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-   -   Absolutely Unruly/Charging on Leash (http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/puppy-behavior/428082-absolutely-unruly-charging-leash.html)

MissLilyBean 03-22-2014 07:42 PM

Absolutely Unruly/Charging on Leash
 
It's moments like these that I wish I'd had Stella from the beginning. For the first few months of her life (away from her littermates), she received little socialization and certainly didn't have any ground rules set. Now, at 5-months-old, she could use some work.

When I take her on walks, she's fine for the most part. We've finally got her to where she doesn't pull. The REAL problem is when a car or a person or a bicycle goes by. Then, her hair stands on end and she lunges. Nothing I do will redirect her focus. Not treats. Not corrections. Not sit/down commands (which she does know). Any suggestions on how to handle this? Should I switch from a flat collar to something else? Should I try to get her around others even though she's showing aggression? (On a side note, she's met strangers in our home and hasn't shown ANY signs of aggression in those situations... yet.)

selzer 03-22-2014 08:09 PM

She is five months old. How long have you had her?

MissLilyBean 03-22-2014 08:11 PM

About a month or so.

Edited to add: I had to check the dates on some photos to confirm. LOL! I've had her since Valentine's Day.

selzer 03-22-2014 08:25 PM

Ok, I am glad I asked, because I was going to say, raising her away from her litter would not have helped. But if you mean from 8 - 16 weeks, yeah, the dog missed out on some serious socialization period.

There are two ways you can go here. It sounds like you have tried the treats and stuff, and the dog is in such a zone that it can't eat a treat. Ok. The positive people would encourage you to stay outside of the dogs threshold. This means starting at maybe fifty feet away today, and you see a bicycle, the dog sees it and it is far enough away the dog not react, you click and treat and go home. Stay at that level for a couple of days or a week and then bring it closer, 45 feet. 40 feet. Keep the dog under the level where it reacts.

The other thing you can try, if you are convinced that this is a dog with a solid temperament, is to fit the dog with a prong collar and the moment it starts to go into its routine, give a quick correction, and keep going. Eh! It's just a dog, and keep moving. Don't stop. Don't socialize. Do not apologize (unless she connects which goes without saying). Just keep moving, "Eh, it's a dog," and then Heel! Good Girl, Good Heel. That prong collar will probably snap her out of the zone and at that point, Heel! and immediately when she is in position, Good Girl.

That is correcting a youngster for something that could be a fear-reaction, but it could be not allowing a dog to bask in her fear, and learn a coping method that is embarrassing and unhelpful.

TigervTeMar 03-22-2014 08:31 PM

my guy chases cars when he's on leash. as funny as it is cause he's 25 lbs it's also very dangerous. so I started, whenever we hear a car and he looks at it with his chase look, going down to his level and putting a 'hug' around him. still holding he leash, one arm around his neck and one arm over his chest. I'm not squeezing, but it's impossible for him to chase. i also talk to him as it goes by. this may be easier for me because my guy is smaller than yours but it could be worth trying.

KaiserandStella 03-22-2014 08:37 PM

If you go down the correction path, some important things to consider are timing, intensity, and proper usage of the tool. Correcting swiftly right before she starts to act up and not after she is already lunging.

MissLilyBean 03-22-2014 08:49 PM

Thanks so much for the responses y'all. I think I'll try some of this. I realize now that I need to work on her heel (indoors) before I even try anything else.

She's definitely been a challenge for little ol' me (who's always had Cockers). She's challenged everything I thought I knew about dogs and I'm learning right along with her. :-p


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selzer 03-22-2014 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MissLilyBean (Post 5250146)
Thanks so much for the responses y'all. I think I'll try some of this. I realize now that I need to work on her heel (indoors) before I even try anything else.

She's definitely been a challenge for little ol' me (who's always had Cockers). She's challenged everything I thought I knew about dogs and I'm learning right along with her. :-p


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That is all for the best, as she is yet young for a prong. Most do not want them on dogs under six months.

But, letting her get entrenched in this behavior may actually be worse than giving a correction and moving on. A purely positive approach to this might cause the dog more pain and even injury in the long run, depending on what type of collar you are using. Car chasing is dangerous, and lunging at other dogs, people, bicycles can cause injury as well. It should be no-nonsense, no emotion. If she pulls you down and you lose the leash, she can be dead. So some things you have to take all things into consideration.

SunCzarina 03-22-2014 10:59 PM

Does she do it when it's coming at her or as it's coming up behind her? To correct her, you need to get physically in front of her (body block) so she doesn't have a choice but to look at you. It also breaks the sensory input from what ever she's looking at.

At her age, you can also start practicing Bad Dogs Don't Go Walkies. Start quiet, on your own street where she's familiar. Don't go far and if she doesn't react to anything, oh she's the best girl in the whole wide world. If she reacts, block, correct, go home, bad girls don't go walkies.

If you're phsyically able to give her a correction, try a martingale (combo collar) before going to a prong. This company's great. USA made, they ship fast and if your girl happens to eat it, they'll send you a new one.

Medium Dog Combo Collar

enh811 03-23-2014 09:37 PM

Misslillybean: thank you for posting this. My 5 1/2 old german shepherd girl is in this same phase. Today at training classes she had a run in with a dog. I had to get down on her level. Correct the behavior by letting her know what she is doing is NOT ok. Then I went up to the people who had the other dog while my husband held our girl right behind us. I went up and pet the other dog and showed her it was ok and talked to the other dogs owners. After that she was MUCH nicer to the other dog(s). It's definitely embarrassing and people just stop and stare. You will have to let me know what works for you so we can try some other things if what we're doing doesn't work. Good luck with your girl. :)


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