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Thread: What do you do when a passer by wants to chat? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-02-2015 06:36 PM
pets4life can u take off her bandana while walking? it just attracts attention

dog clothes make people wantto chat
02-02-2015 06:01 PM
Nikkavy
This might be my problem...

Thanks Bailiff for the story & explanation.

I have a 2YO spayed female white shepherd who is sometimes reactive on leash especially when walking near our apartment complex. Most reactivity is focused on dogs - she goes hackles up, uses her big dog bark for most any dog she sees on the street. Mostly I think this is wanting to investigate (she also barks at things "out of place" like someone's trash bag in the hallway or someone far away she can't see well). There are a couple of dogs she really dislikes and I think her bark is a little different in those cases.

However she is always friendly (if rather disinterested) with other dogs at her daycare/training, our classes, and the dog park. She likes to focus on the tennis ball or sniffing everything more than playing with other dogs but is not mean to them. I discussed this with my trainer who works her as part of weekly daycare, trainer says she can't offer much advice because she NEVER does this with her even on leash in the city when other dogs lunge at her. She's offered to do a private session and come to my home, we may do that sometime soon.

I do correct her and walk the other way when she barks/lunges/pulls at other dogs on the street. With the headcollar I am more gentle but with the prong she gets a good strong "straight up" correction as much as I can manage though sometimes it's also a backward pull just to get her to move the way I want. She does better on the headcollar but really hates it even after 8 months.

Any suggestions to get her to just stop this altogether? I have tackled her a few times and held her down as our trainer does for jumping/acting out. Works but the memory must fade and she's back at it after a few days.

Thanks again, this thread and your comments are very helpful.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
There's definitely something to it. I'll give you an example of how it can go although this isn't necessarily the case with a dog it often could be.

There was a dog that came in recently. It was an English bulldog/pit bull mix or something of that sort. Socialization didn't happen and the dog became fear aggressive of people and then was leash reactive because the owner or trigger people positively rewarded the dogs aggression with adding distance. On top of that the owner was tightening the leash and basically using back pressure on the line like you would if you were agitating a dog for a bite.

They went to a really good positive reinforcement only trainer in this area that tried to counter condition at threshold and all that crap and they could never get the dog under control. She did do a good job teaching him flashy fast recalls down sit and all that mess though.

So the dog gets to us. We had to make friends because he wanted to kill everyone on staff. Once I built up trust and won him over with some natural balance I put an e collar on him and started punishing him for every reaction or act of aggression he made toward anybody.

About 10 stims and a week into it we had him at our cookouts loose off leash unmuzzled. Could take him for walks in public and joggers were running by him on trails and not only was he not reactive he was comfortable and relaxed. He was still reserved around strangers but quickly warmed up to new people. In any case he wasn't biting anybody.

So how did this happen? Simple. The counter conditioning the positive reinforcement trainer used worked. However the reactivity was an operant behavior at that point. It happened because it was trained into the dog like a reflex. The reasons for the behavior formation may have been mostly gone but the behavior remained until punished to eradication which in that case happened very very quickly.

A behavior like leash reactivity easily becomes self reinforcing. It maybe starts because the dog is uncomfortable and then barks out of fear. The trigger pulls away out of fear or concern or the handler moves the dog away and the dog gets a surge of adrenaline followed by a rush of victory endorphins. Might as well be doing heroin. It's why it's so important to interrupt that process and punish it so that it stops occurring. Then the counter conditioning can happen with a dog that isn't stark raving mad.
07-10-2014 11:02 AM
Amurphy26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanketback View Post
This is interesting. Do you think it was because she's better behaved when your DH has control? Or did she already know these people, so they weren't such a threat to her? Obviously nobody can tell over the internet exactly what's going on, but I'm wondering if there's a big difference between how you and DH react to her reactivity.

This is fairly typical when either of us is holding her and the other person has already done the introductions without her present. She's the same when she comes back from a walk with one of us and there is someone new in the house. She loves them like a long lost friend.

With regards to addressing the root of the problem with this dog it all started with our next door neighbours Pappilon attacking her through the fence from when she was 12 weeks old. The neighbour refused to do anything about it and we've since moved. Following on from that she was making massive improvements until at about 11 months when she was chased and pinned twice on one walk by another GSD when she was playing with her sister. Since then she's been unable to relax around other dogs.

Prong collars - I'm never going to use one. I've heard about the success people have with them but I won't use one.


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07-07-2014 10:52 AM
lyssa62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanketback View Post
Lyssa, I think that if all these dogs are reacting like this, and they're all part of the same pack walk, then they all need to learn the "quiet" command, lol. Seriously, there's no reason for the carrying on. I'm not discounting that some dogs will be panicking and bucking to get out of the collar to flee from whatever they're afraid of - but that doesn't sound like what's going on.

oh it's a scene -- Roxy and Sophie are not social butterflies ( my shepherd and the 1 labordoodle) ...they will ignore people walking past...but if they start walking towards us ...hackles up ...barking commences. Roxy really doesn't lunge at people she's more vocal. Sophie -- she's more on guard...I am 99.5% sure there would NEVER be any attempt to bite...it's more warning noise. Then we have the socialite Bella who loves everybody ...there are no strangers in Bella's life as long as they are petting her. ( I need that happy medium cuz I'm really not that fond of having an over friendly dog either)
07-05-2014 06:15 PM
Chip18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolby View Post
There is also a huge difference in teaching an aggressively reactive dog to ignore compared to one without any underlying issues.

