Ready... or Not? Working with Reactive Dogs

If you are a dog trainer and are considering adding reactive/aggressive dogs to your list of services, then this Learning Session is for you! No doubt you have been asked to work with dogs that may be outside your comfort zone. Maybe you have found yourself in a situation that was more complex than you imagined. From the outside it can look like it’s easy to make a distinction about which behavior problems are in your comfort zone and which ones are not, but it’s not uncommon for the behavior waters to be look much less clear than that once you’ve waded in. In this Session, Emma will help you figure out if you are ready to work with reactive dogs and in what capacity. 

Emma will explore the skills you need, the expectations you must have, and the planning and infrastructure necessary to decide intelligently whether you are ready and willing to see this type of problem dog. Topics include: safety in the home, skill and experience needed to make effective training recommendations, constructing a detailed training plan, and handling the emotional responses of the client tactfully while always keeping the animals' interests front and center.

Dealing with behavior issues of this magnitude, it is extremely important to be able to communicate your views to the client without getting flustered and passing judgment. Many of these clients have worked with trainers in the past who may have punished their dogs severely. Now it is up to you to try and get the dog on a safe and successful track. Or not. The best thing about knowing what’s involved is that you can opt-out or opt-in based on whether you are, in all aspects, ready...or not

Emma Parsons

Emma Parsons has been training dogs for more than 20 years and specializes in managing and rehabilitating the reactive and aggressive dog. Emma is a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA), as well as a ClickerExpo faculty member. She gives Click to Calm seminars around the world, teaching others how to manage and rehabilitate reactive and aggressive dogs. Emma is the author of Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog and Teaching the Reactive Dog Class, as well as some best-selling DVDs. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).

Emma holds a B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and shares her life with her husband, Greg, and their four clicker-trained dogs: three Goldens, Lizzie-Taylor, Kayden-Blue, Austyn-Roque; and a Papillon, Wylie-Rae.