Some more reactive dog training tips are offered on this site. Thanks to Francine for passing it on!
This is from Kathy Cascade, one of the T-Touch instructors who works with Linda Tellington-Jones herself. I really like the mindful presentation, the consideration of equipment, and the step-by-step instructions. Though the description is of how to use a "T Touch labyrinth" and other formal setups we may not all have access to, the general ideas can be adapted to any situation.
To paraphrase and reiterate:
- Reactivity is most often based on fear. Work with it by building confidence and reducing stress
- Reduce tension on the neck, which increases stress. Dual points of contact--head halter plus no-pull harness--are a great way to do this.
- Allow adequate space (work sub-threshold)
- Allow the dog to look at other dogs, but not stare
- Start by following a neutral dog at a safe distance
- Graduate to parallel walking with a neutral dog--at a safe distance!
- Reward calming signals--looking at the ground, sniffing, shaking it out, yawning.
I think the key, as always, is whether the dog is sub-threshold--if we become experts at observing our dogs' body language, we will know whether the yawn/sniff/shake is a sign of stress or of calm...and whether the dog is in a mental state conducive to learning or whether we just need to turn tail and go somewhere safer!