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Leash Reactivity

Help For Reactive Dogs on Long Island

Your dog is reactive on a leash, now what?

Start by setting up a Comprehensive Behavior Consultation. All behavior consultations take place in the comfort of your home or at a specific location of your choice with Anthony De Marinis, who is an IAABC Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Accredited Dog Trainer

How It works:

Initial Consultation: 2 Hours – Everyone starts here. During the consultation we will learn about your dog’s behavior, cover your goals in detail, create a plan and come up with strategies to get started right away.

Follow-up Sessions: 1 hour 

*Rates are listed on the rates page.

What is reactive behavior?

Reactive behavior represents an emotional response to a stimulus (i.e., the sight, sound and/or smell of something) that triggers an abnormal level of intensity (i.e., an over reaction). A common example would be a dog who barks excessively when seeing someone (the “trigger”) walking across the street. Reactive behaviors vary from dog to dog and often include barking, lunging, snarling, snapping, stiffening, hyper-vigilance, alertness, fearfulness and/or avoidance. When dogs become reactive, the overstimulation may cause loss of their conscious control. When this happens, overreactive, frustrated and/or aroused dogs can exhibit aggressive behaviors.

Behavior Modification for Leash Reactivity can address:

  • Barking
  • Lunging
  • Fear or anxiety-based behavior
  • Reactive behavior specific to being on a leash or behind a barrier
  • Frustration buildup
  • Impulse control issues
  • Aggressive behavior when on leash or behind a barrier
  • Lack of understanding training skills when triggered / reactive
  • Teaching and practicing of new training skills to help you and your dog
  • And Much More!
Anthony with a tug toy with dog on leash
Anthony standing with dog on leash

During the Comprehensive Behavior Consultation, we will:

  • Get to know you and your dog with in-depth questions
  • Discuss your goals and concerns to develop a plan
  • Introduce training concepts
  • Provide helpful suggestions and information
  • Observe and evaluate your dog
  • Discuss options for behavior modification
  • Discuss safety &/or management strategies
  • Work in conjunction with your veterinarian or veterinary behaviorist to provide the greatest success for your dog during the behavior modification process.
  • Implementation of strategies typically begins during the consultation
Anthony standing with dog on leash

How does behavior modification for leash reactivity work?

All behavior modification plans and safety & management programs are designed to meet the needs of each dog and household. During consultations and follow-up lessons clients and dog’s will learn behavior modification strategies and training skills to help guide their dog to success.

Location of Lessons

Consultations and follow-up lessons can take place at your home, in your neighborhood, at Anthony’s studio location or at a specific location where you will be able to work around the triggers that cause your dog to react. For more details about consultations and follow-up lessons at a specific location and/or studio appointments, please inquire. (Online Virtual Sessions are also available.)

Anthony with dog in training facility

Not Local? No Problem!

Anthony works with many clients who are not local.

Meetings can be virtual or at Anthony's training studio.

Many of his clients come from areas that are out of our in-person service area including Eastern Long Island, New York City, Westchester, Hudson Valley, Connecticut, and New Jersey. 

Clients can start out in-person and then choose to work virtually and vice versa to accommodate and reduce travel and to meet the needs of the particular dog and human team.

Inquire to learn more!

URGENT APPOINTMENTS:

If you have an urgent matter, urgent appointments can be made available by request. These can occur in-person &/or virtually. (Additional Fees Apply). Please inquire to learn more.

Online Virtual Behavior Sessions are Available

Aside from in-home consultations, Anthony also provides Online Virtual Behavior Sessions as another option for clients locally and across the country. If you do not have a qualified behavior professional near you, you can get help no matter where you live!

A Humane & Fair Approach

Our approach is to teach owners how to guide their dog to success. We do this by providing individual training and/or behavior plans that are customized based on the needs and goals of each dog and owner. All private lessons are one-on-one in the comfort of your home or other location(s) of your choice.

Owners will learn how to:

  • Train and work with their dog using reward based training concepts, fun exercises and play
  • Change behavior and manage behaviorUnderstand their dog and why their dog does what he or she does
  • Develop an enjoyable relationship with their dog
  • Set their dog up for success in and out of the home
  • Create clear and consistent rules and boundaries
  • NOTE: We do not provide quick fix approaches.

Our Philosophy

Training and behavior modification are provided using a variety of methods, mainly focusing on positive reinforcement techniques such as using rewards to reinforce and motivate your dog (food, play, interaction and exploration). Training is generally provided using training concepts, games and play to make it fun and enjoyable for you and your dog. We do not provide quick fix approaches. 

