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nits231 02-25-2014 02:00 AM

Socializing 1yo with other dogs
 
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Hi everyone,

After reading many posts about socializing pups with people so as to avoid social anxiety and possibility of aggression, I have gone out of my way to introduce Leo to as many people as possible all the while giving him the confidence to face large groups of people, many of whom are new. He has been a complete pro at it, he behaves well, albeit a bit over-enthusiastic, but he has never been anxious or displayed aggression. He has never in his 1 year with me ever growled at anyone.

But, I noticed that as good as he is with humans, he's equally bad with other dogs. There was a time where he was interested in certain dogs (those that seemed smaller than him), but I think now even that has changed. He is only interested in showing dominance and being protective. I don't know why he's like this and I think its getting worse with age. Another problem I have is that I don't have too many friends with dogs (who are not aggressive) who I can try socializing Leo with. But recently my neighbor got two 3 month old St. Bernard pups and I was hoping that they may just help in the socializing.

Does anyone have any tips on how I should socialize him with other dogs? Should it be done at my house? Their house? The park or while on a walk? Neutral ground? I already know to keep him leashed so that he doesn't injure the other dog.

Any tips will be helpful.

PS: food and toys are not helping in distracting him to calm him down. I tried getting him to sit and focus on me instead of the other dog, and that works for a few seconds till he realizes there's another dog around him and again he starts barking and growling.

Serbrider 02-25-2014 02:24 AM

Do it in a neutral location. Don't force anything. He may never be friends with other dogs, but at the very least, he should be expected to remain calm, and ignore them.


What you need to do is don't immediately go to the most distracting place. Have your neighbor/friend have their dogs at the opposite end of the park (try and be the only ones with dogs there if possible). And then walk your dog towards them. The moment he stops focusing on you and tenses up when walking towards the other dogs, quickly turn around and walk the other way until you have his attention back on you and calm (have him do some tricks, make him really think about YOU, not other dogs). Then go back, and do the same thing, trying to move closer each time.

It might take quite a while... but it really does work, because you aren't just throwing him next to the other dogs and trying to scream at him to get his attention. You expect attention the whole time, and slowly add in the distractions, always retreating with the distractions until you solidly have his attention.

What you want is a dog that will not react at all at the sight of other dogs. He may never love other dogs, or play with other dogs... but if he will ignore other dogs, you can take him on walks and around other people and their dogs without the stress of him barking and carrying on.

Chip18 02-25-2014 02:32 AM

Why?? It is easier to teach him to ignore other dogs then to socialize with them. Dogs do need to be safe around people, if you "crammed" people into his face and he handled it fine , you have a solid dog.

I had Dominate male dogs and they were fine with people and were taught to ignore other dogs. My dogs are for me and my family not other peoples chew toy.

I and my friends with well behaved dogs don't do dogie visits, we put a lot of work into our dogs and have no need to put them at risk with a bad experience!

Most likely the folks you know with "aggressive dogs" did just what your proposing?

My tip would be teach your dog to ignore other dogs. No sit, no correction just keep moving! That's how I taught them to accept people and ignore dogs. He doesn't need dogie friends that's why he has/had me and "his" dogs.

nits231 02-25-2014 03:17 AM

I like this advice, I shall try it at the park today in the evening and hopefully get him to learn to just ignore other animals. I don't have any expectations of him being best friends with other dogs but I do want to know that he will not bolt the second he see's another animal, which is what he does now.

Thank you!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Serbrider (Post 5082698)
Do it in a neutral location. Don't force anything. He may never be friends with other dogs, but at the very least, he should be expected to remain calm, and ignore them.


What you need to do is don't immediately go to the most distracting place. Have your neighbor/friend have their dogs at the opposite end of the park (try and be the only ones with dogs there if possible). And then walk your dog towards them. The moment he stops focusing on you and tenses up when walking towards the other dogs, quickly turn around and walk the other way until you have his attention back on you and calm (have him do some tricks, make him really think about YOU, not other dogs). Then go back, and do the same thing, trying to move closer each time.

It might take quite a while... but it really does work, because you aren't just throwing him next to the other dogs and trying to scream at him to get his attention. You expect attention the whole time, and slowly add in the distractions, always retreating with the distractions until you solidly have his attention.

What you want is a dog that will not react at all at the sight of other dogs. He may never love other dogs, or play with other dogs... but if he will ignore other dogs, you can take him on walks and around other people and their dogs without the stress of him barking and carrying on.


nits231 02-25-2014 03:22 AM

I agree with you, I don't want him being friends with other dogs as much as I want him to learn to ignore them. Currently, my biggest hurdle is him reacting to every animal he sees, dog, cat, bird, snake! This makes taking him out on walks hard as well as I can just not walk him on the road and I always have to take him to an enclosed park near my house (that thankfully most people and dogs do not visit). I don't mind that he gets to go to the park and can be off leash and run the way he was meant to, but just that short walk to the park is stressful for me. Right now I can still control him when he see's another dog, but I know he will get stronger and one day my arm may not be able to take him pulling and he will run free (this is my biggest fear).

