Boxer dog on left, text on right BRNA training tips

How do I stop my dog from being reactive?

This is one of the questions that dog trainers get asked most frequently. Keep reading for dog training tips.

Our dogs are a lot more intuitive than many would think they are. Dogs are trained to alert their owner to many things. They can alert you:

  • if you are a diabetic and your blood sugar levels are out
  • if you are a person with POTS, they will let you know when you need to sit down<l/i>
  • dogs alert epileptics when a seizure is about to start allowing the person to put themselves into a position where they are safe
  • some dogs are trained to calm down children with neurological or mental issues

If dogs can do all of that then it is easily acceptable to believe that they can sense your nervousness and react accordingly . Your nervousness results in the dog panicking as they don’t know how to deal with the situation they are in. Imagine how the dog must feel at this point when they believe there is a threat to you or themselves or both! This can lead to the dog being overwhelmed by the situation you are both in and they could react by lunging or even becoming aggressive. Lets not do this to our dogs. The way we help our dogs is by practicing staying calm when we get into a situation that our dog perceives as stressful.

Have a loose lead, take a deep breath or two and give clear instructions to your dog so there is no doubt what behaviours you want from her. This also helps your dog to understand who is in charge and that the dog does not have to fill that role. So the dog can relax.