There's a lot of discussion about flooding dogs. Let's talk about this term that gets thrown around WAY too much.
This is J and her dog Boo who is a 6yr old Pit Bull. She walks well on a loose slip lead already, so that is not covered here. What we are working on today is her extreme reactivity to dogs.
Well guess what....SHE LIVES IN MILAN. There is no escaping Milan. I'd have to get her into a car or on a train to go outside the city to work on this to "not flood" the dog. And that's not where she lives. She lives smack in the center of it.
If you have not been to Milan, you cannot possibly know what it's like. Think major metropolis with kinda-ish laws about pedestrians, traffic, etc. There are off leash dogs in the middle of the city with their owner. Not in parks...walking down the narrow streets! So as a trainer, it is my duty to show her how to navigate the city she lives in and the door she walks out of every day with Boo. My job is not to take her into a Home Depot or Lowe's that don't even exist where she lives and train her dog where there is basically no stimuli. We go into the belly of the beast when I am there to show her what to do! This is their actual life!
Truly learning the city people live in is vital to fully understanding what they deal with and face EVERY DAY. Meeting them where they are and working outside a place they are every day isn't called flooding. It's called TRAINING. If I can't show an owner in the moment what to do to either avoid or deescalate, then I need to learn more. If I have to have treats to mark every single thing, I need to learn more. If I can't work thru a potential melt down because a dog walked around the corner into Boo's face...I need to learn more. If I am doing "protocols" instead of adjusting for the dog in front of me, I NEED TO LEARN MORE.
Reality: Every day J walks out that door alone. Scared of getting it wrong because no one is showing her. Well today, I showed her. Today we had some breakthroughs. Today wasn't as hard for her. That's what matters. J and Boo did AMAZING today and we will check in DAILY for 2 weeks for support! ❤️🐾