How should I react to my pup lunging like crazy when he sees a cat? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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How should I react to my pup lunging like crazy when he sees a cat?

Hello!

So that is the situation.

We have a park next to where I live where I walk and play with my 9 month GSD.

When he sees a cat (he would be on leash), he would lunge like mad. He sees it most of the time before me and he is off full force. Lucky that each time the leash did not slip from my hand. I say no, call his name and nothing, he just pulls and pulls. We cant even move.

Today, while this was happening. I pulled him back, I did it forcefully though and he was now next to my knee and still pulling so I grabbed him by his collar and scruff and made him look at me eye to eye and said "no, no" in a unhappy corrective tone.

Is that too much of a forceful reaction? I dont want him to "dislike" me or affect what seem to be instinct and drive? He does not bark while he does this.....

Advice please....

Many thanks

Last edited by Mozi; 10-31-2018 at 04:18 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-31-2018, 04:03 PM
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sometimes you have to say, "here's a line we don't cross". I wouldn't make a habit of using aggression or anger to correct your pup. In the end all you can do is scale it up and you don't want that. Many of us use a prong collar to make lunging less comfortable. If you do that make sure you get a good quality collar and learn how to use it. Many people suggest checking out Leerburg.com.

And start teaching your pup what you do want instead. If your dog gets focused on something it will be really hard to make anything you offer him attractive. Treats or toys will mean nothing. Instead I walk into the dog forcing him firmly to turn around in a circle. Then when the dog looks up as if to say, "what are we doing?" then I praise and move away from whatever it is. A block or two away I might play a little game and offer a tug or nice treat. When my boy was a pup I always carried a toy or treat specifically to reward for behaving when he saw something he wanted to run to, but instead stayed calmly with me.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 05:53 PM
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We've been struggling with having an 8wk GSD in our house with THREE cats.

Luckily these pups are SMART. So here's what's starting to work for us, in Just a matter of days: first we have been focussing on a really strong "leave it". Started with treats between my fingers, then dropped in front of her. Once she started getting the idea, we moved to shoes, and now cats.... I keep a hand on the collar (I want to be real close to her, not leash distance) and we go sit together in a room that is cat territory, near a cat, making sure kitty has an escape route.

If GiGi sits calmly for even a second, I mark with YES and treat. Then I loosen up on her collar and see if she moves forward at ALL. If so, "LEAVE IT" and if she backs off even slightly, YES and treat.

She's got the idea now and will just sit quietly and look at the cats. (in our household this has the added benefit of allowing the cats to get closer to her and not feel skittish) Over time I'm confident this will generalize to cats and dogs on the street. There is a lot of work to do, but I have hope having seen her progress so far. 🙂

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 10:13 PM
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What car2ner and ozymandiasmv said: prong collar (but use it CORRECTLY) and "Leave it" command.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 11:10 PM
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At 9 months he should not be lunging while on a leash. Someone with experience should probably watch and see exactly what is going on. I had a young girl that was horrible about cats. I used this method to train her and in spite of everyone out there saying that is a terrible way to train a dog, it is an old and effective way. A few of those corrections and she would stop instantly. I never had the presence of mind to say anything else other than "no" but it certainly worked to stop going after cats and rabbits.

Prong collar and a leash long enough to have about 5 foot of slack. Wrap the hand loop around your wrist so it is very secure. Allow him to be on a loose or free leash but loop the slack and hold it with one or two fingers. When he lunges, it will pull the slack and he will be able to get moving pretty fast. You will yell your command "nein", "No" or what ever you are going to use. He should have enough leash that just at the time you say "NO!" he will hit the end of the leash, close the prong collar and realize he just made a mistake.

Just my personal experience with one GSD about 40 years ago but again, it would be best to have an experienced person take a first hand look.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 11:39 PM
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At 9 months old??? I would put a prong on him and give him a hard correction. No words. Just a pop to remember. And then a reward for NOT lunging.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 11:24 AM
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The joys of walking two dogs together.

