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Dog Reactivity Guides

Discover expert advice on managing and addressing dog reactivity issues in various situations, with practical tips and insights shared on Sniffspot's informative blog.

Rottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It thumbnail

Rottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It

Many dogs have gotten a bad reputation over the years for being "dangerous breeds." Rottweilers are among them. Like pit bulls and other large, blocky-headed types of dogs, these powerful and beautiful animals are often assumed to be aggressive.

Read more

Dog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity thumbnail

Dog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity

Your dog is reactive. They’ll see another dog, person, or other stimulus in the environment (like a car or bike) while out on a walk and suddenly go crazy at the end of their leash. The barking, lunging, and growling feels embarrassing for you — and it’s clear that your pup isn’t having a great time either.

Read more

How to Socialize Your Reactive Dog thumbnail

How to Socialize Your Reactive Dog

Does your dog display reactivity to other pets or people? Maybe they’re a new rescue pup and are still settling into your home. Or they were sick growing up, so you missed their critical socialization period. Possibly they’ve had a bad experience after being raised as a normal puppy.

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Definitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity? thumbnail

Definitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity?

Do you have a reactive dog or suspect you may have one? You’re not alone!

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The 9 Best Online Communities for Reactive Dog Parents thumbnail

The 9 Best Online Communities for Reactive Dog Parents

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

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How To Groom a Reactive Dog thumbnail

How To Groom a Reactive Dog

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

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Most recent dog reactivity guides

How To Stop Your Dog From Biting thumbnailHow To Stop Your Dog From Biting
Definitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity? thumbnailDefinitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity?
When and How To Think About Medication For Anxious Dogs thumbnailWhen and How To Think About Medication For Anxious Dogs
How To Groom a Reactive Dog thumbnailHow To Groom a Reactive Dog
How To Enable a Reactive Dog To Live A Full Life thumbnailHow To Enable a Reactive Dog To Live A Full Life
What Does Your Dog Barking Mean? thumbnailWhat Does Your Dog Barking Mean?
When and How to do Muzzle Training with Your Dog thumbnailWhen and How to do Muzzle Training with Your Dog
Overview of Counterconditioning for Reactive Dogs thumbnailOverview of Counterconditioning for Reactive Dogs
Dog Anxiety Signs and How to Help Your Pup Feel Better thumbnailDog Anxiety Signs and How to Help Your Pup Feel Better
How to Understand and Fix Dog Leash Reactivity thumbnailHow to Understand and Fix Dog Leash Reactivity
9 Unusual Enrichment Ideas for Reactive Dogs thumbnail9 Unusual Enrichment Ideas for Reactive Dogs
Guide to Fear Aggression in Dogs thumbnailGuide to Fear Aggression in Dogs
The 9 Best Online Communities for Reactive Dog Parents thumbnailThe 9 Best Online Communities for Reactive Dog Parents
How to Socialize Your Reactive Dog thumbnailHow to Socialize Your Reactive Dog
Dog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity thumbnailDog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity
Why Dogs Growl and How to Address Your Pup’s Vocalizations thumbnailWhy Dogs Growl and How to Address Your Pup’s Vocalizations
Are German Shepherds an aggressive dog breed? thumbnailAre German Shepherds an aggressive dog breed?
Rottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It thumbnailRottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It
How to Treat Phobias in Dogs thumbnailHow to Treat Phobias in Dogs
Where Can You Bring Your Reactive Dog? thumbnailWhere Can You Bring Your Reactive Dog?
How to Treat Puppy Leash Aggression thumbnailHow to Treat Puppy Leash Aggression

Most recent dog reactivity guides

How To Stop Your Dog From Biting thumbnail

How To Stop Your Dog From Biting

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Definitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity? thumbnail

Definitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity?

Do you have a reactive dog or suspect you may have one? You’re not alone!

When and How To Think About Medication For Anxious Dogs thumbnail

When and How To Think About Medication For Anxious Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

How To Groom a Reactive Dog thumbnail

How To Groom a Reactive Dog

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

How To Enable a Reactive Dog To Live A Full Life thumbnail

How To Enable a Reactive Dog To Live A Full Life

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

What Does Your Dog Barking Mean? thumbnail

What Does Your Dog Barking Mean?

