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Hi everyone,

My puppy is 4.5 months old and he barks at other dogs when he sees them. When I allow him to meet the dog, he immediately stops barking and just wants to play. How can I curb that behavior? I don't want him barking at every dog he sees. He has been very well socialized since he came home at 8 weeks and met many dogs in that time. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance!:)
 

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You can try a distraction before he barks, a treat or a toy. Talk to him in a calm, soothing voice, and/or you can redirect him in the other direction. He probably just wants to get their attention so he can play.
 

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Yes My GSD is 6 months and this has been my biggest challenge so far.. The worst thing is opposite our house there is a 15 year old yellow dog who is always outside and sit on our front yard (my neighbour opposite our house is the owner), so usually my dog goes mental when he sees her.. We tried to meet them and my dog tried to nip the yellow dog..(twice so far) The yellow dog was always calm and never do anything... she barked and moved away when Max tried to nip her...

So, what should I do? I know that we need to distract the puppy with high value treat before he sees the dog, but what does that really accomplish? And if we keep doing this, will he grow out of it? approximately at what age a GSD is more calm usually?

Another questions is, when he starts barking and lunging towards the other dog, what should we do as the owner? Usually when he is ON like that, it is hard to distract him... Do we force him to sit down? Do we move away and force him to follow us by pulling the leash? Do we do correction like some people do?

Please give us some ideas since this is my first dog.. cheers
 

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You HAVE to be aware of your surroundings. As soon as you see another dog you should be ready to give your marker, whether it be no, or uh-uh, or whatever you use (just make sure your consistent!) and as soon as he barks you mark it as bad and praise him as soon as he stops barking; try and get him to watch you if you can. If you don't mark it at that first bark it's not as effective.
If he continues to bark, I take his leash and bring it to the floor, stepping on it as close to his body as you can and causing him to also go to the floor. This should quiet him down, and if he barks again then you mark it. After that it just takes time.
 

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Hmm ok, so basically, we do correction (stepping on the leash so he cant move and the only thing he can do is go to down position, correct?)... so we stay in that position until the other dog leaves, while giving him treats like vending machine while he is calm in his down position, is this correct?
 

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Hmm ok, so basically, we do correction (stepping on the leash so he cant move and the only thing he can do is go to down position, correct?)... so we stay in that position until the other dog leaves, while giving him treats like vending machine while he is calm in his down position, is this correct?
Haha yeah, you can so the leash thing if he keeps barking or if you miss that first bark.
If you can mark that first bark and the subsequent barks it helps more because then he'll learn not to bark in a general sense. If there's a pause between barks then it's considered a new bark, which you can mark negatively.
You will be giving treats to this, if he doesn't bark. But even a "good boy" and pet works too. You want to praise him whenever he's quiet.

If you do the leash thing you can let up on the leash and let him sniff aswell, we're just correcting the barking after all.
The leash thing is more of a time out, so you won't be praising him with treats. I would advise going "good boy" as long as he's quiet, so he knows your happy with the behaviour.
 

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use the distraction technique as stated above and do NOT reward him by allowing him to meet the other dog. He barks, he doesnt get to meet the other furball. By allowing him to meet the other dog after barking, you're encouraging the undesired behavior.
 

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Hmm fair enuf, although I cannot imagine YET Max can get close to another dog without barking.. hahha.. So far I am using treat techniques and Max has been good towards strangers after a few days (before he would become so alert and barks at some people in our area)... The barking and lunging towards other dogs is annoying me..
 

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the barking and lunging is also a bad habit and thing to allow carried to adulthood. Best of luck! They can be stubborn sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you so much for all of your replies! I really appreciate your time and input! I'll start working on that with him:)
 
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