Tackling Reactivity

Fearful and overreactive behavior will not go away on its own. The dog will not grow out of it. Left untreated, both the frequency and the intensity of the problems will increase.

Reactivity is one of the hardest behaviors to deal with, but have you ever wondered why that is? You may never have even thought about reactivity before you got this dog, but now when your dog starts reacting, you find yourself reacting too! You may get stressed at the very thought of going for a walk.

Of course, it is not their fault. They are acting in response to an emotion – that might be fear, anxiety or frustration – and, when they react, that can make them feel better in the moment so they keep doing it

But we can teach them a better way. We can give them new ways to respond that also feel good and over time they can start to ignore what once caused a meltdown or maybe even enjoy meeting other dogs or new people.

In order to make this shift, we need to create a more calm space for our dogs. They can’t learn when they are stressed. This is why we’ve designed a custom program: Reframing Reactivity. This program will give you all the support you need and we are with you every step of the way.

In Reframing Reactivity, you will develop the right skills to teach calm and accommodate your dog’s reactivity! You’ll learn easy and fun practical ways to keep your dog’s focus when there are distractions, how to manage situations where things are less than ideal, and how to bounce back when everything has gone belly up!


Meet Your Trainer: Mary Simon, CPDT-KA

Mary Simon - Dog Trainer

Hi, I’m Mary!

I specialize in coaching frustrated pet parents to help them build an incredible relationship with their canine companion and unlock a dream life together.

  • Graduate of Top Dog Training’s Apprenticeship Program
  • IAABC: Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
  • APDT: Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers
  • CPDT-KA: Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed
  • Living and Learning with Animals Course Certificate of Completion
  • Aggression in Dogs Course Certificate of Completion

I only support training techniques that are kind and effective. I believe training should be easy to follow, consistent, and always fun for both dogs and people.

Program Outline

There are seven core areas form the basis of our Reframing Reactivity Program to ensure you tackle reactivity and you develop the relationship of your dreams.

In each module you will build core skills and progress through milestones until you have mastered each area. By the time you complete our program you will have clear step by step instructions to help you navigate problem behaviors with ease!

Program Curriculum


Learn training basics and activities to promote improved behavior.


  • Fun enrichment activities for improved behavior
  • Rewards and timing
  • Treats game (positive interruptor)
  • How dogs learn
  • Teach your dog to focus without you asking
  • Find out what motivates your dog
  • Discover your dog’s outlets to promote good behavior
  • Sniffari adventures to optimize mental health
  • Dog health and reactivity


Learn reactivity basics and the foundations for polite leash walking.


  • Goal setting questions
  • Mastering calm walking
  • The deconstructed dog walk
  • Reactivity or over reaction
  • What causes reactivity
  • Long Line Technique
  • Why reactivity is emotionally difficult for us
  • Three steps to behavior change
  • The art of treat delivery
  • Managing access to triggers

Coping Skills

Understand your dog in a whole new way through body language and master skills to help your dog through tough moments.


  • Behavior knowledge
  • Understanding behavior outcomes
  • Additional walking techniques
  • Your dog’s stressors
  • Triggers and trigger stacking
  • Intro to Reading Body Language
  • Body language clues to emotions
  • Body language for managing triggers
  • Relationship building activities
  • Helping your dog feel safe

Changing Feelings

Learn how to change your dog’s emotions around a trigger so that you can change the reactive behavior.


  • Changing associations
  • What is Look at That
  • How to do Look at That
  • Figure 8 walking
  • Tracking useful information
  • Rethinking the words you use
  • Physical clues and discomfort
  • Knowing whether your dog enjoys what you are doing
  • Observations workbook (download)

Becoming Mindful

Learn mindfulness strategies to lower your own stress level when it comes to reactivity, as well as your dog’s.


  • Self-calming through breathing techniques
  • Self-calming through 54321
  • Successful stealth training
  • Influencing behavior
  • Power ups for you
  • Threat or challenge mindset
  • Introduction to Ttouch
  • Zebra Ttouch
  • Turtle Ttouch
  • Ear Ttouch

Advancing Your Skills

Learn skills that will allow you to confidently navigate self-guided sessions around triggers.


  • Slowing down the exit
  • Visual blocks
  • Emergency situations
  • Hazards and risk assessment
  • Practicing hazard awareness
  • What comes before behavior
  • Progress for you- what it looks like
  • Reframing your response
  • The cup final game (download)
  • Reflection on your learning

Solidify Skills

Learn more about how to cultivate a positive mindset around triggers, and keep walking skills strong with environmental rewards.


  • Sniff and go
  • Importance of posture
  • Resilience and the negativity bias
  • Stress responses
  • Nervous system responses
  • Sleep
  • Stroking the lead
  • Prompting with your body
  • Prompting with your lead
  • Prompting with noise

Training Resources

Everything you need to ensure you receive a comprehensive, high end learning experience. Materials designed to cater to your unique learning style that will enhance understanding, encourage participation, and ensure better results throughout your program and beyond.

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High definition, professionally-filmed video tutorial lessons video library so that everyone in your dog’s life is on the same page.

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Supplement in-person lessons with learning materials to help everyone in your dog’s life stay in the loop.

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Trainer Support

Keep in touch between lessons through text, email, and video support. Enjoy access to regular training feedback and guidance.

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Monitor your dog’s growth and improvement in each area of wellness. Access mindfulness strategies to help you grow from the experience yourself.

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Specific exercises and accompanying mini videos/other resources tell you exactly what to do between lessons to work toward your goals.

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Easy to Access

Click through the online resources using your iphone, ipad, or computer. Everything you want know, all in one place!

Program Details

Reframing Reactivity Coaching


  • Weekly private, in-person lessons
  • Implementation of the treatment plan
  • Develop skills to help change your dog’s emotions around triggers
  • Learn Emergency skills for when things go wrong
  • Problem Prevention Strategy

Video Tutorials & Resources

  • Over 100 easy to follow mini videos
  • Trackers and workbooks to support your understanding of the material
  • Share materials with others involved with your dog so that training is consistent
  • Exercises for each session to give your training structure between in-person lessons
Reframing Reactivity Video Tutorials & Resources
Reframing Reactivity Support


  • Text, phone, and email support to give you peace of mind throughout the process
  • Video Analysis to get feedback of your homework
  • Assistance with helping others in your family learn (kids, spouse)

How to Enroll

Book your free phone consultation and indicate which option you are interested in (online vs. in-person).

Leave your information, and we will reach out!

*Take advantage of $90 in savings with the 6 lesson package below, or pay per lesson at $135.

North Shore Dog Training Services

Located on the North Shore of Massachusetts, The Mindful Dog offers thoughtful, effective training for a variety of behavioral issues.