How to desensitise a reactive dogIn dog obedience training, there are often many different approaches to the same problem. At Jordan Dog Training we recommend the following approach for working with reactive dogs as it does no harm (emotionally or physically) to the dog and it uses a science-based understanding of canine stress and dog behavioural learning. What do we mean by “reactive dogs”? This refers to more than just a nuisance habit such as jumping up on people in excitement. It’s a label that we give to dogs who perceive certain situations as a threat and react instinctively to try and protect themselves. To people, it often looks like an overreaction, but to the dog it is very real.
1. Identify the triggerReactive dogs are not all the same. What sets your dog off? He’s not lunging and snarling all the time, so when does it happen? What happens directly beforehand?
- Hearing the doorbell?
- Bicycles or motorbikes – moving or stationary?
- White fluffy dogs? (we hear this a lot)
- Any unfamiliar dog?