One of the most common struggles our dogs face is over-reacting to other dogs. Especially on walks. Sometimes every walk. Sometimes days go by without reaction, then BOOM. He's going crazy the instant he sees a poodle a block away. It’s confusing, embarrassing and frightening all at the same time.
Solution seems impossible. Nothing you try works, and it only gets worse. If you’re like many dog owners you start with more exercise. You take extra long walks, or even multiple walks per day yet it’s not getting any better. So you head to the dog park for a run. After all, you reason, he’s good with other dogs when he’s not on the leash. He runs around, and you think, this is it. He’s over it. But he’s not. He nearly jerks you off your feet when the next dog appears.
So you sign up for doggie daycare. Most of those dogs are pretty good with other dogs so you think he’ll learn to get along. But he doesn’t. He’s now snapping and lunging at everything that moves.
You realize you’re in over your head so you hire a trainer specializing in counter-conditioning, BAT or desensitization. If he would only understand that those other dogs are nice, he’ll stop. But he doesn’t, and maybe he’s worse. Maybe he’s so frantic you’re afraid to leave the house.
With all due respect, STOP.
Your dog doesn’t need more exercise, and he doesn’t need more time around other dogs, playful or not. Your dog is stressed. Super Stressed. So stressed he can’t think straight.
Look, those other methods worked for some dogs, but they also left a lot of dogs struggling with even worse problems than when they started. It’s a lonely place to be left behind, wondering if your dog is dangerous. Please don’t give up.
The answer you've been searching for is exactly opposite of what you’ve tried.
Your dog is both super stressed and maybe in a state of fear the instant he senses another dog within a half mile. He can’t possibly learn anything while in a full blown panic. Put yourself in his paws.
Let’s say you’re deathly afraid of spiders, and I hand you a box. I look you in the eye and say, “Stick your hand in there. There may or may not be a spider inside. But don’t worry. I’m pretty sure the deadly black widow isn’t in there.” Could you do it? Over and over? That's pretty much what other trainers will ask your dog to do.
RosyDogs teaches you to reshape the brain away from other dogs -in a safe place- where learning can sink in. We train for that dog when fear is not in the picture. This is brain shaping at it's finest.
Look, every dog is different, but in most cases, dogs with dog dog reactivity need to first lower their stress level. While he de-stresses, we play games that help him stay calm around other dogs, then engage with the other dog nicely, and finally, disengage smoothly. He becomes an Optimist who sees other dogs appearing as non-events. It’s a relaxed and effective way to help your dog find real peace.
Isn’t that what you want for him?
Know there is help for every dog struggling with dog to dog problems whether on leash or off.
Rebecca Porter has been fascinated by dogs for decades, but it took a frantic mixed breed to send her on a journey into innovative and real life solutions in dog training.