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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
I have a 5 month old had who for the most part is a great dog but one thing is when he gets on the leash he's completely a different dog. He's excelling in his training classes and is well socialized with other dogs but once on the leash he growls, barks, and lunges at dogs. The trainer is helping me but I would like some insight from some owners. I'm stumped because he goes to doggy daycare twice a week and has never had an issue there so I don't know where this leash aggression is coming from. Please help. I would love to enjoy walks with him instead of dreading them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We have been practicing loose leash walking which he is getting better with but he hasn't mastered it completely
 

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I thought it may be because he was pulling on the leash, and that was hyping him up, but if he's not too bad on the leash, I'm not too sure. Does your trainer think it's aggression or over enthusiasm

I'd definately concentrate on the loose leash walking, and keeping his attention on you rather than the other dogs. If you see another dog, get his attenton with a treat or a toy and teach him to look at you. Really praise him, when he ignores other dogs.

Don't be tempted to yank him or get cross with him, that will make him worse, just wait until he's calm and not looking at the other dog, then really praise him, so that he understands just what you need from him.

Keep a safe distance from other dogs, so he doesn't have chance to react. The more he gets the chance to do it , the more he will do it.

If you see a dog coming towards you, turn around and walk in the opposite direction, or cross the road.

Take a look at some of videos on this site they're really good, especially the loose lead walking, getting your dogs attention. and leave.

http://trainingpositive.com/?page_id=4

This one is really good for teaching your dog to exercise self control.

 

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Sometimes what we see on the leash isn't aggression, but EXCITEMENT!

Does it look anything like the puppy at 2:00


Cause that's 100% excitement and not aggression...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The way he is nothing like the puppy in the video. He's more tense and his hair stands up on his back and the tail is out straight and not wagging.
 

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Have you actually seen your dog with the other dogs at doggie day care - does he seem happy and relaxed. Has anyone ever said he's aggressive at times or is perhaps there's a dog who bullies him? What sort of collar do you use ?

Sue
 

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Yeah I've stayed and watch him and I've also have had playdates with friends dogs and he's fine and plays like crazy once he's off the leash. On the playdates when he first approached the dogs he acted aggressive but once he calmed down I let him off the leash and he was fine.
 

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I'm wondering if I should take him out of daycare and do supervised playdates since I only get to go see the first 10 minutes he enters daycare and I'm not there all day to see if he is getting bullied.
 

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Could be a good idea to remove him while you're working on this. Ensure that you teach a solid 'leave it'.

I'm sorry if I'm being a pest by asking so many questions - but I'm curious as to why he's leash aggressive.

My last dog was extremely leash reactive. He wasn't aggressive, but he had no self control - he really wanted to play - but he was such a bully, he scared the other dogs. Don't get me wrong it was our fault. He played so roughly with our dalmation - who didn't mind in the least, so we never stopped him. We figured it out eventually and got it sorted, just wish we'd managed it sooner. Hindsight's a wonderful thing.

Do you have any problems with leash aggression when he's at training school?

When he's on play dates, does your dog bully other dogs. Does he put his head over them, mouth and pull at them, or do any of the dogs lie on their backs and submit to him?

Regardless of the reason, keep your distance and reward him for ignoring other dogs. If you're ever caught unawares just ignore his behaviour (assuming he's not actually biting another dog that is) and reward him the second he's calm or averts his eyes from the other dog.

Sue
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He does act out at training class thats where we first noticed it. When he plays with other dogs I do notice he likes to put his head on their backs but I have noticed he has submitted to other dogs more then they submit to him. When I first got him he was terrified of other dogs and has gotten better but I wonder if maybe that has something to do it.
 

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He sounds a lot like Rocket. Rocket will often try to put his head over a dogs back, but he is such a totally "Whazzup" dog when it comes to aggression. He has actually been rushed and attacked by other dogs and he doesn't even get it. He thinks it's some sort of strange play, LOL

But when he is on leash, he will bark and give a quick lunge when we pass another dog on the street, see one in a store, or whatever. But, it's usually quick and once he's off the leash, he's totally fine. Grrr. I just am using a quick "NO" and redirect, then praising when he's calm, and hoping he'll outgrow it.
 

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Ok. I actually think you'd be better off giving training class a miss for a while - unless you can work with him at a safe enough distance to ensure he doesn't have the opportunity to react. Have a word with the instructor to see if that could be set up.
Keep up plenty of short training session at home - build a really close bond with your dog.
 

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We are having the same issues with our 5 month old pup. We have withdrawn from group classes as it caused too much of a reaction for Jazmyn. We're moving to private sessions with a trainer, and we're going to work one-on-one with non-reactive dogs to help her realize they're not something she has to be worried about.

Jazmyn plays fairly well off leash like your pup, but can be a bit of a vocal bully. She does love to engage in a great game of chase.

We're doing distance training and Jazmyn can/will now ignore dogs barking that she just hears. If she SEES another dog, it seems her distance range is about 100 feet, anything closer will get a reaction. Obviously, this created a problem in her obedience classes. We are distracting & rewarding while on walks and it seems to be working. Correcting during the reaction can have a reverse effect so we're avoiding that. Also try and keep the leash as loose as you can. We found that if we tighten, her reaction is even more intense. We use happy voice, may need to jump around, etc but the second she turns to us to look for guidance and is quiet, she gets rewards like crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We are now doing private sessions but it's when we leave and see other dogs he freaks out so we are working with him exiting the building in a calm state which can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Jazmyn sounds exactly like Bronx and their the same age. Thanks for the tips. Plus when he does put his head on the dogs he's not mean about it. It's kind of like he's trying to get there attention so he can chase them or vise versa. I guess I'll start carrying treats everywhere we go so I can reward his good behavior.
 

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He's only young - he'll get there. Just keep your distance, when he's calm and ignores dogs at a certain distance you can move closer, sort him at that distance and move closer still. Just don't rush him or push him. Let him be confident at each stage before moving on to the next.

Continue with the doggie play dates - just be ready to step in if he appears to be bullying other dogs, or if they are bullying him.

Good Luck with your private lessons. Please let us know how he's gets on.

Sue
 

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Having same kind of issue with Stella. She also is good in day care, play dates and is getting better in class. But on a walk....forget it. I am having a trainer come to my house tomorrow to work on this. The trainer at the obedience class and the trainer at agility both encouraged me not to stop class as Stella does settle down and there is a huge improvement since about a month ago. I am thinking of trying to walk by the dog park but not go in....Start far away, reward for no craziness...etc...etc... She is a bit older at 9 months but has been doing this forever. Oh, another thing....in the yard her and my other older dog tend to bark at whatever may go by. I think Stella picked that up from the old boy....but I am putting a stop to that. If I hear them barking I go out and try to distract them and tell them no barking.....
 

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A solid 'leave it' works wonders. If you see a dog (preferably before your dog does) give the 'leave it' command along with whatever distraction your dog loves the most.

There's a thread currently running in the puppy section on how to teach a solid 'leave it' - take a look.

Sue
 
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