The Emotion behind the ‘Reaction’Posted on

‘Reactivity’—it’s a buzzword in the dog world, but what does it really mean? Before diving into training or behaviour modification, it’s crucial to grasp the underlying emotions fueling this reactivity.

Sure, we often associate reactivity with aggressive behaviours like lunging and barking towards other dogs or people. But let’s take a step back. Isn’t a tail wag a reaction? Isn’t a play bow an invitation for fun? Every action triggers a reaction, yet we don’t label a friendly, outgoing dog as ‘reactive.’

For effective training and behaviour intervention, simply labeling a dog as ‘reactive’ isn’t enough. We need to delve deeper into what’s driving these reactions—the underlying emotions.

Take fear, for example. If a dog’s reactivity stems from fear, pushing them into social interactions or focusing solely on correcting the behaviour won’t bring about lasting change. It might even lead to emotional shutdowns, masking the problem rather than solving it.

Instead, let’s address the root cause. By boosting the dog’s confidence, improving their overall health, enhancing obedience skills, and tailoring a gradual counter conditioning program, we can pave the way for real, long-term change.

Yes, it’s a journey. Yes, it requires patience and effort. But isn’t a brighter future for your furry companion worth it? Let’s shift our focus from the reaction to the emotion behind it. Let’s opt for sustainable solutions over quick fixes.

Together, let’s work towards a happier, more balanced life for our beloved dogs. 🐶💖