Finally, the path to a relaxed and happy Aussie.
What if your Aussie was actually fine with strangers and dogs?
What if your Aussie could just watch the world without commentary?
It's time to stop just wishing you had a calmer Aussie... and get one!
We'll help you enjoy your Aussie so much more for years to come.
Inside The Reactive to Relaxed Course, you'll get everything you need to resolve your Aussie's behavior so that you can stop dreading walks and enjoy dog ownership with a wonderful companion.
Tell me if this sounds like you:
You want your dog to stop being reactive.
You need for walks to be relaxing instead of stress-inducing.
You have too many judging looks (and sometimes comments) coming your way.
You have too much advice coming at you on how to get your Aussie to be calm, but not enough proven methods.
You've over trying to figure it out on your own while your Aussie just practices these bad habits.
You're tired of feeling hopeless, frustrated and embarrassed.
You wish there was a way to get your Aussie to be calm and quiet on walks without having to resort to walks at midnight or using a corrective collar just to have control.
I help my clients with those same problems every single day.
And if you're like any of them, you've probably made some of the same mistakes. Mistakes like...
Mistake number #1: Trying to fix reactive behavior with obedience training
When people think of dog training, obedience training is often the only thing that comes to mind. However, when a dog is barking and lunging it is due to overwhelming emotions, not a lack of obedience skills. They might be overexcited, afraid or aggressive. Their emotions are driving the behavior.
The truth is teaching a dog a stronger sit and a more reliable stay cue won’t have much (if any) effect on their emotional struggles. Just like teaching physics won’t help someone with anger issues. They need therapy and so does your dog.
In Reactivity Rehab we teach you exactly how to be your dog’s therapist with our S.O.A.R skillset.
Mistake #2: Thinking your dog needs more socialization at the dog park or daycare
The ultimate catch 22. My dog needs to be around more dogs to socialize, but we can’t get around more dogs because then my dog goes crazy.
Your dog may need more socialization but going to a dog park is the equivalent of throwing someone who is afraid of public speaking onto a stage in front of 100s of people. Talk about throwing someone into the deep end! Instead of active socialization that doesn’t change your dog’s feeling, this can even be dangerous as an uncomfortable dog is more likely to show aggression. We want to focus on passive socialization. We set up training so your dog feels safe while in the presence of other dogs, of strangers and other triggers.
Mistake #3: Believing that since your dog won’t listen to you or take treats when reactive, training won't work
It’s frustrating, but also completely normal for a dog in the midst of an outburst to ignore your treats, cues and pleas to calm down. When a dog is overwhelmed with emotions, their thinking brain goes offline. They are in instinct mode with strong emotions leading their behavior. It does not mean your dog cannot be trained to behave differently, it just means now is not the time to try and train.
You need to know 1) how and when to train for the outbursts and 2) you need a plan to handle outbursts. This course will teach you those ninja handling skills you need to succeed. We’ll also show you how to apply the NBA rule so your dog no longer just ignores you but doesn’t have crazy outbursts in the first place.
Mistake #4: Interpreting your dog’s behavior as ‘protecting you’
Having a dog that barks and lunges at strangers can be so embarrassing. It’s no wonder that the behavior is often excused or explained away as "Sorry, he gets protective of me”. There is something noble about being protective and it definitely sounds better than “Sorry, he just hates you” or “Sorry, she is crazy”. A protective dog gets a lot less judgement than a ‘crazy’ dog.
However, it is very rare that reactivity stems from a desire to protect us humans. Time to face the truth that your dog isn’t being noble with their behavior and likely experiencing stress they are acting on. The good news: We can help them! We teach your dogs how to transform their behavior so you won’t have to cover for them any longer.
Mistake #5: Hoping your dog just needs more exercise
You might have heard the saying “A tired dog is a good dog” and yes, exercise is very important for Aussies to be fulfilled and happy. Unfortunately, it does not automatically turn them into a good dog unless there were no real issues to begin with. If you have a reactive dog, exercise alone will never solve the problem. If it were that easy you wouldn't be here. You’d be renting a field and letting your dog run to their heart’s desire and then be able to go on a walk with zero reactions to triggers.
That’s not how it works.
Sometimes, we even recommend reducing physical exercise for your dog to help them in their reactive recovery. The Reactivity Rehab course will teach you how to change your dogs emotions and get to the root of the problem instead of turning your dog into a super-athlete in your attempt to get them tired ;).
Get better focus, more calm, and less barking!
See progress within a week
Go from crazy to calm for everyone!
Just as effective as in person training and at a fraction of the cost.
There was a way to say goodbye to crazy tantrums forever...
You could finally have the relaxing walk you need (and your dog needs)...
You could actually look forward to outings together and take your Aussie more places for adventure...
You could have unexpected visitors over without drama from your dog...
You could have all of the above with an enjoyable, repeatable process that makes both human and dog happy...
