German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to train my reactive (to people and dogs) 13 week old pup to be less reactive, and it's slow and steady going.

She's gotten better with people and seems to bark more to get their attention because she wants to see who they are and what they are doing (if we go up to the person she is all friendly and sniffing).

But with dogs, since we haven't encountered too many on our walks, she is still quite reactive with and it's harder to train her out of that. Today we were out for a poop in the front yard when a golden retriever pup (probably a year or so) RAN up to us and set my pup off BARKING like crazy. I shooed that dog away but my pup was so worked up! She was whining and pulling and trying to get after that dog. Turns out that dog belongs to a construction worker that is working on a house down the street. It's really annoying when other people let their dogs off leash and don't even pay attention to them!! I'm trying to do the best for my pup and to teach her, but it's so frustrating when someone is careless and gives my pup a bad experience!

Sorry, just needed to vent. Thanks for listening!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
751 Posts
You must get that puppy into a class somewhere where she will meet other dogs. 13 weeks she isn't even @ the fear stage yet if you ask me so socialize socialize socialize now now now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,379 Posts
I totally agree with Zayda. You will really be suprised at all of the benefits that come out of a good puppy class.

Nip it in the bud now, it'll save you a lot of work later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,863 Posts
I'm trying to train my reactive (to people and dogs) 13 week old pup to be less reactive, and it's slow and steady going.
Be careful not to slap a label on your pup too quickly. She may have been trying to get to the other dog because she was happy to see it. Like others said, try to get the pup in a class asap, it'll do wonders for her.

Also, when another dog approaches your puppy, unless you have reason to believe the other dog is acting in a threatening manner I'd try to stay calm and let them sniff each other. (you have to be the judge about the other dog)

If you're approached by another dog and start shooing them away your pup might get the wrong message....that other dogs are something to be afraid of. Puppy class will help you learn to read your own pup and other pups body language.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
Be careful not to slap a label on your pup too quickly. She may have been trying to get to the other dog because she was happy to see it. Like others said, try to get the pup in a class asap, it'll do wonders for her.

Also, when another dog approaches your puppy, unless you have reason to believe the other dog is acting in a threatening manner I'd try to stay calm and let them sniff each other. (you have to be the judge about the other dog)

If you're approached by another dog and start shooing them away your pup might get the wrong message....that other dogs are something to be afraid of. Puppy class will help you learn to read your own pup and other pups body language.
My thoughts exactly. When Zoey was that age she would freak out when there was someone (dog or person) new to meet. She just wanted to play and has grown out of it a fair bit.

You becoming tense or stressed in this situation can send your dog the wrong message.

Please start working with a trainer ASAP to help not only your dog but to help you identify what your dog's behavor means and how to best manage it.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Even though we socialize her a lot with people and dogs, I know we need to do it more.

For the most part, she does want to meet people when she is barking at them. She just has to learn not to bark at them and that she won't get to meet everyone around.

As for the dog that came by that I shooed away, I feel like I did the right thing because she was acting scared. That dog was off leash and coming onto our property and she was barking up a storm and backing up and hiding behind me. I think I was doing a good thing in that moment. Ideally, if that dog was still around later I would have liked to introduce her to it once she was calm and hopefully if that dog was also on a leash.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
751 Posts
If you can go to a place where there are other dogs/ puppies and bring your dogs favorite treat and ask people to bring their dog to meet your dog when you say it's ok. You will calm your puppy down by giving her treats but only when she is nice and approachable. I would think in a little time she should be fine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts
You must get that puppy into a class somewhere where she will meet other dogs. 13 weeks she isn't even @ the fear stage yet if you ask me so socialize socialize socialize now now now.
I'm thinking you aren't seeing so much a 'reactive' puppy as a crazy I WANT TO PLAY puppy!

