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Thread: Reactivity/Protectiveness?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017


    Not sure what's going on with my almost 2-yr-old Borador. He's very friendly and has been socialized since day one to people and other dogs; however, recently on walks when another person/dog/bicyclist comes close he lunges, grumbles, growls, barks, and generally acts like a goofball. At dog park he'll place himself between me and an approaching dog, barking and grumbling until the dog leaves, so it's not just when he's leashed. He does it at doggy daycare also, with the attendants. When someone is approaching us on our walks I move off the path or across the street. My question is whether this is actually reinforcing his behavior; i.e., the way he sees it he's warning me and we're putting distance between us and the "threat" so what he's doing is working exactly the way he wants. Should I continue on our way and not make a point of avoiding the situation? When he gets like this there doesn't seem to be a treat yummy enough to snap him out it and get his focus back on me until we've passed the other person and then he's busy turning back to look at them until they're out of sight. Also not sure what to do when he gets in my space around other dogs. Do I move away from him? Turn my back and ignore?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Re: Reactivity/Protectiveness?

    Stop doggy day care and dog parks. Your dog is not a fan of other dogs. Not every dog is happy to be around other dogs.

    Taking him off the path, getting his focus on you and having him do a job (like sit and be focused on you) is totally good. Stop letting people pet him and deo not let other dogs come up to you. Have his back.

    Socializing should not be allowing every person who meets the puppy pet the puppy or every dog you see to meet the puppy. Socialization is about new experiences out and about in the world and the word "socialization" is a poor word for what needs to happen with a puppy.

    Have his back and get him out of dog parks and dog day care. Not every dog is cut out for those situations and yours is one. That is fine. He will be happier.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Jen2010's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    British Columbia, Canada

    Re: Reactivity/Protectiveness?

    Definitely stop taking him to the dog parks. 3GSD4IPO is right in that some dogs just don't really like other dogs. Taking him out of those situations is best so it can't escalate to something worse (like a bite). So yes, moving across the street to avoid other people/dogs is a good idea. I have to do the same thing with one of my dogs. Treat him and praise him too.

    You might want to look into hiring a positive-based dog behaviourist.
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