Features October 2008 Issue

Solutions for Reactive Dog Behavior

The long and winding road to success with a reactive dog.

At some point in our lives, some of us find ourselves living with a difficult dog, one whose behavior challenges our patience, and exhausts our training knowledge – and opens our hearts and eyes to a new, better way of training. This is the story of one such dog and her very knowledgeable dog owner. Together, they reached an entirely new and higher level of dog training skills, thanks to the owner’s life-altering experiences with a reactive dog who wasn’t fit to compete in the career intended for her: Flyball. Flyball is not the sport for everyone. It is a relay team event, which means you have to commit to training and competing with your dog and other dogs and dog owners as a team, and you have to have an appreciation for over-the-top dogs and the resulting cacophony of sounds. In flyball, a team of four dogs race, one after the other, leaping a series of hurdles, throwing their bodies against a spring-loaded box that ejects a tennis ball, snatching the ball, and hurtling their bodies back down the row of jumps to where their next teammates strain to be released for their turns. The fastest team wins.

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