Who is Reactivity Rehab for?
Every dog is different, and every dog has different feelings about the world. Some find it super exciting, some are fearful and some are just happy to be out and about and have no worries.
Maybe you have experience with reactive behavior from a prior dog and you know how long it can take to fix without a plan or maybe your past dogs were carefree and showed none of these behaviors you are seeing from your Aussie.
Either way, you know you don’t want to live a life with these behaviors.
Thankfully, we have a plan for you to rehab your reactive dog and build on training you may have learned in the past.
Living with a reactive dog is frustrating. Having one that is also a bad influence on the rest of your pack and maybe has even brought another dog to the dark side is another level of exhausting.
Did you dream of fun adventures and weekend walks to unwind from the week with your dogs and now you dread taking them anywhere one on one but even more so together?
Reactivity Rehab is the course for you to help all your dogs have a more peaceful life and prevent any further bad influence.
Basically, this is for you if...
You want to have a calmer Australian Shepherd.
You've tried figuring it out on your own but don't know where to get started.
You've watched YouTube videos galore but you're overwhelmed by all the conflicting information.
You've had some small successes here and there but nothing has helped truly solve the issue.
You know you are missing something.
You don't want to be the person anymore with that dog that people give judgy side-eye to.
You want a simple, straightforward plan to finally resolve your Aussie's behavior of barking, lunging and being crazy.
On the flip-side...
This is not for you if...
You’re looking for a magic quick fix.
You prefer to crowdsource free groups rather than get real, actionable strategy from experts.
You’re not interested in understanding your Aussie's behavior and decreasing their stress.
You don't enjoy training with your dog and building a deeper bond with them.
Module 0: Welcome & Training Prep
Time to prepare yourself for this training journey ahead. Before diving into the training we are going to set up your training schedule and get you ready for our SOAR Skills training. Any safety precautions needed are prepared here and we are going to assess your dog’s emotions. This prep work will help guide you through the rest of the course with confidence.
Module 1: Foundations
In this first full module we will be covering the training foundations to help you better understand and train your Aussie. We'll start teaching your dog to stop fixating on triggers and be both more responsive to you but also be able to calmly world-watch. As much research as we might do before getting an Australian Shepherd, most people don’t get one thinking about the high risk of reactivity in this breed. We’ll talk about why Aussies often struggle with reactive behavior and what basic training concepts we need to keep in mind throughout their training.
Module 2: Handling Skills
When you imagined walks with your Aussie you probably pictured having adventure hikes and relaxing strolls. Unfortunately, your walks are nothing like that. You are on high alert and holding onto the leash tightly knowing your dog might lunge forward suddenly at the sight of a trigger. The most overwhelming part of having a reactive dog is dealing with those crazy outbursts. They are embarrassing and exhausting. It’s time to learn ninja handling skills to make your life easier. No, they don’t fix reactivity overnight but they make walks and getting through outbursts so much easier. They also put a stop to your dog having prolonged outbursts and help your dog recover faster which sets the stage for the next steps in training.
Module 3: Relaxation Training
You have some great skills to ease the struggle of living with a reactive dog and have done your part. Now it’s time for your Aussie to do their part and work on their emotional skills. Whether your dog is reactive because they are overexcited, fearful, anxious or aggressive, they need a dose of emotional therapy to overcome their reactive behaviors. What better way to calm down those emotions than to teach them how to relax? Imagine the mailman coming and your dog just lifts their head from a nap instead of racing to the window to bark. Imagine going for a walk and your dog doesn’t just go into a blind rage at the sight of another dog. How do we achieve this magical transformation? Relaxation training.
Module 4: Changing Emotions
Relaxation training teaches your dog to work through negative emotions and let things go without an outburst. The second part to emotional training is changing how your dog perceives the world in the first place so that they are not upset by the sight of their triggers. We don’t want other dogs to be a source of stress or frustration for your dog. We don’t want the sight of a stranger to cause emotional turmoil. Instead we want to turn your dog’s negative emotions into positive ones and have triggers become trivial. Learn how to give your dog feedback about the world that will calm them and help them feel differently about their encounters.
Module 5: Confidence Building
Who wouldn't benefit from a confidence boost while going through emotional therapy? Dogs with fear and anxiety will do much better in training if we can turn them into optimists and show them the world isn’t ‘out to get them’. In this module you’ll work on several fun games with your dog that will help them be more confident and optimistic about life. We’ll also look at supplemental treatment options for those dogs needing some extra emotional support.
Module 6: Self Control & Putting it all Together
Aussies were bred to be alert and aware of their surroundings, especially what movement is going on around them. Excellent trait for herding, not always a good trait when working through problem behaviors. This module focuses on teaching your dog to have better self control both around movement and other temptations. With all the training ingredients in place, it’s time to combine them into the final recipe that is going to turn your Aussie from reactive to relaxed.