Reactive Dog – Managing Behaviour – A Client’s Story
10th November 2021
Managing the Behaviour of a Reactive Dog
The majority of enquiries we receive at Vislor are requests for help with dog reactivity issues. Invariably owners have already explored various training options; online training, some technique they read about, other trainers etc. Unfortunately, all too often there is little to no progress. Some common scenarios our clients tell us about:
- Our dog barks and lunges at other dogs, cats, people, cars, cyclists, house visitors and squirrels (yes that’s right squirrels).
- We feel apprehensive at the thought of taking our dog for a walk.
- We have to walk our dog early in the morning or very late at night.
- We feel embarrassed when loosing control of our dog in public.
At Vislor Dog Training Center, we have helped hundreds of owners improve their relationships with their dogs. All our training programmes address dog reactivity, we even hold group training sessions specifically aimed at improving dog reactivity. One of our current clients has kindly shared their experience and the journey they embarked upon with the Vislor Dog Training Team.
Vicky, Brad & Cooper (GSD) – Their Story.
At around 7 months of age, our German shepherd puppy slowly started showing signs of becoming reactive. We had done puppy classes with our other dog so we had some knowledge/ understanding of the basics of how to train a puppy however as he aged his reactivity continued to worsen. We knew at this point that we weren’t equipped with the knowledge needed to rectify his behaviour.
In desperate need of some professional help, we took to the internet to find local dog training companies. We used two separate local dog training companies, unfortunately, we found both were inadequate and felt that other than taking our money, nothing else was achieved. A short time passed and in a last desperate attempt we took to Google yet again, this time armed with more specific searches, for example, “German Shepherd Dog Trainers”, after a short time, we came across Vislor Dog Training Center. Keywords that stood out to us, ‘Proven Results’, ‘German Shepherd’, ‘Behavioural Training’, ‘Boot Camp’, quickly we clicked through onto the page and within a short space of time, we contacted Lorraine.
Deciding Upon the Most Suitable Course of Action
Lorraine was incredibly helpful, calming and gave us some hope, finally! We discussed the issues and Lorraine mentioned that a residential stay would be the best option. This was a scary prospect, handing our boy over to someone we didn’t know, but we knew that we had to make some drastic choices and this option whilst scary did feel like the last resort. With this in mind, we made our way to Kidderminster to meet with Mo.
Consultation and Assessment
Mo met with us for our consultation, he assessed Cooper and instantly we felt relieved that we weren’t the only ones with a reactive dog. Believe it or not, that really was a big sigh of relief. Mo discussed with us how the Residential Dog Training worked, the costings and the training that would be required. It didn’t take much discussion between us after meeting with Mo, as we knew that this really was our last option. The thought of handing him over for a three-week residential stay still filled us with dread, but Mo made us feel reassured. The day came in early February, and we took Cooper up to meet with Mo, ready for his residential stay.
Updates and Handover
During the residential stay, Mo regularly provided us with updates, including photos and videos showing us the progress that was being made. We both knew that unfortunately his reactivity to other dogs was high and we didn’t really know what to expect from the training. The three weeks quickly went by and upon collection, we did a handover with Mo, including some leash walking. Mo ran us through everything we needed to know. It was evident that his behaviour had significantly improved, again a big sigh of relief along with a few tears of happiness.
After talking with Mo about Cooper’s behaviour, we knew that there was still a lot of continued work and training that would be involved in order to build upon the success he had achieved so far. With this in mind, we were quick to book in with Mo for some One-to-One Dog Training lessons. The one-to-one lessons with Mo were priceless, not only did they benefit Cooper in the sense of continuing the right mindset, but also the information we learnt and the confidence it gave us to correctly handle our dog was second to none. The one-to-one lessons also give you the dedicated time you need for both yourself and your dog to build a better relationship under the guidance of an expert trainer.
New Vislor Class for Reactive Dogs
It wasn’t long until Mo announced that Vislor were running a new dog course for reactive dogs, we didn’t think twice and signed up straight up. We loved the course so much, the ongoing training, support and knowledge, the more specific obedience work which was great for continuing to grow our relationship with Cooper and also for meeting such wonderful people and their dogs who all understand the difficulties and complexities of our reactive dogs.
There are many dogs who go to Vislor with reactivity problems who are able to have their behaviour issues rectified, for us however and the other participants on the reactive course, we have had to learn how to manage behaviour issues, so meeting with other owners in the same situation really has given us a great sense of support. We truly have made lifelong friends during the courses.
So here we are, now booking onto reactive dog course 6 for the new year, mostly because we find the ongoing support helps both us and Cooper. In a controlled environment, we are able to continue his training with the confidence of having expert advice and knowledge on hand.
Our Vislor Dog Training Journey – From Chaos to Manageable Behaviour.
In February we sent Cooper to Mo for residential training, he was reactive to almost anything when out walking, dogs, trees, road signs, traffic cones etc and he was impossible to walk. The prospect of meeting another dog filled us with such dread that walking became an issue. He had no obedience, no concentration span, his head was all fuzzy, didn’t listen to any instructions and generally was a nightmare. Now here we are, 9 months later, still continuing our training with Vislor, with a dog who has obedience, is great at leash walking, doesn’t pull, he has concentration, a good drive, he is much calmer in himself, and he listens. He still is somewhat reactive to other dogs, but as owners, we feel more equipped to deal with this correctly. We feel like we have more understanding and knowledge now and are far better equipped to manage his reactivity.
When we dropped Cooper off at Vislor in February, little did we know that we would still be here 9 months later, but the truth is, all training aside, we have made incredible lifelong friends and can’t keep away.
A Big Thank You
Mo, we know it isn’t the first time we have thanked you, but as we have the chance to do so publicly, Thank you. You have changed our lives, genuinely. There are no amount of words that could even come close to expressing our gratitude to you, the support, the continued support, for your knowledge, advice, guidance and for being an incredible friend.
To anybody reading this, you have found the right company to help with your training needs.