Do you have a dog that becomes restless in certain situations? Does she bark, whine, urinate, defecate, or vocalize inappropriately? Does she excessively lick herself, spin in circles or chase her tail? Does she jump up at you or other people, lunge towards other dogs or run up and down the perimeter of your fence?
It has been something of a thing recently in some corners of the dog training world to suggest that keeping an easily over-stimulated and/or reactive dog in his own home environment for a bit of time, along with enrichment toys, is a better idea than taking said dog out into the world to be walked. Read More
Naughty but nice dogs are often termed aggressive, reactive, angry, overconfident, EVIL - but - you know your dog isn’t any of those things really, they just need to be taught to make better choices and be happier about the things in their life! In fact, many of the things that NBN dogs do are often motivated by FEAR!
I often get asked what games should I play with my dog if they maybe lack confidence, are anxious or fearful or reactive or just need some fun injected into their lives. Well, the answer to all of those is something I call the cone game.
Click here to read the April 2016 Edition of the Positively Newsletter.
If reactive dog owners come off as crazy, understand it's only because we've got a lot on our minds. Here's what we'd like you to know about reactive dog owners before you meet us.
Sometimes owning a reactive dog is just plain hard. The idea of getting up and taking a walk in the mornings, when I know I might end up with a whirling dervish instead of a dog at the end of my leash, makes me want to stay home under the covers, safe in bed. However, Read More
As promised, I am going to talk about some of the things I did that helped curb her reactivity towards other dogs. These are things I did in addition to handling exercises designed to keep Charlotte’s attention on me AND the behavior modification to help her feel differently about dogs.
It's simple but not easy to be skilled at managing a reactive dog. It takes lots of practice to sharpen your own mechanics while teaching the dog various exercises to help the dog stay focused on you.
I did not wear any clothes with my logo on it for the first month after moving to New York City, horrified that people would see this dog trainer with a “bad dog.”
Whether it’s from trick or treaters, visiting relatives, or the other flurries of activity that come with the holiday season, a reactive dog is dealing with lots more stress during the holidays. Here are a few ways to promote relaxation and calm with your dog.
This is Topher's story. I tell it now, even two years after it happened, to stress that while training takes time and patience, it’s worth it to help your dog have a better life.
Gaining some insight into how their dog might be feeling can be a big motivator for people who use heavy-handed methods with their dog-reactive dogs, and can potentially make all the difference. They may commonly label their dog ‘aggressive’ and resort to using force, which makes matters even worse. Without realizing it they are giving Read More
When Sadie first came into my life four years ago, she was what I would call a reactive dog, lunging towards and barking viciously at any dog that walked past or came close to her. Fortunately I was able to temper her reaction and teach her a new way to cope and behave in similar situations. The techniques I used meant I could change her behavior without physically punishing or imposing my will upon her in any way. I just gave her choices.
Knowledge is a fluid thing. We move forward regularly, only to move backwards occasionally, when inaccurate information becomes suddenly popular. We can only continue to repeatedly educate, with the hope that our parroting of the facts, helps them to remain solidly in the public eye. So here we are back in the saddle with more Read More
I’ve only ever had female dogs. This has never been a conscious choice on my part, I just fell in love and adopted dogs that happened to be female. I don’t know if things would be any different if I had a male dog in the house, but people often ask me what the behavioral differences between male and female dogs are and if gender either influences or suits one lifestyle over another.
I’m a dog lover and I want everyone to be as passionate about these amazing animals as I am. I would also like to take my dogs with me to more places, and I believe if people were a little more responsible, dogs might be accepted in more public areas than are currently allowed.
But I bet that most of you knew that already. The dogs who live in fear or with anxiety, over people/things/animals that they see in the environment, are reveling in the fact that there are far fewer people who are trying to be up close and personal with them now. Their owners probably feel the Read More
K9 officer Shawn Humphreys talks with Victoria and Holly about the world of police dog training, its challenges, and the changes he’s noticing with his move towards more positive training. Also, new VSA course dates, how to find a licensed trainer as well as leash-walking and separation anxiety issues.
