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  #11  
Old 02-27-2010, 02:18 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
Ianyway...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, reactivity is a behavior problem that can have a lot of causes and a lot of "cures," and there is no one answer that will fix the problem. Take, for example, potty training: management and rewarding good behavior are pretty much all you need (simplified, of course) to potty train almost any dog; so potty training, to me, is a "simple" problem to fix. Reactivity is very much the opposite.

Plus, when people come to me with a problem (especially over the internet), I almost always find it best to give them the worst case scenario. With reactivity, that would be that your dog is "wired wrong," and will always have to be closely managed and handled carefully. Luckily, you didn't experience this, but there was no real way of knowing from the beginning (at least not over the internet).

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Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
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?
As for me, Luna was reactive to other dogs for about the first two years I had her. I saw several different trainers about it and tried their suggestions, but basically I just managed it and did what I could. After I discovered the book "Click to Calm" and started implimenting the training plans there, Luna went from reacting at about 80% of dogs, to reacting to about 10% in six months. Then we started agility, and six months after that she would react to about 5% of dogs. It's been about 3 years since we started agility, and she now rarely reacts to any dogs. She still doesn't particularly enjoy being around other dogs, but there are actually 2 dogs in the world that she'll play with (when she's in the mood and the stars are aligned just right), which makes me VERY happy.

I do also believe that reactivity is never "cured."
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  #12  
Old 02-27-2010, 02:20 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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To me tho, I see a dog that has reactions in the 5-10% of times range *fixed* or "normal" for the most part, I guess thats what Iam getting at.


Quote:
With reactivity, that would be that your dog is "wired wrong," and will always have to be closely managed and handled carefully. Luckily, you didn't experience this, but there was no real way of knowing from the beginning (at least not over the internet).
Luckily i got him VERY young (tho that could have contributed) and was able to recognize it and not correct him for it.

btw, thats awesome about Luna...I bet your very proud of her!
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  #13  
Old 02-27-2010, 03:59 PM
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luce was very dog-reactive when i got her (also dog-aggressive, which she still is). i can't tell you how long it took to "fix" because we took such a meandering path with so many starts in wrong directions before i learned how to desensitize her properly. she's not very reactive at this point. she will fire up if a dog starts something with her, but i don't consider that reactive, just a confident terrierbrained dog who doesn't tolerate being challenged.

steve is pretty reactive to a whole laundry list of things. i'm of the opinion that it's largely genetic. it's definitely improved (the look at that game is a godsend) but i suspect it'll be an issue for him forever.

they are such different dogs- luce's reactivity came out of poor impulse control and the inability to tolerate frustration more than anything. steve's reactivity is fear-based. but the same approach has been successful with both of them.
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  #14  
Old 02-27-2010, 04:31 PM
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As others said - I suppose it depends on your definition of reactive and your definition of cured.

I don't think I will ever consider Meg to be non-reactive. Is she 1000x better than she used to be? Sure. Dogs are really the only thing she is reactive to now. If I have her in an environment that she sees as "safe" normally, she will tolerate an enormous amount. Walk through a huge crowd of strange, revved up dogs at an indoor agility trial? Not a blink. Walk in the general vicinity of a dog in a store like Petsmart? Not a chance. Agility people are dog savvy and don't let their dogs bother you; she has learned this and isn't "on guard" at all times in those venues. Average Joe at Petsmart "just wants to let his lab say hi!".

Could I work on her issues in places like Petsmart? Sure. However, I think the risk of her going backwards due to an idiot letting their dog come up to her is huge, and not one I will take. Plus I couldn't care less if my dog never goes into a pet store. I have far more training goals than I will ever have time to train them, so I prioritize. I have a bold, confident, happy to work dog in the environments I need her to be.
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2010, 05:17 PM
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It also depends on if your dog has a set back. Take Dekka for example. I still call her reactive. Yet we compete happily in agility and can walk on a loose leash around other dogs. We can make new friends (Sierra and Dekka finally got to meet loose-both are a little reactive).

