Using 123 to Pass Other Dogs
Teach your dog to engage with YOU when they see a dog on walks! This is great for preventing leash reactivity and for dogs who show mild signs of it. You can do this with any trigger, including bikes, people, etc.
For the first week or two, teach your dog the 123 game!
Once they know it, you can use it to pass by other dogs.
"123" is a QUESTION, not a "command" or cue. We're really asking our dogs, "123, can you look at me?" If they say YES, we're good! If they say NO, we need to help them out.
Here's how to play!
When a dog (or your chosen trigger) shows up, start counting!
If your dog can respond by 1 or 2, great! You can count a few more times as you pass by.
It's okay to let your dog look at the other dog a bit.
If your dog can't respond or responds on "3", they're telling you they're climbing up their stress ladder and need more space! Move further away, walk faster with a happy voice, or go behind a visual barrier like a car.
As your dog is comfortable, you can play less often.
After a few weeks, you should notice your dog is starting to look at YOU when they see a dog! Their "bubble" of comfort should get smaller and they should be comfortable closer to other dogs.
Not seeing what you were expecting? Let your trainer know so we can help!