How to Train Reactive Dogs with Dog Training 101

Talk to the Paw - How to Train Reactive Dogs

Is your dog highly reactive to its surroundings? In our recent Talk to the Paw episode, expert dog trainer Graham from Dog Training 101 discussed dog reactivity – the causes, ways to prevent and training tips to help reduce your dog’s reactions in various situations. You can watch the full video below.

For those short on time, we have summarised some of the key takeaways from the session:


Dog reactivity can range from lack of impulse control, nervous behaviour to aggression.


Causes of dog reactivity include:

  • Lack of socialisation, which is particularly common after the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Trauma from previous attacks.

  • Over-nurturing and rewarding certain behaviours in a dog’s early years.


To prevent dog reactivity:

  • As a puppy, make sure you start socialising them to the world.

  • As an older dog or rescue dog, start to observe their reactions as you expose them to different situations. Once you know how your dog responds, you can start to counter-condition these behaviours with training.


Reactive dogs tend to lock eyes with other dogs. It’s important to teach them to disengage.


When your dog is reactive, analyse the situation logically:

  • Is there a reason for your dog to be scared?

  • Is there a reason why your dog is being aggressive in this particular situation?


It’s important for owners to make sure they are in controlled safe situations which will build trust and resilience in their dog.

Watch the full video here

Follow @Furry.FriendsAU on Facebook to be notified of the next Talk to the Paw!

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