Teaching not to lunge at cars - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Teaching not to lunge at cars

I posted on this before -- sorry for a repeat post, but still hopeful that someone may have some ideas for me..

Xargos continues to lunge, despite haltie, forceful "no", preparatory "don't even think about it" and then pulling his head high up in the air once he does lunge. We are working with person trainer on this (and the above is based on her guidance).

Next step will be to try e-collar on the lowest setting..

He is the sweetest and most layed back puppy (with a mind of his own though, you can say a great teenager, but teenager still..). He is getting very strong, so this behavoir needs to stop! FYI: he is a bad case as he started doing it from the time we started taking him for walks at about 8 weeks or so and despite on and off successes it persisted..

Any thoughts on what to try?

Also curious, are there any GSD who didn't lunge at cars as teenages?

Tanya

Xargos Vom Haus Tyson (born Sep., 27, 2008)
LoveBug, a brown-with-white Siberian cat, the kindest cat on earth (born Oct.27,2007)
Tiger, a red Siberian cat (born Aug.8,2008) -- Lovebug's best friend
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 11:21 PM
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Re: Teaching not to lunge at cars

I taught Jack to SIT and STAY at each car approach.... and great praise after he did it ...I started when he was 16 weeks... and have been consitant with it.... of course there was a time he would not do it but kept up the sit and stay..... I am also working on him siting before we go out the door and I go first and then allow him to come out after he stays for a minute we have 2 doors to go through,,, He is doing that pretty well.. He has terrible recall so I am working on this sit thing and stay... Good Luck I know it's hard as Jack has a bit of a stubborn nature,,, but am finding that making him sit before I go out and allowing him out is really helping other things..... I am not a trainer nor am I really good at it but that is working for me LOL

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 11:47 PM
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Re: Teaching not to lunge at cars

my dog never lunged at cars. when he was 9 weeks old i would
sit on the lawn near the road and let him see the traffic
pass by. i sat with him, trained him, played with him,
brushed him near the road. everyday i took him
close to the road for something. my GF or i took him close
to the road several times a day. we also taught him not to
go into the road.

if i had a dog that lunged at cars i would work with
him near traffic a lot. i would find a busy street and train
near the traffic. i would only have the dog near the traffic for
a short period of time in the begining. i wouldn't
want to make the situation worst. if my method wasn't working
quickly i would find a professional trainer immediately.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-28-2009, 11:57 PM
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Re: Teaching not to lunge at cars

The others posted some good ideas about working near traffic, etc. This is a good place to start, but is going to take a lot of time. I'd also have to agree with an e-collar. I don't usually train with an e-collar, have used one before, but they do have their place, and chasing/lunging at cars is one of them. This is a life/death scenario, and needs to be stopped sooner rather than later. You need to STOP the DANGEROUS behavior immediately, then you can work on the desensitizing methods to build up trust and confidence.

If you are not familiar with e-collar training, please work with a trainer who is. As with any training equipment, there are right and wrong ways to use them.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 12:39 PM
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Re: Teaching not to lunge at cars

Quote:
Originally Posted By: caviewAlso curious, are there any GSD who didn't lunge at cars as teenages?
I'm on GSD #4 & #5, and I've never had one that DID lunge at cars, so I don't have any advice for you. Good luck, I hope you get this resolved.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 12:48 PM
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Re: Teaching not to lunge at cars

Quote:
Originally Posted By: caview
Also curious, are there any GSD who didn't lunge at cars as teenages?
i'm on #2 and #4 -- none of mine have lunged at cars (i got them at 7 weeks, 9 months, and 2 at 10 months). i am following this thread however because its interesting - my uncle once had a dobie who chased cars and i never could figure out why (protective, territorial, prey drive, herding, etc) - has your trainer given any insight as to why dogs do this? seems like that would be the only key to curb the behavior.

best of luck with your sweet boy. can't wait to meet him!

ETA: maybe you've already tried this - but perhaps you could 'stage' a few cars (friends, family, neighbors) to drive pass, and when he lunges, have the car stop... allow him to go to the car to see that its no big deal? on one hand i imagine this could work, but on the other there is the risk that allowing him to go to the car will be seen as a reward for his behavior.

i know that with cats, Tilden loved to chase them, but once my cat stopped running - Tilden would just stop and look sort of dumbfounded like "oh, now what" and in just a matter of days he stopped.

sorry, thats all i got, lol

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 01:39 PM
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Re: Teaching not to lunge at cars

Dakota used to lunge at cars.

How I think I worked her out of it was to approach an intersection where I knew there would be a steady stream of cars but not one after the other. This was in the winter when there were piles of snow. I would get her in a sit stay where she could not see the cars approaching, but I could. Just as the car is about to enter her field of view I would say 'Leave it'. She reacted a few times by trying to lunge but I was waiting for it.

Or, she just grew out of it as she became used to traffic. One day it was not a problem.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Teaching not to lunge at cars

Thank you, guys! We did the road desensitizing a number of times .. he doesn't react to the stream of cars, only when they are on a quiet street..

I don't think it's a fear/confidence thing -- he is not afraid of the cars and if there is something more interesting, he ignores them altogether..

Tanya

Xargos Vom Haus Tyson (born Sep., 27, 2008)
LoveBug, a brown-with-white Siberian cat, the kindest cat on earth (born Oct.27,2007)
Tiger, a red Siberian cat (born Aug.8,2008) -- Lovebug's best friend
Pumpkin, an outdoor cat
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 02:12 PM
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Re: Teaching not to lunge at cars

Do you to a small neighborhood park/grass area nearby? By small I'm thinking one-two house lot size?

If so, maybe work with Xargos further from the road for a while with cars going by (maybe staging a few cars as Calone suggested?). If he is behaving/reacting as you want, start to gradually move closer to the street.

I have not as yet dealt with a dog lunging like this, though I have one in Lancer's agility class that goes ape with passing traffic especially buses and trucks that his handler has to work on. So just throwing another thought out there as well.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 09:13 PM
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Re: Teaching not to lunge at cars

I have not had this problem. But if I did, I would try putting myself between the dog and the car then praise the dog when he resists going through me to get to the car. Your dog shouldn't try to run over it's master to jump at a car, but I can see it would be much more tempting if when he looks at the car, his master is "behind him" in some sense (or at least, not in front of him).

Have you had any luck with a "touch" (a la Cesar) to snap him out of fixating on the car? I can imagine if Cesar was on this case, he would snap him out of fixating then just keep moving.

I would also try circling into the dog while we're walking (assuming he is walking next to you). Then his focus will have to be on following you (as it should be) rather than what to chase.

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