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  #41  
Old 02-27-2010, 08:40 PM
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Dekka Dekka is offline
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Aggressive dogs ARE reactive. (that was one thing I remember taking away from Dr Ian Dunbar's seminar on agression in the pet dog) Pretty much all aggressive dogs are aggressing out of fear. So fear aggressive or reactive same deal 99% of the time. When he talked about his 'growl classes' for aggressive dogs, the dogs he was describing are what you call reactive. (which yes aggressive dogs can join)

If a dog lunges and bites someone, does that make it reactive or aggressive. I would say both. If the dog snarled and tried to keep the threat away I would say its reactive. But really there is no definitive word on what it means in the current vernacular.

Reactivity generally just means hyper reactivity in most cases.

You could have a dog that was completely over stimulated by the site of prey, you would do the same/similar sorts of things to calm that dog around the stimulus, as if it was fear aggression with another dog.

Its about teaching control of an emotional response. Which is why its so hard. Its not a thinking reaction on the dog's part.
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  #42  
Old 02-27-2010, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Romy View Post
To answer Crio's question, Strider used to be happy go lucky around all dogs. Then when he was 1 year old he had a bad week, with three separate incidents of off leash dogs attacking us.
And here is where my dog is different. Everyone assumes she had a bad experience or something. Well, she didn't. I even had one lady argue this point with me. She said there HAD to be some reason, something I didn't witness or whatever. Well the dog was born in my bedroom. I know her genetics aren't horrible.

It was literally a lightswitch that went off in her head at 4 months old. I remember the day specifically. She was fine one moment and completely inconsolable the next. She has never been the same since that day. She is just hardwired wrong.
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  #43  
Old 02-27-2010, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutlineACDs View Post
And here is where my dog is different. Everyone assumes she had a bad experience or something. Well, she didn't. I even had one lady argue this point with me. She said there HAD to be some reason, something I didn't witness or whatever. Well the dog was born in my bedroom. I know her genetics aren't horrible.

It was literally a lightswitch that went off in her head at 4 months old. I remember the day specifically. She was fine one moment and completely inconsolable the next. She has never been the same since that day. She is just hardwired wrong.
I was really lucky with Strider. Reactivity doesn't seem to be hardwired into him very strongly, that or the types of self control training we did with him early on helped him overcome it.

Honesty I'm not sure what amount of progress someone would need to make to consider a case of reactivity successfully resolved. I've met dogs like yours, who hit a fear period and never seem to come out of it, and I'm not really sure how I would handle it. I'd probably try the same things that worked with Strider, but with lower expectations.

Then again, different breeds are going to have different thresholds for various stimuli. ACDs from my experience, are not a trusting bunch when it comes to strangers. For a dog that has some anxiety on top of that, it probably wouldn't take much to push them over threshold.
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  #44  
Old 02-27-2010, 09:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post
But regardless dealing with reactivity in a drivey dog is a little different than non drivey dog. Drivey dogs tend to be more reactive to stimuli in general than non drivey dogs.
Not necessarily. I have a high drive dog who is not reactive. I also have a lower drive dog who is more reactive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Romy View Post
Personally I like the term "reactive". It's more specific to the cause of the behavior, rather than describing the symptoms like DA/HA is. Yes it is important to know the symptoms, but those terms bring to mind other old training lingo like "alpha" and "dominance", which sadly too many people think is an appropriate way to deal with aggression/reactivity issues. They also scare people (including lawmakers).

Let's say, you have congestion. It's not inaccurate to say "Ado has a runny nose". That doesn't tell us why you have a runny nose, or give any ideas on how to fix it. However, if we say, "Ado has pollen allergies" or "Ado has a cold", we have a much more specific idea of what is causing the symptoms and how to treat the cause. I see "reactivity" vs. "aggression" as the same thing.
The problem with that is that reactivity and agrgession are not at all the same thing. Nyx is very reactive. But I have never seen any indication that she's aggressive. I have also seen many aggressive dogs who I would not call reactive. They are very calm and collected while aggressing.

IMO, it does a huge disservice to both reactive dogs and aggressive dogs to try to use the terms interchangeably. However, if you want to get away from using the terms DA/HA, I'd suggest using DD/HD (defensive) which is what it often is.
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  #45  
Old 02-27-2010, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by corgipower View Post
Not necessarily. I have a high drive dog who is not reactive. I also have a lower drive dog who is more reactive.
I was meaning as a general rule. I think corgis and mals are fairly high drive. I was thinking more along the line of low drive non working types. They are goign to react to stimuli in general less than a drivey type.

Of course not all drivey dogs will be reactive. Loads of drivey dogs are not, in the way this thread is meaning reactive.
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  #46  
Old 02-27-2010, 10:53 PM
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Wow... amazing job with your pup! He sounds like a very stable dog now.

