Clicker training with Cooper


“I actually can’t pinpoint the specific moment it started. It just seemed unusual because we raised him in the city and it’s not like he’s never seen joggers and cyclists. Anyhow he developed this behavior and we think it’s either because now he is 2 years old and it’s been brought to my attention that he has entered his teenage phase (sic) and the hormonal changes can cause an anxiety in dogs. But more likely, possibly something at a very minimal level kind of spooked him. Either a jogger or a cyclist and it took a while to kind of build up into something. Now, pretty much anything that’s fast moving causes a reaction in him. His reaction is very fear based. He will chase them away and bark at them. It’s not a reaction to play. His reaction is to get them away from him. And again, I know it’s not uncommon. I see dogs all the time that will bark at cyclists and such. But I wanted to address it because first of all we do live in the city and I don’t think it’s acceptable to just walk around with a dog that lunges at other people.”

As we’re talking, Jacqueline is continuing to click and reward Cooper for not reacting to a cyclist that whips by us.

“We’re treating this training like a game. This is just what we’re working on now. Actually yesterday’s session in the morning went so well that yesterday evening’s session we did just off Yonge Street, which is much busier. There are cars there and a lot more pedestrians. And more joggers and cyclists. And he did so well.”