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

When and How to do Muzzle Training with Your Dog thumbnail

When and How to do Muzzle Training with Your Dog

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Overview of Counterconditioning for Reactive Dogs thumbnail

Overview of Counterconditioning for Reactive Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Dog Anxiety Signs and How to Help Your Pup Feel Better thumbnail

Dog Anxiety Signs and How to Help Your Pup Feel Better

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

How to Understand and Fix Dog Leash Reactivity thumbnail

How to Understand and Fix Dog Leash Reactivity

You're out on a walk with your furry best friend after a long day of work. It's one of your favorite times of the evening — we've all had visions of classic neighborhood strolls alongside our canine companions!

9 Unusual Enrichment Ideas for Reactive Dogs thumbnail

9 Unusual Enrichment Ideas for Reactive Dogs

Many folks in the Sniffspot community are looking for more enrichment options for reactive pups. We did some research to find the most interesting enrichment options for reactive dogs by 1) asking reactive dog owners in the area, and 2) asking some local trainers for input to make sure these are the highest quality options for you (see the end of the article for more information on the trainers that reviewed this article). 

Guide to Fear Aggression in Dogs thumbnail

Guide to Fear Aggression in Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

The 9 Best Online Communities for Reactive Dog Parents thumbnail

The 9 Best Online Communities for Reactive Dog Parents

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

How to Socialize Your Reactive Dog thumbnail

How to Socialize Your Reactive Dog

Does your dog display reactivity to other pets or people? Maybe they’re a new rescue pup and are still settling into your home. Or they were sick growing up, so you missed their critical socialization period. Possibly they’ve had a bad experience after being raised as a normal puppy.

Dog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity thumbnail

Dog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity

Your dog is reactive. They’ll see another dog, person, or other stimulus in the environment (like a car or bike) while out on a walk and suddenly go crazy at the end of their leash. The barking, lunging, and growling feels embarrassing for you — and it’s clear that your pup isn’t having a great time either.

Why Dogs Growl and How to Address Your Pup’s Vocalizations thumbnail

Why Dogs Growl and How to Address Your Pup’s Vocalizations

Hearing your dog growl can be scary. We love our four-legged best friends as part of the family! But no matter how hard we try to understand them, canine communication is often confusing to primates like us.

Are German Shepherds an aggressive dog breed? thumbnail

Are German Shepherds an aggressive dog breed?

Over the years, several different dog breeds have garnered a bad reputation for being "dangerous." German Shepherds are among them. These large working dogs are associated with military and police work. Some insurance companies ban GSDs from apartment buildings and even pet stores. While they aren't quite as discriminated against as pit bulls—the most notorious bearers of the "aggressive dog breed" stereotype—many shepherd owners even report strangers crossing the street to avoid their dogs on walks.

Rottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It thumbnail

Rottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It

Many dogs have gotten a bad reputation over the years for being "dangerous breeds." Rottweilers are among them. Like pit bulls and other large, blocky-headed types of dogs, these powerful and beautiful animals are often assumed to be aggressive.

How to Treat Phobias in Dogs thumbnail

How to Treat Phobias in Dogs

Can dogs experience phobias like humans do? Yes, they can. And these intense, persistent excessive fears can make life difficult for both pets and their people.

Where Can You Bring Your Reactive Dog? thumbnail

Where Can You Bring Your Reactive Dog?

If you live with a reactive dog, you know it can be tough to plan adventures. (We've been there, too.)

How to Treat Puppy Leash Aggression thumbnail

How to Treat Puppy Leash Aggression

Aggression is usually rare in puppies. Some dogs can start displaying reactivity at a young age, though! If you're worried about puppy leash aggression—or think your family's new addition might become leash reactive—you've come to the right place.

Top dog guides per area

Dog training guides

  • How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

    How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic)

    Does your dog ever growl when you walk by their food dish? Maybe they get possessive of treats, carrying them far away and giving you side-eye when you start to approach — or snarling at your other pets or children if they get too close.

