Dog Crazy Dogs can Learn Self-control

dogs learn social skillsWe love the thought of our dog being man’s best friend, but some owners don’t feel like their dog’s best friend. Some dogs seem to go completely nuts when they see another dog, even when it’s down the street. It bewilders owners when there otherwise behaved and well mannered dog looses their head at the sight of another dog. Not only that, it can cause a riff in the relationship as the owner starts to feel like they are just a food dispenser.

Most of the time, the heart of the is socialization and emotional control. The dog crazy dog hasn’t been around other dogs in different locations enough to get a grip on their social emotions. Socialization with different sized and breeds of dogs is a must for young dogs in a controlled environment. If it’s an older dog it may take longer, but it is essential to start teaching them how to react correctly around other dogs as soon as possible.

A great place to start is with some obedience lessons whether in home or away at a group lesson. It is important to explain the situation to the dog trainer when setting lesson schedules so they can help the dog be successful from the start. Some vets will refer dog trainers as well as groomers. It is best to stay away from department store trainers and work with an independent trainer instead. The trainer needs to use positive reinforcement training to ensure your dog has a positive experience to training.

Most obedience trainers will help beyond the first class and some may need more than one depending on the severity of the dogs reactions. The trainer should instruct when the dog is ready to go out and about with the owner to continue the training. It will be a process of building on the obedience and teaching the dog to stay focused on the handler.

Going to other locations for socialization can include parks, open air malls, or sidewalks with pedestrian traffic. We discourage dog parks as there are too many uncontrolled elements in a dog park and an already reactive dog can get hurt or scared by other dogs. Some training facilities offer “play days” where a group will go out to different locations with a trainer to continue the socialization and proofing of the obedience.

It will take work to help the reactive dog learn to stay focused on the handler and control their emotions, but it can be done. In the end, the dog will be able to go places they couldn’t go before and enjoy time with the owner being best friends.