My goal with this blog is for you to enjoy your time here. Most of the posts talk about my experiences raising my two yellow Labrador Retrievers, some are just for fun, and others share the best dog related information and products I have found.

Use the tabs above for quick navigation. I have imbedded links for as much as possible so that you can find the resources easily from this blog. The links in the side bar are for websites that have been helpful to me. I hope that you find them useful for you and your canine "family member"

Saturday, September 09, 2006

My "Reactive Dog"

If you are asking yourself, "what is a reactive dog?", realize that you are not alone. I had no idea what a "reactive dog" temperament was. If only I had realized sooner that my Shelby is a "reactive dog". So, what is a reactive dog? Here's the best description out there.

The following is an excerpt from the book: "Good Owners, Great Dogs", by Brian Kilcommnos & Sarah Wilson. With written permission I'm thrilled to share an excerpt. [pg 216]

The Reactive Dog
When you restrain him, he gets more frenzied. When you yell at him, he gets more wild. When you correct him hard, he gets worse. You have a reactive dog. The good news is that he is 100% trainable. Reactive dogs have a hard time calming themselves down.They tend to take every emotion you send their way and magnify it. You are upset, they get more upset. With these animals it is mandatory that you be calm, dead calm. If you are calm, they become calm. There are no tricks, no shortcuts. Commands are neutral; correction unemotional, direct and over with. Concentrate on timing and structure rather than force. If you try force, they will get anxious and active. Praise is warm, kind and not too excited.
My personal experience is that the reactive dog is mentally sensitive, eager to please and intelligent. When approached as stupid, stubborn, difficult or untrainable, he becomes those things. With your proper handling and patience, he will become a responsive pet.
Copyright © 1992, 1999 by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson
A message from Sarah Wilson:
"My Smart Puppy" - our newest book with a new way of thinking about training - is out October (2006) - and folks can find us (and our message boards) through www.mysmartpuppy.com.

Anyway - happy to help out.

Best -
Take a minute to visit their website. The book: "Good Owners, Great Dogs" is a great reference in that it covers all the basics. Great suggestions and advice are presented is a nice easy to access way. Personal stories from years of experience make the book a fun read instead of the usual dry, traditional dog advice books out there. Although it is not specifically a training program book, for the novice dog owner it is a must have - before you get your dog - book. Personally I just wish I hadn't put the book down before getting to page 216. It wasn't until just a month ago that I picked up the book again and said, "I get it, I have a 'reactive dog' ."

Their are great resources out there for those of you like me living with a reactive dog. As I compile them I will share them here. I know I'll be learning in the process too.

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