Does a Reactive Dog Mean an Aggressive Dog?
Many dog owners can relate: your dog is content and calm in his home environment but when you take him on a walk, he barks and lunges at other dogs. Does this mean he is aggressive? Does he want to hurt the other dog? The simple answer is no. While each dog is unique and temperaments vary, it’s important to note the difference between a reactive dog and a dog that is actually being aggressive. Regardless of circumstance, responsible dog owners need to carry Canine Liability Insurance to protect their pets.
So, what does reactivity mean? Reactivity is often fear-based, and is caused by heightened arousal. This means that the presence of an unknown dog or person causes fear or uncertainty in your dog, leading him to bark, lunge, pull, and vocalize to the other. While many perceive these actions to be aggressive, your dog is simply telling the other that he needs space. Each dog’s comfort level varies. Some pups are comfortable enough to forego their reactive tendencies if the dog is across the street, and some dogs are uncomfortable with another dog in sight at all.
To ensure your dog is successful in meeting new dogs and people, it is important to take the proper precautions to ensure they achieve this. Remember, resocialization is critical for these dogs. Work with a trainer, be the leader, and always keep a leash on your dog.
Dogster says that one of the core aspects of training a reactive dog is not punishing them for behavior we don’t like, but working together to create new, positive associations with seeing other dogs, and teaching new behaviors such as sitting and watching their handler to replace less desirable behaviors.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog-bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs, and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 534-6495.