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Thread: Manners when meeting new dogs/people Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-11-2013 11:14 AM
Andi Thank you for all of the advice! That is exactly what I was working on with the trainer. We worked on the focusing and paying attention to me and then once that was solid (with the help of an e-collar), we brought his shepherd into the equation. After much trial and error, we finally had them sitting about 5 feet apart at which time I gave Lola the "ok" to be released from down position to go over and greet my trainer's dog. It was fine until his dog went to stand up...then my dog lost it (so I pulled her back to walk with me). But I can see how if we continue that type of scenario, it may help.

I should note -- I'm not using the e-collar when she barks at dogs -- only using it to get her to walk/heel/sit if she's not paying attention to me -- and using it at low levels.
12-10-2013 04:55 PM
David Winners
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bequavious View Post
I agree with Balif and also wanted to add that if you have a cooperative friend with a dog, you can practice together where your dog only gets to move closer to the friend's dog when she's being quiet and controlled. If she starts to pull, you turn around and go back to the beginning. Be careful not to exceed your pup's limits though. If she starts to regress, she's probably getting tired so give her an easy win and call it a day until next time.

But yeah 6/7 months seems to be a common age for leash reactivity to crop up. Be patient and consistent and she'll get better


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David Winners
12-10-2013 04:53 PM
David Winners On top of what Baillif is recommending, which I totally agree with, I'd like to stress working on focus and engagement with the dog. When you have proven to the dog that it pays to pay attention to you under any circumstances, redirecting the dog back to you becomes much easier. Start on focus in a familiar, distraction free environment, and then move to incrementally more distracting environments as the dog permits. Keep the reward schedule high and set the dog up for success.

The way to make this efficient and successful is to work in controlled conditions, like at an empty football field, where you can control the distance to the trigger, you can pay close attention to the dog, and you don't get surprised by someone coming around a corner or an off leash dog. Enlist a neighbor with a familiar dog. Have them stay at one end of the field while you work on focus at the other end. Slowly (after 20 repetitions of watch me) decrease the distance to the distraction. If the dog gets inside it's threshold and reacts, you went too fast. Back up and work slower.

After you can be close to the other dog with focus, start working on passing head on. Begin at opposite sides of the field and slowly work closer to the other dog.

This is much like the Lou Castle desensitization method (which is where I originally got the idea of using a boundary marker to keep the distraction as consistent as possible), but without using the e-collar because the puppy is too young.

JMHO. You need focus to be successful in this area.

David Winners
12-10-2013 02:59 PM
Bequavious
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andi View Post
I have similar issues that I've been working on with my puppy. She's 7 months old, goes to daycare 2x/week and is fine with the dogs there. However, when I'm bringing her inside the daycare building and she's on her leash and sees other dogs -- or when we're out for a walk on the leash and sees other dogs -- she lunges and barks like crazy. I was working with a trainer on this but we're still having some issues. What I've been doing is walking the other direction, redirecting her to me, giving her treats, etc... but honestly, it isn't improving much. I'm hoping this is a phase?? I need to watch the videos posted on this thread...maybe those will be insightful.
I agree with Balif and also wanted to add that if you have a cooperative friend with a dog, you can practice together where your dog only gets to move closer to the friend's dog when she's being quiet and controlled. If she starts to pull, you turn around and go back to the beginning. Be careful not to exceed your pup's limits though. If she starts to regress, she's probably getting tired so give her an easy win and call it a day until next time.

But yeah 6/7 months seems to be a common age for leash reactivity to crop up. Be patient and consistent and she'll get better


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12-10-2013 12:30 PM
Baillif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andi View Post
I have similar issues that I've been working on with my puppy. She's 7 months old, goes to daycare 2x/week and is fine with the dogs there. However, when I'm bringing her inside the daycare building and she's on her leash and sees other dogs -- or when we're out for a walk on the leash and sees other dogs -- she lunges and barks like crazy. I was working with a trainer on this but we're still having some issues. What I've been doing is walking the other direction, redirecting her to me, giving her treats, etc... but honestly, it isn't improving much. I'm hoping this is a phase?? I need to watch the videos posted on this thread...maybe those will be insightful.
In your case she is probably barking out of frustration. She plays with dogs all day at daycare and to her strange new dogs=FUN! She sees one and immediately wants to go meet and discovers to her dismay she can't because she is leashed to you and you're not cooperating. So that creates frustration, and the barking you see and the lunging is an expression of that frustration. It isn't a phase, so much as it was an unintentionally learned behavior. On top of that shes having that strange new dogs=fun calculation in her head reproduced over and over again at daycare so it is working against your desensitization routine.

You would maybe have better luck teaching her that not pulling= you can meet the dog under controlled circumstances first. Then when she is calmer and not losing her mind about it stop letting her meet them every time through redirection and other stuff like that.
12-10-2013 12:27 PM
Baillif Yeah there were probably 2 things that played into it.

