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Old 03-17-2014, 11:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to stop reactivity to dogs

My dog is a sweet heart. He loves everyone. He loves to play with other dogs at day care. Loves to run and chase. I am working with him a LOT to make sure he knows I AM the boss of him. I'm in charge and he must obey me. He does very well at home. While out on walks, he is always on a leash, and I work with him on commands at random (wait, sit, etc). Well, he does great, until certain dogs come along. As soon as I see his ears go up and he sees the other dog, I tell him to LEAVE IT. But, it's like he gets selective hearing and will not obey me. I've tried everything from snacks, to making him sit and getting in front of him so he focuses on me, but he refuses. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, and I am open to any an all ideas for help. He has come such a long way from when we rescued him, and I want him to know that he doesn't have to be in charge. Thanks in advance for your kind responses and experienced advice.

He's seven years old and 70 lbs, great health. No physical problems.
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Old 03-18-2014, 01:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You have to be more observant and give the leave it command BEFORE he sees the other dog. You have to catch him BEFORE he focuses on the other dog.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If he's just being a brat I'd correct him hard. If it's coming from fear I'd get a trainer. Reactivity is a tricky thing depending on why he's being reactive

Btw scanning around and trying to see another dog before he does is great in theory but who wants to go for a walk with their head on a swivel and can't even relax?
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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He is not a young bratty immature male waiting to grow up thinking he is all that and more, he is 7 years old which makes me think this behaviour is now a learned behaviour.

If he were mine, I would not put him in a sit and give commands to leave it while another dog walks by, I would keep moving and distract him. Sometimes you need to find a different way to help your dog unlearn inappropriate behaviours rather than barking commands at him or severely yanking on his check chain or prong collar! If you see another dog approaching - keep walking, pick up your pace, put more space between yourselves and learn to have him focus on you by teaching him the look or watch command. Or change directions and continue your walk in another direction - try to set him up with more successes than failures to increase his confidence.

Keep distance between him and other dogs, have him learn to focus on you and keep moving.
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Old 03-18-2014, 02:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Try this:

Just teach him to ignore other dogs,, just keep moving no corrections needed, Move along dog nothing to see here. No dog to dog intros or "I thought my dog was friendly folks" or dog parks.

I step aside or cross the street my dogs have only been near other dogs at the vet office or in lines.

And the park is just a heads up:
Leerburg | Dog Parks: Why They Are A Bad Idea
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You see, what you have done - by telling him to sit you stopped him at the object of irritation, by telling "No" you indicated that there's something special about that dog besides his own reactivity. A macho reacts mainly on adrenaline regardless of the other dog's size. Fear is of one nature with agression, and differs only in amount of adrenaline - that is what he gets as a scent from other dogs (some dogs react on people selectively for the same reason). At the age of seven dog's behaviour would be crystallized already. Any forbidding commands or attempts to overpower him will lead to disintegration of the bond between you and your dog, I'd advice to stop saying "Leave it", jolting him, or anything, it wouldn't work. Instead, consentrate on "Heel" command and change stentorian tone of your voice. When you noticed that he's preparing to do his usual trick - tell him to heel in a very low scotto voce "Fuss" ( pronounced as "fooss" - "walk close to my foot", it will help you psychologically, your dog wouldn't bother because dogs react mainly on intonations), walk slowly and don't look in the direction of that dog yourself, let him bark as much as he wants, as long as he's heeling perfectly his barking is not important.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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David, what? I read your post twice...

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Old 03-18-2014, 06:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer11 View Post
If he's just being a brat I'd correct him hard. If it's coming from fear I'd get a trainer. Reactivity is a tricky thing depending on why he's being reactive

Btw scanning around and trying to see another dog before he does is great in theory but who wants to go for a walk with their head on a swivel and can't even relax?
The OP's question was how to train the dog not to do this. Once he is trained then the walks are relaxing. It's part of the process. It's not always about correcting the dog and I'm so tired of people thinking it is.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry and Lola View Post
He is not a young bratty immature male waiting to grow up thinking he is all that and more, he is 7 years old which makes me think this behaviour is now a learned behaviour.

If he were mine, I would not put him in a sit and give commands to leave it while another dog walks by, I would keep moving and distract him. Sometimes you need to find a different way to help your dog unlearn inappropriate behaviours rather than barking commands at him or severely yanking on his check chain or prong collar! If you see another dog approaching - keep walking, pick up your pace, put more space between yourselves and learn to have him focus on you by teaching him the look or watch command. Or change directions and continue your walk in another direction - try to set him up with more successes than failures to increase his confidence.

Keep distance between him and other dogs, have him learn to focus on you and keep moving.
Exactly.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry and Lola View Post
He is not a young bratty immature male waiting to grow up thinking he is all that and more, he is 7 years old which makes me think this behaviour is now a learned behaviour.

If he were mine, I would not put him in a sit and give commands to leave it while another dog walks by, I would keep moving and distract him. Sometimes you need to find a different way to help your dog unlearn inappropriate behaviours rather than barking commands at him or severely yanking on his check chain or prong collar! If you see another dog approaching - keep walking, pick up your pace, put more space between yourselves and learn to have him focus on you by teaching him the look or watch command. Or change directions and continue your walk in another direction - try to set him up with more successes than failures to increase his confidence.

Keep distance between him and other dogs, have him learn to focus on you and keep moving.
This is very helpful for me - try to set him up with more successes than failures to increase his confidence.

I just wonder if damage has already been done in my situation. The opposite was taught to me in training.
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