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So after tons of research, reading and training. Ive realized that Dexter's issues on leash reactivity to other dogs (barrier frustration) is just out of control. Its not quite life or death but it clearly interrupts him from having just an "okay" life to having an amazing fulfilling life. He also has extremely high prey drive, I feel is going to get us into turble one of these days if we don't take steps to control it now.

So we called all around to many trainers, and behaviorist and found one with a great reputation, and feel pretty confident she is the person to go to. We been through a few positive based class's were going to go try more of a "balance" trainer but overall correction trainers scare me. I know there are many great balance trainers that use the tools proper, and humanly but Ive heard of correction trainers gone wrong. I decided to not risk it and go to an experienced behaviorist who should be able to help us depict weather the reaction is fear based or frustration based, then from there she should help us find the right tool. I would like to try and do as positive as possible I dont want anything to ruin our bond. However if it dose have to be an adverse at least im confident she will teach us to use it humanely and proper, so we can wean off.

Anyways its a little bit of a wait to get in to see her, She gave me a little homework too. She asked that I get a 15 sec video of him reacting, and also to pack a bag of every tool Ive ever used with him and to make a list of anything and everything we want to work on.

I just want to be prepared as possible going into this, so we can get the most out of it. Is there any type of questions I should be asking her? Or things maybe I should look out for?

My goal is to have my dog be able to walk on a leash and pass other dogs without acting like a lunatic, we tried a prong it fired him up more, we tried doing the CC with a clicker and treats, treats meant nothing, we also tried to CC with a tug game, I got Bit! The only thing that has worked is avoiding our issue by u-turning away, Im getting really good at avoiding our problems, but its not solving anything, so any advice would be helpful, Ive never gone to a behaviorist before and im not really sure what to expect, She has great reputation and she competley transformed my friends aggressive dog, so Im very hopeful..... so until next monday ..............
 

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Good luck! I think it's awesome you're taking this step to help give Dexter a better life! Most people would just ignore it, but you're actively helping your dog! Kuddos and keep us posted!!
 

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Hi, I read an article about the two reward system for dealing with on leash reactivity.

To sum it up quickly (I'm at work) you tie the dog securely to a post/tree. The owner stands calmly and quietly beside the dog. Another handler and dog team approach latterally, you want to have a dog that is not going to antagonize the reactive do and will stay focused on his handler.

The moment the dog starts to react, the dog and handler pair stop and stay still and the reactive dog walks away and keeps his back to the dog.

When the dog stops reacting the owner imediately returns and gives a treat and the dog and handler pair leave quickly.

I will find you the link tonight when I am at home but I believe it was on the Canada Pet Dog Trainer Association website.

Good luck to you, my two can be reactive on leash and we are working on it with them. They are just 15 months old.
 

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Originally Posted By: Sisters_GrimmHi, I read an article about the two reward system for dealing with on leash reactivity.

To sum it up quickly (I'm at work) you tie the dog securely to a post/tree. The owner stands calmly and quietly beside the dog. Another handler and dog team approach latterally, you want to have a dog that is not going to antagonize the reactive do and will stay focused on his handler.

The moment the dog starts to react, the dog and handler pair stop and stay still and the reactive dog walks away and keeps his back to the dog.

When the dog stops reacting the owner imediately returns and gives a treat and the dog and handler pair leave quickly.

I will find you the link tonight when I am at home but I believe it was on the Canada Pet Dog Trainer Association website.

Good luck to you, my two can be reactive on leash and we are working on it with them. They are just 15 months old.
I've used that method, sometimes it works but there are dogs in which it doesn't. Some dogs are too excited and once another dog is in sight, they couldn't care less about if the owner is or not in the proximity or if he has the best treats of the world. It comes to the individual.
 

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I'm going to recommend some homework for you -- Read a bunch of stuff by Pat Miller who has done a lot with counter conditioning -- and Read Bill Campbell's stuff -- for instance The New Better Behavior for Dogs. I think your approach has had difficulty because you get within his reactive zone which just undoes anything you've managed to achieve. What you want to do is shorten that zone until you extinguish it. You can't do that by getting into it.
 

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Quote:What you want to do is shorten that zone until you extinguish it. You can't do that by getting into it.
This cannot be said any plainer and nor is it any lie.

With a reactive dog or "REd zone dog" (as Ceaser Milan would put it) You have to stop them from going into the zone to begin with.

Once any dog is on that zone then they sort of become "blind" with it, you can correct the heck out of them with a prong collar and they end up blowing you off and feel nothing.

I do alot of work with red zone cases.
 

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Keepus posted on how this goes. I am not sure if this is appropriate, but would you share the name of the behavorist.

I hired one, about 18 months ago to evaluate and work with my Dog, Timber. The woman is known worldwide, mostly booked, and expensive.

The results and advice from her were just terrible. Since then I have found a good trainer, and the dog's improvement has exceeded expectations.

My only suggestion, find someone, behavorist or trianer, that works strickly with German Shepherds.
 

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Originally Posted By: Sisters_Grimm
The moment the dog starts to react, the dog and handler pair stop and stay still and the reactive dog walks away and keeps his back to the dog.

When the dog stops reacting the owner imediately returns and gives a treat and the dog and handler pair leave quickly.
I think you meant that the handler of the reactive dog moves away. We used a similar method in Feisty Fido classes and that was particularly successful for me but my girl is a very bonded dog.

Something else we did was use a command of 'this way' when practicing u-turns. That helps break her concentration & turn her back to me instead of reacting to an oncoming dog. My dog isn't treat oriented and I've found that if I give her commands it helps to keep her from being completely focused on the other dog.

