Training Insights from a Reactive Dog Class

Follow a group of students' growth, successes and failures.

Focus Not Fear    book


This book illustrates the work that Ali Brown does in her reactive dog group classes at Great Companions. It outlines specific training techniques and the reasoning behind them.

Cover image of the book, Focus Not FearIn Focus Not Fear you’ll get a glimpse inside the real lives of reactive dogs – their growth, successes and failures. The book includes an endless array of activities the group creates to address their dogs’ reactive challenges. It serves as a guide both for trainers who wish to run classes for their clients with reactive dogs and for owners of reactive dogs who must formulate a training plan on their own. This book will help in teaching a reactive dog class.

From the introduction: The following pages are my offering to owners who have started to work with their reactive dog, or trainers who want to help those with a reactive dog. This book should not be the sole introduction to reactivity, but should follow an introductory book such as Scaredy Dog! Training is not the sort of thing that can utilize a cookie-cutter program. There are hundreds of nuances in each individual case, but I have put on paper the best that I have to offer folks who want the best for their reactive dogs.

Buy the book.

Focus, Not Fear delivers a detailed and thought provoking look at the journey of a group of students in a reactive dog class. As you read the background and descriptions of each dog and handler team, you will become invested in their progress and celebrate their successes along with them. This book provides not only great tips and structure for trainers interested in creating their own reactive dog class but also good solid advice for owners of reactive dogs. And it makes me jealous that I don’t live on a farm!”
Leslie McDevitt MLA CDBC CPDT
Author of Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog

“Ali Brown, solidly in the camp of positive trainers who use techniques based in the science of behavior and learning, presents a comprehensive description of her experiences with her canine clients and their humans during an ongoing reactive dog class. This detailed narration, which covers a six-month period, offers useful and interesting observations and information for anyone interested in learning more about reactive dogs and how to work with them.”
Pat Miller
Author, The Power of Positive Dog Training and Positive Perspectives. Training Editor, Whole Dog Journal.

Working Space
Car Work
Treats for Reinforcement
Cast of Characters
Class syllabus
The Classes and Exercises
Results of Classes
How to Run Your Own Class (with or without a professional trainer)
Glossary of Terms and Concepts

Focus Not Fear includes chapters that show specific training exercises for use in classroom situations, along with photographs and diagrams illustrating the techniques used. For individuals who don’t have a reactive dog class in their locations, there is a chapter explaining how to adapt these techniques to everyday situations. One of the big benefits of this book is the ten page glossary of terms and concepts that will help advanced and novice readers to better understand canine reactivity and help in applying the techniques used in the book.

There is a biography of each of the dogs and their behavior before the six months of classes described in the book. In the chapter titled, “Where Are They Now,” the author describes the progress achieved by each dog.

Focus Not Fear is 174 pages long, includes 72 full color photographs, illustrations and diagrams, and fully indexed.