Zen Dog's False Creek Reactive Dog Training

Reconnect with your worked up and stressed out dog.

When a dog gives in to the triggers in their environment, it’s like their mind takes a sudden vacation, leaving you, the one gripping the leash, feeling as though you’ve turned invisible just when your furry friend needs your support the most. All those attempts to distract or put some space between your dog and whatever is setting them off can end up being futile – or even exacerbating the issue. That sensation of disconnection can be a chilling and lonely ordeal.

Dog reactivity is essentially a dog’s frantic effort to carve out and maintain some personal space from whatever they perceive as a threat. This behavior often has its roots in fear and a deficiency in self-assurance. For some pups, their reactivity springs from a knee-jerk frustration of wanting to explore or chase, only to be thwarted by the leash’s restraint.

Life With A Reactive Dog in False Creek

Coexisting with a reactive dog transforms ordinary daily tasks into uphill battles. The straightforward act of strolling along the sidewalk or having a guest over can turn into an ordeal. Dreaming of a tranquil beach walk, grabbing a coffee with a buddy at Starbucks, or embarking on a trail run becomes a pipe dream with the looming dread of a reactive episode from your dog.

Traditional obedience classes, stern and punitive corrections, or attempting to divert attention with treats don’t get to the heart of the reactive mindset, nor do they furnish lasting solutions that will alter behavior for the better in the long run. What’s needed instead is a more deliberate and empathetic strategy to forge new understandings and give the struggling dog – and their human – a chance to learn.

Your dog looks to YOU to be a knowledgeable and intentional leader to foster confidence and a stronger bond. The journey isn’t simple, but the tools are within reach to start making those walks and daily routines less of a headache and more rewarding.

What Reactive Dog Training Looks Like

Through the Growl program we’ve developed for our reactive dog clients, we aim to switch up that isolating story so your dog turns to YOU for cues and comfort when they’re feeling doubtful or vexed. We delve into the elements impacting your dog’s mental well-being and show you how to educate, manage, counter-condition, and desensitize your dog in their bustling False Creek surroundings. The Growl course steers you through customized protocols and exercises that soothe and rebuild the connection.

Our Growl course addresses the tough topics of fear, reactivity, and frustration, tailoring to your dog’s perspective, acknowledging your physical limits, and leveraging your prior canine experience. Through personalized coaching sessions, we scrutinize the factors affecting your dog’s mental state and their exaggerated reactions to those specific triggers. With Growl, you’ll master marker training, real-life management, counter-conditioning, desensitization techniques, calming exercises, and bespoke protocols to pacify and reconnect with your stirred-up pooch.

Prepare yourself for a solid workout!

How The Growl Program Works

Growl kicks off with a Zoom session to help you grasp your dog’s reactive behavior. We craft a specialized training regimen based on desensitization and counterconditioning protocols tailored to your dog’s unique challenges. We also discuss lifestyle adjustments (including diet, management, exercise, and enrichment) in this mental health session. The session wraps up with foundational exercises for you to practice before our first face-to-face meeting.

We then progress to three one-hour training sessions set in the environments where you need assistance the most. In each session, we demonstrate how to foster a connection with your dog while channeling their reactive tendencies into more socially acceptable behaviors. We suggest spacing these in-person sessions two weeks apart, allowing ample time for practice, reflection, and necessary adjustments.

Throughout this journey, we invite questions via phone and email, adjusting exercises as needed. Many of our clients share video snippets (courtesy of their smartphones!) of their training endeavors for more precise feedback and guidance, ensuring everything stays on track when uncertainties pop up.

Our Dog Training Experience

At Zen Dog Canine Training, we shine when it comes to working with reactive and overly excited dogs. We ourselves are guardians of high-spirited, “big-feelings” dogs and have a deep understanding of the inner workings of the canine mind. We view working with the reactive dog as tackling a unique jigsaw puzzle, where each dog/handler duo presents a distinct picture. What proves effective for one dog might not suit another, so our approach draws on a rich tapestry of experience and the diverse tools we’ve gathered over 25 years of dog training expertise.

Reactive Dog Training Services in False Creek 

Our extensive Growl program guides you through tailored protocols and exercises that calm and re-connect.