Now I’m not making a claim about which side of the spectrum your dog started on (because I don’t know) but in regards to Amurphy26’s dog, it would help the dog and the owner alike if the root of the reaction was addressed, not masked.
Agree!

Yeah you don't want to call out my dog! He is on the record here..."what would my dog do!!!"

He was my intro to "Red Flag" dogs! Quite a bit different experience for me! Serious inter pact aggression issues and then "people issues on top of that! Suffice to say had I not "opted" to keep him...he would have most likely been put down!

His "people issues" did not show up for 7 months, got him as a rescue at 7 months. A low growl greeted company for the first time!!??

That was as far as that got!!! He never got a chance to go further!!!

What I outlined is what "we" did and it worked out just fine.

As llombardo, stated it's not easy to find other dog owners willing to use there dog as a "guinea pig"

I did find someone in my neighbour that would do just that, had I know about a muzzle for my Bull Mastiff/APBT/Lab at the time, I would have taken him up on it. But "I" was not willing to take the chance with someone else’s dog!

So I tend to go solo, my dog is safe in public, safe around other dogs... he looks to "me" to me for direction!
07-05-2014 11:23 AM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amurphy26 View Post
Thanks again for the advice. I like the idea of teaching her to move and stay behind me and ignore. A lot of what I've been doing and how I teach her has involved little lead handling and allowing her to make a decision because as soon as I put tension on the lead she reacts so it's involved a lot of 'watch me'. For example we see a dog or person coming towards us and I have to stop to get her focus or move out the way so I stop walking. Lead is usually tight now so I step in to it to relieve tension on it. After a few seconds she automatically looks at me, is rewarded and we step to the side, I ask for a down or sit which she does and she keeps focus on me till the person passes. It's taken a long time to get to this stage. Set ups with neighbours etc like was described wouldn't help here as this is when strangers just walk up but thanks for the info.
Thankfully there is only one area here where kids play so we don't walk there much now. We're not avoiding it just because of the kids but also because of the horses. If she reacts and spooks a horse there could be serious injury so it wouldn't be responsible for me to take her there. I suppose it's more a question of moving on to the next stage. She doesn't react to people now unless they get within 2 metres or less of her and are heading towards her. I don't feel a muzzle is the answer because I guess I have to accept that them approaching is the only way we're going to get passed the next step and they won't do this if she has a muzzle. As her general training progress she's more responsive to me so when she does react it lasts a shorter time and is brought under control quicker. These are reactions. She acts without thinking. Example - someone has approached without warning, she reacts by barking and lunges, I pull her back, tell her down and ask for focus. She does it and 10 seconds later is lying relaxed at my feet. It's taken a while to get to this so now it's all about dealing with the actual reaction. Because she is fearful of men in particular I feel I really struggle in this area. A deep man voice stops her instantly, before she reacts but I don't have one of those or upper body strength and prong and e collars aren't for me.




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A prong would go a long way here for control and confidence for you. It took me about 4 months to get my dog not reactive. I didn't just take him for a walk and wait for people/dogs to pass. In fact for the first couple months we sat 20 feet from thd entrance of the pet store and on a park bench. We stayed at that distance until no reaction then moved closer. During this time we worked on watch me and leave its. Then we started walking around the park. When a dog was approaching I would put him in a sit. Sometimes I used watch me, then I started taking treats and throwing them in the opposite direction, he would be so busy looking for the treats that he wouldn't even bother with the dog, this helped with him getting used to dogs within 10 ft or so. Then the last phase was actually walking him and NOT putting him in a sit when a dog approached. At first I would see the dog and do a u turn with my dog telling him let's go in a very happy voice. I went through a phase of using all these things together to. So I think I did things exactly opposite of you and didn't shoot for the walking first, but the conditioning of the dog for a walk. He was finally able to start classes and he can sit or lay down with dogs brushing against him without problems. It's a long road.
07-05-2014 08:44 AM
Kolby
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
There is a "hugh" difference between "ignoring" people and avoiding people. My guy was taught to "ignore" both. And thatís what he does.

I have taken him to parks for proofing. Other dogs can approach him with out issue, he isn't allowed to play with "strange dogs" but he has no issues with them.
There is also a huge difference in teaching an aggressively reactive dog to ignore compared to one without any underlying issues.

