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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Ignoring other dogs in public

How did you guys teach your dogs to ignore other dogs when out in public, even when those other dogs are being obnoxious or straining to check out your dog? I read all these posts about how well-behaved and polite your pups are in public--I'm jealous! Bodie will sometimes sit down next to me and whine when he sees another dog, but most of the time he'll just pull and strain too because he wants to play with this potential canine friend.

I've been pulling out yummy (smelly) treats and doing obedience drills with him when he sees other dogs, but sometimes the puppy curiosity just gets the best of him and he forgets what we're doing altogether and tries to make friends. I don't know if this method will work but it's better than nothing.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 08:41 PM
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Re: Ignoring other dogs in public

I checked out your other post and see your pup is 6 months old (he's wicked cute too!). At his age, he's going to be curious about other dogs. Just keep doing what your doing, distract him and treat him for focusing on you not the other dog.

'Leave it' is a good command to teach him for these situations.

There's always other dogs, we have an obnoxious barky yellow lab that lives about 5 houses away. The lab barks and pulls towards my dogs every time she sees them. My 7 y/o, Morgan's, posture changes and occasionally she'll give a quick bark back if I don't tell her Leave It before she decides to bark at that dog. Years ago, Morgan used to pull and bark like crazy at this same dog, she's just learned she's not going to get away with that.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 09:21 PM
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Re: Ignoring other dogs in public

I agree with Jenn - at his age it's unrealistic to expect perfection. He's a puppy! Time, patience, and training - it's the key to pretty much everything.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-10-2008, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ignoring other dogs in public

I've taught him 'leave it' when it comes to leaving food alone, but I don't know if it will translate over to ignoring dogs and people. Has anyone had any luck with this? Or should it be taught as a separate command altogether?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 12:27 AM
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Re: Ignoring other dogs in public

The leave it could transfer over for anything, it depends on how you train "leave it" and what you train it to mean. I use "leave it" when I don't want my dog to interact with something or someone that is within his reach. For example if we are walking past another dog on a trail I will use "leave it" when my dog and the other dog have enough free lead to reach each other.
When I want my dog to ignore something that is further away, instead of telling my dog what I don't want him to do I will give him another command to keep him occupied. For example on one of our walking routes there is an unruly dog that will jump up and bark the entire length of it's fence. When I walk past that house I give my dog his formal heeling command so that he will focus on me instead of the dog.
With a six month old puppy, I would be happy with 10-15 seconds of focus, releasing and rewarding. If you have already identified a reward for your dog that makes you more interesting than anything else use that for your focus work.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 03:44 AM
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Re: Ignoring other dogs in public

A good way to use "leave it" in this situation is to try to notice when your pup first reacts - meaning when he first sees the dog and his body tightens a bit and his ears go forward (before he actually tries to get to the other dog). And then you say "leave it" and then something like "here, puppers!" and BACK UP so that he comes to your front while you praise and give small bits of treats. This helps turn him away from the dog, teaches him that looking at YOU is great, gives him a good start on a front position for the recall, and allows you to get a better control on the situation.

Young dogs especially have a tough time turning their attention from what's in front of them, so if there's a dog that has their attention it's hard to use "leave it" without giving the pup something else to do. Backing up and having him do a "front" helps him re-focus away from the dog and back on you. Now, you may have to do it over and over at first, but that's okay. He's learning. After awhile, "leave it" will make him look up at you to see what's going to happen next.

I like my dogs to be social but it can be frustrating when they think they have to greet everyone! *L*

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 10:35 PM
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Re: Ignoring other dogs in public

Originally Posted By: VirginiaI've taught him 'leave it' when it comes to leaving food alone, but I don't know if it will translate over to ignoring dogs and people. Has anyone had any luck with this? Or should it be taught as a separate command altogether?
'leave it' is my FAVORITE command because it is just so versatile. It can mean anything.

A plate of food within reach, a cat bolting by, other dogs, anything you want the dog to leave alone.

We had to work hard on ignoring other dogs with Reich. She has fear based dog agggression. But in the vet's office we can sit within feet of many other dogs and she will hold a sit/stay and not make a peep. On walks, we can go past other dogs barking and going nuts calmly. A few commands helped that. 'Leave it', 'quiet' and on walks 'walk' (my cue for her when she stops for any reason and I want to get going).

She's only 10 mos old, and not nearly perfect though. Small dogs can get her going. She cannot stand them. On a walk last week we came upon a chihuahua who immediately went nuts sounding off and trying to get at her. **** near took my arm off when she reacted. I corrected, got her attention back on me, put her in a sit and put myself between her and the passing dog. Praised the holy **** out of her when she was calm, collected and focused on ME.

Alot of people have success with 'watch me' as well. Getting the dog to look at and focus on YOU regardless of what's going on around them.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-16-2008, 09:23 PM
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Re: Ignoring other dogs in public

You are getting great advice here, similar to what I got when I asked the same question a few months back.

I have been working on breaking the "lock" he gets on other dogs with treats, play, fun, running away (I have him on a long leash in the park) etc and it's slowly getting better. I don't use "leave it" as much, but I might start using that more after reading this.

It's still bad, but nothing compared to just two months ago (my pup is now almost 8 months) and I can see a lot of progress so I am pretty confident we will get there eventually.

Good luck!

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