  • Comprehensive Guide to Scent Training for Dogs (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

    Comprehensive Guide to Scent Training for Dogs (Facts + Infographic)

    As almost every dog owner is aware, the nose of a dog is an amazing thing. Just as they can pick up sounds we can’t hear, their sense of smell and ability to pick up scents is well beyond ours. In fact, dogs have 40 times the number of olfactory receptors as humans.

  • How Much Does it Cost to Train a Service Dog? thumbnail

    How Much Does it Cost to Train a Service Dog?

    More than 80 million Americans rely on their service dogs to help them navigate the world. Task-trained assistance animals perform a huge range of life-changing—in many cases, life-saving—services: These dogs act as eyes for visually impaired handlers, provide mobility support, alert to seizures and blood sugar crashes, interrupt anxiety attacks, remind their people to take medications, and so much more.

  • What is and How to Handle Potty Training Regression thumbnail

    What is and How to Handle Potty Training Regression

    You thought your dog was house trained. Your home was clean from puddles of pee, those dreaded middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks were behind you, and you loved every minute of dog ownership… until your four-legged best friend started using the bathroom inside again. What’s going on?

  • Coprophagia: Why Does Your Dog Eat Poop? thumbnail

    Coprophagia: Why Does Your Dog Eat Poop?

    Ah, poop. We humans think it’s disgusting… but many of our dogs seem to love the stuff. If you’re wondering why your canine companion tries to eat feces (either their own or that of other animals) you’re not alone!

Dog enrichment guides

  • The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States thumbnail

    The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States

    Do you have a water-loving dog looking to burn some energy? There are countless dog parks to visit throughout our country — but some of them become far too hot in the midday sun to be safe for your pets to play. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best dog water parks throughout the United States! At these locations, your pup can frolic, splash, and swim to their heart’s content.

  • Best Toys for Herding Dogs thumbnail

    Best Toys for Herding Dogs

    * All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

  • The Best Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

    The Best Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers (Facts + Infographic)

    Does your dog destroy every toy you give them? Is your house littered with remnants of fabric and stuffing of all different sizes? Are you tired of investing in “indestructible” toys only for your pup to still dismantle—or worse, get bored of—them in just a few days?

  • Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need? thumbnail

    Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

    You’ve been told your dog needs regular exercise. There’s a reason “walking the dog” is a classic daily activity: Frequent excursions give your pup a chance to experience the world, maintain a healthy weight, and — most importantly — spend time with you! Consistent physical activity can also improve their strength, muscle tone, coordination, and mental ability over time.

  • Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs thumbnail

    Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs

    * All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Sniffspot community guides

  • The State of Public Dog Parks Across the United States thumbnail

    The State of Public Dog Parks Across the United States

    From 2009 to 2020, there was a 40 percent increase in the development of public dog parks. Designated spots for canine exercise have become commonplace in every major city in North America — many pet owners won’t even consider renting an apartment that doesn’t have its own fenced-in pet area for their canine companions.

  • How This Family is Affording Their Dream Property Through Renting it Hourly to Dogs thumbnail

    How This Family is Affording Their Dream Property Through Renting it Hourly to Dogs

    Thousand Oaks, California has been a safe haven for Sniffspot host, Jen, since childhood. Having grown up in busy Santa Barbara, Jen, an introvert from an early age, would seek out solitude and serenity away from tourists attractions and droves of people visiting from elsewhere. “My grandparents own 60 acres about a 30 minute drive from here, and I grew up spending every summer and every holiday visiting them on the ranch,” Jen explained. “In Santa Barbara, we wouldn't go to the beach on the weekend because that's where everybody was, so you'd find places off the beaten path where the tourists weren't. For me, the ranch was just my happy place.” 

  • Host Tips: Ellen K. What Makes Sniffspot Successful for Me thumbnail

    Host Tips: Ellen K. What Makes Sniffspot Successful for Me

    Ellen is the host of Country Pasture Getaway, one of Sniffspot's most popular sniff spots. She has taken the time to write up the lessons she has learned about how to be a great sniff spot host.

