How we started

Owning a reactive dog is hard. Sometimes really hard!

Even though I’m a trainer and have all the ‘tools’,  sometimes you just need to know that you are not on your own.

And so I took a leap of faith and started a Facebook group for owners of Reactive Dogs, in the hope of connecting with other people going through similar stuff and having a place where we could share our ups and downs without fear of judgment or recrimination.

Genevieve (Jen)

Jen is the reason for this group existing and I am just so proud of her.

She has gone from reacting to a dog that is on-lead or off-lead 180m away, to being able to play off lead (still muzzled as precaution) with unknown off leaders, and being able to be introduced calmly to on-lead dogs in minutes not hours (or months!).

Her recall is amazing, and she will turn on a sixpence when I call her with “Jen, come!”.  She has learned ‘leave it’ (This, for Jen,  means leave whatever you are doing, running towards, or have in your mouth (even if it is her ball !!! or a dead animal (literally) or if she is chasing her ball or running towards a barking dog!) and run like the clappers back to me for her reward – essentially – ‘leave it‘ means ‘Jen, Come!l’ – but has been trained with more challenging distractions.

She still has challenges and I am okay with that, as I remind myself daily to accept her for how she is, right now, throughout her gentle journey of progression.   I remind myself that I am not the one that was abandoned as a puppy, suffered unknown traumas during her early years, and has been attacked multiple times by dogs.  Some stuff we will never know and we can not expect any living being to ‘just get over it’.

She has been my greatest teacher in dog behaviour and changed my life beyond recognition.  She has led me to meet new and wonderful people and continues to lead me to new areas of learning, personally and professionally.

But mostly I am simply grateful for her coming into my life.   I am so grateful for her unconditional love, being there in my darkest hours and bringing me joy every day.  She is my rock and my inspiration and I could never repay the love she shows me, in a million years.

Ninja Nic x

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Genevieve jumping at agility