Reactivity is a common problem among shelter and owned dogs alike, and positive solutions are surprisingly effective and easy to come by. Previously, we wrote about how to treat reactivity and only brushed on the management aspect. While we are working a training plan, the most important thing we can do is manage the situations we put our dog in so she cannot practice reactivity. The fewer opportunities our dog has to practice behavior we don’t want, the easier to reach our training goal: socially appropriate and safe responses to stressful stimuli. The best management techniques are: identify what our dog might react to, stay under our dog’s threshold so she feels comfortable and safe, and practice polite greetings or avoidance through good communication tactics and quick thinking.
Once again, our favorite leash gremlin, Cupcake, makes an appearance on our blog to help us see the dog behind reactivity and understand what we can do to manage it.