Boris is a big, but easy-going dog. Inside our home he is as gentle as a lamb and I love him. But ever since we had him a few years ago, he reacted different to me than to Ron. Ron has a natural authority over dogs, on the whole they accept him as their leader without hesitation. Boris however was taught to protect women. He feels when I fear another person or dog and goes into "protection mode". That means he makes a sally at them and not too friendly... We tried a lot, but nothing seemed to work. The consequence was that I avoided other dogs, but that only seemed to work counter-productive and it got worse. To make a long story short: I became reluctant to walk the dogs whereas I always loved to do that... :-( Ron is still at home, so he walks the dogs a lot now, but when he starts working again, I'd have a problem.
Last week Ron and I were at the local pet shelter and discussed it with Jaap (the manager), who is also a dogtrainer. He advised me to come to the dog training on Sunday morning. I said yes, but I didn't exactly look forward to it. All the confidence was gone, I was kind of desperate. This morning Ron and I drove to the woods of country estate Beeckestijn. Ron went for a walk with Foofur and Jaap took Boris and me under his wings. The good news is that nothing's wrong with Boris. I have to change the way I handle him though. My behaviour stimulated him in his actions. We did some exercises and it went very good! I'm learning to trust him and myself. When I'm not afraid he'll attack - he won't! Ignoring and rewarding works better than punishment and raising your voice. That's my kind of approach! I hate to "bark back" at a dog. My confidence is growing again, because I see this method works. It will take a while to get it all better, but we've made a promising start. Yay!