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Ready, Set, Fetch!

Alix Mitchell is a dog owner to a reactive dog, as well as a dog trainer and vet tech. In Ready, Set, Fetch! Alix discusses everything and anything about reactive dogs - from actionable dog training tips to overall dog health and wellness topics to traveling tips, and so much more! This podcast will help you learn everything and anything there is to know about reactive dogs, while also empowering and educating you so you can start living a more active life with your reactive dog.

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12. Unprecendented Times

These are unprecedented times. This can be particularly hard on a reactive dog as well as on you!  CONNECT ON INSTAGRAM! Subscribe and Review in iTunes! Are you subscribed to this podcast? If you're not, I encourage you to do so! This ensures that you don't miss an episode, and it's automatically downloaded to your phone.  If you really want to give me some positive reinforcement, I would be so grateful if you left me a review on iTunes as well. Those reviews help other people fid this podcast, which helps me help them and their dog! Just click here to review, select "Ratings and Reviews" and "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is! THANK YOU!

28mins

2 Apr 2020

Rank #1

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11. Go Explore New Places

Do you get anxious or nervous when you travel to or hike in locations or parks? It can be unnerving when you don't know what to expect. We get comfortable in our "regular" parks, so branching out can be scary with a reactive dog. The good news? It doesn't have to be so scary! I provide some tips that help me get over my anxiety and prepare myself for unwanted situations that are more common in new environments. These tips should help you too! CONNECT ON INSTAGRAM! REACTIVE DOG COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK! Subscribe and Review in iTunes! Are you subscribed to this podcast? If you're not, I encourage you to do so! This ensures that you don't miss an episode, and it's automatically downloaded to your phone.  If you really want to give me some positive reinforcement, I would be so grateful if you left me a review on iTunes as well. Those reviews help other people fid this podcast, which helps me help them and their dog! Just click here to review, select "Ratings and Reviews" and "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is! THANK YOU!

27mins

12 Mar 2020

Rank #2

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10. Why I Use a Clicker in Training

In this episode, I share the top reasons why I use a clicker in training and why you should too.  LINKS: Buy clickers! (Please note - this is an affiliate disclosure. At no additional cost to you, I'll get a few cents to help me keep this podcast up and running!) Basically, the holy grail for all things related to clicker training is right here from Karen Pyror.  Check out the website! Reactive Dog Owner Community on Facebook! Follow me on Instagram! Subscribe and Review in iTunes! Are you subscribed to this podcast? If you're not, I encourage you to do so! This ensures that you don't miss an episode, and it's automatically downloaded to your phone.  If you really want to give me some positive reinforcement, I would be so grateful if you left me a review on iTunes as well. Those reviews help other people fid this podcast, which helps me help them and their dog! Just click here to review, select "Ratings and Reviews" and "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is! THANK YOU! Just CLICK HERE to Subscribe and Review!

18mins

5 Mar 2020

Rank #3

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8. The Anxiety of Owning a Reactive Dog

In this episode, Alix discusses some of the anxiety that we all struggle with from time to time, especially in owning a reactive dog.  The article I referenced briefly - make sure you have tissues! THE WEBSITE The Reactive Dog Support Group on Facebook CONNECT ON INSTAGRAM Subscribe and Review in iTunes! Are you subscribed to this podcast? If you're not, I encourage you to do so! This ensures that you don't miss an episode, and it's automatically downloaded to your phone.  If you really want to give me some positive reinforcement, I would be so grateful if you left me a review on iTunes as well. Those reviews help other people fid this podcast, which helps me help them and their dog! Just click here to review, select "Ratings and Reviews" and "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is! THANK YOU!

29mins

20 Feb 2020

Rank #4

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7. 5 Lessons Owning a Reactive Dog has Taught Me

In this episode, I urge you to have a shift in your mindset and thinking. Instead of thinking of the struggles and the challenges of owning a reactive dog, try to see the positive in those situations. Buster has taught me a lot in life, and I really believe that I wouldn't have learned these valuable life lessons - at least to such an extent - if I would have had an easy, friendly dog. Looking at the positive side of owning a reactive dog can be a challenge, but when we choose to shift our thinking, it opens us up and can truly make you a more positive person, which in turn, will improve your relationship with your dog.  Here are the 5 life lessons that owning a reactive dog has taught me:  Patience Be compassionate and understanding Learn to love hiking How to be better a better, kind, force free trainer Celebrate the small wins and even the small failures THE WEBSITE! CONNECT ON INSTAGRAM! JOIN THE REACTIVE DOG COMMUNITY!

