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Discussion Starter #1
I am at my wits end--no doubt the real problem.

I am thrilled with the progress Soxie (9 month old female) and I are making on her heeling, with the one exception. She just can't resist another dog. She just wants to play. The trainers at my training school act like she is a criminal and chastise me every time she lunges toward another dog that looks playful.

We go on a daily walk and if someone is walking behind us with a dog, it is constant turning around to look. When we pass someone coming toward us, she pulls desperately trying to play.

The trainers suggest that I distract her before she sees the other dog. One suggestion: bump her with your knee to get her attention. She would never even know I had bumped her. She usually senses the other dog at about 200-300 feet and is riveted. Today I thought I had finally found an answer. I got a piece of liver pinched in my fingers at about 30 or so paces away from passing another dog. She was trying to get the liver right up until we were 10 feet from the passing dog, and then the liver was of zero interest and she only want to play with the other dog (admittedly in that instance the other dog was equally bad).

What do you think I am doing wrong?
 

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Nothing. Its normal behavior that gives you an opportunity to work with your dog. I'd say you're already on the right track with the liver, but you have to take it slower. You can't expect your dog to instantly ignore the other dog. You have to progress slowly through excersises similar to what you described. If she is fine until 10 feet, don't move closer than that for the time being. Always give her the opportunity to succeed. Work on obediance and have her focus on you at 15 feet away. Treat and praise appropriately. Once she is entirely comfortable at 15 feet, move up to 14 feet. Then 13, 12, etc. Focus on you is key. You and what you're offering has to be more enticing than the other dog. This can be achieved even if the item you're offering isn't that exciting. Training in small intervals instills habit. After numerous training sessions, the item is as rewarding at 5 feet away as it was at 200.
 

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May I ask what kind of collar you are using? A prong may make a world of a difference, some people don't like them but I had the same problem but now all is well. The dog will be a dog and always be curious about his surroundings but I won't have my dogs lunging at other dogs. It would be nice if you had a person you know with a dog to help.......put your dog in a sit and have the other dog walk by, not too close at first but once it's no big deal then they can move closer, then they put their dog in a sit and you walk by. It takes time, I know sometimes our patience run thin but try to remember we are dealing with an animal. Good Luck
 

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If I may also add,if the other dog is going crazy as well it makes it so hard. Alot of people have no idea how to walk a dog, example: they walk their dog on a 20ft expandable lead and when they see other dogs they pull like crazy, there's not too much you can do with that because thieir dog isn't trained and the owner has no idea what they are doing either. You will just have to move the other direction and try to redirect their focus on you. The exercise I was talking about requires a good behaved dog that will walk right past your dog with no fuss, usually your dog should pick up on the other dogs calm energy and not make that big of a fuss.
 

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Your dog is still young and playing is the funnest thing she knows. The above advice is what you need to focus on and I find it easier to run past situations like this because your puppy is more focused on you. Working without distractions on what you expect from her will help her to understand whats ok and what is not. Then like mentioned earlier have a friend with a dog help you to teach your puppy what you want her to do.

You are doing things right and your puppy is at the perfect age to stop her bad habit but she must realize you mean business also. Perhaps she doesn't take you seriously.
 

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I'd say you are lucky. My dog usually avoids other dogs.
I take her to the dog parks and she tries to climb inside my pocket.
She will only play with 'selected' dogs, ones that have proven they aren't
going to growl or try to chase her. Then she will play and chase.
It's like she says: " I will play with you if you promise not to get rough."

Not a great representative of the GSD breed in that respect.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would like to comment on Paddyd's comment first. Made me laugh cause when I first started taking her to obedience classes and she would hide between my legs, I would always tell her that she is the german shepherd she can't be afraid.

Anyway, yes, I do use a prong collar. And funny thing about dogs walking past. I have her trained to stay in the yard. I have had 12 year old girls (added distraction) walking little fluff balls walk past and even let their dogs pee at the edge of the yard. She barks but has not left the yard now in at least two months.

But when we are walking and get in proximity, she is just beside herself trying to play.
 
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