I want to help my reactive dog
Maggie doesn’t know how small she is. She’s a mastiff sized dog stuck in a Boston Terrier body.
She will not hesitate to vocalize (bark) when she feels threatened. When dogs get inside her space. She lunges and barks to fend them off even snarls at the back of their necks.
She’s gotten into tussles four times this year. And she is extremely leash reactive. She’s anxious in the car and she has this obsession with her suckles (stuffed animals she treats like pacifiers).
Last Friday she reacted to a large full sized poodle that entered our group space at Fiesta. This poodle didn’t hesitate to correct her back and bit her head and her mouth.
The look of sheer terror and shock on Maggie after I pulled this dog off her is one that I will never forget.
I held her little head in my hands while she wouldn’t take her eyes off me as if pleading for me to erase what just happened. She was bleeding from the nose and in all sense of the dog world looked like she was crying.
We cleaned her up and inspected her. She wasn’t hurt too badly. We walked for another 40 minutes to shake off the event and I took her home.
I’m on a mission to do what I can to help her reactivity.
I’m not a trainer. But I am however a hands on dog mom extremely concerned about helping Maggie.
It will take time. For example Patricia McConnell says it can take 9 to 10 months to teach sit alone. And teaching something like a U turn might take two months.
Patience is going to be a critical trait in this journey.
I’ve worked with a trainer and acquired a list of resources.
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Currently on my reading list:
Currently I’m fascinated with Patricia Mcconnell. I read her book The other end of the leash years ago. The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
But I only discovered her blog. My favorite articles are:
– Breaking down training step by step: [Explaining “Step by Step” Training, Step by Step and one thing that stood out to me was the time it would take (9 to 10 months) to teach a reliable sit. And after you complete the training you rinse and repeat
– I love her articles on dog on dog reactivity: Dog-Dog Reactivity – Treatment Summary and Dog-Dog Reactivity II — The Basics
– She also had an interesting article about intense sniffers:Dog-Dog Aggression, Puppies and “Intensive Sniffing”
She has a book I’m currently reading: Feisty Fido
A fantastic read specifically about how to help your reactive dogs.
To understand what calming signals look like read – I’ll read On Talking Terms With Dogs (about calming signals) by Turid Rugaas.
I also just discovered a condensed training plan
CARE (Care for Reactive Dogs)
Care for Reactive Dogs
- I already do weekly pack walks in our city and we work on daily training sessions but this particular plan is from CARE is one I plan to implement immediately.
Other bookmarks that are helpful for reactive dogs:
DINOS (Dogs In Need of Space)
Care for reactive dogs
Reactive Dogs Public Group | Facebook
Fearfuldogs.com – Home | Facebook
Pet Behaviorists / Pet People to follow in 2019 List
Companion Animal Psychology: The Pet People to Follow in 2019
Growl and Snap
Dog Training and Behavior Help
Stress in dogs: [CANINE STRESS SIGNS | GROWL SNARL SNAP DOG BEHAVIOR]
Reactivity in a dog: [REACTIVITY: “ON-LEASH AGGRESSION“ | GROWL SNARL SNAP DOG BEHAVIOR]
Understanding aggression: [AGGRESSION IN DOGS | GROWL SNARL SNAP DOG BEHAVIOR]
Books I’ve read about dogs, dog behavior, dog aggression and dog training
Bookmark this page because I’ll keep updating it based on additional readings and learnings.
JettaApril 7, 2019
Thank you so much! My boy is leash reactive with mostly inappropriate excitement and barking. I am currently working with him to correct these behaviors and teach him better dog manners.
Patricia McConnellMay 31, 2019
Thanks for the kind words about my blog!