Zen Dog's Marpole Reactive Dog Training

Reconnect with your worked up and stressed out dog.

When a dog reacts to triggers in their environment, it’s as if they’ve entered another dimension. As the one gripping the leash, you might as well be a ghost at the very moment your furry friend needs your support the most. All your efforts to divert attention and gain some space during these episodes often fall flat, or worse, amplify the behavior you’re trying to mitigate. That feeling of disconnection can be both scary and lonely.

Dog reactivity is essentially a dog’s frantic effort to manage and maintain distance from something they perceive as a threat. This behavior is typically rooted in fear and a lack of confidence. In some cases, a dog’s reactivity may come from an impulsive frustration at being unable to reach something, while the leash acts as a barrier.

Life With A Reactive Dog in Marpole

Navigating daily life with a reactive dog can turn even the simplest activities into Herculean tasks. Taking a stroll, having guests over, or enjoying leisurely activities like a beach walk, grabbing a coffee with a friend, or going for a trail run become daunting challenges if you’re always on edge about a potential reactive episode from your dog.

Traditional obedience classes, severe corrections, or attempts to distract with treats don’t get to the heart of the reactive mind, nor do they provide lasting solutions for behavior modification. What’s needed is a more deliberate and compassionate approach to forge new paths of understanding for our canine companions – and space for them to learn.

Your dog looks to YOU to lead with knowledge and intention, to build their confidence and strengthen your bond. The journey isn’t simple, but the tools to start making those daily walks and routines less stressful and more enjoyable are within reach.

What Reactive Dog Training Looks Like

Through the Growl program we’ve developed for our reactive dog clients, we aim to transform that isolating experience so your dog sees YOU as their beacon of guidance and reassurance when they’re feeling uncertain or frustrated. We delve into the aspects that affect your dog’s mental well-being and equip you with the knowledge and skills to educate, manage, counter-condition, and desensitize your dog in their complex urban environment. The Growl course provides you with customized protocols and exercises to soothe and re-establish your connection.

Our Growl course addresses the tough issues of fear, reactivity, and frustration, tailored to both your dog’s and your physical abilities and past experiences with dogs. Through personal coaching sessions, we examine the factors impacting your dog’s mental health and the causes behind their heightened reactions to those unique triggers. Growl teaches you marker training, real-life management strategies, counter-conditioning and desensitization techniques, calming exercises, and personalized protocols to pacify and reconnect with your stimulated dog.

Brace yourself for a real workout!

How The Growl Program Works

Growl kicks off with a Zoom session to demystify your dog’s reactive behaviors. We craft a specialized training regimen focusing on desensitization and counterconditioning protocols tailored to your dog’s specific needs. We also discuss lifestyle adjustments (including diet, management strategies, exercise, and enrichment) during this mental wellness overview. The session concludes with foundational exercises for you to practice before our initial face-to-face meeting.

We then proceed to three one-hour training sessions in the settings where you need us most. In each session, we demonstrate how to forge a connection with your dog while addressing the underlying causes of their reactivity in more socially acceptable ways. We suggest spacing these in-person sessions two weeks apart to allow time for practice, reflection, and adjustment as needed.

Throughout the program, we encourage you to reach out with questions via phone and email so we can fine-tune exercises as needed. Many of our clients share video clips of their training sessions for more in-depth feedback and support, ensuring you stay on the right path when uncertainties emerge.

Our Dog Training Experience

At Zen Dog Canine Training, tackling the challenges of reactive and overly aroused dogs is our forte. We ourselves live with high-energy, “big-feelings” dogs and have a deep understanding of the canine psyche. Approaching reactive dog training is like piecing together a unique jigsaw puzzle for each dog/handler duo. The strategy that works wonders for one dog might not align with another, which is why our approach draws from a vast reservoir of experience and tools we’ve amassed over 25 years of working with dogs.

Reactive Dog Training Services in Marpole

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