Despite the popular opinion that gets aggression confused with being reactive, your pet may already be called “reactive” when he displays one of many following actions when reaching humans or other animals:
Even heavy pulling is reactiveness if it comes with an external trigger
The behavior may appear to be aggression, but it’s not in several cases.
Reactive dogs, in many cases, are driven by fear and feel trapped on a leash. That doesn’t mean that you need to take your pet off-leash, though.
It’s a common pain point for many dog owners. But how do you train reactive dogs, or should you
hire dog training services?
If you haven’t already implemented impulse control exercises into your daily routine, then you definitely should begin with it.
Teaching your pet to manage his arousal and instincts is key. Like that, he might think twice the next time before snapping.
Several basic exercises would include laying a delicacy on the floor facing your pet and keeping him from dealing with it by putting your hand above it.
Then ask him to “sit” and “look at me”.If he does, release him (such a significant command!).
You can also try to make him “sit and stay” and then attempt to distract him by throwing his favorite toy and praise him if he doesn’t move.
Distracting a Reactive Dog
Before a trigger occurs, start distracting your dog. This can be as simple as a stick on the floor, his favorite toy, or perhaps a special treat. Do your best to be exciting.
Sometimes, I start to jump a bit, and my dog thinks, “heck, what are you doing?” with the surrounding people probably thinking the same, but it helps.
Start with a great distance between you and the trigger and attempt to distract your dog. When it doesn’t work, increase the distance to the point where you could get your dog’s attention.
You will need to be consistent with this particular training to establish the environmental surroundings as not exciting.
Chasing bikes could be dangerous for others but also for your pet if he suddenly runs into traffic. Make certain you’ve got your pet under control.
If your pet starts to ignore or look at the person or animal, quickly praise him for doing that, even if it was just for a second.
You ought to jot down the triggers your reactive dog has, like men with hats or children on bikes, and be sure to avoid these for an initial couple of weeks as much as possible.
You can face your dog’s nemesis again once your pet has been trained.
If you come close to an individual or another animal and your pet focuses on them, stop immediately and look for a straightforward “sit” or “look at me”.
If this doesn’t work or your pet won’t take any treats, then bring distance between you and the trigger until your pet can focus on you again.
I applied this method to training with my very own Rottweiler, and it worked wonders.
I will put her right into a “sit” between my legs before the canine is too close. Like that, I have a whole lot more control over the problem, so she cannot lunge or pull towards the canine to play.
Just wait before the other dog passes and quickly start walking with your dog again. A good way to teach basic leash-walking skills too.