldn't manage him. Maybe you are thinking, "Why didn't you surrender him?" Good question. There's no good answer. I love dogs? He really helped our daughter for a time and we had bonded with him and put a lot of time into raising him, but that was only the beginning. Through this process I have learned that there are a lot of good people out there trying to help people like me with their dogs. God bless them all.

Henry is what's known as a reactive dog. He's fearful. I made the mistake of hiring a dog trainer who used a fear based training approach, choke collar etc... big mistake! I was reinforcing Henry's fears!! My friends were trying to help me by ringing the doorbell. They would come in and be greeted by this barking lunatic dog that I was sending danger signals to by yanking on his choke collar, telling him "this person is DANGEROUS!" He still can't see one of my best friends without thinking she is dangerous.

I discontinued that approach when I started to have chest pain. Next we hired a
wonderful Veterinarian who came to our house and evaluated Henry. She spent 4 hours with me. She determined that Henry is reactive and should be on paxil, so now he is. She has written a children's book, Bella's First Checkup which I have not read, but I trust is excellent. She gave us so much good information and is still available as a resource. I truly appreciate her and thank God for her.

She recommended
Behavior Works Dog Training and Behavior Specialists. Eric Richardson is the owner and he is so dedicated. We did take a class with him which helped a lot. My husband and I would take Henry to the class. Eric had us use two leashes with two separate places to attach each leash. We used a harness and a collar. Once Henry escaped out of his harness and collar! He made himself into a noodle and slipped out, then he ran around the neighborhood for 45minutes with us chasing him. After that I lost my optimism. I would get a stress headache before we left. We finished the class and I did get a lot of great ideas. One of the best tools is to always have high value treats. I just use a high quality dog food. For example, Henry will often pounce on my old dog which he doesn't appreciate. If I sprinkle treats on the ground they both get distracted. It's a little like a petting zoo, but it works.

Now we are resting and waiting for the medication to work and for Henry's puppy years to be behind him. We had dreams for Henry.....I wanted to train him to be one of those dogs that visits sick people in the hospital. My husband wanted to take him on the boat. The thought of Henry doing either of those things makes us laugh out loud.
Henry is just our dog.

P.S. Call before you come over!

Henry