  • How this Oregon Farmer is Making a Business From Renting Her Land to Dogs thumbnail

    How this Oregon Farmer is Making a Business From Renting Her Land to Dogs

    Just 20 minutes outside of the busy city of Portland, Oregon, and settled right on the banks of the Columbia River, you’ll find what countless visitors have flocked to the area in search of – mountain views, crisp, clean air, and running water for miles. What you might not expect to find, however, is a hidden oasis designed just for dogs and their people, owned and operated by a farming couple and enjoyed by visitors on two legs, and four.  

  • Host Tips: Fran T. Providing Great Guest Service at our Spot thumbnail

    Host Tips: Fran T. Providing Great Guest Service at our Spot

    Fran is the host of Ranch Setting, one of Sniffspot's most popular spots. She has taken the time to write up the lessons she has learned about how to be a great Sniffspot host.

Top dog trainers in the US

City dog parks guides

  • The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

    The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States

    Looking for a space to play with your dog no matter what the weather’s like outside? Look no further than our list of the best indoor dog parks in the United States! These climate-controlled spaces are growing in popularity as pet ownership increases throughout the country. As a bonus, many of them also offer dog training, boarding, grooming, or daycare services on the premises.

  • The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

    The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States

    Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered! It’s hard to narrow down, but we’ve put together some of the best off-leash dog parks throughout the country so you can plan your next adventure — along with a checklist of what to bring, what to know beforehand, and some frequently asked questions.

  • The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks thumbnail

    The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks

    Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Las Vegas? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks to plan for your next adventure in Sin City.

  • The Best United States Dog Parks thumbnail

    The Best United States Dog Parks

    Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered!

  • The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks thumbnail

    The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks

    Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Portland? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks and plan for your next adventure in the City of Roses.

Top dog names in the US

  • Top 1,000 Most Popular Dog Names thumbnail

    Top 1,000 Most Popular Dog Names

    Looking for the perfect dog name for your new pup? We have created filterable lists of dog names from our database of hundreds of thousands of Sniffspot users. You can filter by gender, breed and state to find the most cute, unique and creative dog names.
  • Most Popular Male Dog Names thumbnail

    Most Popular Male Dog Names

    Looking for the perfect dog name for your new male pup? We have created filterable lists of male dog names from our database of hundreds of thousands of Sniffspot users. You can filter by gender, breed and state to find the most cute, unique and creative male dog names.
  • Most Popular Female Dog Names thumbnail

    Most Popular Female Dog Names

    Looking for the perfect dog name for your new female pup? We have created filterable lists of female dog names from our database of hundreds of thousands of Sniffspot users. You can filter by gender, breed and state to find the most cute, unique and creative female dog names.
  • Most Popular Golden Retriever Names thumbnail

    Most Popular Golden Retriever Names

    Welcome to our comprehensive list of Golden Retriever dog names, curated from our vast database of Sniffspot users. Filter through hundreds of thousands of options by gender, breed, and state to discover the most adorable, original, and imaginative names for your beloved Golden Retriever.
  • Most Popular Labrador Retriever Names thumbnail

    Most Popular Labrador Retriever Names

    Welcome to our Labrador Retriever dog names page! Here you can browse through filterable lists of names for your beloved furry friend, ranging from cute and classic to unique and creative options. Our database of hundreds of thousands of Sniffspot users ensures you'll find the perfect name for your Labrador Retriever, whether you're seeking a name for a male or female, based on breed or state.

