Best way to handle (others') barking dogs - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Best way to handle (others') barking dogs

I have a 14 week old pup, Riggs. We were taking a walk around the neighborhood this afternoon. We walked past this house on a corner lot, which had a chain link fence all the way around it. As we were walking around the house, two small dogs (a chihuahua and a mixed breed - about 20 pounds) came bolting for the fence barking their heads off. Riggs was great. He was interested but not really reactive. I moved myself between him and the fence, offered a lot of praise and picked up the pace to get past the house. He kept right along with me but with a lot of looking at the fence and dogs. After we were past the house, I bent down praising and offered a treat. Riggs was glued to my side.

My question is: How should this situation be handled? I want to make sure I do the right thing to avoid any dog aggression issues and I certainly don't want him to become fearful.

While I'm on here...here's a picture of my little guy!

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 05:10 PM
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From the sound of it, you both did great with that situation.

Have you taught him the 'focus' or 'watch me' command? I would work with him on that with a few subtle distractions, then once you think he's ready, if you come across a barking dog (fenced, maybe the same ones), try and get him to focus on you and not the other dogs.

Other than that, so far, so good it sounds like!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 09:51 PM
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The focus/watch me command sounds great. Any tips on how to teach it?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 09:57 PM
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I taught it by starting with a semi-valuable reward and hiding it behind my back. I waited for him to break focus off the treat and look at me. The SECOND he looked at me, he got the reward. Eventually, throw in the command you want to use, and make him focus longer, with more and more valuable treats.

Some people like to put the treat up by their eyes, but that just teaches the dog to look at the treat next to your face, and not actually focus on you.

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"In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 10:07 PM
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Your dog is very cute!

I have a rescue dog, he is dog aggressive and I have got him to the point that he is more manageable around other dogs but not perfect.

My GSD I have had since a puppy. Ever since his puppyhood I worked with him to ignore barking dogs while on walks. I did this by telling him-Ignore when we would pass by the dog who was making a fool of themselves and then rewarding my boy with a treat for ignoring. He did real well with that and still listens when I tell him ignore. I have a neighbor with a GSD and they have an invisible fence, he lets the dog run along the yard near the sidewalk and scare the heck out of people-barking with his hackles raised and harassing people. I walked right by his yard with my GSD and he was standing there as usual letting his dog carry on-I simply told my dog ignore and he totally ignored this deranged dog and the owner got embarrassed and for the first time ever (many neighbors have complained to me about his dog) told his dog to be quiet and the dog totally ignored him.

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