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Friday, February 20, 2015

Reactivity. Part II. What If My Dog Is Friendly?

Frustrated greeters - dogs who want to meet other dogs but who get overly excited about it.
Some people like to use a different protocol for frustrated greeters vs those dogs who might have some aggression towards strange dogs. 

Personally, I say they should be treated the same - at least in the beginning. Which means we keep our distance from other dogs.  A far away enough distance that our dog doesn't become frustrated (See Management. Part 1).  I suggest this for several  reasons.

1. Just because our dog appears to be dog friendly, it doesn't mean he actually is.  Some dogs pull towards things that bother them. And some dogs fidget or fool around when they are nervous!991&authkey=!AAgAjuvdrkW67os

2. Even if a dog actually is very friendly, if he is constantly pulling towards dogs on a tight leash, she can become frustrated. Frustration can turn into reactivity or maybe even aggression.

3. Even if our dog is friendly, it doesn't mean the other dog is.  And even if the other dog is, it doesn't mean that she wants a stranger dog barreling towards him face first. And even if the other dog doesn't mind, the other human might mind.

4. Another way to significantly reduce frustration is to be consistent. If you let your dog go towards some dogs and not others, your dog will always be wondering which ones are okay to greet.

5. If you let your dog pull towards strange dogs in a an excited state, he will never learn proper greetings. He will always pull toward dogs on a tight leash - which can scare dogs and make loose leash training very difficult for your dog.

Stay Tuned. More on reactivity will be posted here:

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