#1 . Black lab puppy and running child … what comes next?
#2. Rabbit hopping and dog let out the door … what comes next?
#3. Door bell rings and the dogs are in the house … what comes next?
#4. Get coat on, dog is jumping and barking, and open the door… what comes next?
#5. Meat on the counter, dog is known counter surfer … what comes next?
#6. Dog always on the couch/bed, new baby brought home … what comes next?
Crying crash? Laughing tumble? Bellow _____ come here? Just a minute, then yelling? Run out the door, hey, wait! Who took the ham? Get off from there!
These are all reactive and unlikely to change the scenario either this time or the next or next. The environment offered the reward – aha – fun, excitement, hunting/chase, food, comfort.
We can’t be both reactive and proactive at the same time. It’s not possible because our thinking has to flip/flop. If I’m ahead of the process I can change it, if I’m surprised by the process then I’m part of the fall out. If I’m surprised once, you wouldn’t think I would keep being surprised when the scenario occurs again, and again, and again.
Understanding the pattern of what is likely to happen next is a key to becoming proactive and controlling the environmental rewards. Then being several steps ahead I can decide what needs to be trained, practiced and managed so I can actually fix the issue instead of just react to it and let my dog pay for my lack of foresight.
Any issue I keep being reactive towards instead of getting ahead of and fixing? I need to figure out the benefit, so I can judge the cost? Is it worth fixing or is reacting to it what I want to do for the rest of the dog’s life.
Leashes and fences and reactivity:
Underground fences (electric) do they promote reactivity in people? (I’ve seen the reactivity in dogs ratchet up higher and faster than with regular fences, but what about their owners?) Thoughts?