Fear & Reactivity
Fear, reactivity and aggression go hand-in-hand. If your dog is afraid of something, they typiclly react either by showing what we think of as fear (ie: cowering, shaking, moving away from the scary thing) or they will react to it by putting up a scary display of their own in attempt to make the scary thing move away from them. This is what we think of when we discuss reactivity.
Dogs can react to a whole host of triggers, in many environments or in very specific contexts. Our job is to help the dog become more comfortable and confident in those specific situations and around their triggers. There are different techniques and approaches to accomplish that depending on your dog’s current level of rear/reacticity, your own lifestyle and your goals.
If your dog is worried about other dogs and/or people out on walks, we can develop a training plan that includes working on founcation skills and focus first inside and then outside with distractions. Then we move on to the Behavior Modification process including counter conditioning and desensitization to your dog’s specific triggers. This is a very systematic process of working at a distance and gradually moving closer while continuing to build the new desired response. This process may take many months of daily practice, patience and consistentcy. Once you have had a Behavior Consult, you may be eligible for our Focused Fido Class and/or Reactive Rover Program.
If your dogs is worried about guests coming into the home, we typically take a different approach. While we can avoid people out on the street long-term, that is not usually feasible for people entering in our house. Here is where will will employ the Treat/ReTreat technique to buld your dog’s confidence and social skils around people starting with a simple approach and gradually working up to all the crazy human things we do!
If your dog has general fear of new people, dogs and environments, Nose Work may be a good option for them to build thier over all confidence while giving the a fun outlet for sniffing and mental exercise.
You have likely found this page because you have a fearful, reactive or aggressive dog. We can help! Please fill our our form on this page to have someone call you to discuss things with you.