Tuesday, January 27

Motion Reactive Dogs

After Merlin's scuffle at Agility last Tuesday, an instructor recommended I read "Control Unleashed," which is published by Clean Run Magazine.

I have to say, the book is amazing.

Essentially, it focuses on making the dog comfortable being around other dogs that are running and playing. How? By TREATING the dog for LOOKING at other dogs! It's revolutionary! The key point is that after looking at another dog, your pooch should look back at you. You're not forcing the dog to be focused entirely on you (which in a reactive dog is bad news), but rather be comfortable enough in the environment to pay attention to you. They learn that looking at other dogs and things is ok - provided they return their attention to you after a quick looksie.

I might explain it poorly, but if you're interested in animal behavior, it's definitely worth a look. It's not a quick fix, and she even states several times that a lot of dogs aren't cut out for her method (in fact, she emphasizes it so often that it sounds like only dogs with slight reactiveness are right for this training - which are probably the ones not actually seeking reactiveness training).

But I have some new tools I am taking with me to agility class tonight. We'll see how it goes.

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