The Hidden K9  Reactivity

What causes Reactivity?

Reactivity in dogs is really influenced mostly by a couple of factors. The first is how your dog feels about the environment it’s in and the second is how your relationship influences their thoughts and actions.

Let me explain, if your dog is not confident around other dogs, people or traffic they will start to overthink what’s going on. Over thinking creates emotion, this is usually insecurity, maybe a little anxiety. Once the emotion rises to a point where your dog reacts it’s essentially breaching their emotional threshold, in other words the point at which they can control their feelings and emotion.

If you look closely at your dog before they react you will see the signs, alert ears and tail, stiff posture and staring are all signs that overthinking is happening. If you do not have a solid leadership relationship with your dog it’s very likely that they will act out, more from a preservation perspective, it’s not usually protective, which is a common misunderstanding.

Therefore if you are not able to provide the right leadership in the right moment your dog will not be able to control their feelings and will likely react. This is not only stressful for your dog, but probably you as well…

How Can You Fix Reactivity?

Firstly we need to cognitively alter how your dog feels about these things or situations that are causing the severe overthinking. This is what we call desensitising or socialising. Most people think socialising a dog with other dogs means they can play freely. My View on proper socialisation might mean that your dog can remain calm and hold it together around other dogs. They don’t really have to be playful, just balanced.

Secondly we need to work on the relationship, if your dog is good indoors but maybe not outdoors it’s a sure sign that you’re value and leadership is not held in a high enough regard by your dog to beat the competing motivators, such as the sheep or squirrel. If your relationship needs work I can help you look at things from a K9 perspective, often a couple of very simple tweaks is all.
it needs, we certainly don’t need to turn you into Sargent Major over night!

The Hidden K9 currently has a 100% success rate with reactive behaviour, this is because we are more interested in fixing the root cause (the state of mind!) than suppressing the actual behaviour itself. If you fix the root cause the behaviour simply stops!

Join me on a free call to discuss your particular case!

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