Monday, November 3, 2008

Reactive Dogs

Working with a reactive dog and keeping him below threshold takes practice, knowledge, dedication and understanding of the dog's needs. No amount of pressure, force, dominance, yelling, hitting, hanging, kicking will get these dogs to perform at any level, pet or competition without some fear. It only suppresses the unwanted behavior for a short time. Then there are dogs that are shy and somewhat fearful or concerned about what is going on in the environment. Pressure is the last thing a dog needs in that situation. Controlling a dogs behavior is not letting the dog control his behavior. Eye contact should be earned by the human, not forced. Asking for permission for everything is not putting the dog in control of his emotions. The dog that are in control are the ones that are more relaxed in a situation. Keeping a dog below threshold is a very important part of training. If the dog is reacting, training can not occur. The brain is in a sensory overload mode. Progression form flat buckle collar to prong collar is not the solution. Causing any kind of discomfort will only make the matter worse.

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