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Resources for Reactive Dogs

  • January 19, 2019
  • By MaggieLovesOrbit
Resources for Reactive Dogs

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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DISCLOSURE:  Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation.  This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I have tried and trust.

Maggielovesorbit, Ilovebostons  is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


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)

The Official Home of DINOS™

Care for reactive dogs
Reactive Dogs Public Group | Facebook

Fearful dogs – 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




Books I’ve read about dogs, dog behavior, dog aggression and dog training

BAT 2.0

The Culture Clash

When Pigs Fly

How to Speak Dog

The Secret Language of Dogs

Through a dog’s eyes

The Misunderstood Dog

Reaching the Animal Mind

Bookmark this page because I’ll keep updating it based on additional readings and learnings.

Meanwhile reflections on Maggie today:

  • We had a pack walk today.  20 dogs attended and I was the only host.  We only had two new attendees and the group walked well together.  Maggie only lunged once at a small fluffy white dog that got in her space.
  • After the walk we stayed and chatted with Elizabeth by the Liberty Market.  Maggie was a little stressed – it was a pretty loud area with a lot of kids playing.
  • When we got back in the car I realized I was probably more anxious than Maggie so I took several deep breaths before we headed home.   I guess training relieving anxiety also starts with me.
Reactive Dog Resources
By MaggieLovesOrbit, January 19, 2019
  • 2
  • Jetta
    April 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 McConnell
    May 31, 2019

    Thanks for the kind words about my blog!

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