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Revealing Methods for Training Reactive Dogs in Bordentown NJ

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When strolling through Bordentown, NJ, with their pup, pet parents want to avoid the potential for their pup lunging at people or other pets or growling and barking as they walk by. If you’re contending with this, you are likely dealing with a reactive dog.

These are not aggressive animals but more reactive out of fear and anxiety to triggers in their surroundings. Fortunately, professional dog trainers are equipped with the skillset to show you how to handle your dog. 

With these services, reactive dog behavior can be managed to ensure the pup feels much more safe and secure.

A Basic Understanding of Reactive Dogs

Some people are under the misconception that reactive dogs are aggressive or that their behavior is intended to gain control or dominate a situation. In fact, the pup is experiencing a mixture of emotions he doesn’t know how to deal with. 

Under normal circumstances, the pup is well-adjusted. However, the dog can become anxious or upset when a trigger is introduced into its territory, such as a loud sound, unfamiliar sightings like joggers or cyclists, or strange people walking other animals.

A professional dog training company in Bordentown will work with the dog to identify the underlying cause of the reaction and what’s causing the pup to react. 

Dogs don’t respond to everything in their path, so finding out what’s triggering them and why is essential. This way, you can avoid the source or try to eliminate it.

Visit  for reactive dog training tips and tricks. Then, follow here for some examples of triggers and why these result in reactions.

  • A traumatic incident with the trigger, like another person or dog, may be a jogger.
  • The need to protect their food resource from a trigger.
  • Lacking early socialization skills with other animals and people.
  • Possibly genetics leading to a hormonal or chemical imbalance.

You can better relate to his fears when you become familiar with your dog’s history and the underlying reasons for his reactivity. 

This is beneficial when you are unavailable during the primary stages when socialization is essential, and the early years when a pup develops positive and negative associations.

The Environment as It Pertains to Reactivity

The next component of dog training for reactivity is helping pet parents understand the need to establish space between the pup and the trigger. Your dog can become incredibly reactive if he feels trapped with no escape route, but if there’s significant space allowing the dog to avoid the threat, he feels less fear.

You’ll be better prepared as a pet parent to manage the threat if you can determine the amount of space the pup needs to feel safe in his environment. Here are tips on allowing space between your dog and his threat.

  • A safety zone: According to professional dog training experts, crate training is an excellent method for offering your dog a safe space. These should not be used for punishment or as a place dogs associate with fear. When appropriately trained, dogs see the crate as a retreat where they can hang out when they need quiet time.
  • Reduce the chaos: It’s important to avoid circumstances that trigger your dog’s reactions. If he is triggered by other dogs, refrain from going to dog parks, which could be incredibly stressful.
  • A periodic break: If it’s impossible to avoid a triggering situation, try to allow for calm breaks. If you’ll be walking in a populated area with many strangers, stop to rest and have some water to give him a break from the stress.

You can help set your pup up for success by managing the surrounding environment, a key to reactivity training. You can also help reduce his reactivity by avoiding circumstances that threaten him in favor of situations he finds more pleasant.

The Basics of Reactive Dog Training

A local Bordentown “fear-free” dog trainer will provide the extra help you may need to change your dog’s perspective when facing what he views as threats. 

It takes considerable patience, time, and empathy. The best training professional is an excellent resource and support system. Here are the training techniques to implement when working with your dog.

Positive reinforcement

Dominance and intimidation were incorporated at one point long ago with dog training. That’s fortunately no longer the case. Now, trainers understand dog behavior and work with pups much more. The most effective methods involve positive reinforcement.

In essence, when you reward the desirable behavior, the pup will start to do that more often. This is why treats, food, and affection are effective training tools. These can be applied to a reactive dog, particularly if he sees his trigger and doesn’t react. At this point, he can be offered a reward.

If you were to reprimand the dog for reacting to a threat, it would instill more fear, creating a worse situation. Positive reinforcement shows the dog that he’s safe when the threat is present, that everything is okay, and that he’s protected.


growling dog
Photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash


Another effective training technique is to remove the anxiety associated with the threat or desensitize your pup. This is useful when the environment is tough to control, like a congested street. 

With this training technique, the dog is gradually exposed to the threat securely and safely. The idea is to begin at the lowest possible threshold, where the puppy would normally start to react, and increase exposure from that point, moving forward slowly.

As an example, your dog might be terrified of sirens. Perhaps play a low-volume recording of various sirens from a different room in the house. When the dog is able to tolerate the sound, reward his good behavior. Gradually turn up the volume progressively while maintaining the utmost comfort for your pup.

When you combine positive reinforcement with desensitization, your canine gradually realizes that what they believe to be a threat won’t hurt them.

Final Thought

Basic professional techniques with your local Bordentown dog trainers offer excellent support for pet parents who need support with a reactive dog. 

These are challenging dogs to calm down, but it’s not impossible when trainers and pet parents patiently explore the underlying fear and anxiety that causes the reactions. With positive reinforcement and consistent effort, your pup can overcome his reactivity.