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Proactive vs Reactive

We often label our dogs ‘reactive’ when they do things like barking, lunging at and chasing things they don’t like. This might happen when a dog sees a fear trigger and isn’t sure what to do about it.

But have you ever thought about our own reactive responses to our dogs?

Imagine your dog has just grabbed one of your favourite, expensive shoes and run off with it. You know the next step is total destruction, so you might react by shouting NO! or running to grab the item off your dog. This is a reactive response to a situation we want to change in the moment, and is motivated by panic and stress.

A proactive response might instead involve putting the shoes away in a cupboard so the dog can’t access them, or training in a recall or ‘swap’ cue so that we can easily and calmly retrieve the item. Proactive training - planning in advance - always works better than reacting to issues in the heat of the moment, and helps us to feel more prepared and more in control.

If you’d like to find out more, drop me a message 🐾

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