Now Iím not making a claim about which side of the spectrum your dog started on (because I donít know) but in regards to Amurphy26ís dog, it would help the dog and the owner alike if the root of the reaction was addressed, not masked.
07-05-2014 07:57 AM
Blanketback
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amurphy26 View Post
Normally she would of gone crazy at them but because me and the other dog were already there she treated them like they were her long lost friends.
This is interesting. Do you think it was because she's better behaved when your DH has control? Or did she already know these people, so they weren't such a threat to her? Obviously nobody can tell over the internet exactly what's going on, but I'm wondering if there's a big difference between how you and DH react to her reactivity.
07-05-2014 02:22 AM
Amurphy26 Thanks again for the advice. I like the idea of teaching her to move and stay behind me and ignore. A lot of what I've been doing and how I teach her has involved little lead handling and allowing her to make a decision because as soon as I put tension on the lead she reacts so it's involved a lot of 'watch me'. For example we see a dog or person coming towards us and I have to stop to get her focus or move out the way so I stop walking. Lead is usually tight now so I step in to it to relieve tension on it. After a few seconds she automatically looks at me, is rewarded and we step to the side, I ask for a down or sit which she does and she keeps focus on me till the person passes. It's taken a long time to get to this stage. Set ups with neighbours etc like was described wouldn't help here as this is when strangers just walk up but thanks for the info.
Thankfully there is only one area here where kids play so we don't walk there much now. We're not avoiding it just because of the kids but also because of the horses. If she reacts and spooks a horse there could be serious injury so it wouldn't be responsible for me to take her there. I suppose it's more a question of moving on to the next stage. She doesn't react to people now unless they get within 2 metres or less of her and are heading towards her. I don't feel a muzzle is the answer because I guess I have to accept that them approaching is the only way we're going to get passed the next step and they won't do this if she has a muzzle. As her general training progress she's more responsive to me so when she does react it lasts a shorter time and is brought under control quicker. These are reactions. She acts without thinking. Example - someone has approached without warning, she reacts by barking and lunges, I pull her back, tell her down and ask for focus. She does it and 10 seconds later is lying relaxed at my feet. It's taken a while to get to this so now it's all about dealing with the actual reaction. Because she is fearful of men in particular I feel I really struggle in this area. A deep man voice stops her instantly, before she reacts but I don't have one of those or upper body strength and prong and e collars aren't for me.




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07-04-2014 11:49 PM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolby View Post
I’m certainly no expert but I would work on reducing the chance of a negative reaction by building value in a positive reaction.

Here’s a simple method I recently used when working with a dog who was highly reactive and fearfully aggressive towards other dogs in close proximity; the goal of the exercise was to have my dog (Kolby) approach and greet the reactive dog (Shadow) without any issues. I would have tried a similar approach with a people reactive dog.

We began the exercise with the two dogs roughly 150ft apart to ensure Shadow was in his safe zone. We then walked both dogs in the same direction while maintaining the distance apart. After each successful turn we decreased the distance, praised and rewarded, then repeated. Any time Shadow appeared even remotely distracted by Kolby’s presence his owner would call his name, wait for a head turn, and immediately reward. If Shadow refused to look away after the initial call the owner would simply turn around and walk back in the opposite direction (to avoid devaluing the recall and reduce the chance of a freak-out). As Shadow became more comfortable with the exercise we started walking towards each other and adding sits/downs while waiting for the other owner + dog to pass by (always praising for correct decisions). We eventually shortened the distance until Shadow was calmly within a feet of Kolby, followed by snout to snout.

Like I said, it’s a very simple approach but it has worked well for me quite a few times.

You can do many variations of this exercise just remember to control your environment when starting out. Ask a friend (preferably someone your dog has never met) to meet you on a field and have them start at a distance away from you. Play a highly rewarding focus/decision making game with your GSD while your friend gradually approaches - decreasing the distance with each successful trial. You want to minimize your losses from the start so change the criteria if you see any signs of unwanted behavior. The point is for your dog to focus on the task and not your friend (the stranger). Continue to cycle through until your friend is within arm’s reach and is able to approach you. This doesn't necessarily mean they should have a conversation with you; maybe a handshake is all your dog will be able to tolerate at first. It may also take several sessions depending on the severity of your situation so be patient with the process and make adjustments as needed.

Allowing aggressive reactions to happen reinforces them. But avoiding strangers won't solve the problem ether. Controlling your environment while in training and slowly transitioning it to the read world may be what your team needs. Again, no expert here, just going off of some ideas that have worked for me.

Hope some of this helps!
Cheers and best of luck.
I used this approach with Midnite also. The problem is that most people aren't going to let their dog be subjected to a possible issue. I was lucky enough to have a neighbor with a stable GSD. Midnite barked from a distance but got quieter as we got closer then started barking again. Once he was able to smell the other dog he calmed down even more. I don't allow my dogs to meet other dogs face to face, so we positioned the dogs so Midnite could sniff his butt. Within 10 minutes the guy took both dogs for a jog, he had one on each side. By the time they came back they were next to each other. This gave me lots of hope and more confidence.
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