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Old 12-08-2013, 06:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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One behaviour I noticed when we were taking her on walks is that when she would see another dog approaching, she lays down. It's kind of like she is in "prey-stalking mode". She sometimes won't budge, or sometimes will lay down, then stalk closer to the dog low to the ground, lay down, stalk, etc.
I'm curious about how to correct this as well. Ours does this, on walks when he sees other dogs approaching and I can't budge him from this position to keep distance between him and the other dog. I recently started using the prong, and this has no effect on him, in fact I notice it made his excitement almost aggressive.

He has been in day care recently and the trianer there said he is not aggressive to other dogs at all, and this behaviour is most probably frustration at not being able to meet the other dogs. I am quite perplexed at how to address this because obviously I cannot let him meet dogs when he is so excitedly pulling towards them, and not meeting is only adding to his frustration level. gah
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I recently started using the prong, and this has no effect on him, in fact I notice it made his excitement almost aggressive.
If I don't use the prong just right and get that "pop" it will ramp up Paisley and get her more aggressive. It took working with our trainer to figure out what we were doing wrong.

I will also say to the OP that Paisley was a similar pill at around 4.5 months (except everything seemed to set her off) and I am happy to say that she is a ton better now (so much so that I get compliments on her behavior). We lucked out and found the right trainer (I drive 3 hours one way to see her for private lessons) to help us get through this time. I realized puppy class just wasn't cutting it for us, so I found someone who could help.
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Old 12-09-2013, 09:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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If I don't use the prong just right and get that "pop" it will ramp up Paisley and get her more aggressive. It took working with our trainer to figure out what we were doing wrong.

I will also say to the OP that Paisley was a similar pill at around 4.5 months (except everything seemed to set her off) and I am happy to say that she is a ton better now (so much so that I get compliments on her behavior). We lucked out and found the right trainer (I drive 3 hours one way to see her for private lessons) to help us get through this time. I realized puppy class just wasn't cutting it for us, so I found someone who could help.
Yes, I realise I am the one who needs to learn how to use it properly. Although I worked with a trainer I just can't seem to get the hang of it .
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:38 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Yes, I realise I am the one who needs to learn how to use it properly. Although I worked with a trainer I just can't seem to get the hang of it .
It took me awhile to get it too. You will get there


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Old 12-09-2013, 10:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm curious about how to correct this as well. Ours does this, on walks when he sees other dogs approaching and I can't budge him from this position to keep distance between him and the other dog. I recently started using the prong, and this has no effect on him, in fact I notice it made his excitement almost aggressive.

He has been in day care recently and the trianer there said he is not aggressive to other dogs at all, and this behaviour is most probably frustration at not being able to meet the other dogs. I am quite perplexed at how to address this because obviously I cannot let him meet dogs when he is so excitedly pulling towards them, and not meeting is only adding to his frustration level. gah
You need to know your dog's triggers and be very aware of when they come near and your dog's behavior. Once he is "locked in" so to speak, it's too late to do much teaching, and I would just say "let's go" and make a u-turn to pull him off balance and walk in the other direction.

Ideally, though, you'll catch him when he first shows interest and snap him out of it (with a sound/word, a touch, or a leash correction depending on what you're doing in the rest of your training) and regain his attention on you. If you're unable to keep his attention and keep him below threshold, you're too close and need to get more space.

If it's a walk type situation where the trigger will only keep getting closer, you have to be a little more creative and it depends on your dog's threshold level. If he is reactive at long distances, I would make a u-turn and look for a turn off, but if he's good until the trigger comes pretty close I would probably just step off to the side and ask for attention with food or a toy as reinforcement.


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Old 12-09-2013, 11:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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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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Old 12-09-2013, 11:13 AM   #17 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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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!
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 12-10-2013, 01:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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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.
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