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Good books for reactiveness

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Cooper *CGC*

It wasn\'t me I- swear
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 4:28pm PST 
Cooper has always been somewhat reactive for about a year. It is getting progressively worse. I help train at a local dog club and I brought him one night and he wouldn't even pay any attention to me if there was another dog there. He was so focused on the other dogs that even treats didn't work and he is extremely food motivated. If dogs come up to him he tends to go after them. He is not very confident and very very timid so I'm sure that a lot of it is fear. I just don't know how to help him get passed this and I don't have the money for a behaviorist right now. I'm not too happy with the behaviorists that are here either. Unfortunately there are no reactive dog classes near me either. I'm looking for a book or books that explains step by step what I can do to help him overcome his reactivity. Any help would be great!
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ARCH Demon RL1, RL2, RL3, RLV

Intimidation- seldom- facilitates- learning
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 5, '12 4:44pm PST 
www.reactivedogs.com
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Poppy

Instilling fear- is cowardice; be- brave!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 2:58am PST 
Along with the site that Demon posted, I would also like to recommend learning about dog body language. I'm willing to bet that Cooper gives off certain physical signals that say he's uncomfortable before he actually reacts.

For Poppy and I, we got the book "Scaredy Dog" by Ali Brown, "Calming Signals" by Turid Rugaas, and "BAT: Behavior Adjustment Training" by Grisha Stewart. Ali Brown also has another book and a DVD about reactivity. I haven't read/watched these, though.
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ARCH Demon RL1, RL2, RL3, RLV

Intimidation- seldom- facilitates- learning
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 3:24am PST 
Aki's other book is Focus, not Fear.

Her DVD's are Scaredy Dog (Which is a seminar type DVD) and On the Road to Reality (which features Demon, one of MY reactive dogs).

I also sub for Ali in her reactive dog classes when she is away, so if there is anything I can do to help.
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Poppy

Instilling fear- is cowardice; be- brave!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 3:24am PST 
Thank you, Demon! I couldn't remember the other book or the DVDs.
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ARCH Demon RL1, RL2, RL3, RLV

Intimidation- seldom- facilitates- learning
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 3:26am PST 
wave
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 2:15pm PST 
I second BAT.
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Cooper *CGC*

It wasn\'t me I- swear
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 3:22pm PST 
He does stiffen up about a second before going after the other dog, but other than that I have not noticed any other body postures or calming signals or anything and I'm pretty good at picking up on them. He is fine with other dogs in the home and he is completely fine off leash unless a dog keeps bothering him. It's just on leash. I have been looking at BAT and Scaredy dog and I think I will end up getting both.
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Risa- W-FDM/MF RE- RL1 CA CGC

Awesome Dog
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 7:25pm PST 
I will second "Scaredy Dog" as that was the light bulb moment book for us. "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons and "Fiesty Fido" by Patricia McConnell are also great. I liked "BAT" by Grisha Stewart as well and "Help for your Fearful Dog" by Nicole Wilde is also beneficial. ANY book on dog body language is essential as well so you can begin to read your dog easier. Catching them at the moment right before they have a reactive meltdown is critical. It gets easier with practice and when you know what to look for.

Both of Ali Brown's videos are great introductions to working with reactive dogs and give you and idea of what's going on and where to start. I own both (and am a bit biased regarding "The Road to Reality" because Risa is in it).

Good luck!

Edited by author Thu Dec 6, '12 7:26pm PST

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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 7:36pm PST 
Cooper, you might want to train a default check-in. I find that Smokey will hit the end of the leash more and forget to look at me when he's upset. So if there's no long stare, ears up, staccato tail, weight forward, tense face, etc, you can keep tabs on his internal state that way. It's hard to get distracted and ignore your dog when he's trying to make eye contact with you every 30 seconds, which I certainly find helpful. It also really does help to do a couple sessions with a positive-only trainer who is comfortable with reactivity and aggression. I like to think of myself as non-oblivious, but this week ours pointed out that my dog's tail moved from over his back to all the way down, flush with his butt during the course of a session. DERP, how have I been completely ignoring his tail height for three months??
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