Eve the Staffie
By Jessica Colson | staffie, sbt, glasgow, loose lead walking
Breed: Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Eve is our gorgeous Staffordshire Bull Terrier that we took along to training classes at Dog School Glasgow.
We were struggling to walk Eve on the lead as she was pulling so much we were constantly worrying about falling over or losing grip of the lead. Seeing other dogs only made things worse as the only other dogs she got on with were her siblings, so this made it very difficult to walk her. Due to the problems we were facing, we bought Eve a Halti in a final attempt to prevent her pulling on the lead. However this did not improve things and instead caused greater negative effects – Eve then sadly started not enjoying her walks at all.
Following this we enrolled Eve on a 10-week training course with Dogs Trust Dog School in Glasgow. During the introduction class we were told how dogs can learn from their experiences and that if a behaviour they display successfully achieves what they want - such as pulling on the lead - then it is likely they will continue this tactic until it becomes a regular habit. We wanted to give Eve the most fulfilling life so we really felt these classes could help change her behaviour to suit day-to-day life, and they definitely exceeded our expectations.
During classes I was given one-to-one assistance to ensure Eve was making progress, as well as working on improving my own confidence on how to train Eve. This was achieved by Dog School trainers demonstrating how to perform positive training methods with Eve, such as how to guide her into the desired situation and when to reward the behaviour. Initially Eve had to be kept apart from the other dogs in the class by putting a row of chairs either side of her. She was trained in this small area and gradually, through positive reinforcement, reward based training with treats and praise, and distraction techniques; she was able to socialise very well with other dogs in the class. In fact this was demonstrated through her report card where she achieved mainly A’s and A+ for position, lead walking, recall, station training, stays, leave vet checks and Trick. She also won an award for the ‘most amazing’ improvement in the class.
Eve successfully completed the course and to my absolute delight – and pride - she no longer requires the use of the Halti when out walking, instead opting for just a flat collar and lead. My confidence when walking Eve has improved significantly as well as Eve being more relaxed and able to fully enjoy exploring everywhere when we are out and about.
These wonderful results persuaded me to enrol both of my other dogs onto the training classes with the aim of achieving the same goal for each of them. I am so thankful for the Dogs Trust team’s help and giving me both the guidance and confidence I needed with Eve. She is such a bundle of joy and we absolutely love her.