BH150: Management for Reactive Dogs

Instructor: Amy Cook

Course Details

Note: Week one class lectures will be released on June 1st but your instructor will not join the classroom until Monday, June 4 due to participation in the FDSA Training Camp. This class will be extended to July 15th to allow for this delay.

This class is for learning strategies for managing and controlling dogs that are reactive to dogs and people. Helping them get over their fears is best done when you can set up ideal conditions, but real life means you have to take your dog for a walk outside, and even when you do your best to set things up, surprises happen! You need management strategies that help you get through daily life that support your larger goals of reducing reactivity in your dog.

In this class you will learn leash handling skills for real life dog walking (u-turns, speed changes, side changes, quick sits), tricks you can do outside to keep their attention and help them stay calm (hand touches, two feet on, four feet on, find it), and strategies for minimizing in-home reactive barking (go to place, timed treats, pacifiers, settling in the crate). You will learn when to feed your dog and the importance of timing (pro tip: it doesn't actually matter sometimes!). You will also read about topics in reactivity, how to support your dog at classes and trials, how to travel in the car, how to be your dog’s advocate, and more!

All of the skills in the class can be practiced indoors, so this is an ideal cold winter or blazing summer class.

This class is designed as a companion class to “Dealing with the Bogeyman - Helping Fearful and Reactive Competition Dogs” and they can be taken in any order. In the Bogeyman class, we get to the root of the issue and heal it from the bottom up, using long distances and play therapy, and in this class you will learn strategies that minimize and even avoid the reactive outbursts when you find yourself too close to be able to play, which help you get through your regular day.

This course is intended to be an introductory course for people new to this issue of management but is suitable for people who have successfully been managing so far and could use some polishing. Every skill in the class can be made more challenging if you already have some of them well in hand. If you do have a lot of experience but just want to pick up tips and clarify a specific issue that eludes you, the silver level is right for you. Please contact the instructor to ask if the class is right for you if you aren’t sure.