What has worked best for me is using body blocking. She knows that 'with me' means to stay at my side and if I see an oncoming dog, I move slightly in front of her and tell her 'with me' to keep her to side while keeping a relatively loose leash. The combination seems to work for her. I don't think there will ever be a time when I can totally let me guard down while we're out walking, but it's been several months since she's actively 'reacted' to another dog.

Best of luck. Let us know how it goes.
 

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Yes you are correct the reactive dog owner walks away but the calm dog and handler remain still.

Having the calm dog leave would only reinforce to the reactive dog the wrong behaviour.

Sorry for any confusion
 

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Thank you for all the replies. You guys are so dead on with us going to far into our zone, we have had SOME success when we have been able to keep our distance, however life happens dogs jump out of bush's, I make mistakes and think "hey hes getting better lets try this out at a petstore, or Hey hes not reacting at 8 ft lets push it and see how it dose at 6ft" I believe its ALL handler error (yup my fault not his)
I can read all the books in the world and understand what I should be doing, but to actually do it and do it right, much easier said then done. I still think it helps tho to be prepared, and learn about all the different options, and different techniques used, just in case you do end up with one of those horror stories trainers/behaviorist

Thanks for the info on Pat Miller and Bill Campbell, although I got sidetracked on the Bill Campbell's Bio-Sonic Bean-Bag tool, Has anyone used that?
http://www.webtrail.com/petbehavior/biosonic.html

Timber- Im going to see Melissa Cocola Certified Master Trainer here is her website
http://www.positivek9inc.com/
Out of curiosity, if you don't mind if ask who you went to see?
I did quite a bit of homework looking for the right trainer/behavoirist, It really came down to two, that Ive heard wonderful things from with people who actually trained with them, Hopefully I made the right choice. I will keep everyone updated Thanks again
 

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I hope you have MUCH better luck w/your behaviorist than we did. We used to have the same type problems you described but after trying many different ways to change this behavior, he can now walk past even a reactive dog and just keeps walking
The behiorist we went to had absolutely nothing to do with our success either.
 

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Got timed out before I could finish - I think part of what helps is finding the type of communication that works between each individual owner & dog. We also put him on Bach's Flowers (not Rescue Remedy - I mix my own) and this honestly seems to help.
 

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As for books, LOL I have read to many and in several cases they tend to contradict themselves.

Regarding my trainer, please send me a personal message and I will reply. Unfortunately, he is in Wisconsin and far away from you. Right or wrong I just do not want to promote anything on this board.

I will add Riley's Mom knows the guy, and I think things are going well.
 

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Aloha, although I am a relative newbie GSD subordinate <g>, I find that Rasa will obey most any command IF she knows that she can do whatever she wants sometimes, but not when I tell her not to. Most all behavior is OK (even some behavior that other dog owners are trying to correct), digging, barking, chasing, etc. just only when I say it is OK.
I read an article where dogs know and understand "fairness". The example is if two dogs do equal tricks and one gets a small treat and the other gets a great treat, the one will get upset when she gets "the smaller treat". So, I think my dog understands that, NO, I cannot do this or that, but later I can. On our walks, sometimes Rasa has to stay by me and sometimes I allow her to wander off. Sometimes she has to leave it when there is prey, sometimes it is "Go get'em".

frank
 

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Best of luck to you, Kristyn. It's great that you're doing what you need to do to help Dexter. Heidi was very reactive, on leash and off, to most dogs, starting about a month after we got her. She would lunge and growl at dogs as we passed them--even the most harmless and friendly ones.

We've done a LOT of work with her: a Grumpy Pup class, private sessions with a trainer, lots of reading and practicing. In fact, we were even able to put her into doggie daycare after that. For some reason, she does much better with other dogs when we're not around. She was doing so well that we tried taking an agility class. She was the star pupil, but after three different incidents with three different dogs (where she ran up to other dogs, then they reacted to her, then she overreacted), we enrolled her in another Reactive Rover class.

So, now we can pass other dogs while on walks and hikes with no problems. She still can get reactive when in close quarters with a dog that stares at her or that rubs her the wrong way for some reason, but it is SOOOO much better than it used to be.

She's never going to be the kind of dog that is super friendly with other dogs, but we've accepted that and are just happy that we now have some tools that work for her, such as "watch me" where she'll look away from the other dog and at us.

The biggest thing we learned in both classes was to get her to associate a word (in our case, it was "Yes!") with a really good, special food treat. Once she got that concept, life was much easier for us on her walks. And now, when we pass other dogs, she'll look up at us as if to say, "I passed another dog and I was good, do I get a treat?" Now we're at the point where we don't always give her a treat, but we do give her one if she really shows self-control, such as if a little dog on a retractable leash comes up to her, or if a couple of dogs passing her are barking or growling at her, or if a dog she passes gives her the "hard stare," etc. But we only give her the treat if she didn't react.

By the way, just as more encouragement to you, in our Grumpy Pup class there was a huge weimerimer dog that was very fear aggressive. He even wore a muzzle during class. He had to be far away from everyone else in the beginning. By the end of the six-week class, we were able to pass him on the sidewalk with no reactions. And in the Reactive Rover class, there was a giant GSD that was extremely reactive because he wanted to greet and play with the other dogs. He barked and lunged like crazy (and his owner was a really small woman). By the end of this course, he was controllable too. So, it CAN be done!!!!

Best of luck to you! Keep us posted.
 
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