Working with Blaine on Recall and Over Stimulation around Tennis Balls

Good morning all,

Here is a short clip of yesterday’s session with Blaine.

You shared a post about Blaine previously, but if you did not see it here is an intro.

Blaine and his parents came to see me because they were having problems with recall.

Blaine loves tennis balls but would get overstimulated around them and once he would have access to them he would not come back to his parents when called.
Blaine is a very social dog and he loves to meet other dogs, but if they had a ball he would steal it and run away from both the dogs and the humans.
Drop a ball was also completely impossible in these conditions.

During 3 sessions, we worked on calmer behaviours around balls, improved the recall and taught Blaine to drop a ball on cue.

Yesterday we mixed up all those together and with Blaine off the lead in the centre of the park, Blaine came every time when called, was able to drop the ball the majority of the times when asked and had a couple of interactions with other dogs with their own balls a never tried to steal them. I would say that it was a perfect walk in the park.

I am super happy with the massive improvement over the last couples of weeks and this is, of course, a result of the work we carried out in the sessions but also out of them by Blaine’ parents!

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro


How to avoid others from approaching your Reactive Dog?


This is a topic which I discuss often with my clients with dogs who are showing reactive or aggressive behaviour towards other dogs and or humans.

This is an important topic and my bottom line is this:

“Your Dog Is Your Top Priority. Do What You Got To Do. Even If It Will Offend That Stranger Down The Road.”

Within the same lines,
Here is a sum-up of an article written by Eileen Anderson I just read.

“It is a perennial problem. How can you get people to leave you alone when you are out with your fearful, anxious, or reactive dog? There you are, out with your anxious dog, minding your own business. You went to a secluded spot. On a rainy day. And at a time when nobody else should be out. But here comes that person with the “All dogs love me!” look. Or the “I’m about to give you ridiculous advice about training your dog, whom I’ve never seen before” look. Or the “Can-my-kid-pet-your-dog-here-we-come” look. These folks often have this inexorable zombie walk straight at your dog and just Will. Not. Stop.

Here’s are some of the reasons I think people do that.

1. Dogs are magnets for a large subset of the human race.
2. There’s so much mythology about dogs that you can’t get people to be sensible.
3. A few people are just overconfident jerks and aren’t going to be cooperative whatever the topic is.
4. Most of us have a very hard time not engaging socially with humans who approach us.

What To Do:

-Teach your dog a Let’s Go cue or an Emergency U-Turn cue.
-Leave the scene far earlier than you think you need to, and don’t engage with the human at all.
-Pick the appropriate body language or combination:
There is nothing in the world besides me and my dog
We have urgent business elsewhere
-If you feel you must, you can shout an apology or excuse over your shoulder while you are getting out of Dodge. “Can’t-talk-right-now-bye!” But be sure you are at a safe distance and can continue your escape before you say anything, lest you get sucked in.

It is perfectly OK not to socially interact with a stranger who is approaching you. Just give yourself permission. (This is also true if your dog is not reactive, or hell, if you don’t have a dog with you at all!) You don’t have to smile, you don’t have to say hello, and you don’t have to make an excuse. You don’t have to stick around for their training suggestions and critique. Do not make eye contact. Eye contact is the beginning of the end.”

Thank you Eileen Anderson, I fully support your approach.

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro

One of the biggest reasons for dogs to show aggressive or reactive behaviour.

Good morning,

Yesterday during my session with Stanley, his mom said:

“It’s like he did not know that he could just move away from the situation” (Bingo)

In this video, I am discussing one of the biggest reasons for dogs to show aggressive or reactive behaviour.

If your dog is showing aggressive or reactive behaviour, or if you are a dog trainer who works in this type of cases, listen to this!

Let me know your thoughts or any questions you might have.

And don’t forget to click like if you watch this video so I know who you are!

Thank you,

Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro




Kimba the rescued staffie, Obsessive and Destructive Behaviour towards balls

Good morning,

Today I am posting a video of the work I have been doing recently with Kimba the rescued staffie.

Kimba is staying at Staffie Smiles Rescue waiting to be adopted and meanwhile, I had the opportunity to assess him and see what behaviours might be problematic at the moment.

The only behaviours that I see as “problematic” are around toys and especially balls. Kimba gets overstimulated in the presence of balls and will be very motivated to get them. He will chase them, grab them, and sometimes destroy them. He can also take them from our hands and that can obviously be an issue.

As the majority of behaviour issues in dogs, this is something that he learned in the past and now he is in the process to learn something else, and it is my responsibility, at the present moment, to teach him that.

Although I have been working with dogs in the past with the same issues, it was only when I had the chance to get in touch with Sarah Owings to actually fully understand, or getting a different, more clear perspective of what is going on in this type of behaviour problems (Thank you Sarah!).

Obviously, through learning, the balls, the environment itself, became cues for the behaviours of “intensity”, “chasing”, “grab”, “destroy”, “steal”, “runaway”, “protect”.

Now, with the work I am doing, what we want to do is that the balls and the environment where they are present will cue “calm”, “relaxed”, “controlled excitement”, “ability to wait”, “play”, “chase and share” “gentle approach”.

This video was based on video footages recorded previous to Christmas, but I decided to share with you the beginning so that you can follow the process.

Thank you, Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro