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Thread: Leash reactivity becoming overwhelming? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-22-2013 06:52 PM
doggiedad find a trainer. train and socialize everyday.
12-22-2013 06:46 PM
Sri You know I was watching Turid Rugaas' Calming Signals video last night and I thought I should share this with you.

She talks about reactivity quite a bit and natural dog language. One thing she advises is that when strage dogs approach each other their movements slow down, and they kind of go around in a curvy way toward each other or passing each other. So when your dog is reactive she says to go around in a huge curve around the other dog, and over time make smaller and smaller curves. This makes the dog get used to passing other dogs in a relaxed and calm manner.

If you can find that video do watch it. Its a really important one for all dog owners.
12-21-2013 07:03 PM
Sri
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pup_pup View Post
Wow guys, thanks so much for the responses!

To answer some questions:

He's not dog aggressive. He's 110% appropriate off leash.

I'm not sure what to do about the neighbors. It seems to me that they're either first time dog owners or just maybe a little irresponsible. They leave their dog's poop all over the place, and like I said, they never make any effort to discipline their dogs when they're outside, and they constantly bark inside. So for now I would like to just avoid them. I'll start using the front lawn.

I think I'll go to petsmart/petco for now. The parking lots are never busy and that will give him the space he needs for now.

Yes, I do treat every outing as a training session. Most times when we're on a walk, I'll recall him, do some "watch me," sits, downs, stays, leave its. I do them kind of randomly to reinforce the idea that these things could be asked of him at any time.

He's really spectacular other than this recent thing, which is why I'm so unsettled by it. He's usually incredibly laid back and responsive.

Any opinions on neutering now vs later? Vet recommended later, since apparently the hormones will aid in development.
Yours sounds like a great dog! And if he is doing well offleash, that is even better. Mine is not aggressive as well, but he is obnoxious in his greetings. He is all over the other dog. Hence the playgroups to teach him manners. He used to play very well, but the trainer said part of this rude behavior is his hormones because he is not neutered.

Our Vet recommended the same about neutering, wait till he is 14 months, so we will try to wait that long.

Good luck with yours!
12-21-2013 03:01 PM
Pup_pup Wow guys, thanks so much for the responses!

To answer some questions:

He's not dog aggressive. He's 110% appropriate off leash.

I'm not sure what to do about the neighbors. It seems to me that they're either first time dog owners or just maybe a little irresponsible. They leave their dog's poop all over the place, and like I said, they never make any effort to discipline their dogs when they're outside, and they constantly bark inside. So for now I would like to just avoid them. I'll start using the front lawn.

I think I'll go to petsmart/petco for now. The parking lots are never busy and that will give him the space he needs for now.

Yes, I do treat every outing as a training session. Most times when we're on a walk, I'll recall him, do some "watch me," sits, downs, stays, leave its. I do them kind of randomly to reinforce the idea that these things could be asked of him at any time.

He's really spectacular other than this recent thing, which is why I'm so unsettled by it. He's usually incredibly laid back and responsive.

Any opinions on neutering now vs later? Vet recommended later, since apparently the hormones will aid in development.
12-21-2013 11:19 AM
Sri
Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
what's even better is that now midnite is that stable dog.he always had it in him, he just needed a little direction. Dogs/puppies can get in his face, jump on him,etc and not a word out of him. He has an awesome temperament. I knew that when i got him at the shelter