I agree that puppy classes would be a huge help. And allowing your puppy to interact and greet with others. HEY, watch this video and does your puppy act like the smaller one (not mine?). The girl is running off with her puppy cause she was embarrassed at how it had been barking at us and pulling her. Look what happens when I 'make' the girl bring the puppy over to greet my Glory...the entire video is fabulous :) but the part I'm talking about is around minute 2:10

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
My pup is not as calm as that other pup. Not by a long shot.

Towards dogs, her barking has growling in it as well. If I can get her to sit, she will do short 'gruff' sounds too combined with low growls. If I do introduce my pup to another, they play but really roughly. My pup is a biter and a snapper (but only to dogs) and she will try to bite their necks. She does also invite the other dog to play.

Towards people, she is like that pup but OVER excited and really hyper and bouncing. I don't think she means harm because she's always friendly when we finally go over. But it's sometimes hard for me to see 100% because she jumps out in front of me when she's barking and lunging.

I will look into puppy classes in my area. Would it be better to take lessons from a private trainer or somewhere like Petsmart?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
522 Posts
do you get worried when you see another dog, because you're anticipating the barking/lunging??
I have a now 8 month old girl, and i've been dealing with "reactivity" since she was 4 months(ish) Turns out, it wasn't reactivity at all, it was ME sending her the wrong message- she started pulling and excited/play bark, and i took it the wrong way and thought she was reacting, then i would get worried that she would lunge/bark at a dog coming at us every other time, then she would get anxious and do just that- when i started trusting her that she wouldn't lunge/bark, ignored the other dogs coming around us, and just walked by like it was no big deal she did NOTHING. we went for 4 months having an embarrasing "reactive" puppy, when it really was me! so now that i trust her and myself, we have no issues at all, and are doing agility! So just pay attention to how you're feeling when this happens, it might be an easier fix than you think.


Also- I highly recommend positive re-enforcement or clicker training- now everytime skylar and I pass a dog or person, i click as they're walking by and she's not paying attention to them, then reward her- that way she knows exactly what she's supposed to do, so she doesn't have to try to be in control of the situation.

good luck :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
how often are you socializing and training your with
people and dogs? when you encounter another dog use that
time to train.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,460 Posts
I will look into puppy classes in my area. Would it be better to take lessons from a private trainer or somewhere like Petsmart?
I don't like either!

Where do you live? If you put your GENERAL location (don't need us knocking on your door, but if you live in Korea the suggestions are different than Tampa, FL ).

I prefer group dog classes/clubs. Generally the Petsmart classes are ok for socialization but not much for real training. Morris K9 Campus is an example of other training locations
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the advice!

We probably see new people once a day. Most of the time they're far away though and we won't actually get to them. I try to use treats to divert her attention to me instead of barking, and it works as long as they're further than a certain threshold. If they're too close, forget it. There is some crazy barking going on and I have to muscle her to get her turned away from the person.

We don't see new dogs too often, but she just got her last set of shots so we will frequent the dog park starting this weekend. I'm worried that she will bark non stop at the dogs at the park, since she is a barker at dogs and people anyway. Is there anything I can do to prevent that?

In terms of my mood, I think I probably am tense. I try to be relaxed, but I'm sure she can pick up on my anxiety. Sometimes, though, even when I am for sure relaxed (like we are just leaving the house - and I always try to leave the house in a relaxed, calm state to set the tone) she will walk two sets out of the house and start barking at something she sees (it may not even be a person, just a car with the lights on or something). It can get pretty frustrating.

I live in Saskatchewan, Canada (don't worry, I don't think anyone will come knocking once they hear the bark coming from my girl!)

One more barking question.... her alarm bark now has a growl in it all the time. Towards people, dogs, cars, etc. Does that mean she's more afraid than she was before? I figured before she was trying to alert people that she's there. Now it sounds more aggressive... but is that what it actually means?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,602 Posts
Is there an obedience training club in your area? I belong to one and besides classes, there's lots of opportunities to get the dogs out in the community- like being in parades, doing demonstrations, spending a few hours at a pet store advertising the club, stuff like that.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top