The Reactive Dog: Course Agenda

Over the past year, I have been forming a hypothesis to help understand how physiological symptoms affect canine behavior. The course helps build a method for understanding these behaviors in a qualitative and quantitative way. Therefore, this course is an accumulation of my education and experience with pet dog behaviors.

Through my experience, there are two types of teams. One being the dog wants nothing to do with the human, or the dog checks in with their owner constantly. There are a few common characteristics in both teams.


Dogs react to an outside stimulus with big feelings. Occurring because of stress or emotional upset.

  • Reactivity may occur from different emotional states. The emotional states can vary from excitement, fear, frustration, and happiness.
  • Reactive behavior from dogs can be displayed as barking, jumping, pulling forward/lunging, growling, moving away or towards an outside stimulus

Prevent, Interrupt & Train

I do not examine and focus on the purpose of the dog’s behavior. These kinds of behaviors are not acceptable for the dog in the world. We can prevent scenarios with avoidance, or by verbally or physically breaking the dog’s focus. Training the dog what to do will replace the unwanted behaviors.

Therefore, the first couple of weeks will be dedicated to prevention, as we need to establish a fair line of communication with our dogs. Your pup depends on you for help, since it’s connected to a leash. It’s essential for your dog to trust you in order to follow your instructions and guidance.

Week One:

  • Focus on your dog instead of your environment
    • By learning your dog’s body language, your dog will be happier. Your dog will be happy to follow your direction and your timing will be accurate.
  • Teach “Go Sniff”.
    • Offering your pup a natural activity can give them an instinctive outlet and encourage you to stop startling them.
  • Enrichment.
    • Over the last few decades, American culture has gone through an immense transformation. This has led to a decrease in the time that dogs may spend outdoors and get to be dogs.

Week Two:

  • Marker Training
  • Let’s Go
  • Default Sit

Week Three:

  • Understanding arousal and decompression rate
  • Trigger stacking
  • Threshold

Week Four:

We’ll make sure that the gaps from the prior weeks are filled and that you focus on training your dog.

  • Hand target
  • Body positioning
  • Strengthen previous cue

Week Five:

  • Pattern games to walk past the trigger
  • Understanding distance and things contributing towards unwanted
  • Look/Lock/Launch

Week Six:

We will focus on how improve from now on. In order to strengthen the cues, we need you to keep on practicing. Years of behaviors and habits cannot be fixed completely within six weeks.

  • Understand your dog’s arousal rate
  • 5 minutes of training a day – For the remainder of the dog’s life.
  • Safety protocols for off leash dogs coming your way.

As our behavior consultant, I will:

  • Every Tuesday, I will text each team to understand the pros and cons of every team.
  • be your cheerleader and help you navigate your techniques.
  • Help you understand your boundaries. Every team and everyone has their own set of boundaries. Be clear with what you will and will not tolerate.

You will get the most out of class if you…

  • Communicate with me. I cannot help you unless you communicate with e. Sending me 30-60 second videos is helpful and recommended.
  • Attend every class. If you miss a class, understand you will fall behind.
  • Stay focused and don’t skip ahead with the course agenda. Every action I’ve taken has been intentional and informed by my experience and education. If you don’t follow the plan and don’t communicate with me, it will be hard for me to offer help. I don’t know what I haven’t been informed of.