The Reactive Dog Class


Specialised Course:

The Reactive Dog Class

6 week Course; €199; Max 4 Dogs per course

First week is seminar class ; without dogs present.

Are you one of those dog owners who walk your dog late at night or first thing in the morning to reduce the chances of crossing paths with other dogs? Do not worry you are not alone!!!

Many dog owners struggle with living with a dog that displays reactive  / aggressive behaviours when they spot another dog. There are many different reasons for the dog responding in this way however one thing is true ….this issue will not resolve itself , and avoiding other dogs is not the long term solution.

This course content and structure was developed based on Emma Parsons success in the US delivering reactive classes for dogs and their owners for more than 10 years. Emma is a renowned trainer and author that specialises in working with dogs with aggression issues.

Owner’s expectations need to be realistic, this is not a class that will result in your dogs playing off leash with others dogs, our aim is to get your dog confident enough to be able to ignore triggers and be able to focus on you, the owner.

What does the term ‘reactive’ look like?

Reactivity in a dog may present itself in one or more of the following ways :

  • Barking
  • Growling
  • Teeth displays
  • Lunging
  • Raised Hackles (hair raised mainly between shoulders)
  • Pupils Dilated

Directed towards the trigger. A trigger is any stimulus that provokes the ‘reactive’ behaviour.  The dogs in this class will be reactive towards other dogs, strange people or both.

Reactive dogs tend to be very sensitive in nature and need a guardian (their owner) to look to for guidance (cues). The cues they will learn during this course will not only predict reinforcement, but much more importantly; safety! The dogs will learn the skills needed to face triggers in a new way , by looking to their handlers for guidance.

The Goal / Purpose  of the Reactive Dog Class:

  1. To provide owners with the critical handling skills so they are well equipped to deal with any challenges that may arise.
  2. To provide dogs with the life skills needed to remain comfortable in environments that would have previously provoked anxiety and increased arousal levels and thus, reactive behaviour.

*In the reactive dog class owners will learn how to expose their dog, at a slow and reliable pace, to various triggers that are concerning to the dog. The owners must learn to accurately assess their dogs threshold (the distance at which the dog can be exposed to a trigger without provoking a reactive response) and to use cues and reinforcement to build the dog’s confidence in the presence of the trigger he finds frightening. Slowly but surely, the dog will grow more and more comfortable in the presence of the trigger so, eventually, he will be able to ignore it, and even perform trained behaviours in the presence of triggers.

Class Requirements:

  • As with every dog that comes to The Dog Den we require proof of up to date vaccinations including kennel/canine cough vaccination.
  • Be aware that most of the work you will be doing yourself with your dog outside of the class; no improvement will be seen if you do not dedicate the time daily and attend each class. If this is something you cannot do then this is not the class for you.
  • This class is for adults only, max 2 adult handlers per dog ; no children.
  • Additional equipment is needed for this course and will be discussed during wk 1.
  • Detailed Online information form needs to be completed at booking stage.


Next Course Dates:

  • Tues April 30th @ 7pm (no class 21st May)
  • Please contact us to register your interest and we will contact you once a new date has been scheduled. This Course is always held on a Tuesday Evening only.