I had the opportunity yesterday to go onto 93.3 “The Rock of the Bluffs” and promote myself, my conference, the dog park association, and a local rescue I work with. (Thanks to all of you as well)
The biggest thing to stick out about the whole experience was being put on the spot to take the DJ’s very dog reactive dog because he wants to get two new boxer puppies and they’re coming home in a week.
Now reactivity can be, (hell is always), a very complicated thing. Especially when you throw humans into the mix. From my experience dogs rarely become super reactive unless we limit their interactions with other dogs. I mean they are born with other dogs! They know from birth that they are extremely fun to be around!
I’ve seen some really reactive dogs calm down before. The example I use to explain the utter fear and frustration they feel is this. What if you were taken by some strange people and dropped in the middle of a small town in India where you had no communication with the outside world, did not know the culture or language, and we’re constantly sent mixed signals by your captors? By this I mean, that they fed you good food, made you a good bed, most of the time playing with you and gave you attention, but sometimes would lash out at you, screaming or maybe smacking you. How on edge would you be? How long would it take you to understand?
Knowing that these people did that, would you be wary of strangers? Ones that haven’t provided anything for you?
I don’t know if that’s the most accurate example for dog-dog reactivity, but it hopefully opens your mind to try and think of a better one.
These animals just want to be safe, and without the correct input, they err on the side of caution and use their tools that they have to keep themselves safe. Fear is a funny thing. Irrational fear may be called that from the outside, but from the creature that has it, it is very real.