Rhapsody in Bloo

A dogumentary of my life with my reactive dog Bloo


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The past is the past

reactive dogAs you probably know, Bloo is a rescue. I rescued him from a kill shelter in South Carolina and he came with a slew of issues as most shelter dogs do. I don’t know what happened before he met me but whatever it is made him a very frightened dog.

Most dogs learn to be fearful and reactive and are not born with it. There are some things we do as their owners that contribute to their reactivity and encourages them to continue their behavior.

For example, dogs bark when there is a change in their surroundings. One change might be the mailman walking onto our porch to deliver the mail. Bloo hears this and starts barking. In his eyes, his barking worked. The mailman came, heard him bark and left. A job well done. Continue reading

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Training a reactive dog

dog parkBloo and I have been together now for a year and a half. During our time together we’ve been working diligently on his separation anxiety, reactivity and basic dog manners. He has come a long way.

When I first got Bloo I couldn’t walk him on a leash near people, dogs, squirrels, cyclists or anything moving basically, without him lunging, barking and pretty much going nuts. It made for some stressful walks for both of us.

In the last year though, through repetition and lots of patience, we have made loads of progress. We can now walk down the street on a leash while runners run by, cyclists ride by and people walk close to us. We still get a bit distracted by squirrels, in Bloo’s defense they are just asking to be chased. We also still have some work to do when we see other dogs on a leash.

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