Muzzle training! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Muzzle training!

So Finn got invited to join advance group class this past Saturday! Woohoo! The trainer said as far as obedience goes he doing really well. But he's still having a few random outbursts here and there. (Lunging barking etc) she doesn't want to put him in the reactive dog class because those dogs are too reactive, he's not that bad. Just random spouts and then he behaves. But for advanced group we will have him wear yellow (give this dog extra space) and Have him muzzled. She said she'd email me a link about it. Just so we can be extra safe just in case he does lunge he'd just muzzle punch the other dog as she said. lol until we can smooth over these little bumps in the road. Today we went out played/trained, heeled perfectly past backyard fence barkers and even a golden that lunged from across the road at him and barked, he didn't react to any of it! Stayed in heel position. But walking home in our neighborhood we passed this beagle puppy he's been reactive to. And the little beagle was running around playing on its leash and I didn't let him break heel or lunge but he still kind of barked at her like he's done before. But I quieted him quickly and just kept moving. lol he's a big goof! But he just has his moments 🙄 Any way back to the point of this! Anyone have tips on sizing a muzzle or ones you recommend?? I always wanted to muzzle train him anyway so if anyone has any useful info it'd be much appreciated!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 10:03 PM
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 11:16 PM
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A dog that needs a muzzle in the presence of other dogs should not be in a regular group class. I agree that reactive dog classes are not helpful either. You are probably better of with private training in controlled situations.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Well the thing is he does perfectly fine one on one. Engagement is on point focus and everything. Listens perfectly. It's usually at the beginning of class. If there's a rowdy dog that's already kind of barking and what not he gets a little rowdy back. Nothing like extreme that's why she's not convinced he's aggressive. And he does really well in group it's just at the beginning he gets a bit excited and loud. I'm not sure what we could work on in private lessons, as far as ignoring other dogs.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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We had done private lessons before we started group and they had given us the ok to move on to group. And we worked in control settings and he did fine
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 12:47 AM
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Is it possible to have him start one-on-one and gradually add more dogs as he does well? As long as he lunges and barks, he is not able to handle the situation so you would have to make it easier for him so he can succeed. It is much easier to build on success than on correction. I hope there are other options besides one-on-one or in a group.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 02:49 AM
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get this muzzle
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Wolfy, True true. I'll bring it up with my trainer. It could just be too much for him sometimes. We'll see, it's just so weird. He'll ignore dogs generally like I said it's just a few random times here and there. And generally (but not always) the times it's happened usually it's because he saw a dog off leash running around (in neighborhood) and I think he genuinely just wanted to run and play with them but is frustrated because he's leashed and I'm not allowing him to. Or if it's a really excited or yappy dog at group. Most times I just move myself away from that person/dog and then he settles down and acts normal again🙄 And it isn't a problem later. I've been trying to figure out what the trigger is. Whether I need to get him more worn out before class so he doesn't come in so hyper looking to play or work in smaller groups. Haha I'm trying not to worry about this too much my trainer said everything will be ok and I do trust her. I just tend to over analyze things
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 09:14 AM
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I don't think I'd feel comfortable muzzling my dog for a group class. That almost seem like asking for trouble, making a dog into a victim by taking their only means of defense away. I'd rather just keep away from the rest of the group, stay at the end of the line, and keep away from any dogs that may trigger him. Sounds like the trainer may be grasping at straws because they can't figure out what the issue is or how to address it.

If he is getting amped up on the way into class I'd arrive early or even go to the facility on a day you don't have class and work on him calmly approaching the building. If he is entering the place excited and disengaged you are going to struggle. If he can stay engaged with you from the car all the way to the building I bet you'd see a change. He can't fixate on other dogs if he is focused on you. I'd also make any yappy or crazy behavior by other dogs a cue to focus on and get a reward from you. During Finn's puppy and manners classes there were plenty of barking dogs. The minute one started going off I'd reward him. After one class he was focusing on me whenever another puppy started barking, never got involved in any of the bark parties that occured. I also rewarded when another dog passed by so rather than watch them he'd focus on me and totally ignore the other dog. Every class we've been to he gets complimented on his focus, but I have put the work into building it and still am. You have to watch him like a hawk and stop any sort of watching or staring at other dogs. Trouble almost always starts when two dog get into a staring contest, or one fixates on another. I almost always miss what my classmates are doing because I am so focused on my dog. It goes both ways so if you check out from him he will do the same.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Yes! I've noticed a difference between when I do arrive early and get him settled than the days when I can't get there early and I can tell he's a bit hyped up. And you're absolutely right, last class there were two dogs starting to bark a little at each other and I was watching and I could tell he was starting to get fixated, so I had him turn face me and sit and began rewarding him for eye contact rather than fixating on the dogs barking across the room. Same thing with the trainers dog she has this Belgian mal and Finn would get so fixated and start barking at him the first time he saw him and then I started distracting him and rewarding him for focusing on me and not him and now he doesn't care about her dog anymore like he used to. I think I'm kind of doing the right thing but not enough up keep making sure he doesn't fixate on the other dogs. Once he kind of settles down I don't have to ask him to focus on me he'll just do it.
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