Teaching her to ignore others on walks - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching her to ignore others on walks

Hi everyone,
Chloe is almost 6 months and still barks non stop at other people coming at us when we are out walking. She's really good at the "leave it" command so I thought I would try this on people.

When they start coming towards us I tell her to leave it and hold a treat out as a distraction, when she doesn't bark I give her the treat. Can anyone see a downside to this? I don't want to continue it if it's not a good idea.

Thanks for the input!
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 07:07 PM
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Re: Teaching her to ignore others on walks

That is what I would do, but I would use a different command like watch me or focus so she is focusing on you and when she looks at you and immediately treat her. This is what I do with Sonny, also when you pick up the pace of walking it snaps her back into focusing on you too.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 07:19 PM
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Re: Teaching her to ignore others on walks

my pup is the same age and does the same thing. i stop her from barking as much as possible, she usually gets the idea after the first person that passes, then after that if shes quiet i treat after each person walks by.

tho its usually back to square one on the next walk. but i think she's slowly getting better. shes not too too bad with just people now. its mostly people who have dogs with them.

for that i try to make her sit and be quiet before she can go say hi

- Chris

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 07:19 PM
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Re: Teaching her to ignore others on walks

That sounds like what you should be doing for starters. Hopefully you will get to the point when you should fade the treating.

You may want to determine a very high value treat- not store dog treats, but maybe chicken, bacon something you may cook at home. And use it only on these occasions-Her very special treat.

Not sure I would have used the leave it command in this instance but if it's working for you, keep doing it.

Not people, but Kayla would be reactive in agility classes with very fast dogs-get along fine with them on the sidelines, but when they took off on a run she would go nuts. She would also react (by wanting to chase) to certain dogs during recall exercises during ovedience class work. I starting using peanut butter and chicken and work her on the sideline when those dogs came up with focus work and reward justas the dogs went by close-trying to associate the fast dog going by with the something good and the treat when she was watching me instead of that fast dog. We would also work on very fast sit-down-stand series mixing up the commands.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 07:23 PM
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Re: Teaching her to ignore others on walks

another thing you can do is when they are barking you can actually stop and do a fast run back and say watch me watch me by regaining the focus giving the treat and then start forward again, that works with us too
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 08:52 PM
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Re: Teaching her to ignore others on walks

when did Chloe start barking at people on walks? if my dog barked at people on walks i would go to some street that's busy with people and start training/socializing.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Teaching her to ignore others on walks

Well I just moved to a new location for school so before she was mainly in a large backyard with trips to petsmart, so I hadn't really realized this behavior until we moved.

I took her to where a lot of people run but that seemed way overwhelming, probably more from me be tired of her barking lol. So right now we are walking at a place near my apartment with occassional runners and I thought we would work our way up from there.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 10:09 PM
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Re: Teaching her to ignore others on walks

Quote:
Originally Posted By: JenI took her to where a lot of people run but that seemed way overwhelming, probably more from me be tired of her barking lol. So right now we are walking at a place near my apartment with occassional runners and I thought we would work our way up from there.
Runners are going to be a bigger challenge than just folks walking by. If possible you may want to try to increase the distance from the runners for a while. Then slowly decrease that distance as she gets better. If you can spend more time around folks just walking about first, it may help get her focus more under control.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 04:05 PM
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Re: Teaching her to ignore others on walks

I would recommend a prong collar once the dog is a little older, especially if your method isn't working as well as you'd like. I know they look like torture devices, but when used properly, they are a terrific training tool. When the dog barks or lunges, give a sharp correction away from where the dog is looking, then leave no tension on the lead. I can walk my dogs through ANYWHERE or ANYONE (rollerbladers, bikers, runners, other dogs, ANYONE) and they won't lunge on their leashes. They may look or lean in very distracting situations, but never jump, bark or lunge. Jack (my pup) doesn't even have a training collar...he's just learned so well from Marshall that he doesn't need one as of yet.

Your idea may work for your case, but in reality you're training your dog for a rock-solid "watch me," or in your case, a rock-solid "leave it." Great for building solid performance on those commands, but you're distracting the dog from performing the bad behavior rather than directly addressing the problem and showing the dog that this kind of behavior is not acceptable.

Just my opinions...take them as you will. I hope they help.

Good luck.

Christian

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 01:25 AM
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Re: Teaching her to ignore others on walks

I have a similar problem with my dog. When she is in my car she will bark a strangers when we drive by, or sometimes cars get her barking as they drive by, mostly at night.

I am teaching her the quiet command. Sometimes I will sit with her in the car and wait for a car to approach, then I give her the quiet command in a soft voice to calm her. If she is quiet she gets a treat after the car passes. She is still very reactive to dogs so I need to work on that as well, a little harder since dogs are not as common as cars!

Glenn

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