You’re walking down the street with your reactive dog, when you see another dog appear ahead of you. “No problem,” you think, and you turn to walk the other way. But… you see another dog coming up behind you! Suddenly traffic fills the quiet road you were walking along. You can’t cross the street to get away from the two dogs. You’re stuck.
It is challenging to navigate walks with a reactive dog. There is no “one size fits all” behavior you can train that will work in all situations. We love the “Let’s go!” (move away) behavior to get your dog quickly away from their triggers, but sometimes you find yourself with nowhere to go. This is where “Find it” training for reactive dogs comes in.
In this training, “Find it” means “Put your nose to the ground and look for something good,” for your dog. “Find it” training for reactie dogs is a useful because your dog can’t easily have their noses down on the ground sniffing, and also be scanning the environment, or lunging and barking at someone passing by.
While we prefer to train “Find it” in the context of our Scentwork classes for fearful and reactive dogs, you can teach it as simple stand alone behavior. Check out this week’s video showing how to build a strong “Find it” behavior at home, before moving it out into the world.