What Are Your Dog’s Candles?




Candles are a helpful way to think about all the factors that contribute to your dog’s reactivity. Everything that makes your dog concerned or uncomfortable or over-excited is a candle. The more candles that are lit, the more likely your dog is to react. Think of it as increasing heat. And we can reduce that heat – and the reactivity – by “blowing out” candles.

Candles can be big things like joint pain or stomach pain, equipment, grooming or handling, noise, medical conditions, such as allergies, visitors, other dogs playing, or little things like the tags jangling on your dog’s collar.

Some of these candles are really easy to blow out. You can change equipment or the way you handle and replace jangly tags with sliders. Other candles can be blown out or at least reduced by working with your vet. Some may be more persistent.

But if you can blow out any candles at all, the overall heat will be reduced and that is what matters.

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