Why Prevention and Management Is So Important When Dealing With Reactivity

Learn how to better manage your dog and its environment to prevent reactive responses

“I don’t think the training is working. My dog still reacts at every dog we see!”

This is actually a common thing for us to hear in our classes and we understand how frustrating it can be for a student. However, it has nothing to do with the actual training and everything with how we are setting our dogs up to fail. Prevention and management is the key to any training program, but it is...

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Proactive vs Reactive: Setting Your Dog Up For Success

If you struggle with your dog reacting too often out on walks or find each venture outside too stressful, you are being reactive vs proactive with your training. We must understand how to set our dog up for success and become proactive in our training! This not only allows your dog to progress through the program faster, but also makes it much more enjoyable for yourself and your dog!

Go to the Right Environment

As we discussed, you need to go to a space that sets your dog up for success....

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Oh Behave! How Our Behavior Influences Our Dogs

We have discussed how to make our dogs calmly accept handling and to enjoy it, but what about how we handle them? Let’s face it: we can be jerks when we have our dogs on leash through yanking or keeping constant tension on the leash, and we can be very reactive as well! We often begin to anticipate that our dogs will react in certain situations, so we begin to react. This may be through pulling up on the leash, we may raise our shoulders with tension, we may begin breathing...

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Leash Aggression: Why it’s Happening and What we do to Make It Worse

Leash aggression is an embarrassing problem for dog owners, but one that can be easily modified

In today’s urban world, we are seeing more and more cases of leash aggression develop in dogs. Leash aggression used to be more often seen in dogs that were fearful of and/or had very little exposure to other dogs. However, it is now more common to see social dogs that are great off leash, but turn into barking, lunging and snarling dogs when they see dogs while they are on leash. So why is...

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Gaining Focus: Building Attention With a Reactive Dog

Despite the many things that may be going on inside your dog’s mind, we can get their focus back on us.

One of the greatest challenges you will have with any dog, but especially if you are living with a fearful and/or reactive dog, will be gaining their focus back to you. The outdoor world is a distracting environment for all dogs, let alone our modern urban environment! There are people, other dogs, wildlife, vehicles, bicycles, loud noises and so much more. We must also consider...

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Food in Training Addressing Concerns and Understanding it’s Importance In Modifying Fear and/or Reactivity

There are many concerns about the use of food in training. First off, will it make our dogs fat? Secondly, will our dog only work for us if we have food? There are also many misconceptions about using food in training as well. First off, a dog owner may assume their dog is not food motivated. Or, they may feel like they are rewarding the dog for their reactive behaviour. We can understand all of these concerns and the below addresses each and why using food is so important.

Causing weight...

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Changing Behavior: Using Desensitization, Counter Conditioning and Counter Commanding to Modify Fear and/or Reactivity in Dogs

We have already discussed fear and reactivity in our dogs, how it develops and how they may demonstrate it. Now we want to look at what we can do to modify this behaviour. Desensitization and counter conditioning are the most commonly used techniques when treating reactivity and fears in our dogs. Within our Reactive urbanK9 program, we also combine this with counter commanding to work at truly changing the dog’s behaviour vs just stopping it.

Desensitization

This is the gradual...

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Gaining Focus: Building Attention with a Reactive Dog

Despite the many things that may be going on inside your dog’s mind, we can get their focus back on us.

One of the greatest challenges you will have with any dog, but especially if you are living with a fearful and/or reactive dog, will be gaining their focus back to you. The outdoor world is a distracting environment for all dogs, let alone our modern urban environment! There are people, other dogs, wildlife, vehicles, bicycles, loud noises and so much more. We must also...

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Calming Signals: What they are and why they are important

Guinniss demonstrates a paw lift and a lip lick in response to Domi drinking from his water dish.

Turid Rugaas, a dog trainer from Norway spent years observing wolves, wild dogs and domestic canines to better understand how they communicate. She came up with the term calming signals when observing canine body language and determined they are a means of communication used by dogs to calm themselves, each other and even humans, other animals or inanimate objects.

Many behaviour problems...

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