It’s another exciting day in the life of a dog trainer. I come bearing my notes and a treat pouch stuffed with teeny-tiny pieces of cheese, ready to tackle my new client’s reactivity concerns. (For those looking for a description of reactivity, it is barking, lunging and/or growling in response to the presence of a particular stimulus.)

The stars of tonight’s training session are Lisa and her handsome dog, Rocket, a scrappy terrier mix, no more than 15 pounds. We’re on the streets of Washington, D.C., in a heavily populated area. Since Lisa has just returned from work, we’re taking Rocket outside for bladder relief. We begin discussing the pup’s reactivity as Rocket happily struts ahead of us on-leash. About two blocks into this evening stroll, I see that Rocket’s body has tensed, his ears are standing up and he’s staring straight ahead. Coming our direction is a hound…

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