Success for Mumbo with Dog School Hampshire!
Mumbo joined our classes at the beginning of August. He was a Dogs Trust dog who was quite nervous when in the rehoming centre and his owner wanted to attend classes to help build Mumbo’s confidence, along with his own and learn some extra tips.
Mumbo was a little nervous of new people, so a class was quite challenging for him as there were Dog School Coaches and the owners of the other dogs who he had not met before. For the first couple of weeks he was quite nervous if people went too near him. We made sure he had plenty of room in his bay so that he didn’t feel penned in, he had an escape route in case it was too much for him and every time we walked past we would throw some tasty treats into his bay so that he saw people walking past as a good thing, rather than something to be worried about.
With gradual encouragement and lots of rewards for being calm, over the weeks, his confidence in the room grew and he could come out of his bay and work in the middle of the room with the distractions around him.
Mumbo took a particular liking to Sian and would pull over to see her when he came in the room, wagging his tail with excitement and eliciting attention from her and wanting some fuss.
On our last week Mumbo decided he was so confident and would try to go through the tunnel. We use tunnels for confidence building; to a dog going into an enclosed space could be dangerous, because they may get into trouble when inside. We can use tunnels to build confidence by gradually encouraging the dog to go in. We start with putting a treat on the outside of the tunnel that the dog can go and eat, then one just inside, then a bit further in, so that we build them up to walking through. Eventually we can get the dog to walk into the tunnel for a treat and then their owner can call them through from the other side and reward them once they are through. Mumbo didn’t realise that he was a little big for the tunnel and managed to get his legs stuck in the holes! Sian and his owner helped to free him and he remained calm and was relaxed once he got out. This shows how far he had come because this incident didn’t startle him.
Since finishing our course, Mumbo has been on holiday to Wales. He had a lovely time and responded well to his owner, even when there were distractions, including pheasants!
We run classes at four venues: Eastney Community Centre, Lindford Village Hall, Botley Centre and Dogs Trust Salisbury. If you would like more information or would like to join our classes please call us on 01329 448243. Follow us on Twitter @DogSchoolHants or Instagram @DogSchoolHants for further tips!