Sometimes all you CAN do is manage a dog’s reactivity. Since Ducky doesn’t always react negatively to another human in my presence, I can’t predict when she will or won’t react. Sometimes, but not always, Ducky will remain calm if I tell her to. This dog reads me faster than I do myself. She senses when I expect her to be calm or reactive and does exactly what I expect, even when I don’t know I expect it. That’s something I still have to work on. Still, each time she remains calm is a success for both of us.
When Ducky first came to live with us, she often woke herself up out of a nap growling and snarling at something in her dreams. It took a while, but day by day as she grew more secure in her new home, the nightmares stopped and so did the growling and snarling that would awaken her. She feels safe with us now, and knows this is her home too. Success!
Ducky can also be possessive of the toys in the house. She won’t growl, except in play, at my hubby or me; but if poor Shadow has the misfortune of laying down near a toy at the time Ducky decides she wants it, she starts growling until Shadow either gets up and moves or I tell her to “leave it!” Here, too, she’s getting better. Mostly, I think, because Shadow has gotten better about just letting her take the toy. Shadow knows I will let her give Ducky a taste of her own medicine now. I’m no longer afraid of the consequences since I’ve seen Ducky back off at the last minute. Success!
Oops, we had a setback today. Ducky started a little growl/snarl/nipping fest with Shadow earlier over a new toy. Callie tried to break it up but Ducky wouldn’t back off. Finally she did when hubby got up out of his recliner, startling her with the noise. Both dogs okay — no broken skin or bleeding — but I was NOT happy. Not upset with Shadow — she had just reached her “enough is enough!” point — but scolded Ducky. Then let it go, took her outside and worked her on the leash for a few minutes. Back inside, Ducky walked up to Shadow and licked her lip as if to say “I’m sorry, Shadow. I wuv you.” 😊 Success again.
(Sorry, no pictures…the computer is being a pain in the you-know-where tonight as I try to finish this post and publish it.)
This is the WOOF Support Blog Hop, where reactive dogs and their owners can come together to share similar experiences. Are you a reactive/fearful dog or its owner? Then please join us and share your story. Hosted by Oz the Terrier, Roxy The Traveling Dog and Wag ‘n Woof Pets blogs.
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