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Reactive Rover

Please sign up on our Reactive Rover Waiting/Interest list if you are interested in receiving an email when new classes are scheduled.

Class Description

Reactive Rover class is a six week class especially designed to teach handlers how to manage and re-train appropriate behavior for dogs that lunge, bark, growl, are reactive, aggressive, fearful or anxious to other dogs while ON-LEASH. We have been teaching reactive dog classes since 2009 and have a proven track record with dog's whose owners continue to use the techniques taught in our classes.


Goals of This Class

The goals of this class are to help your dog:

  • Learn to make choices for alternate behaviors to replace their aggression

  • Become more comfortable in the world

  • To help you read and handle situations as they arise without losing your cool

You will learn

  • On-leash proactive handling techniques 

  • Reading micro-signal canine body language

  • Counterconditioning & Desensitization

  • Attention & Focus

  • Impulse Control

  • Using reward-based proactive training

  • Using behavior markers

  • Recognizing threshold distances

  • Canine relaxation techniques

  • Appropriate use of space

Included in this class:

  • Six weeks of instruction with experienced instructors

  • Access to the Reactive Rover Portal online assignments

  • Downloadable Handouts

  • Six weeks of weekday access to our exclusive, fenced off-leash exercise area in Aptos

  • Adult family members are welcome to attend with you

This is primarily a behavior modification and handling-skills class. The exercises work on changing the dog's underlying fears, emotions, and decision making while keeping the dog within it's comfort zone. The class includes one-on-one class time with each dog while the other dogs will be relaxing out of sight nearby. You will be learning from all of the students in the class. All dogs will be evaluated as individuals within the class setting. Your dog will have exposure to safe dogs and other student dogs over the course of the classes as your skills and their comfort zone dictates. We treat each dog as an individual and move at the pace they are able to absorb.


  • You'll know what to do when your dog misbehaves

  • You'll know how to change your dog's behavior

  • Your dog will be more comfortable in the outside world

  • Fenced Paddock Access on weekdays for exercise and practice during this class

  • Handouts & Articles for continued reference


In Reactive Rover class we will cover critical skills, handling techniques and complex dog body language and micro-signaling with video, handouts and pdf files of the handouts. The first two mandatory classes are indoor orientation with 2 hours of video, (people only without dogs) at our shop in Capitola to teach you the foundations of handling and reading problem behaviors and an orientation to the goals of the class. Four weeks of 1.5-hour classes will be spent with dogs at our field in Aptos. (Driving Directions). Total hours of instruction: 12


This class is LESS appropriate for dogs who:

  • Exhibit predatory chasing behavior

  • Resource guard objects or food

  • Dogs who only exhibit aggression toward other dogs while OFF LEASH. Although the dog's owner will receive some benefit from the material, the class is NOT able or willing to put other dogs at risk.

This class is NOT appropriate for dogs who:

  • Are very aggressive toward people

  • Lunge or charge people

  • Have bitten people more than once 

  • May put the other students in the class at risk

For these issues please look at our Behavior Issues page for private consultation options.


Your dog's success in this class depends on your ability to attend class and practice the exercises between classes, manage the dog's environment and refrain from using aversive or punitive training techniques that might confuse the dog.  Praise, touch, play and food can all be used as reinforcement in our classes. Prong collars, choke chains, shock collars, spray collars, retractable leashes or aversive equipment or training techniques will not be used in our classes.

NOT included in this class:

  • We do not use punitive or corrective methods

  • We do not use choke chains (aka "training collars"), pinch collars, prong collars or shock collars

  • We do not use force or coercion in our training methods 

  • We do not use physical punishment


Due to the need to schedule assistants and decoy dogs for this class and our tight class schedule, there are no opportunities for makeup classes for this class. If you should need to miss a class, we will provide you with the regularly scheduled handouts for that class. 


If you are seriously interested in this class, please sign up and complete our online Behavior Form. If we have questions about your dog's behavior, we may suggest having a private evaluation. 


Directions will be sent to you once you have completed your enrollment.

Questions? Contact Us or call 831-601-2458. 


(photo below) A dog that watches her owner is less likely to react to other dogs.


After Reactive Rover Class
Before Reactive Rover Class
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