Competing Interests: Reactive Dogs and the Ring
Over-reactive dogs are prevalent in the world of dog sports. Whether in obedience, agility, or some other canine sport, reactive dogs feel the pressure of stress much more acutely than a confident and well-seasoned competition dog. How can we help set these dogs up to succeed in a highly distracting environment? Though we are not advocating that you compete with a reactive dog, if you are already competing or choose to compete anyway, it is extremely important that these dogs perform their specific behaviors reliably, and in line with the safety protocols put in place by the competitor. In this presentation, Emma Parsons discusses how to make the reactive dog’s job easier in a show setting. Reliability is a must, and every handler should have a safety plan starting from the time the dog exits your vehicle. Providing structure and teaching foundation behaviors will foster confidence in your reactive dog, making for a winning combination!