The Reactive Dog Program is for dogs who are fearful of, or become overly excited by, strangers, other dogs, or both.  These dogs may be described as either “shut down” or aggressive in certain situations.  Some of these dogs may have a bite record. If you think your dog fits these descriptions, we recommend scheduling an assessment appointment ($20) with one of our trainers so we can evaluate your dog and determine which training program is best.

Our Reactive Dog Program was developed by Stevie Fields, CBST, and Stephanie Dowdell, PCT-A, in conjunction with Linda Hoover, Companion Animal Practitioner.  It is a comprehensive 9 step program involving multiple private lessons, TTouch sessions, and assessments.

What is Tellington TTouch, and how can it help my dog?

TTouch, or TrustTouch, is a specific form of touch designed to help dogs relax, calm down, and feel good about being touched through a combination of body work and ground work.  There are 3 aspects of TTouch we refer to as the 3 R’s:

  • Relationship: We communicate with the animal and relate to the animal.
  • Respect: We don’t force the animal to do anything.
  • Results: We use touch and movement to influence the behavior.

The touches are not massage or acupressure and are not invasive.  The movements are slow rhythmical, mindful, and non-habitual. The non-habitual aspect means the animal has no instinctive or programmed reaction to the movements, causing the animal to have to think before reacting.

TTouches include slides, lifts, and circular touches.  The ground work involves guiding the animal through movement exercises in non-habitual ways.  Together, they are designed to create a calm, attentive, and focused state of consciousness. This helps animals become more capable of learning new behaviors.  

TTouch helps increase self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-control.  It is helpful for rescued dogs that may have a history of poor handling, be hand-shy, be wary of being touched, or that stiffen anxiously when touched rather than enjoying it.  TTouch reduces the physical and mental stress created by human contact, handling, environment, and other sub-optimum environmental conditions. When a dog feels less tense or less stressed, they are less prone to reactive behavior.

The Eight Steps

After the initial assessment where it is determined the Reactive Dog Program is the best course for your dog, you will be required to go through Reactive Dog Orientation.  This 60 minute orientation takes place without your dog. It provides helpful information and resources to help get you started on training at home as well as outlines the expectations for the program, including any individualized aspects. 

The remaining 7 steps of the Reactive Dog Program will follow this curriculum:

  • 2 hour private with Linda Hoover
  • 30 min private at House of Dog Training 
  • 30 min private at House of Dog Training
  • 1 hour private with Linda Hoover
  • 30 min private at House of Dog Training
  • 30 min private at House of Dog Training
  • 30 min evaluation at House of Dog Training

The total cost of  the Program is $415 ($475 as of 3/11/20) and takes 3 months to complete. (Your savings is one private lesson. $175 will be paid to Linda Hoover directly, $240 ($300 as of 3/11/20) will be paid to HoD)

Growl class is a $20 weekly drop-in class with no set start and end dates.  It is specifically designed for dogs that play well with other dogs off-leash, but are reactive on-leash. This class is not for dogs that are fearful of people, novel items, or have a bite record.  To determine whether or not growl class is right for your dog, we ask that you schedule an assessment appointment ($20) with one of our trainers so they can evaluate your dog and determine the proper training program.

The goal of Growl Class is to teach dogs how to be happy, focused, and calm while on-leash.  We aim to counter-condition your dog’s learned emotional response and change their behavior through positive reinforcement and reward.

Though Growl Class is not an obedience class, it still relies heavily on engagement between you and your dog as well as rewarding good behavior in your dog.  Therefore, we recommend you hand-feed your dog at home as much as you are able. Hand-feeding increases your value in your dog’s eyes and will help your dog learn to focus on you when they are on-leash.  We have seen vast differences in the time it takes for dogs to change their behavior when owners follow this suggestion.


  • Arrival.  When you arrive at the facility, please leave your dog in the car until you receive instructions from a trainer as to what they want you to do.
  • Space.  Please give other clients and their dogs enough space for all dogs to remain calm.  Never let dogs greet each other on-leash in this class.
  • Weather.  This class takes place outside, so dress appropriately and be prepared for cold or wet conditions.  If you are unable to make class due to weather or are unsure if class is cancelled due to weather, please contact us.
  • Patience. Learning is already a difficult process, and counter-conditioning a learned emotional response is even more challenging.  If you or your dog grow frustrated during class, it is okay to take a break. Additionally, due to the structure of the class, your dog’s ability to work will likely be affected week to week based on other participants in class.  We encourage you to recognize progress from the start to the end of each individual class and place less emphasis on long-term progress
  • Equipment.  Please use a 6-10 foot leash with no rips or tears.  No retractable leashes.  Make sure all collars and harnesses are in good condition and are fitted properly.  We encourage the use of appropriate muzzles or gentle leaders if your dog is already conditioned to wearing one.  If you currently use a shock, prong, or choke collar, ask us about project trade and see how you can receive a discount!
  • Treats.  We recommend bringing a treat bag containing several different treats of varying value (ex: kibble, cheese, hotdogs, etc) and that can be readily accessed.  Keep in mind that it can be difficult to juggle a leash and bag of treats at the same time.

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57 Sunflower Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 (719) 646-1422

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