Why Reactivity is Hard for Us




Reactivity is one of the hardest behaviours to deal with but have you ever wondered why that is? You may never have even thought about reactivity before you got this dog, but now when your dog starts reacting, you find yourself reacting too! You may get stressed at the very thought of going for a walk. Your hands may tighten on the lead when you spot another dog.

But have you ever thought about why it is so hard?

Are you worried about what your dog might do? Do you ask – what if they hurt another dog? What if they hurt a person? What if someone gets in the way and gets hurt by accident?

And what would happen then? What might happen if something does go wrong? Do you worry that your dog might be taken away and that you might get prosecuted? Those are nightmare scenarios – no wonder it feels hard.

But even if you are sure your dog will not do actual harm you can still be embarrassed by how your dog carries on. Reactivity is often a very public, very noisy behaviour – it is hard to hide! And when you are cringing whenever you set foot out of the house with your dog, it is not surprising it is difficult.

There are other reasons you may not have thought of. You got your dog for a reason. Maybe you wanted to be able to go on long walks with your friends. Maybe you wanted to compete in a sport. Maybe you wanted to go to pubs and cafes and take your dog everywhere with you. Maybe you have a family and got your dog to be a companion for your children. When the dog you have and love does not fit in with the dreams you had then it can be very disappointing. You often go through a grieving process.

It is important to acknowledge how your dog’s behaviour affects you and be kind to yourself. It is not your fault AND it is normal to feel any or all of these things.

But you can also turn this on its head. Your reactive dog may be challenging but they will teach you far more than an easy-going dog. You will learn about yourself and more about how you react to situations and more about dogs from this dog than from any other.

And the bond you will build with this dog will be so much stronger as a result!

So celebrate yourself and your dog right now! You are a team and you are making progress just by being here!

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Call us on 650 538 3011 or email info@dfordogtraining.com. YOUR peace of mind is JUST one phone call or email away.

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