Reactive Dogs - How to stop from "charging" and barking at dogs? - Page 3 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #21 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 05:15 PM
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I love control unleashed. It's similar to the Surprise Party game in the previous posts.

On our walk today, a reactive Border Collie lunged & barked at Zack. Zack snapped his head around, looked at me like, "pay up!"

Note - he had a very bad experience with a BC who chased him around an indoor agility course. BC's have been an issue - especially because they tend to slink down & stare - two threatening moves.

I'm so proud of my boy! I can almost forgive him for eating the cat's food yesterday.

To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.
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post #22 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 08:43 AM
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That is cool. My (formerly) excessively reactive guy does the same thing now.. a dog behind a fence charges up barking, he looks up at me.

I didn't use control unleashed, maybe it's the same principle though -- I just tried to change his association with other dogs to one with food instead of stress and barking. So when we'd see another dog, I'd ask him to / make him turn away from the dog, then reward him with food. Praised him too, which is what I do now when I don't have food.

That approach to me is much better than one where only physical corrections are used to get the dog to ignore something. That just stressed us out.

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post #23 of 47 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 11:33 AM
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your dog is starting to get territorial, sounds normal to me, why not just leash her when she does her business and unleash her at dog parks?

She is what she is she will be a territorial dog that is what gsds are why try to break who she is? My dog is the same way on her property shes EXTREMLY territorial i am not going to let her off leash so she can charge people that is foolish.

I let her off leash in public where she sweet and calm. Around the house shes a serious guard dog thats her job. As your dog matures you will see more and more of it. Be smart and careful with your dog.

Gsd can be a offleash dog but if you have a territorial one dont do it at your house

Last edited by pets4life; 07-23-2012 at 11:35 AM.
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post #24 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 05:38 PM
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I had always admired police dogs prancing closely to their handlers. No barks and no excitement, as they were too proud of themselves to notice us. I had always wondered how they were trained and what police dog may feel or think when sees unknown dog or meets unknown men on his territory.
The answer came simple: I should teach my dog to walk besides me without the leash. There should be two commands involved - "Heel" and "Walk", try different paces, let your dog to run forward, then call to walk close, then send him running again, make him turn together wth you left and right, turn round and teach him walking backwards together with you. At any time required your dog should return to you when you say "Heel". Your dog shoud sit if you stopped moving.
Things might come to a pretty pass at first. He will bark and run away, but, gradually, you will see the changes. He will become to know that the result of his misbehaviour will always be his aquired position next to you instead of satisfaction to attack when he challenges somebody. He will be more obedient with time, less interested in people or other dogs whose smell he sents.Treat him with command "Walky!" after the threat had passed.
One little trick: at the beginning I always had a ball in my pocket and flashed it out for my dog in order to turn her eyes to me.
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post #25 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-12-2013, 06:10 PM
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the leash: you shouldn't depend on it!

Originally Posted by Jess04 View Post
My male gsd was pretty bad and still kinda does the whole barking and running up to dogs. He used to lounge even on leash. He is not aggressive but rather is stimulated by the other dogs especially if running. and partly it is my fault he acts like that. If i see another dog and get excited or my anxiety flairs he reacts and nothing stops him.
He now has alot of obedience under his belt. and what ive found for him that works is if we're walking (he has a nice heel) and there are dogs out, i dont acknowledge the dogs, i keep my eyes forward or down and ive done better at staying calm and tell him "good fuss" and he pays no mind to the other dogs.
Im currently doing agility with him and once again i try to ignore the dog and if we arent moving i have him do a few obedience tricks or treat him for sitting still and being quiet. He only whines when the little dogs go ahead of him. but that is something we will continue to work on.
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post #26 of 47 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 02:10 PM
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Same deal for me

I also have struggled with my lunging gsd. When she gets this way, I do not exist. My voice, food, etc. are out the window. I tried the "stop" technique described in this forum, and it seems to work to calm her a bit (still new to it). Once the other dog is moving away from us, she seems to realize that is it.

She goes from zero to ten in seconds. I don't catch it in time it's so fast. Some have suggested the halty collar. My girl is so sensative to her snout being messed with, I feel she could get hurt. Any thoughts? I have this rolled leather martingale collar (w/ chain) that has worked best so far.

I have physically turned her around so the other dog could sniff her since she will not allow another dog to sniff her rear. It has made a difference the few times I have tried. Any thoughts on this? I don't want to create another problem. Thanks.

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post #27 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 07:19 PM
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Older, very excited dog

Hi, I'm brand new to the forum. I've read through the thread, but am going to write out my story in case anyone has specific insight.

I adopted a 4-year old (neutered a couple of months ago) male GSD about a month ago. He's very lovable, and loves everyone -- people, cats, birds, squirrels, rabbits. He's okay in the dog park. We just started formal training classes.

My problem: when we are walking on leash, and see a dog (and often people), he'll just explode. Even at a distance. It is friendly -- the tail is wagging, and it's been a good result on the rare occasions we actually get to the other dog (and he's made a couple of through-the-fence friends), but he will literally pull me (a pretty big guy) in circles and barks loudly and repeatedly. I'm completely absorbed in trying to get in front of him, getting him to sit. Treats are of no interest.

No idea if important, but I've wondered if he didn't spend a long time chained in a yard. I've seen chained dogs act similarly.

My question: are there techniques/ideas to deal with this, or is this just something that has to be ground out one walk at a time? I'm thinking of taking him into places that have higher volumes of dogs and people, just to accelerate the process. Sensible or crazy?

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post #28 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GSDLearner View Post
My question: are there techniques/ideas to deal with this, or is this just something that has to be ground out one walk at a time? I'm thinking of taking him into places that have higher volumes of dogs and people, just to accelerate the process. Sensible or crazy?
Probably not a good idea. Continuing to put him into situations where he goes over threshold and reacts isn't likely to improve things. The main problem with places that have a lot of people and dogs is that it's difficult to control all the variables. If you can find a place where you have enough distance from the action that he can ignore the people and dogs and focus on you, great. Especially if you an escape route planned out ahead so you can bail if everything goes to poop. It can be hard to find a place like that though, which is why a class for reactive dogs might be a better choice. There will still be other people and dogs, but it's a controlled setting and you'd be working under the guidance of a trainer.

The good thing is that he sounds more like a frustrated greeter than a fearful dog - many reactive dogs are acting out of fear and stress, and they bark and lunge to make the other dog go away, but others are like yours (and my Keefer), who actually wants to go meet everybody and gets frustrated when he can't. He's a social butterfly off leash, but on leash he can sometimes be barky. He has gotten much better, he was a lot worse when he was younger, but now I can prevent a reaction most of the time.

How is he in your obedience classes? You might want to talk to the instructor and see if it's something they'll work with you on. Here's an article about some different reasons for reactivity:

Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04

Last edited by Cassidy's Mom; 08-03-2013 at 08:18 PM. Reason: add link
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post #29 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 10:48 PM
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Hard to diagnose over the internet but I agree 100% with Cassidy's mom to keep him out of excitable places for now. You don't want him practicing this behavior. Two things come to mind.
Ask your obedience instructor for guidance.
Get a copy of Control Unleashed.
You said that he is "okay" in dog parks. Given that he is so excited/reactive (and granted - being leashed can make this worse) I would keep out of dog parks for now. If another reactive dog comes in, you may have trouble.

To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.
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post #30 of 47 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 10:49 PM
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Thanks, Cassidy's Mom. He's definitely a greeter.

We've only had one class so far, and he was this way there. His excitement ebbed and flowed. The instructors are in favor of staying the course of focus, treats and the clicker.
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