Zen Dog's Kerrisdale Reactive Dog Training

Reconnect with your worked up and stressed out dog.

When a dog encounters something in their environment that sets them off, it’s like they enter another dimension. As the one gripping the leash, you might as well be a ghost for all the attention they pay you when they’re in the throes of a reaction. All your efforts to divert their focus or put some space between them and their trigger might seem futile at best, and, more often than not, they can actually exacerbate the issue. That feeling of disconnection can be both alarming and lonely.

Dog reactivity often emerges from a canine’s frantic effort to manage and maintain distance from something they perceive as a threat. This typically stems from a cocktail of fear and a deficiency in self-assurance. In certain pups, this reactivity might also be fueled by an impulsive frustration, a yearning to explore or interact with something while the leash serves as a frustrating barrier.

Life With A Reactive Dog in Kerrisdale

Embarking on daily adventures with a reactive dog by your side can transform simple tasks into Herculean challenges. Taking a leisurely stroll, inviting friends over, or even enjoying a tranquil beach walk becomes a daunting quest, overshadowed by the constant dread of a potential reactive episode.

Old-school obedience drills, stern corrections, or attempting to distract with treats don’t really get to the heart of the reactive mindset, nor do they furnish lasting solutions for behavior modification. What’s required is a more deliberate, understanding approach that fosters new ways of thinking and compassionate comprehension for your struggling furry friend – along with the opportunity for both of you to learn and grow.

Your canine companion needs YOU to step up as a knowledgeable, intentional leader to nurture their confidence and strengthen your bond. The journey might not be a walk in the park, but the tools to embark on it are within reach, ready to make your daily walks and routines less fraught and more fulfilling.

What Reactive Dog Training Looks Like

Through our Growl program, tailored for our reactive dog companions, we aim to transform that sense of isolation so your dog turns to YOU for advice and support when they’re feeling uncertain or vexed. We delve into the factors influencing your dog’s mental well-being and arm you with the knowledge to educate, manage, counter-condition, and desensitize your dog amid the bustling urban landscape of Kerrisdale. The Growl course is your roadmap through customized protocols and exercises designed to soothe and rebuild the connection.

Growl addresses the tricky topics of fear, reactivity, and frustration from your dog’s perspective, while taking your physical capabilities and prior dog-handling experience into account. Through one-on-one coaching sessions, we examine the factors impacting your dog’s mental health and triggering their “overreactions” to certain stimuli. With Growl, you’re equipped to employ marker training, real-life management strategies, counter-conditioning and desensitization techniques, calming exercises, and bespoke protocols to pacify and reconnect with your excited pup.

Brace yourself for an invigorating workout!

How The Growl Program Works

Growl kicks off with a Zoom session to demystify your dog’s reactive behaviors. We develop a personalized training plan that leans on desensitization and counterconditioning strategies tailored to your dog’s specific challenges. We also consider lifestyle tweaks (including diet, management practices, exercise routines, and enrichment activities) in this mental wellness overview. The session concludes with foundational exercises for you to practice before we meet in person.

We then progress to three one-hour training sessions in the environments where you face the greatest challenges. In each session, we reveal how to forge a connection with your dog and redirect their reactive impulses into more socially acceptable behaviors. We recommend spacing these in-person sessions two weeks apart to allow ample time for practice, reflection, and any necessary adjustments.

Throughout this journey, we welcome questions via phone and email, adjusting exercises as needed. Many of our clients share video clips (courtesy of modern smartphones!) of their training endeavors for more nuanced feedback and guidance, ensuring you stay on course even when uncertainties arise.

Our Dog Training Experience

At Zen Dog Canine Training, we specialize in guiding reactive and easily aroused dogs towards a calmer, more manageable state. Our personal experience with high-energy, “big-feelings” dogs gives us a deep understanding of the canine mind. We approach each reactive dog as a unique puzzle, recognizing that what works for one dog-handler duo might not suit another. Our method draws from an extensive toolkit refined over 25 years of dog training, ensuring a bespoke and effective training experience for each client.

Reactive Dog Training Services in Kerrisdale 

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