Isaac, 9-month old mini Aussie
Lunging, barking at dogs on leash
"Isaac's biggest trigger is other dogs, on leash. Occasionally, he will react to children playing/running, small prey animals, and especially gruff people. These reactions are much less intense, however."
"Isaac stiffens, stares, and eventually lunges and barks when he sees another dog on a walk. If I micromanage (read: use many, many treats), we can walk past a trigger, but his arousal is very high (whining, 'yodeling', etc). Interestingly, his off-leash social skills are great."
"I'm a veterinary student who is very interested in canine body language, low-stress veterinary care, and holistic health, but I still have a lot to learn!"
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Sadie, 2 yo mixed breed
Reactivity to dogs and people, on and off leash
"Sadie will lunge and bark at triggers when they get too close. If she is off leash (which I don't allow anymore) she would charge at dogs and people (barking, lunging). Once she got to them, she would run back over to me."
"Sadie is a rescue who was found at 8 weeks old with her sister. She was a normal puppy, a little fearful of strangers, but nothing worrying as she would eventually approach and say hi with a wiggle butt. When she turned 7 months old, I started to see the lungy/barky behavior come out. I work with children and know that punishment is not the answer for a child who is acting out. Instead of using punishment (as most of my other dog owner friends advised) I looked into positive training for reactivity. I understand that Sadie is feeling strong emotions about her triggers and prong collar corrections are not going to make her feel any better. Sadie is going to be 2 this month and has come a long way."
"Before I got Sadie, I would say that I was an average dog owner that knew how to teach basic commands. Sadie's reactivity has forced me to look further into training and I have learned a lot about how to help reactive dogs (ie BAT, classical conditioning, the importance of thresholds, trigger stacking, enrichment, etc). We also got into agility and obedience. "