I have a 7 month old female GSD (Yazzie) that I have had since she was 8 weeks old and have had a trainer at my house weekly since she was 12 weeks old. Since she was 4 months old she has been lunging at cars. I have tried every kind of collar except for a prong or E collar. I have tried BAT training, rewarding, flooding, and NOTHING works. Recently she has started barking excessively at kids, started off just with toddler age, now its all kids, and I have a 9 year old. She is pretty good with her, but I am too afraid to bring any of her friends to my house. She also bites us (not aggressively but it hurts when she wants to play. I know this is a lot of issues, but I need help. I feel like she is out of control and I have tried everything to no avail??? I am working now with the breeder, but Yazzie is an angel when I bring her there. Is this normal?? HELP!!!!!!!!! My trainer is a positive reward/redirectional type and I'm starting to think that isn't what Yaz needs???
Cruz was much like this. I still am having trouble with my ankle that I sprained on the edge of a sidewalk when he decided to lunge at a truck going by. It's frustrating. He still will try to lunge every now and then, but for the most part he's gotten alot better.
You have to realise that with high prey drive dogs, everything is a potential target and overriding instinct with training is not going to happen overnight. There is no magic training session that will make it stop immediatley.
Here is what I've been working on with Cruz to help with lunging at cars. It's a command that can be used in many different situations. It's called the "leave it" command and your trainer may have worked with you on it already. It can be taught a few different ways. My trainer uses a toy of his during class. My former trainer used a high value treat. I prefer using the toy.
The toy method is easy. You just have to constantly train this method. What you do is get in an area where you can walk your dog in a semi-large circle. You start practicing your loose leash walking around in a circle. Have someone introduce the toy at one point in the circle your walking. Not directly in your walking path, but just outside of your walking path. Have a treat ready in hand, have someone introduce the toy, when the dog goes for the toy redirect saying "leave it" in a commanding voice and keep him walking past that point. Do not let him stop to get the toy. This will make him also lunge at the toy to get it. Keep him walking past the toy and this is important, as soon as his eye contact breaks from the toy to where he's walking, treat him and praise praise praise. Just keep going in circles like that, doing it over and over. He should eventually start to stop lunging, and will walk on past. He'll still make eye contact with the toy but as soon as he redirects his focus off the toy, treat and praise. Here is the other very important thing. Never let him have that toy! Ever! It may set your training back and it may neutralize all your hard work.
So how do I use this when walking and car lunging? Same way as I did when walking him in training. I see a car comming, he see's the car comming. I command leave it just as the car gets to us and he makes eye contact but does not lunge. As soon as his focus "eye contact" is directed back to walking, he gets treated and praised for not lunging. Usually with Cruz, I do this with the first few cars and after that, I can just command leave it and sometimes he won't even look at the car going by. But this as I've mentioned is over a period of time. It didn't happen overnight. You have to be persistant. Don't give up on it. The important part is treating and praising just as soon as his eye contact breaks off the item he's trying to get and walking him through it. Make sure you always have ahold of his leader or leash firmly. He may go ahead and lunge but just work through it like you did with the toy.
Cruz and I still work on this. It's a slower progression than say learning to sit or down. Your teaching against his instinct to chase. I'd work him on the command in an area with minimal distraction where it's just you the dog and the toy before every walk. Hopefuly, the training will translate to the walk. This can also translate over to other things you don't want him to mess with. We use it in situations with anything from shoes to strangers. We're working our way up to Cruz leaving the cat alone.