What’s causing the recent spike in reactivity among our dogs?
It’s easy to blame it all on the recent lockdown. After all, dogs everywhere were cooped up indoors without the opportunity to socialize and take in the world around them. While that’s one way to look at it, it’s not quite accurate, and Marika Bertram joins Kathy on this episode of Enlightened by Dogs to explain why.
She delves into the rise in reactivity, the common mistakes surrounding socialization, and how to turn things around.
Marika was originally born in Australia and moved to Canada ten years ago. Her journey in the dog world began after rescuing a very reactive Rottweiler mix named Sierra. She soon found herself very overwhelmed by her behavior and attempted to seek help from various trainers, without much success.
She became determined to learn how to help her by undertaking a number of professional dog training courses, which then led her from being a schoolteacher to helping others achieve harmony with their dogs.
After years of training people’s dogs, she kept searching for something more. Something just didn’t feel right, and there were so many dogs struggling even after being trained. In this time, she adopted two more dogs. One was a Rottweiler pup, and even after applying everything she learned, she still didn’t have the relationship she wanted and longed for.
Marika knew she had finally found what she was looking for when she found Kathy and her brilliant community, and the rest is history.
Listeners can find Marika on Facebook and Instagram by searching for ‘The Dog Listener’ or heading to www.revyk9.com.
In this episode:
- Common misconceptions surrounding socialization
- Why you should know your dog before attempting to socialize them
- How to kickstart the process of rethinking old socialization methods
“One big misconception floating around the dog world is that if you end up with this dog or puppy that’s slightly reactive, you just need to expose them to more socialization.”
“You can do your best to create a positive experience for your puppy, but you don’t have any control over what the next person or dog is going to do.”
“The existing model of socialization puts focus on our dog’s behavior instead of the ways we can create a sense of safety between us and them.”
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A VERY INTERESTING ARTICLE AND TIMELY FOR ME AS I HAVE A DIFFICULT TIME WHEN OUT WALKING ONE OF MY MINI SHNAUZERS WHO IS NOW 2 TEARS OLD AND WAS REHOMED WITH US WHEN HE WAS 15 MONTHS. HE BARKS FEROCIOUSLY AT ANYONE HE SEES EVEN QUITE A DISTANCE AWAY. HE IS CLEARLY ANXIOUS AS HE LOOKS AROUND CONSTANTLY AND IF COMING NEAR TO A CORNER WILL BARK EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO-ONE IN SIGHT.
I HAD THOUGHT THAT I WOULD STOP TAKING HIM FOR A WALK AT ALL BUT WAS CONCERENED THAT HE WILL NEVER ACLIMATISE TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD. THIS ARTICAL HAS HELPED ME TO FEEL OKAY ABOUT NOT TAKING HIM OUT AS HE ALWAYS SEEMS HAPPY AND SECURE INDOORS WITH US.