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Reactions in Dogs - Part 4

Why do we need to know this?

Continued from part 3 ....... That’s great Jim, thanks for explaining – but why do I need to know about this? I often see my customers’ reaction to a brief explanation of this and it is clear they are trying to understand what it means to them and their dogs. Why do they need to know about hormones releasing and bodily functions? OK – hands up – You’ve got me – you don’t need to know about hormones and increasing heart rates and it won’t make you a better dog trainer if you do. BUT, hear me out! Understanding that your dog is reacting to perceived threats or exciting situations and that these reactions can cause your dog to be unable to physically hear or see you. In addition, that these reactions are completely out of your dog's control – (there is absolutely nothing they are able to do to prevent these reactions) will hopefully make you feel slightly different about how you deal with your dog when they are in a heightened state.   If your dog is shaking with excitement or fear then adding to their level of excitement or fear is only going to increase their reaction to it making it less likely that they will hear you or be able to focus on you. So – asking your dog to sit next to your friend as they are peeing over their new trainers is not likely going to happen. Equally, shouting at your dog when it is scared of another dog approaching it or getting frustrated at them is only going to serve to make your dog more anxious. So, you see, I've waffled on about reactions in dogs, not because I want you to understand anything about hormone releases, but because I want you to question why your dog is reacting – are they scared or excited? And then to question what your response should be.  So what should your response be when your dog is in a heightened state and not appearing to be able to see or hear you?  To be continued....... In the meantime,  check out our Foundation Dog Training Course videos designed to give you a better understanding of how your dog works and how to set your dog training sessions up in such a way that gives you the best chance of avoiding failing.   For more information on the videos that will give you dog training tips go to our website at and click the online dog training link at the top of the page.  

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