This class helps reactive dogs feel less stressed around other dogs.
In my Reactive Dog class we train your dog to feel differently about seeing unfamiliar dogs. We build massive value for “not reacting” and use counter conditioning to change the relationship between unfamiliar dogs and how your dog feels. If you have used pain, punishment or intimidation to stop your dog from barking and lunging it may make you feel better – no barking or lunging to deal with – but you have not make your dog feel any better.
This specialized training program requires homework and is designed around the science of applied animal behaviour. We use only gentle, positive reinforcement techniques. Using correction based training with a dog who is insecure or lacks confidence only increases your dog’s lack of confidence.
Can my spouse or children come to Reactive Dog class?
You are welcome to have two adults participate in the training of your dog, in fact, it is encouraged. However, due to the nature of the class anyone under 18 years old is not permitted to train or observe the class.
Is there a guarantee this class will work for my dog?
No. There are so many variables associated with dog training – the dog’s training history, the dog’s behaviour history, the skill of the owners, the amount of time put into homework – that there is no way to guarantee an outcome. In addition, the Certification Council of Pet Dog Trainers specifically prevents any of it’s members from offering guarantees for training outcomes.
My dog is reactive and guards his food. Will this class help him?
We do not specifically work on other behaviour problems such as resource guarding or separation anxiety, however, owners commonly see an improvement in these behaviours as the reactive training progresses. You may wish to pursue our private training program to address these behaviour issues.
My dog completed the class and was not reactive, but I’ve noticed he is getting reactive again. Why is this happening?
In the final class we talk about the importance of on-going training. A behaviour is either getting stronger, or it’s fading. On-going training gives your dog much needed mental stimulation, and an opportunity to rehearse self control in novel situations.
I walk my dog on a prong collar. I understand he can’t wear it in class, but is it ok if I still walk him with it?
It is not recommended. We only use positive reinforcement training methods, and encourage owners to understand the side effects of using pain or intimidation when training a dog. A dog does not understand the contingencies of punishment or pain caused by a prong collar, so therefore, it contributes to the dog’s insecurity. He does not understand when the pain might happen again. Yes, he will stop pulling when he learns this is what happens when he pulls, but he is not capable of understanding the pulling on the leash is the only contingency for the pain.
We know that virtually all reactive dogs are shy, timid or lack confidence, so using something that increases a dog’s lack of confidence is counter productive to the training that occurs in class, which is designed to increase a dog’s confidence.