Yesterday was a sad day in our little group. Our long time friend Cyndee, my aunt’s dog passed over the rainbow bridge. Cyndee was sick for a while, had stopped eating and wasn’t enjoying anything for the last couple of days, so my aunt made the decision in the morning to take her to the vet to stop her suffering.
Cyndee was rescued by a local group and my aunt took her in 10 years ago. She was a mixed breed, likely spaniel/border collie, and had the energy to go with it. Often, she had spats with my own dogs, and was reactive and aggressive to other dogs and to people. To say the least, she was and extremey difficult dog behaviourally. But my aunt loved her and they had many adventures together.
Several years ago, when I was teaching outdoor group training classes, my aunt (and I) felt that she and Cyndee would benefit from some training because of her behaviour. We had to start working with Cyndee at the opposite end of the 2 acre property, her reactivity was that bad. I instructed my aunt on how to properly use the clicker and she started with that. She carried food rewards around for months.
By the end of two classes sessions, about from May- October, Cyndee was able, on leash, to be in the presence of other dogs in agility class. Not only that, her reactivity to humans diminished so much that she was able to get to know and like several people who live nearby.
To top it all off, Cyndee and my aunt achieved their Novice Trick Dog Title together.
Why is this good on a sad day? Because all of this training with the clicker, Cyndee was able to stay with my aunt instead of being given back to resuce because of her behaviour.
Now I’m not saying that ALL dogs can or will be helped like Cyndee was. Each dog and each PERSON is different. But my point is to be made to those who say it can’t be done.
My aunt is 82. If SHE can train a dog to be manageable with the clicker then I guess it can be done by SOMEONE.
Rest peacefully, Cyndee.