How do I train him to be more friendly around other dogs? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Question How do I train him to be more friendly around other dogs?

Took Gunnar to the dog beach this weekend. He was good except when dogs would run or walk by him.

Whenever we go for walks he tries to lung at the other dog walking by. He always walks ahead of me. He loves to lead, but every few mins turns around and comes back to me and then takes off again. (he is always on a leash btw) people can walk by him and he doesnt care. But if theres a dog i have to choke up on the leash so hes right next to me and continually tell him to "leave it" or "no leave it alone" Usually I'm holding his front paws off the ground cuz he tries so hard to check the dog out or he starts barking and tries to lung at them. he has gotten better and for the most part doesnt do much of that anymore.

But when we were at the beach, of course most dogs are loose running around. He was s oangry towars any dog that came near! He was perfectly fine with my friends pomeranian, which was odd. He just met that dog that day and they were almost instantly best friends!!

I really want him to be friendly towards all dogs. We go camping alot and I dont want him to be the mean dog in our group of friends, when all their dogs are friendly and playing together.

How do I stop this from happening? Or does it just take time around other dogs for hi mto know they arent going to hurt him? A few people actually said as they were walking by "thats a killer dog" or "hes mean". Gunnar is so not mean! but I was so afraid he was going to eat one of those little ankle bitters!! lol. And there was no way in **** I was going to let him off leash to play in the water! I just dont trust him enough for that yet!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 05:47 PM
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Polite and friendly are two different things. You can certainly train your dog to be polite, to focus on you, to not growl and act menacing towards other dogs. However, if he just plain doesn't like other dogs, you won't be able to train him to be friendly or playful towards them.

None of my German Shepherds have liked playing with other dogs once they reached maturity. (I've had 3 males.) All of them would tell another dog to step off if the dog was over-friendly, getting in his face, barking excitedly, etc.

People probably get sick of hearing me say this, but the best way to train your dog to be polite in the company of other dogs, is to train in the company of other dogs. And the best and easiest way to do that is in an obedience class. Even if your dog already has basic obedience, his job is to learn obedience in close proximity to other dogs, so even a baby beginner obedience class would work. Try to find a school that emphasizes positive training but isn't aghast at corrections (i.e. no PetSmart). Explain to the instructor that you really want to teach your dog to focus and be polite around other dogs. Then, on the days you don't go to class, try to see if you can practice around your friends' dogs.

That said, don't expect that your dog will be friendly and playful on camping trips with the other dogs. He may come to like them and be friends with them after training with them several times, but honestly none of mine ever did.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 06:14 PM
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First of all, at the beach you need to remember that many off-leash dogs may not be trained well and many owners who don't pay attention to their dogs behavior. So it's good you keep him on leash for now. We tried giving treats as a positive distraction and soothing verbal tones, like good girl, nice, etc. when we are approaching a dog or passing, and if my dog did not react or lunge, but stayed focused on the heel command, then she got petting and treats after successfully passing a dog. We worked from using a prong collar to a flat collar. This especially worked well in our neighborhood, probably because she could smell many dogs on the ground, trees, fire hydrants. For me the hardest part is when the two dogs meet, not to pull on the leash, to trust my dog, I usually say "nice", "goodgirl" etc. So after some months of this, my dog has not been reactive at all, some other dogs have been reactive, but usually the results are that she is making new friends. The beach is still too busy for us, unless I can go at a time when there is only one or two dogs or people. It's hard because like your dog she really just wants to play.

Also it's off your topic - but I hate when people say, "killer dog" or "he's mean"! Right there, those people are throwing out a negative attitude and I think our dogs pick up on that. Last night we were walking through our park with our leashed dog, a couple approached near us with their 2 small off leash laws (breaking the rules/law) and had the nerve to ask me if our dog is going to eat one of theirs. I said she might! Nothing is 100% guaranteed, I cannot predict how his dogs will act. The thing that really irritated me is that our dog was well controlled, but silly and goofy at the same time, not showing any sign of viciousness, she had a stuffed, green frog in her mouth that she would romp with.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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I also had when people do say that sort of thing. Just cuz hes barking and looks mean doesnt mean hes a "killer dog"!! We were walking one night and a kid in a stroller threw a stick at Gunnar. He just looked and could careless about it. Thankfully the kids mom started scollding the kid and telling him that "that dog could have bit you for throwing that stick at him, dont do it!" I was actually surprised she said anything to the kid.

As for the training around other dogs, I will look into that. I've only had Gunnar for a month. But he is learning very quickly!! I love it. Hopefully he will be able to work thru all of this. Hes underweight right now and can still pull me if he wants to. I dont want him to be so strong and unrully that I cant control him. By the time hes a normal sized GSD Hopefully he will listen to me well!

I know hes learning because while there he was laying down watching people and about took off from me. I yelled and him and said " no, down" and he instantly laid back down and put his head down. So he knew he did something wrong. and I have been praising him if he ignores other dogs. So hopefully I'm doing all this right!!!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 06:37 PM
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Frankly if he is practically pulling you off your feet, you need to be teaching him heeling instead of letting him run to the end of the leash in front of you. Then you would also have more control over him when he meets other dogs
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikitta View Post
Frankly if he is practically pulling you off your feet, you need to be teaching him heeling instead of letting him run to the end of the leash in front of you. Then you would also have more control over him when he meets other dogs
He only does that when I am choked up on the leash when a dog goes by use. Otherwise He is the perfect dog on a leash! The leash isnt the problem. Its all the other dogs.

When he misbehaves, I make him stop and sit. and we sit there for a min or so then move on. And I have done this every time he tries to go after a dog. If he is good, I will praise him.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 09:30 PM
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Many dogs will never play with other dogs outside of their pack. You can desensitize SOME dogs to tolerate others, but you can't train them, so to speak, to play with others. Some will, others won't .
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glamisfoxgurl182 View Post

Whenever we go for walks he tries to lung at the other dog walking by. He always walks ahead of me. He loves to lead, but every few mins turns around and comes back to me and then takes off again. (he is always on a leash btw) people can walk by him and he doesnt care. But if theres a dog i have to choke up on the leash so hes right next to me and continually tell him to "leave it" or "no leave it alone" Usually I'm holding his front paws off the ground cuz he tries so hard to check the dog out or he starts barking and tries to lung at them. he has gotten better and for the most part doesnt do much of that anymore.
Walk in a curve around other dogs so you can avoid the lunging he is doing. Train him to walk beside you or slightly behind you on a LOOSE leash instead of in front of you. Choking up on the leash is giving him the wrong signals. Pulling back on him will kick into his natural instinct to pull forward. The dog beach will be a difficult place to practice this and quite honestly may be to much for Gunnar right now.

As far as the other dogs being the problem, they really aren't. Gunnar is reacting to them. If you haven't started training yet, start soon. It will give Gunnar a chance for socialization in a smaller group of dogs, help you with handling skills to help him through these rough spots. Once he learns the heel command, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 04:21 PM
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My Augie is so disturbed by other dogs, when I took him to the Beginner obedience class, they would not let him in. They also have a "Feisty Fido' class for this type of problem, only 4 dogs per class. Her was not allowed in that class either because of his behavior.
I had the owner evaluate him. and he needs a few private lessons. (I am there also so I can learn to control him).
Had one lesson. Next one next week. Still not able to even let Augie see another dog or he goes crazy. Have to use a pinch collar because he literally "pulls me along" when lunging at other dogs.

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