“Could he not SEE that my dog was upset?” “My dog was on leash and under control - it was his dog that was out of control!” “Why, oh why, do people let their ‘friendly’ dogs invade the space of my fearful, reactive dog, and then blame me for being a useless dog-owner with Read More
Family dog shows can be wonderful events to attend. They are great places to meet up with friends, spend time around lots of other dogs, show your own dog off and hopefully win some rosettes. Some dogs really enjoy these events and walk round the show ring with a relaxed body, bright eyes and a Read More
Does your dog really love going to the dog park? In some cases, the answer is yes! For highly social pups, the dog park can be a mostly fun and stress-free experience. But if you've noticed that your dog spends most of his time at the dog park glued to your side or pawing at the exit door, it's worth considering some other alternatives.
Does your reactive dog seem to be getting more fearful, anxious, or aggressive? Here are key strategies for change that you can put in place very easily.
When presented with something new or slightly unusual, does your dog respond positively, presuming it to be good (optimism), or negatively, presuming it to be a bad thing (pessimism)?
Got a reactive dog? A fearful, anxious, or aggressive dog? A dog who barks and lunges at everything she sees? This is just for you!
We can actually make our dog’s feel both calm and confident about their surroundings AND teach them a better way to cope when they do experience those emotions of overexcitement and overarousal.
In the competition sport of agility, there are many variables to manage. When I created a behavior modification program for my own dog, here were some of the things I considered to help set him up for success.
Victoria and Holly are back with a bang for the first episode of the Positively Podcast's sixth season.
Have you ever seen a parent in the supermarket with two children - one perfectly behaved, and one throwing a tantrum? Which one is typically getting the attention while the other stands quietly by?
Here is the third excerpt from my forthcoming book - Building Confidence in your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog - which points out an area which will be affecting your dog much more than you may imagine. You may want to read Part One and Part Two of the series first. While you’re doing your best to Read More
Here is the second of three excerpts from my forthcoming book - Building Confidence in your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog - which points out an area which will be affecting your dog mightily. Read the first excerpt here. While you’re doing your best to improve the situation and you take a look at what may Read More
"She's a rescue." I found myself wanting to say the words out loud as I walked my Labradoodle past a girl who looked at us disapprovingly and then shot me a judgmental glare. Why did I feel the need to justify anything to this complete stranger? Why have "purebred" dogs become so vilified?
When we train mindfully, we pay attention on purpose. We're aware of what’s happening during the session: mechanics, timing, location, the dog’s internal state.
Those of us who have a reactive, anxious, or fearful dog, work very hard to make life easier for them (and us!). We try this idea and that technique, perhaps with distressingly little success. Some days our dog just seems worse! Here is the first of three excerpts from my next book - Building Confidence Read More
The right kind of exercise is helpful to your dog's mental health, and the wrong kind can be harmful.
Registration is now open for the fourth annual UK Dog Bite Prevention and Behaviour Conference which will be held on the south London campus of Kingston University on June 24-25, 2017. Now in its fourth year, this annual gathering of the leading minds in the animal world has become the UK’s preeminent dog training and behaviour-related Read More
The goal in any training protocol is to reduce stress so that the dog remains one hundred percent, no-holds-barred OK in his environment.
When we come across a situation our dog doesn’t like, there is a huge temptation to encourage interaction with that thing. It’s human nature to feel the need to FIX the problem. This is the worst thing to do!! Here are four tips to turn worry into confidence!
A "Naughty But Nice" (NBN) dog is exactly how it sounds - they are nice, beautiful, lovable dogs underneath but sometimes they make bad choices! In fact, many of the things that NBN dogs do are often motivated by high arousal!
The mysteries of walking nicely on the leash unravelled! With no nasty gadgets or shouting.