Reactive Dog Specialist Trainer Edinburgh
What exactly do we mean when we say a dog is reactive?
It’s a dog who ‘Over Reacts’ to something in its environment whether that is by barking, lunging, growling, hiding, running away, pulling at the lead or even freezing. All these falls under the term reactive.
Then there are reasons behind reactivity like Frustration ‘your dog can’t get to meet the dog they’ve seen so they react’. Then there is Fear ‘your dog gets scared and reacts to keep the trigger away or runs away’. Anxiety or Stress levels might have climbed too high for your dog and they react because they can’t handle their situation anymore.
Above all a reactive dog isn’t a bad dog, they aren’t choosing to misbehave they are expressing their feelings at that moment. It’s our job as the owners of the dogs to listen to them earlier and help them before they need to overreact.
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Learn to understand your dogs body language and help them not to react.
My Own Reactive Dog
My recent adopted dog Ally a beautiful Old English Sheepdog had been with me for about 4 months when she started reacting. At 18months old she started to chase bikes, now living in Edinburgh means there are bikes EVERYWHERE.
I didn’t know how to handle the problem at the time, I wasn’t a dog trainer yet. Over time her reactivity got worse, she turned into a screaming banshee at the end of the dog lead, her problem I eventually learned was her herding instinct was in overdrive, she wanted to chase and stop the bikes and when she couldn’t she reacted out of frustration.
The embarrassment, stress, anxiety I was beginning to feel on nearly every walk was really hard to deal with. I didn’t want to walk her, I changed when and where I walked Ally in the vain hope that we didn’t see a bike. Then it wasn’t just bikes, it expanded to skateboards, scooters and suitcases on wheels.
The advice I sought out from other dog owners and then dog trainers actually didn’t really help beyond the next several bikes we saw. Then it was like starting over again from the beginning each time Ally ‘reset’.
So my lived experience of being a reactive dog owner means I know where you are right now when it comes to you and your reactive dog.
On my dog trainer journey, I chose to learn about reactivity to see if I could finally help Ally and in turn me and my sanity. I learned various skills around helping and supporting Ally – some absolute crap, that was like a plaster over a big crack in the wall. Some didn’t actually address the root cause of the problem.
Then I found success and in weeks, Ally wasn’t losing her shit nearly as much. She was calming down quicker and I was feeling much more comfortable walking her. The more and more I used these skills I was able to refine the training.
Through all that I also found ways that I could help myself and grow my own confidence while reducing my stress/anxiety.
All this meant I wanted to master all things about dog reactivity and become a Reactive Dog Trainer Specialist in Edinburgh.
Reactive Dog Specialist Trainer Edinburgh
Reactivity In All Its Forms
There is very little I haven’t seen when it comes to working with a reactive dog remember my dog can bark at suitcases on wheels. There are ways and means to help and support any reactive dog, as long as you take time and are willing to put the effort in.
Dogs who react to dogs, people, children, cars, bikes…. I have helped them all and then some. Typically I work on a 121 basis creating individual training plans for clients, going to work with them where they need the help. I don’t find it helpful for the dog to bring them to a training hall or field that is away from where you want to be with your dog.
The important thing you want to know…. How do I prevent my dog reacting? Let me tell you piece of training I teach is 100% simple and straightforward. It can take a few walks to master but once you have it you will never look back. The change in your dog will blow your socks off and you will be the one who is teaching your dog how to do it!
Life is rarely straight forward and your dog will kick off (Ally still does from time to time, little one offs!) so you can learn how to handle your dog’s reactive outburst and what to do while they are kicking off. Then what do you do after it. These are the cornerstones of getting your dog over their reactivity.
Bet you’re also wondering how do you actually get your dog to listen to you outside on walks! There are 3 very easy training games I teach EVERYONE and get your dog listening and you’ll never not do them.
A Calm Dog In 8 Weeks
When it comes to training a dog with reactivity, no matter what their trigger there are key fundamentals in the training that are the same for every dog and every owner. With all my first-hand experience supporting dogs and their owners just like you, I have been able to create an Online Training Programme aimed specifically at you
In 8 weeks you will learn to understand your dog, the what’s and the whys with their behaviour. The more you understand your dog the better you can help them. Just like me understanding why Ally needed to chase down bikes, when I was able to understand her better, I could feel less annoyed with her and in turn, train her better.
My brand new Reactive Dog to Calm Canine Course is self-guided, meaning you can do it at your own speed and then get lifetime access to it. Every week I share some education around reactivity and give your training to do, with easy-to-follow how-to guides.
Everything in the course is the same training I use with my 121 clients and more importantly the EXACT same I used with my own dog Ally. I have set it out to give you instant training wins in week one and also added in human training for you too. It’s important to remember your own stress and anxiety need resetting – if you don’t address this your dog training can take longer.
So if you have a reactive dog, then I am the dog trainer for you – I have lived it, I learned how to deal with it and I teach it.
I am a Rewards Based Trainer, that means no force, no fear and no pain are used.
If you’d like to chat about training and behaviour options for you and your dog, book a free 30 minute call with me and we chat all things dog. CLICK HERE.