Living with a reactive dog can be challenging and emotional, however it can also be very rewarding.
According to the American Kennel Club, reactivity is commonly confused with aggression. Dogs that are reactive overreact to certain stimuli or situations. Genetics, lack of socialization, insufficient training to learn self-control, a frightening experience, or a combination of these can cause reactivity, and fear is typically the driving force.
Reactive dogs have certain triggers or situations when they feel trapped on a leash. If a reactive dog approaches you, the best thing you can do is give them space.
At the NH Dog Walking Club, we promote The Yellow Dog Project which is a global movement for owners of dogs that need space (aka DINOS, Dogs In Need Of Space).
At each Club event, we offer yellow ribbons and bandannas, and promote awareness of our special and unique dog friends with ALL participants.
A dog wearing a yellow ribbon, bandanna, velcroed sign on their leash, muzzle, or special harness requires additional space. These tools provide visual cues that tell other dog owners not to approach or greet their dog.
At Club events, we encourage communication between dog owners to help educate about the needs of reactive dogs and the people who love them.
Recently, we interviewed five members of the Club who have reactive dogs. Each dog’s reactive behavior and personality are very different.
If you love a reactive dog, listen to the stories of these five women and see if you can relate. Then join the Club for an event so that we can show you that there is hope for reactive dogs and their families to feel included and involved.
Would you like to connect with other dog owners who also love a reactive dog and understand what you are going through? Join us on Facebook at the NH Dog Walking Club Community.