Zen Dog's Strathcona Reactive Dog Training

Reconnect with your worked up and stressed out dog.

When a dog reacts to triggers in their environment, their brain essentially goes on a mini-vacation, leaving you, the leash-holder, feeling as though you’ve turned invisible just when your furry friend needs you the most. Every effort to distract or distance them during these moments often falls flat, at best, and can even exacerbate the issue at hand. This disconnection can feel both terrifying and isolating.

Dog reactivity is essentially a canine’s panic button response to manage and maintain space from what they perceive as a threat. This behavior is typically rooted in fear and a lack of self-assurance. In some pups, this reactivity comes from an impulsive frustration of wanting to explore something while being tethered by a leash.

Life With A Reactive Dog in Strathcona

Navigating daily life with a reactive dog in Strathcona turns basic activities into Herculean tasks. The mere act of strolling down the block or opening your home to visitors can morph into a challenge. Dreaming of a peaceful beach saunter, a casual coffee catch-up at Starbucks, or a brisk trail run becomes a pipe dream with the looming shadow of a potential reactive meltdown from your dog.

The traditional route of obedience classes, stern corrections, or the ol’ “distract with treats” tactic fails to address the emotional turmoil fueling your dog’s reactive tendencies, nor does it provide lasting solutions for behavior modification. What’s needed is a more nuanced, understanding approach to pave new paths of learning and compassion for your struggling furball – creating a space for growth.

Your dog looks to you to be an informed, intentional leader to foster confidence and connection. The journey isn’t a walk in the park, but the tools to start making those daily walks and routines less fraught and more fulfilling are within reach.

What Reactive Dog Training Looks Like

Through our Growl program tailored for our reactive canine 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 agitated. We delve into the intricacies of your dog’s mental well-being and arm you with knowledge on how to educate, manage, counter-condition, and desensitize your dog in their bustling urban jungle. The Growl course lays out customized protocols and exercises to bring calm and reconnection.

The Growl course bravely tackles the themes of fear, reactivity, and frustration at your dog’s pace, taking into account your physical ability and prior dog-handling experience. Through personal coaching sessions, we examine the factors influencing your dog’s mental health and their exaggerated reactions to specific triggers. Through Growl, you’ll master the use of marker training, real-life management strategies, counter-conditioning and desensitization techniques, calming exercises, and bespoke protocols to soothe and reconnect with your excited pup.

Brace yourself for a rewarding workout!

How The Growl Program Works

Growl kicks off with a Zoom session to dissect your dog’s reactive behavior, crafting a personalized training regimen centered around desensitization and counterconditioning protocols tailored to your dog’s unique challenges. This mental wellness session also covers lifestyle adjustments such as diet, management, exercise, and enrichment. We conclude with foundational exercises for you to hone before our first face-to-face meeting.

We then transition 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 channeling their reactivity into more socially acceptable behaviors. We space these in-person meetings two weeks apart, allowing ample time for practice, reflection, and necessary adjustments.

Throughout this journey, we encourage you to reach out with questions via phone and email, enabling us to tweak exercises as needed. Many of our clients share video clips of their training endeavors for more in-depth feedback and guidance, ensuring we keep everything on the right track.

Our Dog Training Experience

At Zen Dog Canine Training, our specialty lies in working with reactive and highly aroused dogs. We share our lives with high-spirited, “big-feelings” dogs and have a deep understanding of the canine psyche. We view each reactive dog case as a unique puzzle, where solutions are tailored to fit each dog/handler duo. Drawing from our 25-year treasury of dog training experience, we’re equipped with a vast arsenal of strategies to tackle the challenge head-on.

Reactive Dog Training Services in Strathcona

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