Can anything be done to help a dog with a low threshold? I know this is a genetic thing, but I'm hoping I can help my dog with this.
I'm a novice handler who's been to countless obedience classes and a behaviourist and seem to be getting nowhere. I'm not the best handler, but I'm not the worst either, this just seems to be a bigger issue than I have experience to deal with.
My dog is a really good girl on her own, great off switch inside, but she tends to get pretty aroused around other dogs. I took her to puppy class, immediately into grade 1, grade 2 (disaster with all the dogs doing off leash recalls). These classes were well controlled. I took her to a behaviourist, I currently have he back in obedience classes. For the most part we manage ok, when the other dogs are on leash and quiet, but the moment any kind of activity happens my dog FREAKS OUT. It happens really fast.
For example, she is the star student at my obedience class, sometimes people ask me why we're there - until we do recalls. The other dogs running back to their owner causes a big scene, my dog is screaming and lunging and it takes her a minute or two to get calmed down again after the action has stopped. She is not unfriendly with other dogs once they have been properly introduced, but she is noisy about it at first, then she gets pretty excited trying to initiate play and whatnot (in other words, she's obnoxious about it).
I think she's a frustrated greeter, but also at the first sign of any kind of action, she loses it.
This makes the problem a bit difficult for me to correct, because I can't always anticipate when something like this is going to happen out in the real world.
Is there anything I can do? I've worked on this with her since she was a wee pup, but it has not gotten better, so obviously what I'm doing isn't working.
We tried at first feeding her high value treats to keep her attention on me, but that didn't work. We tried correcting with a pop on the prong and walking her quickly the other way, but that doesn't really work either.
She is otherwise a really wonderful dog, and I love her dearly, I'm just not sure how I can help her with this, or IF I can help her with it. It makes me sad, because it makes it difficult for her to participate in some activities that she otherwise loves to do. I'd love to get a second dog one day, but not until this is under control. Pack walks are a nightmare with her screaming the entire time and it's really difficult to find anyone who is willing to take the time to help out and go really slowly with her, because they really just want to walk their dogs, not wait around until she calms down, only to take two steps and have to stop again to wait her out.