Training Reactive Dogs Around “Triggers”

reactive dogs Dec 15, 2020
Dog staring at other dog on leash

Does your dog behave well on walks- until they see another dog, a skateboarder, a jogger, or a squirrel? And then they kindly draw the neighborhood’s attention to you with a variety of gremlin-like sounds, lunging, and flashing teeth?  This week we’re talking about how to train your reactive dog on walks around their “triggers,” so you can start to avoid these embarrassing incidents. 


Training your reactive dog to respond to your cues on walks when their “triggers” are nearby takes practice and consistency, and even when you’re doing everything perfectly, you WILL have bad days.  So train yourself to expect these bad days, and have a plan for them. Before heading out on your next walk, make sure to review our blog and video on what to do when your dog is already reacting. 

This week’s video is a narrated version of the 3rd of 3 training videos on teaching the “Find it!” behavior to reactive dogs. This last installment in the series focuses on training reactive dogs on walks, when triggers appear. The discussion originally took place in our Facebook support group.   In the video, you get to see how a “real life” reactive dog, Coco, started to practice her “Find it!” around her triggers. The steps we’ve worked on with Coco are probably smaller than what you might have tried with your reactive dog- for instance, Coco started her training around triggers in her own back yard, with a gate open that allowed her to see the street. 

Like most reactive dogs, Coco is a “work in progress,”  and we’ll follow her training progress on walks in the future as she expands her training and her comfort zone beyond the area near her home. 

We’d love to hear how you like this training!  Comment below, or join our Facebook group and tell us about your progress. 


Are you stuck with your “Find it!” training?  We’re here to help! Join our Fearful and Reactive Dog Support Community on Facebook. Reach out to us by email at [email protected].

If you're looking for a structured plan for training your reactive dog, check out our self-paced online class, the Reactive Dog Survival Guide.