Dogs that are reactive to other dogs or animals can be a challenge.

They may bark, lunge, and even attack when they see another dog or animal.

If you have a reactive dog, it is critical to understand what is causing their reactivity.

While this behaviour can be dangerous and scary for both you and your pet, there are ways to help them feel more relaxed around other people and animals.

In this blog post, we will discuss What You Should Know About Your Reactive Dog.

PLUS, what you can do to help them find calm.

We will cover these by answering the following questions:
  • What is a reactive dog, and what are some common signs of reactivity?
  • Why do dogs become reactive, and how can you help them relax and feel safe around other people and animals?
  • How can you help your dog feel more relaxed in public settings?
  • Can a reactive dog be trained? If so, what are some of the reactive dog training techniques?

Let’s dive in!

What is a reactive dog, and what are some common signs of reactivity?

A reactive dog is one that over-reacts to stimuli in its environment. It can include other dogs, animals, people, cars, and more.

Some of the most common signs of reactivity are barking, lunging, growling, and snapping.

It can also be shown by a dog who is constantly pulling on the leash when they see another dog or animal.

This dog reactivity chart below should help you figure out the triggers that may set them off.

dog reactivity chart

 

Why do dogs become reactive, and how can you help them relax and feel safe around other people and animals?

There are many reasons why dogs become reactive.

It could be due to genetics, previous experiences (positive or negative), insufficient training, or even how they were socialised as puppies.

One of the most common ways to help them feel relaxed is by giving them a safe space, such as a crate or pen, where they can go to feel overwhelmed.

You can also help your reactive dog by changing your own behaviour.

What does that mean?

Well, for example, if you are walking your dog and see another dog coming toward you, just try to remain calm and avoid making eye contact with the other dog.

Instead, focus on your own dog and keep them calm until the other dog has passed.

How can you help your dog feel more relaxed in public settings?

In addition to providing your reactive dog with a safe space, you can also help them by changing your own behaviour in public settings.

Avoid making eye contact with other dogs or people as much as possible.

Make sure you don’t move so quickly and keep your voice calm.

It means you avoid putting your dog in situations where they are likely to feel overwhelmed, such as crowded places or areas with high traffic.

Can a reactive dog be trained? What are some of the reactive dog training techniques?

Yes! Another way to help a reactive dog is through training.

In fact, there are techniques you can do at home to help your pup feel more comfortable around other people and animals.

Some of these techniques include positive reinforcement, desensitisation, and counterconditioning.

In a nutshell, reactive dog training involves gradually exposing your dog to what they are reactive to (in a controlled setting) until they no longer react.

It is often done with the help of a professional dog trainer. (check this reactive dog training in Melbourne…)

 

To Sum Things Up

You see, reactive dogs can absolutely be a burden…

But with patience, understanding, and the proper training techniques, you can help your reactive dog relax and feel safe around other people and animals.

Now, if you have a reactive dog, look no further!

We have world-class trainers whom you can book for training your reactive dog.

That’s a wrap! We hope you’ve found this article helpful.
 

If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below, and we will do our best to answer them.

Feel free to share this article with others who might find it helpful.
Thanks for reading!