Poppy: Dog Reactive Case Study – Manhattan Dog Trainer Blog
Some dogs are aggressive because they desire to be the leader of the pack. Some feel threatened by other dogs or people. Some dogs only react aggressively when frightened (fight or flight). Some dogs, like Poppy, use aggression as an outlet for anxiety.
Poppy was a young dog that had already gone through clicker training, but the training was incomplete. She’d never been taught “heel” or “stay” and the necessary foundation of trust and respect between dog and owner had never been properly established.
When I arrived for the in-home consultation, Poppy met me at the door, barking and lunging. She didn’t attempt to bite me, but she sniffed and circled me anxiously, paying absolutely no attention to her owner. On a walk, it was the same thing. She did what she pleased–pulling on the leash, zig-zagging, etc.–while paying no attention to her owner. Apparently her aggression presented itself mostly around other dogs, and she was kicked out of doggie daycare as a result.
To put it simply, Poppy needed some boundaries. Not only do boundaries help curb aggression, but they also help put anxious dogs at ease. Creating a structured, reliable schedule helps anxious dogs know exactly what to expect at any given point in time, and we did this for Poppy. We also set up two beds for her, one in the living room and one in another room in which the family often gathered. We taught her how to retreat to these beds on command, so that she could have a nice, comfortable place to relax while still being a part of the action. Basic obedience training along with proper handling techniques helped Poppy learn to respond to all commands reliably, and it also helped to establish that ever-important foundation of trust and respect.
To learn how I can help your dog, no matter his/her behavioral issues, call me today at 800.649.7297.