Fear & Reactivity

Is Your Dog Reactive?

Dog Training for Emotional Regulation, Resilience, and Building Better Behaviours

Over-the-top behaviours are often based in emotions like fear and frustration. Learn how to build emotional resilience and improve your dog’s behaviours with simple techniques and exercises based on neurobiology and an understanding of canine communication, behaviour, and cognition.

Adolescent Dogs

This class is especially helpful for adolescent dogs (between 4 to 24 months). During this period the dog’s brain development is slower than the dog’s physical development, which results in unwanted behaviours such as impulsivity, risk taking, poor reading of social cues, and emotional dysregulation. It is during this period when fear and reactive behaviours can escalate and dogs are more likely to get into fights at the dog park, for example. It’s important to address fear and reactive behaviours appropriately, and ideally when they are early and minor. When looking at the history of dogs that have been labeled “aggressive” the aggressive behaviours often first appeared during adolescence and escalated because they were ignored or addressed inappropriately.

This class consists of the following

  1. Initial Private Consult (two parts): $189.00* Part One (about 45 minutes) is held online or over the phone. Part Two (about 45 minutes) is either online/phone or in-person (outdoors) in your yard/neighbourhood or other suitable quiet open park area. The initial consult includes customized detailed notes, a training plan outline along with helpful resources, phone/email support, and the option of free attendance to the outdoor group dog walk class for a two-month block.
  2. Foundation Skills Classes — Private Online (recommended): $105* A set of 4 private online sessions (20 to 30 minutes each) to be used within 4 weeks. Meet with the instructor online once or twice a week for 20 to 30 minutes to work on foundation skills tailored to you and your dog’s needs and skill level. Online coaching from your home provides both you and your dog a low-distraction environment for more effective learning.
  3. Foundation Skills — Private Outdoor Sessions (recommended). Private sessions to help you take the Foundation Skills outdoors. Price to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  4. Social Dog Walk Group Class (optional). These group dog walks are held each week in a quiet, outdoor location in Regina, Saskatchewan (weather permitting). The fee for the first two month block is included in the Initial Private Consult fee. After the first two months, returning students pay the flat rate where students can attend as many times as they are able in the two-month block. Owners whose dogs are not ready to join the group are encouraged to enrol in the Foundation Skills Classes (see above).

*Prices are subject to change. 

5 signs your dog’s excitement level is too high

  • panting when the air temperature is not too warm for your dog or when your dog has not been physically exerting itself
  • excessive pulling on the leash — when your dog knows how to walk on a loose leash
  • loss of interest in high value food you are offering (your dog normally will eat it but isn’t at the moment)
  • lack of response to known verbal cues
  • excessive scanning and not interested in stopping to sniff the immediate environment
Small brown terrier in green sweater on leash with person in a city environment. Dog  is showing body language indicating stress. The dog has ears lowered, tail is low, and dog is licking lip.

Hey Jennifer, 

Just wanted to give you an update on Charlie and thank you again for your great advice in working through his leash aggression.  It’s been a slow road, but a really rewarding one.  

We kept doing your techniques  – both for his leash pulling and for his leash aggression.  He is doing awesome!  He rarely pulls anymore and when he does, we do the stop technique to remind him and he goes quickly back to loose leash walking. 

He doesn’t love following other dogs on leash (still working on that!), but it has been a massive improvement in walking by them while on leash.  He is much calmer and happier.  And we keep working on it every day, slow and steady.  

I hadn’t thought too much of the incremental improvement until another friend with a dog commented that Charlie was dreamy on leash and she wished her dog was like that.  …. To be clear, Charlie’s not perfect.  It’s not like he runs up to each new dog, tail wagging.  But today, on our walk,  a dog starting loosing its mind lunging and growling at Charlie.  We backed off and gave them some distance and Charlie was able to watch that dog reasonably calmly without going off himself.  So for me, it’s a huge improvement.  And I don’t need him to be perfect all at once.  I don’t mind continuing to improve slowly.  ðŸ˜Š

Anyways, just wanted to give you an update and say you really helped us.  

All the best, 

Tanya Rogoschewsky, Regina, Saskatchewan