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-   -   Well, that was awkward. (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/general-behavior/220914-well-awkward.html)

blehmannwa 02-11-2013 02:21 AM

Well, that was awkward.
 
I took Havoc out for a quick spin around the park this morning. I've been really working with him on his reactivity and obedience with distractions. We had a nice walk, did some obedience, some LAT and no corrections because there weren't any behaviors that warranted a correction.

We had such a nice time that when he wanted to keep going and walk the long way around our cul-de-sac, I indulged him. When we rounded the corner to my house our neighborhood handymen was leaving our yard. Havoc became suspicious. I greeted the guy and he walked toward me with his hand out. I had to tell him to keep his distance.

Havoc was alert and restless. I had him in a sit-stay by my side. The guy asked me, " Does he bite?" and I said "No, but he jumps and he doesn't like people approaching me." We discussed some work and the guy turned away and Havoc lunged. I had him on a short leash and he sat back down. He didn't seem scared, upset or aggressive and it wasn't much of a lunge--just kind of businesslike.

This handyman is a sketchy guy. He's not scary or terribly methy but he's not quite right. Havoc has been fine with both him and his grandson in the past. I think that the fact that this guy startled him by being in his yard and my surprise at his presence (He had rung our front bell about window washing.) made both Havs and I a little off balance. I'm glad that I told him not to approach but it's the first time that I've had to say "Don't touch!"

carmspack 02-11-2013 02:38 AM

but the guy had turned away when the dog lunged there was no threat at any point -- edgy dog -- be aware and make sure you have control .

blehmannwa 02-11-2013 03:31 AM

I agree. It's those small moments where I relax my control that he decides to take matters into his own paws and assert himself. As I said, he wasn't overly excited--not even pilo erected. He was easy to restrain. This kind of behavior --jumping/lunging--happens at the end of controlled encounters. It's as though I relax before he's ready to let things go.

I'm not entirely comfortable with the handyman. When I said that he wasn't terribly methy, I'm pretty sure that he does have some drug issues. I'm not personally threatened by him but he is off.

I had Havoc in a sit stay and when the handyman turned to his car I moved forward toward my house. Havoc lunged in the man's direction and was easily moved into a heel. I'm sure he picked up on my startle when the guy came out of my yard.

But this is not a behavior that I want. Havs needs to understand that when I relax, he needs to relax.

carmspack 02-11-2013 03:57 AM

yeah , it's too bad this is how such a good day ended . Maybe if you had taken a few steps with the man in the same direction some of the pent up energy (stress) would have been discharged and then you take change direction to your house - no lunge , no correction , good boy, building confidence and control?

blehmannwa 02-11-2013 04:09 AM

It could have been a better outcome. You are right, a few steps towards the handyman in a controlled heel and turn toward the house would have prevented the lunge. I just get distracted myself. Havs gets reactive because I lose focus.


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