Dog reactivity

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

Fiona & Vince - K9 FUNdamentals