Homework- Reactive Dog Class

Welcome! Here are the weekly handouts as well as information on other skills your dog should have to be successful in class.

Please keep Dr. Radosta informed if you have any questions or you don’t understand any of the concepts we are teaching. We are here to help you. You can reach Dr. Radosta about a training issue by emailing her or calling 561-795-9398. If you need to reach me you can email me or call 561-427-6700. Please let me know by email when you can’t attend.

An important concept for you to know is that training is all about building a relationship between you and your dog and providing or controlling consequences for the dog. It’s important to remember that all animals repeat behaviors they find rewarding. Behaviors that are not rewarding in any way will fade and eventually extinguish. That mean that you need to reinforce desirable behaviors with praise, treats and play. Undesirable behavior is either not rewarded, prevented from being self-rewarding through appropriate management of the environment, or redirected into an incompatible activity that can reinforced/rewarded. Corrections, when indicated, are used to instruct rather than to punish the dog and are never physically painful or emotionally abusive.

On behalf of Dr. Lisa Radosta and myself, welcome to class!

Mindy Cox, B.S., CPDT-KSA
Training Director

WEEK ONE
To be successful in class, there is information you need to know and skills your dog needs to learn. Don’t put it off or you will be behind when you attend class with your dog.We want you to be successful.

Let’s get started!

1. Watch the Introductory Seminar Video. It has critical information to help you understand your dog and how class will be conducted. Find a quiet time and watch it before proceeding to the next step.

2. Print out Reactive Class Week 1 handout. Refer to it while watching the Homework Video.

3. Watch the Homework Video Session 1. It is important that you find the time every day leading up to the first class wtih your dog to practice the skills in the Homework Video.

Additional Videos and Articles that may be helpful:
Teaching Down Your dog should know how to sit and down reliably)
Video: Teaching “Down” Using Capturing
Video lesson: Teach Your Dog to Lie Down using luring
Crate Training: Teach Your Dog to do it Happily
Stay! Working on Duration
Rewards List
Quicker Training with a Clicker
Watch some short behavior and body language videos

Here are some additional training tips:

  • You are learning important skills to help your reactive dog. Practice them often so you can learn to stay calm if your dog reacts. Your dog is relying on you to set the example for calm behavior. If you get tense, he or she will pick up on that. Pay attention to your voice (should be happy!), your body language, and the tension in your leash (keep it loose!)
  • Remember to keep training fun for you and your dog and stop before your dog wants to.
  • Catch and reward your dog being successful and stay positive. Ignore the times your dog is unsuccessful.
  • Rewarding positive behavior will build trust and improve your relationship. Punishment erodes the relationship and in some cases may cause aggression.
  • Make a list of what your dog values most (types of food rewards, play, petting, ride in the car, etc.) so you know how to reward.
  • Begin training at home in an environment that is not distracting. As your dog learns the exercise, slowly increase the level of distractions.
  • Break training into small steps.
  • Plan ahead. Have your tools ready before you begin (such as clicker and treats).
  • Multiple short sessions are better than one long session (boring and tiring!). There are moments of training opportunities all during the day.
  • Play and training should be indistinguishable to your dog. They both should be fun!

WEEK TWO

Keep playing the Name Game to achieve that whiplash turn, even with distractions. Continue to reward your dog when he or she offers you attention without you having to ask. The rest of what you should be doing is listed on this handout. Please read it and keep practicing. You’re doing great! Hang in there.

Reactive Class Week 2 Handout
Teaching “Here”Watch the Video: Teaching Here
Teaching Go to the Mat
Watch the Video: Relaxation On The Mat: Building Duration
Watch the Video: Successful Leash Handling Skills
Teaching Turns and Leash Handling (infographic)

WEEK THREE

You now have lots of tools you can use with your dog. Keep practicing! You are making progress. Feel good about that. If you are confused, please contact us for help. We are also availalbe for private training.
Reactive Class Week 3 Handout
Teaching Look
Watch the Video: Teaching Look
Watch the Video: Relaxation step 4
Engage-Disengage. Note: If you do not use a clicker for training you can substitute a marker word (such as “Yes!”).
How to Know Which Exercise To Use: Look and Here
Changing Leash Aggression

WEEK FOUR

Keep practicing all of your skills: Here (or Leave it for some of you), Look at that, counter conditioning, rewarding attention, and relaxation on the mat. Get out now and use them!
Reactive Class Week 4 Handout
Watch the Video: Classical Counter Conditioning
Watch the Video: Look, Here and Classical Counter Conditioning

WEEK FIVE

You have all of the skills you need. Practice all of them, not just the ones you are most comfortable with. You may find your dog does better with one or another.

Keep taking your dog to different places so that you are near the thing that he or she is anxious about, but below your dog’s threshold, to practice. The goal is to keep your dog from reacting and to slowly decrease the distance between your calm dog and the stimulus.

Keep watching your dog’s body language to recognize when your dog is giving appropirate signals and when he or she is about to go over threshold and a reation is imminent. Not sure about those body signals? Now is a good time to watch the Language of Dogs again.

Need extra help? Consider a private lesson to practice and clear up anything that’s confusing.

WEEK SIX

Today we are taking it on the road! We are all meeting at Abacoa, across the street from Roger Dean stadium and in front of the amphitheatre. Please check the website for the correct time of this class.

Please have faith in yourself and your dog. You have both worked hard and you need to have some confidence. We will be there to help you.

Here is some more information to assist you in finding our meet up spot. Leave a little extra time to secure street parking.

Here is the Google map for the amphitheater location at 1260 University Blvd.in Jupiter. Just click “Directions” and add a starting address.