1. The closer you got to home the more comfortable he is going to be with a more aggressive response. He's got home court advantage and thus more comfortable and more likely to act defensively than to go into avoidance behaviors.

2. The passing people thing is just too much right now. You have to go out of your way to avoid it or it may be a set back to your desensitization program. You don't want him to have that chance to practice the old behaviors. You will get there at some point but for now try to do everything you can to avoid going under threshold like that for now.

You've already noticed that there is a contextual element to the behavior. It is because the behavior was created (intentionally or unintentionally) under a certain context and is reproduced when the situation closely meets that context under which the behavior was created vs situations where the situation isn't even close.

To put it more simply. It is kind of like if you were to first teach a dog how to sit while you were standing up. If you are successful at teaching that and then all of a sudden sit down when you give the command the dog might look at you like he has no clue what you want. The context under which the sit behavior was created no longer matches.
12-10-2013 12:15 PM
Andi I have similar issues that I've been working on with my puppy. She's 7 months old, goes to daycare 2x/week and is fine with the dogs there. However, when I'm bringing her inside the daycare building and she's on her leash and sees other dogs -- or when we're out for a walk on the leash and sees other dogs -- she lunges and barks like crazy. I was working with a trainer on this but we're still having some issues. What I've been doing is walking the other direction, redirecting her to me, giving her treats, etc... but honestly, it isn't improving much. I'm hoping this is a phase?? I need to watch the videos posted on this thread...maybe those will be insightful.
12-09-2013 03:46 PM
macy Had my first try at taking her on a walk again today. It went well until the very end. I was trying to treat her lots when we encountered new or different things, or when I noticed she seemed a little nervous... There weren't many people out today as the weather's quite awful but she did fine when we saw people/dogs in the park at a distance and was fine when we saw a mom and two young kids across the street (was proud of this as she hasn't had a ton of exposure around kids).
But right when we were almost back at the house, we passed a lady walking and Macy flipped out - aggressively barking/growling and lunging at her despite me giving her treats. So that signals to me that's too much for her (after watching those videos). But I've noticed... The only times she acts aggressive to people is when people are passing by us on walks. She's fine if they're in front/behind us and if she meets people as closely but in a different setting (puppy classes, vets, visitors, for example).
I guess I will just keep at it!
12-09-2013 10:13 AM
Baillif I typically take it a step further than that too. If I have the dog out for socialization training in my case I don't even want my dog glancing their way. He gets an are you ready cue and that is the signal for focused attention. So everything is more or less set up to where the time spent with the dog out and about he is kept in an "attention bubble." Attention and obedience are reinforced at an extremely high rate everything is kept really fun so that the dog doesn't check out and remains focused on me the entire time we are doing our thing. At some point when the dog is far enough along he can receive a correction just for looking away.
12-09-2013 10:06 AM
Baillif If I were going to use prong, and for that situation I find it can be counter productive unless you know exactly what you are doing and have great timing know exactly what strength correction the dog needs in and out of drive and have a good read on the dog in general, I would use a hard prong them out of drive correction but only if they had begun the lunging reactive behavior.

It stuns the behavior to a stop TEMPORARILY and then you can quickly follow up with the behavior you actually want out of them, but this only works if you did it exactly right and you pronged them out of drive but didn't prong them so hard they shut down on you.

My preferred method when they do the lunging thing is to pull straight up on the leash and leave em only touching the ground with their back feet. As soon as the dog sits or downs I let all the pressure off. Helps make lunging not fun and avoids building drive by accident by tugging directly against the dog in the opposite direction.

Before you got to the re-activity point I find it is best to ask for a behavior. Look, is usually the one I use. As soon as they look I reward with food or toy that has had its value built up in the eyes of the dog to the level it is essentially a tool. If I leave the house with the young dog I ALWAYS have one of the two ready. It becomes a habit for the dog eventually. It can even get to the point that when the dog is surprised by a trigger way in under the threshold they can be in the middle of the bark lunge behavior and when you ask for the behavior they look back at you and when you mark and throw that toy out they completely cease to give a crap that the trigger is even there.

Sri If you have a dog that is just frustrated it can't meet and on top of that was used to having that frustration built up from opposition reflex against a leash you might consider finding some dogs you know your dog won't fight and is fairly familiar with. You want them leashed and under control. When your pup does the bark lunge stuff you just hold him in place and keep holding him there until he calms down and either sits or goes into a down. Soon as that happens you mark it and reward the dog by allowing the meeting. If that happens enough times with enough different dogs you can put it in the dogs head you will only allow a meeting if he doesn't act like a complete idiot. Then you can go to a variable reward schedule for that and the dog starts to gamble, or the dog will just be more receptive to taking commands and following other methods.

The prong stuff for that kind of thing can work, but the problem I find with it is the dog can learn to associate the presence of strange people and dogs with physical corrections you can end up stacking stress onto the dog on top of whatever fear or frustration was already there.
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