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Rexy the labradoodle

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

You may remember Rexy the labradoodle, we had been working on his reactivity with his guardian and now he’s doing awesome! He even helped us out with another dog that had been showing some aggression that we had been working with.

Well, Rexy now has another dog in the household! Little Maya, in the pictures below.

Maya is SUPER well trained. Honestly, one of the best loose leash walkers I have ever seen, and her guardian has done AMAZING with her!

One thing that has cropped up though, is reactivity whilst on the lead. I think this is quite a rare case, but essentially, here’s what I think happened.

Maya played with a lot of dogs, and I think she became a little anxious around some of them. At the same time, she was learning to focus on her guardian and walk nicely on the lead around distractions.

Now, there’s a part of the brain that controls our arousal level and fear, known as the Amygdala - the emotional part of the brain. Within the amygdala, we believe there are neurons that process stress and suppress unnecessary fear responses, however, when they are disturbed while processing they are unable to correctly process, and this leads our dogs to respond.

Essentially, Maya has been so focused on her guardian, she hasn’t taken the time to look and process the world around her.

Anyway, that’s the science lesson for the day.

For Maya, we had to teach her to actually look at other dogs, then treat her when she did without reacting - the opposite to usually teaching them to look away from other dogs.

Maya nailed this and is doing fab!

Well done Maya and family!

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