I noticed that a LOT of people have reactive dogs, too. I think it's because the term is used soooo loosely to describe soooo many behaviors. Honestly, the majority of dogs that I see on walks are reactive, always with their owners jerking them around and yelling at them. It makes me sad! I used to not believe that desensitizing was effective, at least not without being crazy involved and time consuming. But I definitely changed my mind seeing the results, especially with Fozzie. Both of my dogs have had reactivity issues in the past, to other dogs on-leash.

Gonzo became reactive when he was around 1 1/2, stemming from me not recognizing his limits, following a trainer's (Flyball) instructions to "pop" him with a choker when he reacted happily/excitedly to other running dogs, and probably a few other factors. He became a complete mess around other dogs on-leash. I got into +r classes for 2 years and he was doing formal obedience without even glancing at the other dogs around him. It did take me a while to work through Gonzo's issues, because he was badly neglected before I had him, fearful, and I was 14 and had no idea what I was doing. But we changed together.

Fozzie became reactive after not one, but TWO attacks by off-leash dogs while walking my dogs on-leash. Fozz was never attacked, and never has been, the dogs all went after Gonzo. He was a little bit wary and grumpy toward other dogs on-leash after the first... but I was in denial because he was my sweet, laid back boy! After the second, he went instantly to lunging (not really lunge, jump into the air rather) and growling at even unthreatening dogs. At that point, I had already read Click to Calm & CU & a bunch of great books that I had practiced with Gonzo over the years, so I practiced a little on every walk every day. I habitually starting bringing treats and a clicker on walks and just practiced. It wasn't hard, or boring, it was easy and pleasant. He instantly started seeing other dogs as a positive and within a couple of months he was heeling and staring at me past 2 Pemmies who were lunging and barking on flexis within inches of him!

Both have their days when they get annoyed, by a Boxer screaming and dragging their owner toward them... but they revert their attention back to me after just a little lip curl to let her know she's a brat. And I'm ok with that. I don't want them to be emotionless or supressed, but I want them to exercise self control and always obey me.
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  #47  
Old 02-28-2010, 06:12 AM
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Archie was very reactive to just dogs, really... He trained awesomely with lots of hard work, but still doesn't like dogs. He'll just ignore them. He earned his CGC last year! He still has issues with the dogs that come into the house sometimes if they're rambunctious, but when out on a leash he's an angel. I took him to a huge extremely crowded festival a month or so ago, and he did beautifully. Unfortunately, recently he's been diagnosed with an ailment that affects his mental health... So that's the end of that.
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  #48  
Old 02-28-2010, 12:19 PM
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I think training method and master/k9 relationship has an impact on how quickly you get improvement on a reactive dog. I can think of two cases that belong to a cousin of mine.

One dog was trained to stable control in public settings with all positive methods. There was steady improvement in the dogs behavior over the next 3 years that he was worked with. By then he was able to pass the AKC CGC test.

The other dog was started in all positive methods. After almost a full year the dog had shown no improvement at all. The method was then changed to compulsion and praise. By the end of the second year that dog passed the CGC as well.

I think results will always be differant for each reactive dog. I've seen some dogs never come out of the behavior and have to be managed their entire lives, and I've seen some do a 180 in six months.

In the end I think it will often come down to the dedication of the handler. Once in a while there will be a dog that just can't be swayed, but they are not a common as many would have you think.

To the OP congrats on all your hard work with your dog. Dogs give us unconditional love and devotion, it is great to see an owner who responds to that great gift with affection and dedication through training.
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  #49  
Old 02-28-2010, 12:47 PM
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Congrats!!! Such huge accomplishments!

Lucy is reactive to select dogs. I think she's very sensitive and in tune to reading other dog's signals. We can walk by a dozen dogs and be fine, and #13 will set her off. (Makes it very difficult to practice, since I don't really know what's going to set her off)

She was SUPER reactive to buses and trucks (which was great, since we lived across from an elementary school....) but we've worked REALLY hard to get through that. Now, unless we're standing right on the corner with a bus going by, she's fine.
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  #50  
Old 02-28-2010, 01:17 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Thank you everyone for the encouragement and support!


I owe the forum actually for part of my success so far. Had I gotten him, two dogs ago or so, I would have made it very much worse. Having read the posts here, and the advice I was able to recognize his problem the moment I saw it (i still remember his first outburst and thinking "ah I see now" ) and not have to do any sort of cleaning up after trying to wrong routes with him. For that I thank you all


as far as the reactive/aggressive argument. I have always wondered how people made such a distinction. My understanding is most aggression (baring predatory drift and mental illness) is fear based. But am I understanding that the difference for term useage.. is a dog that follows thru and bites/fights vs a dog thats all bluff?
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