33mins

6 Feb 2020

Rank #5

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6. Everyone Deserves to Go Hiking

We participated in First Day Hikes this year on January 1, 2020. through the Virginia State Park system. As we were hiking, we had an experience that was unlike anything I've ever encountered before. This serves as a good reminder that everyone deserves to be outside in nature hiking - no matter what. 

17mins

6 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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5. Surviving the Holidays with a Reactive Dog

Do you have a reactive dog and struggle with what to do with them during the holidays when there are lots of gatherings and events and guests? This espidoe gives you some tips on how to the handle the holidays and having guests over all while having a reactive dog!

29mins

9 Dec 2019

Rank #7

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#4 - Buster's Story

In this episode, Alix describes Buster's story and life. This episode describes in details how Buster went from a non-reactive dog to a reactive dog and what that journey entailed. 

40mins

27 Nov 2019

Rank #8

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3. 5 Tips for Walking Your Reactive Dog

Today, we're going to discuss 5 tips for walking your reactive dog. If you're listening to this podcast, you are most likely a reactive dog owner. Likely, your whole goal in listening to this podcast is to gain more tips and knowledge so that you can start living a more active life with your dog. Of course, that means you have to get out, and you have to walk your dog. I know firsthand that walking a reactive dog can be challenging and stressful. You always have to be scanning the horizon to be on the lookout for triggers. Then, heaven forbid, if your dog does react, you start worrying about what other people are thinking about you, and you start worrying that they're judging you. So I'm going to provide 5 tips that I think are entirely necessary and will help you and walking your reactive dog. TIP #1Stop worrying about what other people think about you. You're already doing the right thing by getting out with your dog and trying your best to train him so that he's not reacting, and that is all that matters. Don't let other people change that for you. Just keep on doing what you know is right and doing right by your dog. Don't let anybody else's opinions or judgments or anything else affect you, because you know what's best for your dog and you're working on it. So keep up the good work. And just let everybody else's opinions just slide right off. TIP #2 Teach your dog an emergency U-turn. TIP #3 Always carry high value treats with you. You also need to keep in mind that what is high value to one dog may not be high value to another. So you need to experiment and you need to find what your dog considers to be high value. If you haven't found that out already, here are some things that I would recommend experimenting with:  cheddar cheese, pepperoni, liverwurst, meatballs, boiled chicken or beef, hot dogs, or even lunchmeat. You could even use spray cheese peanut butter on a stick or even get one of those refillable camping tubes and fill it with a canned food and water mixture. The takeaway here is just to find something that your dog finds absolutely irresistible. Tip #4  Make sure that your dog is wearing good gear. I personally recommend walking your dog on a harness with the leash attached to either the back clip or the front clip. There isn't any equipment on the market that will fix a pulling issue. If your dog pulls, you have to spend the time teaching loose leash walking. It's not the most fun thing to teach, but it's going to be something that you will be grateful for every single time you pick up your dog's leash to take him on a walk.  TIP #5 Teach your dog a focused heel that relies on environmental cues only. You're going to teach your dog to perform this heel position on his own in response to an environmental cue, with no prompting or cues coming straight from you. So those are your five tips for walking a reactive dog! I hope that you guys get some ideas from these tips, and maybe feel a little bit inspired to go out and try these with your dog. I hope that it just gets you in the mindset that it's okay to take your reactive dog outside and be more active with him. It's always a couple of steps forward and a couple of steps backward. And that's fine, you're going to keep kind of doing that dance for a while. Again, you're doing what's best for you and your dog. Your dog does not deserve to be locked up inside all the time because he may or may not react to something outside. You're doing what's right for your dog. So keep up the good work. And I hope that these tips help you. I hope you feel more confident getting out in the trail with your dog. So until next time, I'll talk to you later. LINKS MENTIONED FOR LOOSE LEASH WALKING: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45lk4_tud9Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP3l9ouRnl8 CONNECT ON INSTAGRAM! JOIN THE REACTIVE DOG COMMUNITY! GET THE FULL SHOW NOTES! SUBSCRIBE AND REVIEW IN ITUNES! Are you subscribed to this podcast? If you're not, I encourage you to do so! This ensures that you don't miss an episode, and it's automatically downloaded to your phone.  If you really want to give me some positive reinforcement, I would be so grateful if you left me a review on iTunes as well. Those reviews help other people fid this podcast, which helps me help them and their dog! Just click here to review, select "Ratings and Reviews" and "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is! THANK YOU!

