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Should You Find Training If You Have A ‘Reactive’ Dog?

Citizen Canine, in Oakland, sees a lot of dogs that overreact to stimuli; loud noises, other dogs, kids, adults and chaos can bring on a sense of anxiousness in these reactive dogs. When presented with stimuli, the dog’s first reaction is to bark, lunge or run in fear. This is a scary moment for both the dog’s owner and the dog itself.

Reactivity is caused by a combination of genetics, a lack of social experience and scary past experiences. Overall, dogs that are reactive benefit from socialization, training and good management on the part of their owners.

When you take your reactive dog to Citizen Canine, you expose them to situations that they might not be completely comfortable with, but you do it in a warm and inviting atmosphere. When a dog feels comfortable, they are able to let their guard down enough to focus on the task that is given to them. A dog that is consistently exposed to stimuli in a positive environment loses their fear of it.

Dog reactivity isn’t as random as most people think it is. When you take your dog to a proper trainer, they can work with you to figure out what specific circumstances cause your dog to react. The first step towards resolving reactivity problems is to isolate the areas that cause your dog anxiety. Once you have everything written down, you have a good idea of where to start their training program.

Once you have a good idea of what circumstances cause your dog’s reactivity, you can decide where to begin; generally, it’s best to tackle problems that can get you or your dog in trouble. Contact a trainer and let them know what your goals are; they should be able to tell you if your dog’s personality and your goals mesh with their training style. Once your dog finds its purpose, you’ll notice that its reactivity and anxiousness slowly start to fade.