"Reactivity" quite simply means that the dog REACTS to another dog, person, object or animal. Something or someone triggers the dog to do things like lunge,pull,growl or bark which can often be mistaken as aggression. More often then not the dog is distressted and reacts out of fear. Reactivity is not uncommon, many dog guardians are faced with this. Some dogs are very specific in what they find to be "triggering" such as people with hats, small dogs, bikes, skateboards, cars where as others are genrally fearful, axious or frustrated but there can be many reasons as to why and not just one.
Reactivity can be motivated by:
- Protection of self (fear, self-defense, or pain)
- Protection of others
- Protecting territory (e.g. home)
- Protection of resources (food, toys, possessions)
How we work with dogs that have reactivity/fear/trust issues depends completely on the individual dog’s level of fear and the context.
Understanding your reactive dog's body language is an invaluable skill that can enhance your relationship and promote their well-being. By tuning in to the subtle cues your dog gives, you become a more empathetic and effective guardian.
If you're dealing with a reactive dog and require personalized guidance or have specific questions, remember that I specialize in helping guardians like you navigate the challenges of reactivity. Whether it's addressing aggression, fear, or anxiety, I'm here to provide expert support and insights tailored to your unique situation.
Feel free to reach out to me for a consultation or further assistance. Together, we can work towards a happier and healthier life for you and your beloved furry companion. Your journey to a more harmonious relationship with your reactive dog begins here.