‘Reactive Dogs’ are becoming a far more common sight but do you know what to look for and more importantly what you need to consider and how you should react.

Rather than dreading regular walks or deliberately going out at odd hours or walking in the middle of nowhere in an attempt to avoid any potential sources of reactive stimulus, owners of reactive dogs are increasingly using bright yellow collars and leads to identify their dogs, or in some cases even a branded coat.

A ‘reactive dog’ is one that is constantly reacting to particular external stimulus when out walking. This can be responding to passing cars, cyclists, pedestrians other walkers/ joggers and particularly the presence of other dogs; or indeed anything else that catches their eye. This can make them challenging to walk as they can display any number of undesirable behaviours. This includes showing real aggression or an excessively passive nature, barking, growling, pulling, lunging for the source of the stimulus, or even taking flight.  For the owner or walker this often makes walks extremely stressful, and potentially dangerous!

Owners of reactive dogs should not despair. Making others aware of the problem is the first step and at Tadley Pet Supplies we have a number of products that can help.  In addition to making others clearly aware through the use of highly visual leads, owners of ‘normal’ dogs and others need to play their part. When they see or meet a reactive dog out on a walk please approach with caution and maintain an appropriate distance if possible, thus avoiding stimulating the reactive dog.

With support and persistence reactive dog owners, with a little time an effort, can often successfully train their dog to be a much calmer and more pleasant walking companion. At Tadley Pet Supplies we can provide advice on this and point you in the direction of others in the local area that can help. For example, it can be highly beneficial for a reactive dog to gradually become familiar with a calm, safe dog in a controlled environment. This both provides moral support and practical assistance as dogs often mimic or learn ‘positive’ behaviour from other dogs.  Finding a dog walking partner can make the process easier and less stressful.

So next time you visit Tadley Pet Supplies don’t forget to discuss your wider pet requirements – as we are more than happy to assist.