WHAT IS REACTIVITY?
Reactivity is the term used that means your dog overreacts to stimuli in their environment - this may be upon seeing other dogs, vehicles, other humans. This is more usually a fear-based response, or may be due to frustration or over arousal; as opposed to aggression, which it is often misinterpreted as.
Each dog is an individual, and there will be many different factors contributing to why they react, ranging from Genetics to their individual learning experiences. Age may also be a factor, as dogs will typically go through a Secondary Fear Period, usually between the age of 6 and 14 months. During this time they may become more fearful of stimuli or situations that they were once accepting of.
Your dog may display behaviours such as growling, barking or lunging. They may find it difficult to listen and to calm down afterwards. Whatever the reason, your dog is having an emotional response (and physical), and is choosing behaviours accordingly in the situation; for example in barking and lunging, a fearful dog may learn that it makes the scary stimulus go away. Your dog is not thinking "Oh great, there's another dog. I'm going to start screaming at it" to purposefully irritate you!
HOW I CAN HELP
Our understanding of our canine companions has developed over the years, and consequently there has been a shift in training methods. I use scientifically proven, positive, fun, and reward based methods to help your dog transform. I will never advise the use of force or aversive tools in training, such as shock or prong collars or choke chains that may cause your dog to feel discomfort, pain or increase fear.
During our consultation, I will gather a detailed history and lifestyle of your dogs, and from this I will then develop an
Individual Training Plan:
This be specifically tailored to identify the underlying struggles for your dog. You will be given fun games to play to strengthen these struggles, which in turn will develop how your dog thinks and help them to make better choices in everyday life.
BARKING AT DOGS
LACK OF CONFIDENCE
LACK OF OWNER FOCUS
Other aspects of the training plan may involve teaching you how to keep your dog in a calm, positive state of mind to learn; understanding their body language; how to and manage their environments both at home and outside to set them up for success. How to change their underlying emotions from negative to positive using counter-conditioning and desensitisation, which will change their emotional state and in turn, behaviour. If required, how to positively condition your dog to a Muzzle.
How to enrich your dog's life and introduce activities to build your dog's confidence and boost your relationship, such as Scentwork. How to increase the choices that your dog makes on a daily basis, which can lead to a reduction in anxiety and frustration.