Sunday, November 20, 2016

Phoenix is the best! Reactivity and Other Updates!

If you've followed my blog for a while, you will know that Phoenix has struggled with some "reactive" issues. She's never been a dog who barks and lunges a lot, so I've struggled with coming up with some sort of label for her. Isn't weird how we humans need to label everything??? Mostly, I just try not to.

Anyways, what I am realizing, after spending a lot of time with other more experienced trainers and bouncing ideas of them, is that Phoenix struggles with "proximity" issues. She is uncomfortable when certain dogs get into her bubble. Most of the time she's actually a completely normal dog. She just gets worried about rude dogs who don't respect her space and she's a little nervous with new people.

The past two weeks have been insanely busy for us, we went to the snow, we went to the beach and they've been hiking. We've been having so much fun but my favorite trip by far was the beach. Phoenix did so awesome. She was super excited about playing fetch and she had a blast. At one point 200lb mastiff ran up to us and Phoenix didn't even think about snarking at him. She was so good. I have tons of photos and I'll be sharing them with you guys soon!! In the meantime, enjoy this funny video of Phoenix "in drive" for her ball. She was side stepping, heeling and walking backwards! It was so funny!

A video posted by Lauren Miller (@zoepheedogs) on

Then yesterday, because Zoe has been feeling a little under the weather, Phoenix filled in for her at my work as a decoy dog for a reactive dog class. She was a little tense at the start of it but by the end she was relaxed enough to lay on her side and chill out. She was really good and I was so impressed with how well she did.

That's about it for our updates! We've been super busy but things are going really well! I'm really happy about where Phoenix is at the moment with her behavior and training. I realize that there will always be set backs and she won't ever be a perfectly social dog but I am really starting to accept her for who she is and work with her where she's at.


  1. Congrats on the great success Phoenix has had! I love how focused she is on that ball in the video! Such a cutie :)

  2. She is lucky to have found you so you can bring out her wonderfulness!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  3. Throw the ball, throw the ball. What a great video. She was ready to work.

    Have a woof woof day you two. My best to your peeps. ☺

  4. YAY! So thrilled you have found strategies to help.

  5. Sometimes it just takes time but that's good you are finding ways for success. Golden Woofs, SUGAR

  6. Sounds like she is making some good progress. It's very tough with reactive dogs.

  7. Great update! I'm in pretty much the same situation with Rita. She's come a LONG way and gotten over her reactivity to a lot of things (no longer lunges at loud cars, trucks, bikes - couldn't care less about those things now). But I think there are always going to be certain dogs, and certain "strangers" coming into our house that will set her off. We're still working on those things, but I think we'll always be working on them to some degree. Anyway, great job with her!


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