We follow the principles of LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive). This gives us the opportunity to meet the dog and owner where they are. The use of LIMA generally starts with using the least intrusive, most positive and humane approach possible for the individual dog. LIMA allows professionals to be objective and critical thinkers who decide when and how to use a variety of training and behavior modification techniques and interventions based on the individual case and situation. Just like with humans, dogs learn, work and are motivated in different ways. LIMA allows us to decide what is the best approach for the dog.

Book cover of 20 Tips to Dog Training & Behavior Modification Success
Book cover of 20 Tips to Dog Training & Behavior Modification Success

Reactivity Session Clips

Reactive Towards Cars

What are triggers?

Leash Reactivity Before & After

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes behavior issues in dogs?

Behavior issues in dogs can be a result of many things. Some common reasons behavior issues occur include:

  • Lack of proper, early and appropriate socialization
  • Fear, anxiety and stress
  • Lack of training
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Rehearsed behaviors: when a behavior is practiced over and over
  • Improper training and/or use of tools, such as: electric collars, chokers, fear tactics, and physical force
  • Genetic predisposition (poor breeding)
  • Medical and physical issues
  • Reinforcing inappropriate behaviors
How long will it take to fix my dog's behavior issues?

The answer to this question really depends on a variety of factors. These include:

  • What the behavior issue is
  • The severity of the problem will determine how long it can take to address a problem
  • How long the issue has gone on
  • How the issue may have been addressed prior, if at all.
  • How long it will take your dog to process and comprehend behavior modification protocols and training
  • If the owner chooses to follow through on implementation of training and behavior modification protocols

 

What is reactivity?

Reactive behavior represents an emotional response to a stimulus (i.e., the sight, sound and/or smell of something) that triggers an abnormal level of intensity (i.e., an over reaction). A common example would be a dog who barks excessively when seeing someone (the “trigger”) walking across the street. Reactive behaviors vary from dog to dog and often include barking, lunging, snarling, snapping, stiffening, hyper-vigilance, alertness, fearfulness and/or avoidance. When dogs become reactive, the overstimulation may cause loss of their conscious control. When this happens, overreactive, frustrated and/or aroused dogs can exhibit aggressive behaviors.

 

“Animals who respond to normal stimuli with an abnormal (higher-than-normal) level of intensity. The behaviors used to ascertain reactivity (or arousal) are: alertness, restlessness, vocalization, systemic effects, displacement behaviors, and changes in solicitous behaviors.”

– Dr. Karen Overall, MA, VMD, PhD

What are some helpful tips for behavior change?

Upload Video Footage

If you have any videos of the problem behaviors, it is helpful to upload them to your computer. You can also upload a couple of videos where your dog is just being him/her self, regardless if it shows any of the behavior issues. If possible, please upload videos on Youtube and make sure to select it as “Unlisted” so that it is not public. Once your appointment is scheduled, you can send Anthony an email with the links to each video. You can also upload video to Google Drive if you prefer. If none of these options work for you, just save them to your computer and Anthony can share the screen view option together during the consult. All videos will be reviewed together during the consult. If you do not have video footage of the issues, do not worry. It is NOT worth trying to provoke your dogs behavior or put yourself or your dog in harms way for video footage.

Keep a Behavior History Journal

In a notebook, you should be writing down specific incidents when the problem behavior(s) happens is key! You should also include what happens before and after the behavior(s) as this provides valuable information. Include as much detail as you can.

Understand What Your Dog Is Saying

Our dogs are constantly communicating through their body language and behavior. Understanding canine body language and communication signals is important because it can help us learn about how our dogs are feeling and why they are doing the behaviors they choose to display. Taking the time to learn about canine body language and communication signals is the first step in treating any behavior issue. Here are some credible sources of information to learn about canine body language and communication:

Client Testimonials

“Cannot recommend highly enough. One of our dogs struggles with reactivity, particularly on leash. Working with Anthony has helped us gain a better understanding of our boy’s triggers, how to manage them, and dig deeper into possible causes. Anthony’s expertise and professional training are what attracted us to him. When you work with him, you’re getting much more than a dog trainer. 12/10 recommend!”

Amy M.

“I was referred to Anthony by another trainer for aggression and reactivity in my rescue puppy. Since working with him my dog has made tremendous progress. I highly recommend him to anyone with a dog with behavior problems!”

Sharyn S.

“Without a doubt I would recommend Anthony and De Marinis Dog Training and & Behavior. I have worked with Anthony for our reactive dog (towards other dogs). Anthony has a very calming demeanor that makes an anxious dog owner feel at ease. And he is very easy to talk with and would allow me to video him so that I could go back and review everything we covered in our lesson. I highly recommend Anthony!”

Allen P.