Reactive and Aggressive Behaviour


Living with a reactive or aggressive dog is really hard. It can be exhausting and depressing to just think of going for a walk or having guests at home. You have to plan your every move, it feels like a military operation to exercise your dog properly. With reactive dogs some days are better and give you hope but some days are awful and you feel totally discouraged.

The fact is that your dog feels the same. He is not giving you a hard time and having fun in the process. He is not trying to take over the world either. He's stressed, scared, hyper aroused and on edge all the time, he is going through a very hard time himself. 

If you combine your state of mind, your hyper vigilance, stress and quite possible embarrassment with his fear, arousal and frustration, the results are not great, are they? The results are exactly why you are now reading this page.

Luckily for you and your dog, it doesn't have to be like that. You can have your sweet dog back or you can help the one you just adopted. Reactivity is an expression of the emotional state of the dog, that's what dogs do to get out of a dodgy situation, they bark, scream, lunge forward and snarl. If this doesn't work, they bite.

It's their way of communicating how they feel so the other dog or a person goes away and leaves them alone. So our role, yours as the dog's owner, and mine as the consultant, is to make them feel better, more confident and even happy in situations that caused them fear and stress before.

Your dog doesn't want to fear and attack every dog they see or every person that comes to your house. They don't want to defend your place from your nephew or a friendly neighbour but at the moment they have no other choice, no other skill to use. They need to build their repertoire of acceptable behaviours to use, alongside desensitizing to their triggers, so they see them as neutral or even positive.

This is what you can expect when you book a consultation with me. No quick fixes which fall apart under pressure. We are after long lasting results, a complete change in your dog's mind and his responses in the real world. And just as important a change in your feelings and your confidence level so you can once again enjoy your walks and invite your friends.

The initial session is up to 2 hours long and covers theory and practical exercises. We'll talk about canine body language, handler behaviour and leash handling skills, discuss all possible causes of your dog's behaviour and more. Then we'll decide which skills are lacking and we will start teaching them right away.

You can start with a 4 session package, at the cost of £235. This will allow me to plan the training, and introduce the exercises gradually, to help you and your dog build the skills you need. After completing the package you can either book another one, or book single sessions as needed.

!!! Please ask if you'd like to book a single session first, before committing to a programme. The cost of a 2hr consult is £85. You can try my recommendations, and if you find them suitable for you and your dog, you can then book 3 sessions for £150.

I'd rather avoid booking individual sessions "as needed", as I 100% know this model will be much less effective, if at all. Reactivity is a complex issue, and requires consistency and support, because things don't always go as planned.

I also offer Training Walks for reactive dogs. This is a 4 week programme, with 2 sessions per week, at the cost of £280 (or 2x £140). In this system I will work with your dog, teach them the skills they need to be more relaxed on walks and stop barking and lunging.

You'll still have some homework to do, and you'll need observe the management rules in between sessions, e.g. avoid busy locations. You are also welcome to go with me for the walks, so you can see what I do, ask questions, and add input into your dog's training.

Around half way into the programme you'll start taking the lead and walking your dog, and slowly take over the responsibility. But by then your dog will be able to cope better with his triggers, so your task will be to maintain the training rather than teach everything from scratch.

After the programme ends we'll still be in touch, in case you have any questions or need a refresher session. Of course the programme can be extended, if there is a need for it. It's impossible to predict how long it will take, as all dogs are different, with their unique history.

But my goal is to give your dog a better outlook on life, and better control of his own behaviour,so he doesn't have to bark and lunge any more, and to make sure you can support him/her if he ever feels threatened, frustrated, or over-excited and impulsive. Once you understand how he thinks, you'll make much better choices that work for both of you.

To book your programme or just get more information, phone 07593 032 280 or e-mail

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