Top dog rescues in the US

  • Dalis To The Rescue thumbnail

    Dalis To The Rescue

    At our rescue, we are not only dedicated to matching our dogs with the perfect home, we are also dedicated to educating our community about the benefits of spaying and neutering as Dalis herself raised the funds to build a surgical room at our rescue where we host low cost spay and neuter clinics for the public. We are not exclusive to one area or county, in fact many people use our services from all over the state of Michigan and even some out of state including Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana. Dalis heart belongs to the misunderstood, the old, and the disabled. She always says that her goal is to rescue, but that her dream is that one day she won't have to.
  • Bunny's Buddies thumbnail

    Bunny's Buddies

    Bunny's Buddies works tirelessly to save dogs from slaughterhouses, the streets and kill shelters in Asia and the USA.
  • Emotional Rescue LLC thumbnail

    Emotional Rescue LLC

    Emotional Rescue specializes in homeless dogs that need medical care. We rehabilitate the body, mind and soul of dogs that had no one to care for them.
  • American Brittany Rescue, Inc. thumbnail

    American Brittany Rescue, Inc.

    American Brittany Rescue, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 1991 as a cooperative effort of Brittany owners, breeders, trainers, and fanciers who ABR believes have a responsibility not only for their own dogs and the dogs they produce, but for the breed as a whole. For 30 years, the organization of volunteers has worked to rescue Brittanys and place them in loving homes. Over the years, thousands of dogs have found hope and a forever home, thanks to our placement efforts. Nearly 9,000 dogs have been rescued and lovingly adopted into carefully selected households. Included in this number are dogs from nearly every state, Canada as well as Greece and Spain. This work is accomplished by an army of dedicated ABR volunteers. There are over 1,500 amazing, active volunteers located within all 50 states and across Canada. From the President and Board members to the volunteers and the all-important foster families, each one plays an important role.
  • FurryTail Endings Animal Rescue thumbnail

    FurryTail Endings Animal Rescue

    We save dogs from high kill shelters & off the streets to find each of them their perfect #FurryTailEnding.

dog reactivity

It is hard to be a dog in the modern world. Dog's evolved in an environment where they ran free alongside hunter gatherers. They evolved to love, protect and have close social connections. Today humans and their dogs are moving into cities. The urban environment doesn't fit how dogs were evolved. All the strangers, sounds, smells and dangers create an environment where dogs can't get the exercise, enrichment and relaxation they need. As a result we are seeing all kinds of issues gaining prominence in dogs - obesity, depression and reactivity.

Sniffspot is an antidote to many of the problems of the modern city. By providing safe, private spaces for dogs to exercise we allow dogs to just be dogs. Many of our guests have dogs that are struggling with reactivity and use Sniffspot as an escape. So we are highly interested in dog reactivity.

This section of our blog covers all kinds of topics around reactivity, including finding support when you have a reactive dog, different facets of reactivity, how to help your dog with reactivity and more.

Our blog is dedicated to relevant, high quality articles with modern advice aligned with recognized dog experts. We believe in force free training and do not advocate any kind of aversive training.

dog reactivity FAQ

What is dog reactivity?

Dog reactivity refers to a dog's tendency to overreact or display an intense response to certain stimuli, such as other dogs, people, or objects. This behavior can manifest in different ways, including barking, lunging, growling, or even biting.

What causes dog reactivity?

There are various factors that can contribute to dog reactivity, including genetics, socialization, past experiences, and health issues. Lack of socialization during the critical period of a dog's development, traumatic experiences, and pain or discomfort can also play a role.

Can dog reactivity be treated?

Yes, dog reactivity can be treated with proper training and behavior modification techniques. The goal is to help the dog feel more comfortable and less anxious around the triggers that set off their reactivity. Positive reinforcement training, counterconditioning, and medication can all be part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Is dog reactivity a form of aggression?

Dog reactivity is not always a sign of aggression, but it can lead to aggressive behavior if not addressed. Reactive dogs are often anxious or fearful and may lash out if they feel threatened or overwhelmed. It's essential to address dog reactivity early on to prevent aggressive behavior from developing.

Can dog reactivity be prevented?

While some dogs may be predisposed to reactivity due to genetics, early and consistent socialization can help prevent or reduce the severity of dog reactivity. Regular exposure to different people, animals, and environments during the critical period of a dog's development can help them learn to feel safe and comfortable in a variety of situations.

What should I do if my dog is reactive?

If you suspect your dog is reactive, it's important to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can assess your dog's behavior and develop a customized treatment plan.