Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Reactivity training regression after holiday

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Mamma_Mia, Aug 16, 2018.


  1. Mamma_Mia

    Mamma_Mia PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    We adopted a 2 year old female staffy 2 months ago. She came with a few issues, house training - we managed to crate train her and this is no longer an issue. But her main issue is dog reactivity where she gets extremely worked up and frustrated at the sight of any dogs. We have had a few good interactions with very submissive dogs but usually it is whining turning into grumbles and growls. Working with a trainer we made some progress in that we could usually distract her somewhat with treats and it was managable.

    We have just got back from a week long holiday abroad during which time she was with a dog sitter.

    Since returning from holiday she seems to have regressed in her training a lot. She has had a few accidents in the house even when we are in the room, she is very jumpy and goes crazy when we let her out of crate, but most of all her reactivity around other dogs seems to be worse. Very growly and snarly at any dog we see.

    Is this usual? Is there any advice on how to deal with this and in general, does dog reactivity ever get better? It seems we had taken a tiny step forward before the holiday and now a giant leap backwards.
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    27,606
    Likes Received:
    44,507
    Unfortunately, it was probably too early to leave her with someone else and it has set her back.

    Just go right back to basics with her to restore her confidence and build from there.

    Perhaps get a behaviourist to guide you - one who uses reward based, positive methods.
     
    kimthecat likes this.
  3. Chatcat

    Chatcat Guest

    I'm afraid to say that even after two years my collie is miffed if one of us stays out overnight. A few days away for both of us and she becomes very nervous. We have a nine day holiday coming up soon, and she will be with our grown up daughter, but I fully expect she will be quite upset. I do think that 2 months was pushing it a bit for a week long holiday, so you must expect some regression if you are going to be away a lot. Could you holiday with her for a year or so?
     
    kimthecat likes this.
  4. DizzyNova

    DizzyNova PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    65
    It was probably too soon in your training with her to leave with someone who isn't likely to be as consistent with her training as you are.

    I have found with our own nervous/reactive dog that every so often she will regress a huge amount (and she has lived with us three years!) but then it takes a shorter amount of time to bounce back each time... we now generally have it down to the fact that we might have a bad 10 minutes on a walk where she sees something she doesn't like but then bounces back to enjoying her walk. To put it in perspective, a year ago, if we had seen a man (men are are particular issue for her) or a particularly barky dog on our walk, then we might as well turn straight back around and go back home because it would ruin her entire day.

    Go back to basics and keep at it, it's probably a good idea if you can minimise your time away from her for the time being or only leave her with people who you can trust to keep up with your training while you are away and who she feels comfortable with. We didn't leave our nervous girl for about a year after we got her and then the first year after that we only left her with family, last year was the first time we left her in kennels (for two days) while we got married and she was absolutely fine when we got back. We're now confident to leave her for longer periods of time but still prefer to leave her with family if we can as they know her little quirks!
     
    kimthecat likes this.
  5. Chatcat

    Chatcat Guest

    Hi @DizzyNova , is your dog a collie mix? She sounds just like mine, in that the length of time to recovery gets shorter and shorter. When we first got her, she would spend 3 or 4 days in bed just getting over things, now it can be as short as 5 minutes!
     
  6. DizzyNova

    DizzyNova PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    65
    Funny you should mention that as it's not the first time someone has said it based on her behaviour!

    She's a bit of everything we think, she definitely doesn't look like a collie - she looks like she's got some husky in her, but she definitely has a lot of collie-like traits including herding when we're out and about! We keep threatening to do a DNA test as it would be really interesting to see what she actually is!
     
  7. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    17,797
    Likes Received:
    22,204
    Go back to basics. I've noticed with my two after a setback , the recovery time had become shorter.
     
  8. Chatcat

    Chatcat Guest

    Hmm, I'm not sure about DNA. I would like to have done it, but the vet said don't bother as they were not reliable enough yet - maybe in a few years. He said people were getting results that absolutely did not match with their dogs in any way, shape or form! So I'm going to leave it for a bit
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice