Zoey – From Lunging and Barking to Class Valedictorian

Jen and Dave from Tempe, AZ contacted us through a referral from an established client. They were looking for help with their dog, Zoey, an Old Red Fox Retriever. Zoey was having problems on walks in their neighborhood and condo complex. She would lunge and bark at neighbors, workers and other dogs. For Jen specifically it was a big concern because she is a smaller woman and Zoey is about 100 pounds. It was not safe for either of them. Zoey was not aggressive, but her reactivity looked scary and having an owner who looked like she had no control over her dog was not something they wanted. Zoey also had concerns when people walked up to the door because Zoey would lunge at the window to try and “scare” everyone away.

After meeting for a visit and going over all the options for training we all agreed to signing Zoey up for the Unlimited program to help Jen and Dave start from the very basics of communication with Zoey. We first started by changing the training tools used for walking. In this case, it was important for Jen to feel the safest and most comfortable. We then started to teach communication skills with the leash and commands, so Zoey has a much clearer understanding of who was in the leadership and who was in the follower role. She learned how to walk without pulling, she no longer lunges at people or pets and she very rarely barks on walks and at the window and even when she does it’s reduced to an alert bark and then stops.

Zoey has continued to make such great progress with training that she is excelling in our group classes to the point where she no longer needs them, but we always ask that she come when possible to help other dogs with distraction training. She listens to commands consistently and we here at Kona’s Dog Training get to see her pretty regularly because whenever we have availability she boards with us. She is polite, listens and is a great friendly dog who helps us out more than she knows.

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