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Old 12-14-2012, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gets along with other dogs except at home

When I first got Shiloh in April, she showed little to no issues with other dogs at the rescue I got her from, so I assumed no issues with other dogs when I brought her home.

But it wasn't long that she was lunging and growling at other dogs at my apartment complex, and sometimes at other dogs at the pet store.

I decided to cautiously bring her to a dog park to help her get over other dogs. But right from the first day there, she was fine with the other dogs at the dog park (I now go almost every week).

Back at the apartment complex, she wants to inflict harm on other dogs (who're usually smaller than her). She'll run to the end of the leash, growl, and hair will be on end. It's usually made worse if the other dog reacts by also running to the end of the leash and barking (which small dogs usually do).

I assume it's a territory thing, even though that would make it a very large territory.

I'm not looking to get her to be best friends with other dogs at the complex, but if she didn't scare the owner into picking up their "toy" dogs and running away, I would consider that a significant improvement.

She is *great* with people and kids.
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Search this forum for "reactive".

Your dog is "dog reactive" meaning she feels the need to notice and bark at other dogs. You must teach her that that is an inappropriate response. Generally this is done by not letting her get close enough to other dogs to trigger he reactivity, and when she does first notice them without reacting, re-focus her on you with treats and gentle correction. As she gets used to the idea she will realize that whenever she sees another dog the proper response is to look to you, not to decide on her own that she needs to bark at the other dog.

You will have to be disciplined yourself to be on the watch for other dogs getting within your dog's tolerance perimeter, and thinking ahead about stopping and re-routing your walks so you don't violate that perimeter before your dog is ready.

Once she gets the basic idea you will find that you can shrink the size of that perimeter fairly quickly, until you reach the point that your dog can sit at your feet while you hold a conversation with another human with a dog 3 feet in front of you, and your dog will ignore both of them. It takes lots of consistent training on your part, however.
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