Re: reactive dogs
Sometimes a reactive dog is a cuddly lump of a dog who gets over-excited/eager/tense about ONE thing.. and freaks out, due to frustration at being on-lead and not being able to get to or interact with, the object of his extreme interest.
Like Grimm-- does the hard-eyed stare at seeing another dog, hackles up, etc.. then if I do not interrupt him, he will lunge and bark. Truth is, if I cannot hold the lead and he breaks free-- he just gets to the other dog and franticly playbows, barking loudly. That alone could provoke a fight, especially if the other dog were fearful.
What do I do? Interrupt the Stare O' Intensity!
1.MEAN MOMMA VOICE.
2.Begin striding with extreme purpose and determination.. he'd better keep up!
3.Heel! Aaarriiight-- here's your TUGGY game! (tuggy toy hidden in my back pocket for walks)
4. If I need to, a throw chain tossed at his shoulder startles him out of The Stare.
This is a habit, too.... The Stare can be replaced by a better habit: "Ma! Ma!! A dog is there.. where's my tuggy game/ball/cookie?" Although with some dogs, using food here is a real danger, as they may defend their food source from the other dog. (fer real. does happen.)
Grimm van den Heuvel, aka "The Doofinator"
My strong-minded, very loving boy