Think about your home for a moment, this is your safe space, it's familiar and you are used to all the noises and creaks. You know it so well that it's pretty much your sanctuary. Now imagine someone ties your wrist to theirs, goes to the front door and begins running with you.
You're asking them where you are going, but they refuse to address your questions and insist you go with them. Actually you have no choice because you're attached to another person. Suddenly you’re in the middle of a field, you don’t recognise it and you’re unsure of how you got there. You had tried taking in information, and wanted to take note of landmarks along the way. But you were moving too fast, your senses were overloaded and you felt overwhelmed by loud smelly machines. These machines seemed so close, they were all different sizes, the big ones clanged loudly and crikey they were so close. There were so many people, big metal poles, plastic containers that gave out strong inviting smells.
Still you didn’t stop, sometimes you were pulled, other times you did the pulling, you felt an urgency to get to a space that felt familiar or at least open and less overwhelming.
As humans we learn from an early age through conditioning that the pavement for example will keep us safe, and the kerb is a magical barrier between us and traffic, our dogs do not know this phenomena. With grid walking we can teach them to feel more confident about the vehicles speeding around them. We can teach them that bin bags don't chase or bite, not all humans hurt them and in general we will replace negative experiences with safe positive ones.
In my years of teaching dogs I have had a few that said a big fat NOPE! to the outside world, I listened to their fears and wrote this course for them and all the other dogs that felt unsure.... cont