Social Distancing and your lead reactive dog!
What is social distancing?
With the current pandemic this term is everywhere, we are to maintain 2M from other people to help prevent the spread of disease. We in the UK are also only allowed out for one walk a day, for exercise and to take the dog out. There are times we may not being able to take our dogs out for a few days or weeks, we don’t know what the future holds currently. What I do know though is this is the perfect time to be contacting your local behaviourists and trainers for help!
SERIOUSLY! Social distancing is perfect time for us to help you with your reactive dog, so get in touch!
What is a reactive dog?
A reactive dog is one that reacts in situations where they are overwhelmed. This reaction can be barking, lunging, squealing, growling, snapping, even biting, and the reason can vary greatly from excitement or frustration to anxiety or fear. This is why you need to seek help from your local behaviourist or trainer so they can let your know which emotion is driving the behaviour and point you in the right direction for help.
I’ve created an info graphic to help explain this, but in the simplest terms, your can’t train a dog in the situation they struggle in. They’re simply too stressed and wont be able to retain information. They along with their owners need a stress break, this is the first thing I recommend. Avoid walks where possible for two weeks, if you need to go out, go somewhere remote and avoid other people and dogs. That’s the first piece of advice and currently the whole country is doing the same thing!
Where do i start?
Have a break, enjoy some time with your dog, teach them some fun tricks or new games where they have to utilise their doggy skills like sniffing, chewing, digging. Note down the situations your dog struggles in and think about what you’d rather they be doing in these situations. Then get in touch with a professional. They can help you virtually to discuss your situation and help work out what emotion is driving the behaviour. They can then show you, and explain to you, how to teach your dog to do the behaviours you want them to do, and learn to relax when outside. Once all this blows over they can help you in the real world if you still need them. It’s a win win situation 🙂