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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Reactivity

Where does reactivity fall on the nerve scale? or is it related to nerves at all?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 05:15 PM
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I've been thinking about this, too.

My youngest is very confident, social, drivey, but she can be reactive- like if she sees someone she might bark at first, then ignore or greet if called on. She's very easy to call or control in this situation- its not a fear or aggression based behavior. Or if she hears something outside she'll go off with this high pitched bark. But at training, with other dogs, on the trails, she's perfect. Ignores other dogs and people, but friendly when called on. Absolutely trustworthy. For example, she ran a mass-start canicross race recently and was absolutely perfect (and did awesome too).

Is she reactive? I'm not sure. She's so social and confident, if she is reactive it doesn't come across as nerves?

I really don't know... she's excitable, for sure, high energy, but not sure it is reactivity or just... youth- she's still immature at 13 months old? Curious what others have to say.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Saco;9163423]I've been thinking about this, too.

My youngest is very confident, social, drivey, but she can be reactive- like if she sees someone she might bark at first, then ignore or greet if called on. She's very easy to call or control in this situation- its not a fear or aggression based behavior. Or if she hears something outside she'll go off with this high pitched bark. But at training, with other dogs, on the trails, she's perfect. Ignores other dogs and people, but friendly when called on. Absolutely trustworthy. For example, she ran a mass-start canicross race recently and was absolutely perfect (and did awesome too).

Is she reactive? I'm not sure. She's so social and confident, if she is reactive it doesn't come across as nerves?

I really don't know... she's excitable, for sure, high energy, but not sure it is reactivity or just... youth- she's still immature at 13 months old? Curious what others have to say.[/QUOTE
]

Last edited by Nigel; 05-08-2019 at 08:30 PM.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saco View Post
I've been thinking about this, too.

My youngest is very confident, social, drivey, but she can be reactive- like if she sees someone she might bark at first, then ignore or greet if called on. She's very easy to call or control in this situation- its not a fear or aggression based behavior. Or if she hears something outside she'll go off with this high pitched bark. But at training, with other dogs, on the trails, she's perfect. Ignores other dogs and people, but friendly when called on. Absolutely trustworthy. For example, she ran a mass-start canicross race recently and was absolutely perfect (and did awesome too).

Is she reactive? I'm not sure. She's so social and confident, if she is reactive it doesn't come across as nerves?

I really don't know... she's excitable, for sure, high energy, but not sure it is reactivity or just... youth- she's still immature at 13 months old? Curious what others have to say.
I think youth is part of this and with maturity we may see change. Our male is 14 months.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:39 PM
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My take on "reactivity" is that (a) it can be challenging to figure out why, and (b) reactivity has many many variations, as do the causes and solutions!

So about now you're thinking, could you possibly be more vague? LOL!

Some puppies or dogs are reactive in a clearly fearful way. Tail is tucked tight, body is lowered, ears too, body is hunched and lowered, etc.

Others are reactive without ever showing these submissive signs. So "reactivity" can't rightly be lumped into a single category.

I had a rescue that showed all the submissive, fear based reactivity signs, who became one of the most confident, stable dogs I've ever known! So clearly, there's a lot about trying to analyze and understand the "why" that can require an experienced person!

That being said, reactivity for any reason usually requires the same or similar desensitization...time, patience, and clear feedback that isn't angry or over the top of your dog's threshold works if you keep yourself stable, calm, but insistent

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
with maturity we may see change.



I'd agree....as long as appropriate/proper influence is provided by the handler.




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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:54 PM
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My take on "reactivity" is that (a) it can be challenging to figure out why, and (b) reactivity has many many variations, as do the causes and solutions!

So about now you're thinking, could you possibly be more vague? LOL!

Some puppies or dogs are reactive in a clearly fearful way. Tail is tucked tight, body is lowered, ears too, body is hunched and lowered, etc.

Others are reactive without ever showing these submissive signs. So "reactivity" can't rightly be lumped into a single category.

I had a rescue that showed all the submissive, fear based reactivity signs, who became one of the most confident, stable dogs I've ever known! So clearly, there's a lot about trying to analyze and understand the "why" that can require an experienced person!

That being said, reactivity for any reason usually requires the same or similar desensitization...time, patience, and clear feedback that isn't angry or over the top of your dog's threshold works if you keep yourself stable, calm, but insistent

Truly fearful dogs can be tougher to help get beyond the problem, but watching and reading their body language is key, keep desensitization sessions for your dog under their threshold, don't press them too far, and many can and will get beyond this...
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It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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Last edited by tim_s_adams; 05-08-2019 at 10:01 PM.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 10:04 PM
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I think since "reactivity" has a wide range of reasons for it and a variety of situations that could trigger it, in and of itself is just one of many components that help determine nerve strength. Ex: a dog who is basically clear headed but also handler sensitive can become reactive to an owner who tends to startle from the unexpected but settles appropriately when given the command as opposed to out burst or over reactivity to that startle and the inability or willingness to calm down when commanded to.

The pup who becomes very attentive and alert but just watches when something is out of the norm as opposed to a pup who immediately reacts. My boy displays both depending so there is some nerveyness with some clear thinking in the mix so as a novice who has attempted to determine his nerve strength, it isn't perfect but training and proper exposure has helped shore up what he lacks. It is a fascinating subject.
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Last edited by Heartandsoul; 05-08-2019 at 10:10 PM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 10:06 PM
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Tim, you hit reply as I was still typing lol.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartandsoul View Post
Tim, you hit reply as I was still typing lol.
Yep, happens to me all the time LOL! Not sure how I managed to make the same post twice...

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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