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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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Socialization

I have a new 2 yr old female (Keka) who has been very well trained by my daughter & SIL. She seems a bit behind in socialization though so any help or tips would be appreciated. When I take her on walks she's very protective. It's been an ongoing joke that she's protecting me from female joggers and children walking cats.

She behaves well with neighbor dogs barking at her...she mostly ignores then. If she's out on a least though, she barks and pulls or lunges. From least to most she gets agitated with children or women, dogs, and men.

My concern is that as I feed her better food and give her more exercise she's going to get a lot stronger so I need to socialize her now. One of my neighbors has three dogs and is willing to help with her dogs, children and husband. Ideas on careful training would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 08:17 AM
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The LAT(look at that) game is great for training out the reactivity. Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt teaches this and other great exercises.
Have yummy high value treats with you always and when she starts zoning in on whatever, tell her to look at that and then click(or mark it) when she does and treat her. Get her to focus back to you and again mark that, treat or praise. Eventually you can get her to focus back to you without the look at that, therefore redirecting her attention.

Many dogs will react out of fear vs protecting. They have to act big and bad to make the threat go away. Leash reactivity happens because the dog has the fight or flight instinct...leash=no flight so the fight takes over.

Reading body language is important so you can redirect her before she starts the reactivity.
Have your neighbors toss her treats and not make eye contact. Let the dog be the one to do the approaching.
How people approach dogs is important, no crouching or frontal type. They should go sideways and let the dog do the first sniff. Turid Rugaas has a great short book and a DVD about dog communication. I highly recommend it.
I would get into an obedience class with her and keep her in controlled type situations if you feel you can handle her without her going off. If you can find a class based on the CU book, go for it!

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 07-28-2010 at 08:21 AM.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2010, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips. She does lose focus completely on me. A guy in the neighborhood got out of his car to talk with us while we were walking and I think I sat part of my weight on her before she started focusing on me again. 15 years ago I would have yanked a choke chain with her but I'm trying to be a better trainer. The thing that's a challenge is that she's reacting to people and animals that are 50 feet away and not necessarily approaching.
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