ThunderCaps – Calming an Over-Stimulating World

ThunderCaps – Calming an Over-Stimulating World

In our modern densely-populated and noisy urban society, dogs can often live much of their lives outdoors in a state of high visual stimulation. Surprising encounters at close distances and limited opportunities to escape are part of this picture also. The ThunderCap™ is a tool that can be used to reduce the stimulation of these environments. They can also be helpful in the environmental management program of dogs who have reactivity. Who can they help? Reactivity and stress are common situations that many dogs experience, even more so in cities. For some dogs there may also be a genetic predisposition toward over-arousal with things visually appearing suddenly or moving quickly, such as sight-hounds or herding breeds. For others, anxiety can also contribute to a need for additional space or reduced trigger intensity for successful training to happen. For a reactive dog owners, using a ThunderCap™ can lessen the likelihood of their dog being triggered by these surprising situations. It can be helpful for a person with a larger reactive dog and a smaller car, since putting them in a covered crate to reduce triggering in the car is often not possible. It can also be useful for a person living in a high-rise with their reactive dog, where getting out of and into the building is a bit like “running the gauntlet” past dogs in the environment. Don’t they blind my dog? Having had the opportunity to hold up the ThunderCap™ and walk around looking through it, I would describe the experience as being similar to looking through a thin and dark tee-shirt. Closer objects are more distinct and identifiable and further ones are less clear....

Human-Directed Reactivity

Human-Directed Reactivity Attendees: Limited to 4 dogs Length: 6 weekly sessions Time: 1 hour per class Tuition: $250 Prereqs: Consultation with Dr. Valli Having a dog that barks and lunges at people is a stressful thing. It can also be difficult to treat because helpers can be difficult to find. That is why we developed this class. This supportive group class gives structured and safe opportunities for clients to practice behavior modification to reduce their dogs’ reactive behavior towards unfamiliar people. It is one of Synergy’s Behavior Therapy options for Dr. Valli’s clients. Please note that, because of the nature of this class and safety considerations, attendees are required to have a Behavior Health Assessment with Dr Valli prior to class. Note that the cost of the assessment is not included in the class fee mentioned here. For more information about general class policies please visit our Class Policy page. For other commonly-asked questions, please visit our Class FAQs page. Sign-Up for an Upcoming...

Reactive Rover 3a: Open Air

RR3: Open Air Attendees: Limited to 6 dogs Length: 4 weekly sessions Time: 1 hour per class Tuition: $180 Prereqs: RR: Skill Building or by Invitation You’ve practiced your training skills in the Foundations and Skill Building classes, now it’s time for a challenge! Our one-of-a-kind Reactive Rover: Open Air class will give you a chance to practice your dog’s training in an outdoor group class setting. We help provide safe opportunities for you and your dog to explore different neighborhoods and parks around Portland, with a supportive group of like-minded students. Your dog may also practice closer-distance skills, potentially on-leash greetings, depending on your dog’s skill levels and readiness. Our professional trainers lead the walks, run training exercises, give you feedback on your training, while also keeping an eye out for dogs in the environment. The locations change each of the four weeks to keep things interesting and fun for you and your...

Reactive Rover 2: Skill Building

RR2: Skill Building Attendees: Limited to 5 dogs Length: 6 weekly sessions Time: 1 hour per class Tuition: $225 Prereqs: RR: Foundations or by Invitation Ready to take your dog to the next level? This class builds on the skills that you learn in Foundations class, and adds in good manners training as well as more challenging reactivity activities. This class is a prerequisite for our advanced classes (Open Air, Agility and Scent Games), and is repeatable until you and your dog are ready. For full information about our pre-screening process and class policies please visit our Class Policy page. For commonly-asked questions visit our Class FAQs page.   Sign-Up for an Upcoming...