Dog Class: Help for Your Feisty Fido
class we will show you how to change your dog's
reactive behavior. You will learn to lower
stress, build calmness and attention, train alternate
behaviors to reactivity or over arousal, reinforce
the absence of reactivity and most importantly
build your dog's confidence and trust in you.
class right for your dog? Click
here to find out.
--Tuesday, February 4, 2014
(Ends Mar 11th)
Starting time of each one-hour class (register for one):
Session A: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
(Time exceptions: Class #1- seminar, and #6- graduation are at 7:00 p.m.)
Session B: 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Register!
(Time exceptions: Class #1- seminar, and #6- graduation are at 7:00 p.m.)
Continuing Class: Began
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 (Ends on Oct. 22nd;
no class 9/24)
Fee for working
spot with dog:
per dog for 6-week course (both spouses may
attend). To register, click the Register link
You may also attend just the seminar, or audit the class without your dog (see details below.)
Dr. Lisa Radosta, board certified veterinary behaviorist.
Assistant Instructors: Mindy
Cox, B.S., CPDT-KSA. Also assisting, Cheryl
Vanvoorhies and/or Kait Hembree.
find out what to bring to the Reactive Dog class.
the Behavior Questionnaire. After you register you will need
to return this to us as soon as possible.
Important Scheduling Info:
-- The first night of class is a seminar from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for both groups and is for humans particpants only (no dogs in this initial class).
-- The last night of class is from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for both groups. This class, for all owners and dogs, will be held off-site at Abacoa in Jupiter.
Size: Working spots are limited
to 7 dogs per class so don't wait to register.
Unlimited auditing spots (observe wihout your
dog; see details below).
the Seminar Only Register
may register to attend just the seminar that
is given on the first night of class from 7:00
p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (This seminar is included
with registrations for working or auditing
spots.) You will learn about reasons for reactivity,
gain a better understanding of your dog's body
language so you will have critical information
about his emotional state of mind, and be introduced
to some of the tools and techniques we will
use to manage your dog's reactivity. (You can
register to audit if you want to be on the
waiting list for a working spot. Occasionally,
there are withdrawals due to unforeseen cirmcumstances
after the first class.)
Fee for seminar only:
$45 per person
The Course (without your dog) Register
may register to attend the 6-week class without
your dog and observe the class. This also includes
the first night's seminar.
Fee to audit without
per auditor (one fee for both spouses)
What is a Reactive Dog? (Is this class right for your dog?)
Reactive dogs are not hard to spot. While on leash your feisty fidos may lunge
at people or dogs that get too close. They may also bark loudly,
and/or growl and some may even try to bite anyone foolish enough
to get close.The reactive dog can appear threatening
to other people as he or she jumps, barks and stares. Reactive dogs
tend to stress out their embarrassed owners as these owners
try to keep passersby safe from their intimidating
or noisy best friend. This aggression is fear based and this
behavior is called reactivity. On the other end of the spectrum
is the dog that's too afraid to go anywhere and will hide, tremble,
or whine. If your dog can't calm down within a few seconds,
he or she is probably a reactive dog.
is no longer a need to feel lost or confused
when your dog becomes reactive. This very
special class will help you change or manage
your dog that overreacts in new situations
or with new people or other dogs while on
leash. Your feisty Fido will learn how to
feel more confident and comfortable in different
situations and around other dogs and will
gain more trust in you. We will work to change
your dog's problem behaviors and replace
them with more appropriate behaviors. You
will have new skills to utilize in these
once-stressful situations and you will
relax as well knowing what to
do and how to avoid or manage the triggers
that were once unpredictable. You will learn
to read your dog and communicate on a different
the Reactive Dog class you will:
• Acquire the tools you need to understand and handle your dog
• Learn what your leash-reactive dog is doing, why he's doing it,
and how to change it.
• Teach your dog to relax and trust and overcome fear and anxiety,
the root of his or her reactivity.
• Develop a better working relationship with your dog.
• Learn how to decrease the stress in your dog and teach him
or her confidence and focus. With decreased stress real learning
• Learn calming and management techniques, coping responses,
and emergency escape exercises.
• Work with your dog in a controlled, supportive environment with
a small group of dog owners who understand your issues because
they share them.
In class, the dogs will be separated from each
other by the use of visual barriers. Slowly, as you gain skills
and your dog gains confidence and starts to shed fears, the
individual dogs will begin to work together from a decreasing
distance. The counter-conditioning and desensitization training
and handling techniques are personalized for each dog's emotional
readiness and needs.
The Reactive Dog class is initially held indoors. As the dogs and owners gain skills
we move to a secure, fenced area outside and finally graduate to a
is a 6-week class. The initial class is for owners only (no
dogs). Sign up for a working spot or just audit (observe) the class.
Who is this class NOT appropriate for?
(All of the behaviors listed below are best handled in a private session; they are not addressed in this class.)
• Dogs whose only issue is guarding resources such as their food dish or toys.
• Dogs that jump on people in a friendly manner. We can address that issue in a private lesson. That is not fear-based reactivity.
• Dogs who are primarily scared of noises.
• Dogs who fight with the other dog(s) in their household but are fine with dogs outside the home.
• Dogs who have bitten a person. Dr. Radosta must do a private consultation before admitting your dog into the Reactive Dog class.
• Dogs who are only a problem to visitors inside the home but aren't a problem on leash to people outside the home.
will be required to bring a crate to classes
2, 3 and 4. A crate is an important place
to keep your pet secure when he or she is not
working, as well as a place for your dog to
rest and process information. Ask us for our
crate training handout if your dog is not familiar
with being crated. (Feeling comfortable in
a crate is a gift you teach your dog to prepare
for travel or boarding, visits to the groomer
or unexpected stays at your veterinarian.)
Feel free to contact us with questions.
Rental: Don't have a crate or don't want
to shlep it? Crate rentals are available at
$10 per night. Your crate will be set up,
clean, and ready for you when you arrive.
Please make advance arrangements; there are
a limited number of crates for rent. (Want
to make your dog more comfortable being in
a crate? Set up a private lesson to work on
Results from this class, of course, will vary due to a number of factors such as the severity of the presenting behavioral problem and the dedication of the owner to consistently practice the exercises taught in the class. Here is what one recent graduate had to say about the Reactive Dog class:
"What a great experience it has been for Titus and I to participate in this course--actually life-changing! I feel so much more confident in dealing with situations that used to petrify me!!"
"You are very special. Your expertise, professionalism and dedication is so evident!"
Image Information for photos, below:
Top two images, below: Dogs initially work behind visual barriers and then come out with supervision and instruction to practice new skills.
Bottom image: Graduation night! The dogs are comfortable being near one another and walking together in a real-life situation.
(Click on this last photo to see the video, Last Night of Reactive Dog Class, on our YouTube page.)
Click on picture, above, to watch video of graduation night.