When a dog is consistently has high mental arousal in his brain, it takes very little stimulus to trigger reactive or aggressive behaviour. Mental arousal = over excitement, reactivity… they are two sides of the same coin!
If the dog is mentally aroused/over excited, then it is extremely easy for him to also become reactive! Dogs can learn how to exist in a calm state of mind thanks to our mindset focused training approach that corrects/disagrees with all forms of mental arousal and cultivates calmness. Reactivity cannot be resolved through obedience, but only through mindset work and teaching the dog that reactivity is an unacceptable choice by directly correcting the reactivity (and don’t believe anyone who tells you that correcting reactivity makes it worse… that’s simply not true when using the right training approach!).
This is such an important concept and something that I write about often because we handlers need to understand the difference between what is mindset focused training (mental arousal, over excitement, reactivity, nasty/belligerent attitudes, etc.) and what is obedience focused training (recall, sit, down, heel on leash, etc.) so that we can choose the right approach for our dog’s needs. And for reactive dogs, our priority must be his mindset BEFORE we worry about his obedience.