Do you think I should carry treats with me to reward him when he ignores or doesn't bark at another animal to reinforce that behavior? Or should I just pretend as though seeing another dog is the most normal thing in the world and show absolutely no reaction?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip18 (Post 5082722)
Why?? It is easier to teach him to ignore other dogs then to socialize with them. Dogs do need to be safe around people, if you "crammed" people into his face and he handled it fine , you have a solid dog.

I had Dominate male dogs and they were fine with people and were taught to ignore other dogs. My dogs are for me and my family not other peoples chew toy.

I and my friends with well behaved dogs don't do dogie visits, we put a lot of work into our dogs and have no need to put them at risk with a bad experience!

Most likely the folks you know with "aggressive dogs" did just what your proposing?

My tip would be teach your dog to ignore other dogs. No sit, no correction just keep moving! That's how I taught them to accept people and ignore dogs. He doesn't need dogie friends that's why he has/had me and "his" dogs.


Chip18 02-25-2014 03:32 AM

Bolt?? Now that's a whole nuther issue! More folks will be around soon. I just wanted to help you set your goals a bit lower. People safe is always job one. You did that..not the way I would have done it but it worked for you and your dog!

Dog friendly is a big push, dog tolerant is a whole lot easier with that much clear your on your way! :)

But If the dog will bolt from you that's not acceptable! Your dog should stay be your side regardless of wither he has a leash on or not! My dogs are leashed because it makes people feel comfortable when they see them on the street not because I need it to control them,

Don't know how he does on leash but this could be useful?


Chip18 02-25-2014 03:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Serbrider (Post 5082698)
Do it in a neutral location. Don't force anything. He may never be friends with other dogs, but at the very least, he should be expected to remain calm, and ignore them.


What you need to do is don't immediately go to the most distracting place. Have your neighbor/friend have their dogs at the opposite end of the park (try and be the only ones with dogs there if possible). And then walk your dog towards them. The moment he stops focusing on you and tenses up when walking towards the other dogs, quickly turn around and walk the other way until you have his attention back on you and calm (have him do some tricks, make him really think about YOU, not other dogs). Then go back, and do the same thing, trying to move closer each time.

It might take quite a while... but it really does work, because you aren't just throwing him next to the other dogs and trying to scream at him to get his attention. You expect attention the whole time, and slowly add in the distractions, always retreating with the distractions until you solidly have his attention.

What you want is a dog that will not react at all at the sight of other dogs. He may never love other dogs, or play with other dogs... but if he will ignore other dogs, you can take him on walks and around other people and their dogs without the stress of him barking and carrying on.

Gonna piggy back: Explains about treats but.."I" wouldn't do any work with other dogs at this point...artificial meetings, you already know he has issues, why set him up to fail?

nits231 02-25-2014 05:00 AM

This video is actually great! I had started him on leash training but because I had to travel for nearly 4 months for work, it all went down the drain. I have started training him again now that I am back. This video helps a lot because it mentions methods to keep Leo calm before I even step out of the house. So thank you so much for this! I can clearly see the wrong signals I have been giving him (unconsciously of course).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip18 (Post 5082818)
Bolt?? Now that's a whole nuther issue! More folks will be around soon. I just wanted to help you set your goals a bit lower. People safe is always job one. You did that..not the way I would have done it but it worked for you and your dog!

Dog friendly is a big push, dog tolerant is a whole lot easier with that much clear your on your way! :)

But If the dog will bolt from you that's not acceptable! Your dog should stay be your side regardless of wither he has a leash on or not! My dogs are leashed because it makes people feel comfortable when they see them on the street not because I need it to control them,

Don't know how he does on leash but this could be useful?

Dog Pulling Leash... How To Stop - YouTube


nits231 02-25-2014 05:04 AM

Thanks for this great video! Around where I live we have a lot of street/stray dogs on the road itself. So the encounter with other dogs is going to happen whether I like it or not. I try my best to avoid routes that involve the strays but sometimes they sit close to the entrance of the park where I take Leo. My thought regarding working with other 'known' dogs was just a measure of safety. Since I know those dogs are leashed and will not attack him even if he misbehaves. However, I will begin working on training him to ignore other animals. That is my best chance.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip18 (Post 5082834)
Gonna piggy back: Explains about treats but.."I" wouldn't do any work with other dogs at this point...artificial meetings, you already know he has issues, why set him up to fail?
Reactive Dog 2 - YouTube


Chip18 02-25-2014 08:03 PM

Good plan, I would think. Know dogs under controlled conditions are different. But the "I thought he was friendly folks??" Won't do!

Are pepper spray and/or a walking stick viable options for you?


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