Helping Australian Shepherds Overcome Their Dog Reactivity

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: January 30, 2018

In this Omaha dog behavior session we worked with Charlie a three-year-old Mini Australian Shepherd and Border Collie mix and Bentley a three-year-old Toy Australian Shepherd to stop dog reactivity and relax around next people.

After I arrived I sat down to chat with the dogs’ guardians about their main dog behavior concerns. They have decided to welcome a new puppy into the home in a couple of months and wanted to be proactive about introducing the new puppy. Since Bentley is dog reactive they wanted to gain a few tips on how to help Bentley accept new dogs, especially their new puppy.

As often as we can we want to use our environment to our advantage. Since the neighbor had let their dog out we decided to bring Bentley outside to work on the BAT or Behavioral Adjustment Training method to help Bentley with his dog reactivity. You can see how we did this by watching the video below.

I want to emphasize that this method is trying to help the dog regulate it’s own behavior and emotional response. You want to get out of their way as much as possible and only intervene if necessary, like helping the dog move away if it is becoming too reactive. This nicely translates into the dog being able to be comfortable around other dogs off leash eventually, which is the goal for bringing a new puppy home.

By the end of the training session Bentley was learning how to be less reactive towards other dogs and Charliee was warming up to me as a new person in the home. To keep up with this good behavior the guardians will want to continue to enforce the rules and structure that we discussed and keep Petting with a Purpose. We wrapped up this behavior session with Charliee and Bentley’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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This post was written by: Sam Kanouse

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