22mins

18 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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2. 7 Reasons to Keep Your Dog On Leash

Let me be clear - people with off leash dogs are ruining it for everyone. Not only are they ruining the experience for anyone they may directly come in contact with, but they are also potentially ruining it for everyone in the future. Most parks have leash laws. By violating those leash laws, they are risking these places to no longer allow dogs in the future. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. I assure you - your dog DOES NOT have some intrinsic requirement to be off leash. Your dog is not getting some magical benefit of simply being free of a 6 foot leash for a couple hours that is worth breaking the law, ruining the visit for all of the other visitors, and potentially worth getting in an altercation or having a police report filed as a result of said altercation. The main argument is that the dogs get "so much more exercise off leash," and that they're just "so much happier" running off leash. Let me assure you, your dog is getting plenty of exercise on a 6 foot leash. Just because he is attached to a 6 foot leash does not mean he is not getting a cardiovascular workout, because he is.   THE LAW.  MOST places require dogs to be on a 6 foot leash. It is the law. When parks continue to get unhappy visitors due to those breaking the law or continued reports of dog bites from off leash dogs, it is a very real possibility that they will start banning dogs altogether. Then what are you going to do, and where are you going to go? OTHER dogs, children, and people. I know we are living in the most self-absorbed and selfish time of history. People care more about themselves than anyone or anything. But, for just a couple of hours, can't you do better? Can't you be a better person than the majority of people? Can't you care just the tiniest bit about others? There may be other dogs on the trail that don't like dogs. There may be children who have been attacked and are terrified of dogs. There may be people who don't like dogs, or elderly people who may fall if your dog bumps into them accidentally. WILDLIFE. Wildlife is everywhere. Bears, coyotes, snakes, porcupines, etc. can all do serious damage to your dog if your dog gets into a scuffle. Plus, what about the smaller wildlife - baby birds and rabbits - will your dog leave those alone or will they incite your dog's prey drive which may result in a dead animal? UNSAFE WATER. Most dogs, especially during a long and hot hike, will naturally get into any body of water they see. I'm sure you've seen the news stories all over the country recently, but there are serious concerns of blue-green algae in water. It can be in ponds, lakes, and rivers. The water can even look clear, but it unfortunately could still be contaminated. There's just no way to know. Exposure to this blue-green algae can easily kill your dog in about an hour. In many parts of the country, there are also serious concerns of leptospirosis. This is a bacteria also found in standing water, which can be treatable if treated quickly, but otherwise, it too can be fatal. DOES YOUR DOG REALLY HAVE A RELIABLE RECALL? I have come across some parks that have signs stating something to the effect of, "Dogs must be on leash unless under direct voice control at all times." This essentially means your dog can be off leash, as long as you can recall him. But, can you really recall him? Can you recall him off of a deer, bear, snake, or squirrel? Can you recall him off the family you may be passing that's all eating delicious smelling beef jerky? Can you recall him off the excitable dog approaching who is on a leash? Most people like to think they their dog has a fabulous recall, but unfortunately, that is not the truth. Just because your dog has a great recall at home does not mean he will have a great recall on the trail with so many more exciting sights and smells. TICK BORNE DISEASES.  If your dog is off leash, he is likely to be traipsing through the tall grasses off the trail. While ticks are naturally a concern anytime you go outdoors, their prime environment is in those tall bushy grasses. So while you may not be seeing any ticks on the well maintained trail, your dog could be picking up tons in those tall grasses. Is a 2 hour off leash walk really worth a lifetime of tick borne disease. LONG LINES DO EXIST. Again, a lot of parks have a very specific "dog must be attached to a 6 foot leash" rule. But, for parks that don't have that rule, you can always use a long line. You can find long lines that range from 8 feet to 50 feet long! With the use of a long line, your dog has more room to roam, but is still connected to you, so you don't have to worry about everything else I've just listed here. My personal favorite long lines are the brahma long lines from Bold Lead Designs. If you've listened to all of this and for some reason, you still think your dog just absolutely needs to be off leash, then you need to find a place that explicitly allows dogs off leash. These places do exist, so do some research! There are many smaller secluded areas in larger parks off of the trails that are explicitly off leash friendly. You could also consider just taking your dog to a local dog park (try going at odd hours to avoid others if you wish). CONNECT ON INSTAGRAM! JOIN THE REACTIVE DOG COMMUNITY! GET THE FULL SHOW NOTES! Subscribe and Review in iTunes! Are you subscribed to this podcast? If you're not, I encourage you to do so! This ensures that you don't miss an episode, and it's automatically downloaded to your phone.  If you really want to give me some positive reinforcement, I would be so grateful if you left me a review on iTunes as well. Those reviews help other people fid this podcast, which helps me help them and their dog! Just click here to review, select "Ratings and Reviews" and "Write a Review." Let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is! THANK YOU!

17mins

11 Nov 2019

Rank #10