Bella is a half Westie, half Spitz, 20 pound terror on 4 legs when I take a walk with her.
She’s smart, energetic and totally stubborn. She also has the attention span of a rock. She is easily distracted by sights, sounds and smells. I have tried everything to get her to pay attention to me and not sprint off to the end of her leash checking out those sights, sounds and smells. If she meets another dog on our walk, she takes a defensive, aggressive posture and barks her head off. I’ve tried picking her up, yelling, jerking the leash, and, in frustration, I have popped her one. Nothing worked. If she was determined to be Lord of the Manor, barking out orders to her subordinates, she was going to do that no matter what I tried.
Today was different. I planned ahead. I know she is food oriented, so I took one of her favorite snacks, Pupperoni, broken into small pieces and put the pieces in my fanny pack. I kept one piece in my hand for the expected misbehavior I knew was going to happen.
Sure enough, we ran into Elvis and his human. I could tell she was on the verge of erupting into a full blown barking maniac any second. So I waved the snack in front of her nose. Lo and behold she kept her eyes on me until we were well past Elvis. When we reached a safe distance, I gave her the snack and took out another one just in case.
Well there were no further incidents on our 2 mile walk. She stayed next to me for the duration. When we arrived home, I gave her the one in my hand.
Now that I know what to do, our walks should be much more enjoyable.
Had to take Bella in for her shots today. I know she is not a friendly dog, so I had to muzzle her. She didn’t like it, but I’m glad I did. She growled at the vet tech. Just cannot take the chance that she might bite someone.