Need to train to avoid other dogs
This may sound or be directly opposite of most others sentiments towards other dogs, but there is a good reason here.
We adopted a 9-12 mo. old GSD from our local shelter. She is a great dog, not aggressive at all and taking to basic training like a duck to water. If I use a short leash (~4ft.), our walks are enjoyable and a lot of fun. My problem is other dogs along the way and her attention span. She is too interested in the other dogs, to the point where her sole focus becomes them and again she is not aggressive. She wants to play. The problem is that these other dogs are very aggressive and I am unintentionally being drawn into a one-sided dog fight where (I'm afraid) she is going to loose badly.
How do I instill an aversion to wanting to play with other dogs? I want to have an aloof German Shepherd when it comes to any other generic dog out there. What I have now is a GSD who goes bonkers when she sees another dog, and wants to play with them. How do I get from point A to B in the training?
the best way would be to get involved with formal obedience training. With both our trainers we practiced ignoring other dogs in large group classes. Everyone would practice weaving in and out of the other dogs while the owners had them on a "down" or "sit".
For now I would bring a high value treat (food or toy) and have your dog start focusing on that when you see other dogs in the distance. Teach your dog to focus on you, my daughter would hold a treat right at her eye/forehead so the dog would learn to look at us.
Since your dog wants to play, see if you can find any meetup hiking groups or clubs so your dog will have well behaved dogs to play with.
For the aggressive dogs I'd get between them and your dog and you may want to look into getting some kind of spray, like citronella. When you see them you can also just turn and walk away.
Second many here here don't screw around with "I thought my dog was friendly folks" or Dog parks. We teach our dogs to ignore other dogs. Don't need the hassle of behavioural problems created by "outside" influences!
Leerburg | Dog Parks: Why They Are A Bad Idea
How I train:
Leerburg | Who Pets Your Puppy or Dog
And this if needed:
Teaching our dogs when it's ok to meet/greet/play with other dogs is just a trained behavior. And you don't want to actually think of it as an 'aversion' to other dogs. Because you do NOT want your dog to unintentionally start to fear other dogs.
Ignoring them to focus on you is just training. Along with meeting and greeting other dogs appropriately. If your dog never LEARNS 'dog' behavior around other dogs that is a huge issue. If you ever want to get another dog. If you ever have any friend/relative visit with a dog. If you ever 'dog sit' a friends dog so they do the same when you go on vacation...
Just find some great dog classes where this is part of the normal class.
Even still I brought three strays (well trained and balanced dogs it turned out into my home.) My two and those three had a great time!
My guys had never played with a "strange" dog in there whole lives 5 yrs and 7 years. So not sure where "dog fearing" concept comes from?
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