I was walking my big-boy and my gal-dog when a cat was noticed on the other side of the street. My boy gave an interested look and knowing how he is, I immediately lowered my voice to commanded a down. He complied so I let him look at the cat. That was his reward for a relaxed down. My poor girl, though. She downed but as far back behind me as the leash would allow. It was like "what is happening? I didn't do anything? Are we OK?" So watch your tone of voice. I'm sure I could have gotten a down from both of them without sounding like a drill sargent.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 11:52 AM
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That seems like a nice correction. What i do with my almost 8 month old is, when he reacts in a way i dont like, i stop walking and i wait till he looks at me. sometimes this takes FOREVER! when he does i treat or pet, say good, whatever. i will stay in that spot until he is calm. mouth open and relaxed. then i start walking again. if he gets crazy i stop again and we redo it. at first we didnt walk much lol.



for us, at first, NOTHING i said or did would brake him of his concentration of the cat or dog. now all i have to do is stop walking and he will sit in front of me and look at me. another thing i did was try and brake that behavior before he locked on. at the first sign of a reaction i would just pull on the lead to get him to look at me. itll get easier. your dog will start to look to you for ques on how he should react over time. Good Luck!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atreu View Post
That seems like a nice correction. What i do with my almost 8 month old is, when he reacts in a way i dont like, i stop walking and i wait till he looks at me. sometimes this takes FOREVER! when he does i treat or pet, say good, whatever. i will stay in that spot until he is calm. mouth open and relaxed. then i start walking again. if he gets crazy i stop again and we redo it. at first we didnt walk much lol.



for us, at first, NOTHING i said or did would brake him of his concentration of the cat or dog. now all i have to do is stop walking and he will sit in front of me and look at me. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG] another thing i did was try and brake that behavior before he locked on. at the first sign of a reaction i would just pull on the lead to get him to look at me. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG] itll get easier. your dog will start to look to you for ques on how he should react over time. Good Luck! [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/IMG]
I'm so glad to see you say this! Besides crate and potty training, pretty much the only thing we have been focusing on with our 9 week old is look at me. Basically I say the words and yes and treat when she makes eye contact. I'm hoping it will start to generalize to any situation where I want her to pay attention to me and not whatever it is that's distracting her. Starting early seemed like it would be pretty critical. Thanks for the encouraging post.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2018, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atreu View Post
That seems like a nice correction. What i do with my almost 8 month old is, when he reacts in a way i dont like, i stop walking and i wait till he looks at me. sometimes this takes FOREVER! when he does i treat or pet, say good, whatever. i will stay in that spot until he is calm. mouth open and relaxed. then i start walking again. if he gets crazy i stop again and we redo it. at first we didnt walk much lol.



for us, at first, NOTHING i said or did would brake him of his concentration of the cat or dog. now all i have to do is stop walking and he will sit in front of me and look at me. another thing i did was try and brake that behavior before he locked on. at the first sign of a reaction i would just pull on the lead to get him to look at me. itll get easier. your dog will start to look to you for ques on how he should react over time. Good Luck!
I read this, this morning. Wouldn't you know, I ran into a cat this afternoon.

Shasta has never chased a cat, but you know, at 11 months old, and the opportunity arose, she probably would. Usually when we see a cat, they look at her and bail long before we get near it, so never really dealt with a problem. We were walking on a prong.

Today, this calico was just sitting there next to the sidewalk. You can tell it had no problem with dogs. We were about 20 feet away, and I saw her raise her hackles. I stopped and waited. She chilled out and relaxed. We moved a few steps closer, and she started getting upset. I stopped and did the same thing over and over again. As soon as she was relaxed, we moved forward. The cat never moved. Really really brave, or stupid cat..... We got to 2 feet away, sat there for a minute, and continued on. No issue.

I am so glad I read this before our walk this afternoon!
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