But all it takes is ONE dog to lunge at her at a trial and she is back in defencive mode. I don't think you can CURE reactivity, just minimize and manage. (now if the dog has a low history of real reasons to be reactive then the minimizing may seem to be cured..)
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  #16  
Old 02-27-2010, 05:25 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Quote:
As others said - I suppose it depends on your definition of reactive and your definition of cured.

this is a good point...I get what you guys are saying. Thats why I kept putting "fix and cure" in quotes...I guess the question is how normal can a reactive dog become


I apreciate everyones imput. I find this subject very interesting and like discussing it.


I did have a setback, in which he lunged at a child that snuck up on us and the child actually ran up, and swatted at him to hit him (no idea why), had he not been restrained im 100% sure he would have nailed that kid. I went home very upset and thats when I called the behaviorist.
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2010, 06:58 PM
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Also take into account WHY the dog is reactive. Even humans who go through traumatic experiences are not always 'cured' with help. Dekka was nearly killed at 14 weeks. Needed to be hospitalized, surgery and it was months before we knew if her elbow joint would fuse making her permanently lame.

I think that kind of reactivity is harder to work with than when the dog is only afraid something will happen but has never experienced it, or if it was bad, but not life threatening.

Also breed will affect the outcome. JRTs as a breed are pretty reactive. Its known and even accepted by many breeders as just the way they are...
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2010, 07:00 PM
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Petie is a dog that was very fear aggressive towards people and strange dogs, he was also a very intense reactive dog. In my opinion, all three are separate and different that required a great deal of work and dedication.

The fear aggression, non-confident towards people was the easiest and fastest to modify.
The reactivity came in second, it took longer and was harder to modify, but we did.

The fear aggression towards strange dogs at agility trials took the longest but I managed him instead of working towards solving the problem for years. And everytime he had a strange dog leap or jump on him, it sent him right back to being convinced that all dogs, especially large black dogs at agility trials were a major threat to him. Please keep in mind that he would never leave me to seek out another dog, only if the dog came into his safe zone would he react. During this time, I also started to modify his behaviour and had a huge success.
I can't even remember from the last 2-3 yrs when he had a negative response to another dog. At the last agility trial we were at, while exiting the building, as the door opened he came nose to nose (5 inches or less away) from 2 large black dogs coming in. In the past he would have snarled, snapped and lunged at them to force them out of his comfort zone. These were dogs that he had never seen before and he just walked past them and minded his own business. Needless to say he got a lot of rewards and atta boy!!

But I agree, depends on the dog, depends on the knowledge of the handler, training methods and dedication. But having said that, it is amazing how so many of these dogs can be turned around. I know how much happier and content they are for us helping them and anyone successful in doing so should be very proud of themselves, just not proud of their dog.

Congrats.
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2010, 07:07 PM
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Walkers reactivity is managed because one it really doesnt effect day to day life to the point I cant take him places or anything. The only place i do NOT take him is a petstore unless its a small one and while others are at work.

He is reactive to overly friendly dogs and in. your. face. dogs. Other then that as long as they are ignoring him he will ignore them. He will even meet other dogs as long as it happens SLOWLY and under his control. Now a strange dog run up to him and you might have a dead dog. A golden or a poodle and its dead (he was attacked by a golden at as a tiny pup and was obsessivly humped by a doodle as a pup.) He also does not like kids besides certain kids that behave around dogs. Hes been scared by kids COUNTLESS times.

That being said. I can take him to flea markets, outdoor art shows or craft shows, rodeos, the park. Just not to a inside pet place or a dog park
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  #20  
Old 02-27-2010, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
JRTs as a breed are pretty reactive. Its known and even accepted by many breeders as just the way they are...
I don't agree with that on any level and breeding/producing aggressive jrts and calling it reactive is just a cop out imo.

Please don't confuse high prey drive with reactivity or aggression.

Yes, I know there are many breeders that claim that and those are the ones people stay away from. I have done a hell of a lot jrt trials up and down the eastern seaboard and there are many breeders out there that don't take that route or make those claims.
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