The Reactive Dog DVD workshop teaches you quick, precise treat delivery technique; body language that provides clear direction; and the ability to guide your dog from one exercise to the next fluidly and in rapid succession, the way a dancer leads his partner through a series of different steps.
Last time we looked at how to use a science-based approach (use of counterconditioning) to dealing with dogs with food bowl aggression and saw that by approaching the problems systematically the solution was pretty straightforward. So how do we tweak that approach to the case where the dog is food aggressive only towards other dogs?
Our classes and workshops for reactive dogs focus on working on human-only drills first so that handlers can first gain the efficiency of movement needed to provide clear direction to their dogs and to make the exercise fun regardless of whether the food reward is super-yummy or average. Then once each human-only drill has been performed, handlers practice the same skills with their dog.
If you have a reactive dog and already know the patterns for keeping your dog focused on you and can perform these in the presence of distractions relatively close by, you’re 80% there. Here are examples of how you can apply these exercises to situations where you see a human or dog approaching on a path and need to keep your dog focused so he won’t bark, jump or lunge at them.
Do you have a reactive dog? You might think the answer is that if you try treats and they don’t work you should move to a method that’s more severe, such as yanking with a choke chain or pinch collar or something so aversive that it makes the dog want to stop. What you really should do is improve your technique and work at the distance from the distraction where you can keep the reactive Rover focused on you.