Tilly the Reactive Dog

Once upon a time there was a kelpieX named Tilly.

She lived in the city of Melbourne and had good parents who tried to do the right thing by her to give her a great life. She spend lots of time with her family and was allowed indoors and also had a good backyard to play in. To give her some extra fun her family also took her for good long walks and down to the dog park to play with other dogs. Life was good for Tilly.....

At first all was right in the world of Tilly, but as she got older and stronger she started to become more excited and started to bark and rush at anyone or anything new.. After all, Tilly was really a dog bred to work sheep and burn off her energy on a big farm... however as she was a dog who lived in a town she had to find other ways to burn off her excess..... so Tilly became very excited and reactive to all the sights and sounds around her.

Tilly's parents would walk her in the streets and she would strain on the lead... panting like made trying to get ahead... bark at anything new and at the dog park she would charge other dogs and want to rough house....

The big trouble was that as Tilly got bigger she became more scary to many of the other dogs so they would snap and snarl at her.... Well Tilly was not going to have that sort of behaviour so she would snarl and snap back. This scared her parents as they thought that Tilly was becoming aggressive so they did was most good dog parents did....

* they kept her constrained so she could not rush or hurt anyone else.....
* they shortened the lead.... * they walked in the opposite direction from anything new...
* they tried to walk when there were less people around....
* and of course, they didn't take her to the dog park anymore.

So life went on for Tilly but she just seemed to be more and more reactive until... one day her parents were going away on holidays and they had to put Tilly in the boarding kennel... this was Tilly's lucky day...... the kennel she went to was in a rural area and she had her pen but also big secure paddocks for the dogs to have group plays.... best of all.... the people who ran the kennel seemed to understand her and they could help her learn to play better with other dogs....

Side note: Tilly has stayed with us on four occassions now.... she knows that Anne and Kylie are in charge and she has learnt the difference between "play" and "fight"...... so now she can stay and play whenever her parents need to go away and this is the best fun....

Things have improved at home and we hope that her family continue to learn more about Tilly and then build trust in their teamwork.