Working Through Reactivity With Two Dogs At Once
In this video, Robbie & Ginger meet my pup Grizzly face to face for the first time after months of not being able to see any dog without barking!
Here are some notes on training reactivity with two dogs so you can get to the point in the end of the video where your dogs are able to meet another face to to face.
Reacting Inside the House
• Whenever your dogs react to someone or something walking by, call their names positively to come to you
• Tell them “YES” when they come and then have them sit right away
• Give them as many treats as needed to maintain their focus on you and distract them from the trigger object
• This changes their instinctual response of reacting when they see someone or another dog outside to not reacting and going to you instead.
• This also teaches them that it is a positive thing when someone or something goes by the house
Preventing Reactivity on Walks
• Preventing your dogs from reacting at people or other dogs is the best way to work through the reactivity
• When you see one or both of your dogs zoning in on someone or another dog, get his/their focus by calling his/their name(s).
• Distance yourself enough from the trigger object so that the dogs are focused on you
• Distract the dogs from the trigger object by making them work - sit, lay down, wait, shake, etc
• Give lots of treats while the person or dog walk by to associate the situation with positivity and tell them “YES” for maintaining focus on you
• If your dogs do start to react, start running in the other direction of the trigger object and say “Come on (insert your dog's name), let’s go!
• Make it positive!
• Get them to a distance that is far enough so that they can calm down
• Regain their focus and calm them down by making them work
• Don’t resume the walk until they both have calmed down and are fully focused on you
*Remember that working towards a dog/person who is stationary will be GREAT practice for the dogs!