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Old 02-27-2010, 02:15 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Default "curing" reactivity

I have som' thoughts in my head I'd like to bat around if I may.


When I joined this forum, god, almost two years ago, I noticed alot of people had dogs with reactivity issues, DA issues etc etc.

now this isn't meant as a jab or an attack...but I notice that many of the same people still talk about their dogs having outbursts, problems, and needing a decent amount of management to exist.

Iam currently a year into working with my reactive dog. He is my first one, and honestly hes been alot of fun to train. He went from being reactive to everything that wasn't nailed down (and everything that was) people, sounds, objects, dogs, cats, cars, YOU NAME IT he'd have a fit. I couldn't take him anywhere. He was a mess and very embarrassing honestly.

Yesterday, a year into training... I took him to an outdoor mall. He walked by hundreds of people on a loose leash. He saw dogs, lots of cars, trucks (his arch enemy is diesel trucks) and was very attentive and responsive. He tried to approach children on a few occasions, he wanted to go into the stores with loud music....He had one very small outburst when a man jogged by SCREAMING into his cell phone. But he redirected easily. Basically he had a good time.

anyway...I guess, I was given the impression by reading here...that this was an insurmountable obstactle...that he'd never resemble normal and he'd always be a thorn in my side. That he would always need lots of management, i wouldn't be able to take him places, have him meet strangers etc....but I have to tell ya, Iam not seeing it. IMO one more year of training and he should be pretty unflappable. A woman even commented on how calm he was

I guess Iam asking who has for the most part "fixed" their dogs reactivity, how long did it take etc...and those that are just managing it, is there a reason you are chosing management?

Before anyone says It I know he will always be predisposed to reacting. And I don't ever expect him to be 100%.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:29 PM
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corgipower corgipower is offline
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Huge kudos to you Crio.

As for me, I do have one reactive dog and am currently not even managing it. I really don't take her out in public now that I live on 16 acres, which doesn't do her any favors in the reactivity issues. The main reason I've opted for that is because she is over the top reactive and she tends to scare people (mind you, I don't think she'd be aggressive at all, but others don't know that). Also, she's a little too good at getting loose ~ pulling leash from my hand, breaking the leash, slipping the collar...And with how high her prey drive is, that does scare me.

I am hoping to get some play dates with friends nearby who have calm dogs and work on the DR, which is one the biggest of her reactive issues. Her other big one is small child reactivity, which will be a little more difficult but maybe after getting the DR under control, the issue with children will be able to get generalized.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:35 PM
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OutlineACDs OutlineACDs is offline
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It depends on the dog, the reactivity level, the cause of the reactivity, the amount of time you train etc.

My reactive dog is a million times better than she was, but I would still say she's severely reactive. She isn't wired right. I don't think any amount of time/training etc would have her completely "cured".

Take an unsocialized, reactive dog and put it in a good stable home that trains relatively regularly, and I believe that if the dog has a solid temperament he can overcome his reactivity. The time it take is dependent on a lot of things, but some dog progress fast and have little in the way of setbacks. My dog progresses well then has a large setback, and while we don't start back at square one, we still took 5 steps back.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:38 PM
Jynx Jynx is offline
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good job! and I also think it has ALOT to do with how much you train, HOW you train and the individual dog itself. So kudo's to you for doing a good job with your dog!
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post

anyway...I guess, I was given the impression by reading here...that this was an insurmountable obstactle...that he'd never resemble normal and he'd always be a thorn in my side. That he would always need lots of management, i wouldn't be able to take him places, have him meet strangers etc....but I have to tell ya, Iam not seeing it. IMO one more year of training and he should be pretty unflappable. A woman even commented on how calm he was
It's not that they are incurable, its that the people who have dealt with it understand how helpless and hopeless you can feel.

It's a huge undertaking and so if anyone is looking into adopting a reactive dog people here are quick to caution. It's definitely a labor of love and it take so much hard work. Even managing a reactive dog is a huge responsibility.

If my dog gets loose and bites one dog or one person she risks losing her life and I risk losing my dog and possibly getting sued etc.

Everyone's definition of reactive is different as well. People might call my dog aggressive, but IMO she is reactive. She's nervous and scared and acting out accordingly.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:40 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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thank you both for your imput I hope others give theres as well.


I honestly would have opted for management I think if I could have him on my own property and not have him having a fit every thirty seconds. We have ALOT of pedestrians that walk by and he was very ill and needed to go to the vet every two weeks for months upon months, so I felt I needed to "fix" it.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:42 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Quote:
It's not that they are incurable, its that the people who have dealt with it understand how helpless and hopeless you can feel.
I actually did have this happen to me, so I hired a behaviorist who basically said I was doing the right things and it just needed more time. She gave me a hint or two but nothing monumental. It was great encouragement, because, your right it did feel hopeless for a while.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
I actually did have this happen to me, so I hired a behaviorist who basically said I was doing the right things and it just needed more time. She gave me a hint or two but nothing monumental. It was great encouragement, because, your right it did feel hopeless for a while.
I can't tell you how many times I have cried over this one dog. She's so completely awesome and so completely frustrating at times.
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:10 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Oh man how I know that feeling!

so how is she now, I know you compete, is she functional enough to compete?
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
I can't tell you how many times I have cried over this one dog. She's so completely awesome and so completely frustrating at times.
*nods*
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