so awesome!
12-21-2013 11:05 AM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sri View Post
This was so good to read, and very encouraging. Wow, I wish I knew someone like that...
What's even better is that now Midnite is that stable dog.He always had it in him, he just needed a little direction. Dogs/puppies can get in his face, jump on him,etc and not a word out of him. He has an awesome temperament. I knew that when I got him at the shelter
12-21-2013 10:35 AM
Sri
Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
I went through this with my boy Midnite. I got him from the shelter at about the same age. We were put in a separate waiting area at the vet when he went for his 10 day check up, he was loud and looked and sounded like he would kill all the other dogs. He even reacted the same way to dogs he lived with. He was not allowed in regular classes anywhere. Here is a timeline...got him in May, waited about a month to start anything with him because I needed to know more about him. I met with a trainer that evaluated him and it was determined he wasn't aggressive, just leash reactive(you need to determine this because they are kinda different). So for the months of June and July I did drop ins and he was behind a barrier, he didn't like that at all, but he needed some training because he had no manners. I started taking him to Petsmart, where we walked past the dogs in doggy day care hundreds of times, then we stood about 15 ft from the door and practiced leave its and focus(you have to determine what distance your dog is not reactive and start there). We would go to the park and sit on the bench waiting for dogs. I would start with one dog, then after a few days I would wait for two dogs, etc. during these exercises I started using a prong and high value treats, like venison and chicken. It's important to not let the dog get focused on the other dog. I used several redirections...I would turn the other way really fast(jogging) and say let's go in a happy voice. I would also take a handful of treats and toss them in the opposite direction of the dog coming and put my dog in hunt mode(he was to busy looking for treats). A ball worked wonders for mine. He would just squeeze the ball like it was a stress ball. I still use a ball to this day when he starts amping up, the ball calms him down. I always left each training session on a good note and made sure he didn't fail. We moved in August and the hunt for a trainer began, I still needed him in classes. In the mean time my neighbors brother has a nice stable GSD that he wanted Midnite to meet, I was not thrilled. Of course Midnite acted up but it wasn't the same. After about 5 minutes this took took both of them and was jogging down the street with them, by the time they got back they were next to each other, now I was thrilled. Mid August I thought I found a decent trainer, so I went to meet her on a Saturday. Needless to say they didn't go well. She took his leash and couldn't control him. He jumped on her and ripped her arm open trying to get to another dog. At this point I'm just shaking my head in amazement, he never did that to me and this person is a trainer? They suggested that he could not be in classes with other dogs but they would do private training for a pretty penny. I was now frustrated, but that makes me more determined. I got on the phone and called the local GSD club. I told them the situation and they invited us to come in about an hour before classes started the next day. We went and Midnite just took it all in. They had us walk the grounds so he could get used the smells,etc. then the trainer came with his two very well behaved senior GSDs. I swear I seen a flash of respect in Midnites eyes with them. He didn't bark or lunge. He started to jump up on the trainer and a simple no was all it took. Midnite has not reacted to anything since that day. In mid September Midnite passed his CGC and also became a certified therapy dog. He now goes everywhere that other dogs are and is a joy to have around. Sorry this was so long, but I want you to know that with time, patience, and a open mind to different training tools your dog can be fine too. Good Luck!!

This was so good to read, and very encouraging. Wow, I wish I knew someone like that...
12-21-2013 10:07 AM
llombardo And yes you should avoid situations where your dog will fail. You have to make your own controlled environments.
12-21-2013 09:57 AM
llombardo I went through this with my boy Midnite. I got him from the shelter at about the same age. We were put in a separate waiting area at the vet when he went for his 10 day check up, he was loud and looked and sounded like he would kill all the other dogs. He even reacted the same way to dogs he lived with. He was not allowed in regular classes anywhere. Here is a timeline...got him in May, waited about a month to start anything with him because I needed to know more about him. I met with a trainer that evaluated him and it was determined he wasn't aggressive, just leash reactive(you need to determine this because they are kinda different). So for the months of June and July I did drop ins and he was behind a barrier, he didn't like that at all, but he needed some training because he had no manners. I started taking him to Petsmart, where we walked past the dogs in doggy day care hundreds of times, then we stood about 15 ft from the door and practiced leave its and focus(you have to determine what distance your dog is not reactive and start there). We would go to the park and sit on the bench waiting for dogs. I would start with one dog, then after a few days I would wait for two dogs, etc. during these exercises I started using a prong and high value treats, like venison and chicken. It's important to not let the dog get focused on the other dog. I used several redirections...I would turn the other way really fast(jogging) and say let's go in a happy voice. I would also take a handful of treats and toss them in the opposite direction of the dog coming and put my dog in hunt mode(he was to busy looking for treats). A ball worked wonders for mine. He would just squeeze the ball like it was a stress ball. I still use a ball to this day when he starts amping up, the ball calms him down. I always left each training session on a good note and made sure he didn't fail. We moved in August and the hunt for a trainer began, I still needed him in classes. In the mean time my neighbors brother has a nice stable GSD that he wanted Midnite to meet, I was not thrilled. Of course Midnite acted up but it wasn't the same. After about 5 minutes this took took both of them and was jogging down the street with them, by the time they got back they were next to each other, now I was thrilled. Mid August I thought I found a decent trainer, so I went to meet her on a Saturday. Needless to say they didn't go well. She took his leash and couldn't control him. He jumped on her and ripped her arm open trying to get to another dog. At this point I'm just shaking my head in amazement, he never did that to me and this person is a trainer? They suggested that he could not be in classes with other dogs but they would do private training for a pretty penny. I was now frustrated, but that makes me more determined. I got on the phone and called the local GSD club. I told them the situation and they invited us to come in about an hour before classes started the next day. We went and Midnite just took it all in. They had us walk the grounds so he could get used the smells,etc. then the trainer came with his two very well behaved senior GSDs. I swear I seen a flash of respect in Midnites eyes with them. He didn't bark or lunge. He started to jump up on the trainer and a simple no was all it took. Midnite has not reacted to anything since that day. In mid September Midnite passed his CGC and also became a certified therapy dog. He now goes everywhere that other dogs are and is a joy to have around. Sorry this was so long, but I want you to know that with time, patience, and a open mind to different training tools your dog can be fine too. Good Luck!!
12-21-2013 09:44 AM
Sri And I agree with what MadLab is saying as well. Excellent advice there. It depends on how reactive your dog is though. He might sit for the flirt pole or a tug toy, even if the other dogs are present.
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