Reactive Dogs, How to Help?

Reactive Dogs, How to Help?

This post comes from a discussion I had in a dog forum recently about reactive dogs.

Here is the problem.

My rescue dog is unpredictable and can react aggressively if he feels he is under threat. He is fine with other dogs and most people but I can’t take the chance, (he has bitten in the past!)

I always keep him on a close lead and walk him at quiet times of the day. However, children are always approaching him because he is small and cute. I pick him up whilst trying to explain to the parent that the dog is reactive to strangers.

Then there is the person who insists on stroking him, even when I ask them not to!

I’ve had dogs all my life.

He won’t bite me

He looks friendly to me

This is what I hear every day!

I would love to say  Just Leave Him Alone! 


So the discussion continued and we spoke about what could be done for reactive dogs like Darcy.

The first suggestion was one that I really liked. Apparently, there are coats, bandanas, leads which are bright yellow and state I Need My Space in bold lettering. Strangers can instantly see that the dog should not be approached.

The second suggestion was that I should muzzle Darcy when he is on walks to use as a deterrent.I was worried that he would lose sensory enjoyment when wearing a muzzle, however, I was reassured that there are types which don’t hinder the dog’s ability to smell or bark. Apparently, if the dog is muzzled I will be calmer and the walk will be more enjoyable for us both.

Which item should I buy or does anyone know of a better way to stop people from approaching a fearful, anxious and reactive dog?

Ancol Pet Products Hi-Vis Warning Dog Bandana

NERVOUS (Give Me Space) Harness


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