WE came across a great poster that reminded us of conversations during initial One-to-one consultations. We sometimes have owners saying:
"She never listens, even when I yell No at her."
"I think I got the naughty dog of the litter."
"I was told to socialise him so I took him to the dog park where he was scared to start with and now he barks and nips at all the dogs."
"My dog thinks he’s the alpha in the pack and is trying to dominate me."
Reading and understanding your dogs body language is an important part of being a dog owner. They tell you a lot, often subtly to start with. If you’re not watching you miss these subtle signals, so your dog will tell you in ways you won’t miss - growling, barking, nipping and biting.
You don’t have a naughty , dominating, manipulating, stubborn dog. You may have an uncomfortable, scared, overwhelmed or overtired dog.
What dog reactivity does mean:
I am having a really bad day
I need your support
I need you to be the calm one
I am overwhelmed
I need some relaxation time
I am feeling nervous/fearful and don;t know what to do
I need to get out of this situation
I am overtired and need rest
I am in pain and discomfort
I need to learn to make better choices in his situation
I am trying to tell you how I feel
What dog reactivity doesn't mean:
I want to dominate you
I am manipulating you
You are a bad owner
I need you to shout at me
I am being stubborn
I refuse to listen
I need to face my fears
I refuse to obey you
I don't like you
I am a bad dog