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Freya is 5 months old now... When we got her, we were told she was over-adrenalized most of the time, and that we have to manage her excitement levels. Things at home have improved significantly (we play calmly, train, keep doors and windows closed), but when walking outside, she goes from 0 to 100 in a split second.

We go to a park across the street as we have no yard of our own. I time our walks to make sure we're there when it's mostly empty, and stick to the outskirts to avoid as much as possible. If I notice the distraction before Freya, I go in the opposite direction asap. If she sees it, but it's far away, I can still manage to get her attention and redirect. If people ignore her, she's fine. But the second she sees someone she recognizes, pays attention to her or a dog (any dog), she will do one of 2 things;

1)pull like a crazy to get to her target, and then jump around & bark like crazy (this is if her target is close by). In this case, I redirect with the leash, and keep walking in the other direction until she calms down. She is pulling like crazy the whole time and staring back, but I keep moving.

2)she lays down, knowing I will try to pull her away from the distraction, until the object of her desire gets close enough, and then the crazy jumping and barking will begin. I try to step on her leash, but she's gotten too big for me to manage, and I have fallen on 2 occasions now trying to do this. Now, I end up keeping a short leash on her, and once she gets up, start dragging her away.

Will this phase ever pass? Is there anything else I should be doing? Once in these situations, I wish I knew how to calm her down so she can greet politely. We actually have a park worker helping us out by ignoring Freya, then asking her to sit, and once she sits she gets petting and a treat. But as soon as she gets her treat, she starts all over again.

Oh, and we have her on a front ring harness right now - she just chokes herself when on a flat collar :-(
 

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this isn't a phase --- this is in her breeding

when you have the park worker pay attention to her , have him NOT give her a treat , that builds anticipation

her ideal response should be neutral so have strangers ignore her and if you allow interaction have it not rewarding so that there is no value in needing to meet anyone

front ring harness great if you want a sled dog , flat collar not a training collar -- get a prong and do obedience exercises as you would in the companion dog routine, heel, sit when stop , down stay , stay, recall .

calm her mind ---- good clean food , essential fatty acids - omega 3 , DHA and EPA .

recommended book Fired Up Frantic and Freaked Out FIRED UP, FRANTIC AND FREAKED OUT: TRAINING THE CRAZY DOG FROM OVER THE TOP TO UNDER CONTROL - Dog Training Books - Dogwise.com

this one discusses diet and behaviour CHILL OUT FIDO! - HOW TO CALM YOUR DOG - Dogwise Published Items - Dogwise.com

had a friend who some of the old forum members might remember , who ran a highly successful (titles and high trial placements) obedience class . She was very observant and took a casual poll on a questionnaire at the end of the first group class . She would watch the dogs and make notes and later compare them . She was almost always right in quessing what the dogs were eating !

If you are interested in looking into the brain gut connection have a look at Perlmutter's Brain Maker - Discover the power of gut bacteria, the human microbiome
 

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Sounds like a prong collar would be just the thing.Do your research on how to fit it and it's proper use.A training class would be beneficial also.You are doing the right things,you just need better tools.Harnesses just make it easier for them to pull.
 

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I'm totally not one to really EVER suggest a prong to a dog I don't know over the internet, but it honestly DOES sound like you could use one. If she's 100% just excited to see whatever it is she wants to see, the prong could help snap her attention back to you. But as Dogma suggested, you need to have a trainer who is experienced with them help you fit it and learn to use it correctly. In the interim, you might want to use a martingale collar. It's what I use on my own dog. It's like a flat collar, but when they pull it tightens a bit, but there's only so far it can tighten, just like a prong, so it doesn't actually choke. The nice thing vs a flat collar, though, is it distributes the weight around the whole neck so it doesn't put pressure in just one spot. It can be better than the harness, too, because you regain control of the head. In a lot of instances you might consider a head halter, but with the way your dog sounds, she could possibly injure herself by yanking forward and having her head snap back in another direction.

this isn't a phase --- this is in her breeding

when you have the park worker pay attention to her , have him NOT give her a treat , that builds anticipation

her ideal response should be neutral so have strangers ignore her and if you allow interaction have it not rewarding so that there is no value in needing to meet anyone
Your dog seriously sounds JUST like my girl, and I agree with this advice 100%. Your dog is already paying more attention to other stuff than to you, now you're increasing the rewards. Your dog is pulling because she's thinking maybe you'll go over and play the "Get a treat from a stranger" game. That would be good for dogs who are AFRAID of people, not dogs who would do anything to get to them.

If I go out and work with my dog, 99.9999% of the time I don't let people interact with her at all. We did that when she was a baby puppy because we didn't want her afraid, but now that we know that everyone in the world is a friend in her eyes, I've basically cut all of that out. I always go out with a treat bag full of kibble and some extra yummy treats that I throw in every so often to make it more exciting. If we're going around distractions, *I* am the one that feeds her, and I work my best to get her attention on to me. All rewards come from me all of the time, and I reward often for her focusing on me, even when there aren't any distractions around.

The times when you get too close to things are just going to happen. But do your best to get her to focus on you to get a sit out of her. If she's willing to sit, you know you're at a good distance. If she won't, then either keep getting farther away, or wait for the distraction to pass, and try again. Whenever you can, work on a couple sits and downs, and be SUPER HAPPY EXCITED when she's listening and paying attention to you! You want her to see something in the environment and think, "OH MY GOD, WE'RE GOING TO GET TO WORK!!!" and give you the attention instead because she anticipates good things.

This absolutely will NOT happen overnight, btw!!! Don't be disheartened if it doesn't run as perfectly as you'd like!! My girl is going to be 9 months tomorrow and we've worked on this for a long, long time, and she still gets wildly excited if something is too close. She's still a million times better than she used to be, though! You just have to keep practicing, every day if possible, and keep the reward from you high. You'll get there!!
 

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Thanks for the advice everyone!

We do reward every time she checks in with us, and we are not allowing contact anymore when she is being rude. We have gotten her to sit on a couple of occasions now with a dog nearby (back away from dog/distraction until she can calm down a bit, and when she sits, reward & praise heavily), and allow a sniff... We'll just keep at it...

Last night, we had a friend bring her 2 older dogs and did a walk together. As expected, our pup was being rude and trying to engage in play, so we just kept pulling away from the pack until she calmed down. I'm happy to say that by the end of the walk, she was walking nicely with the older dogs. The older dogs did correct her a few times when she was being too rambunctious, which I think really helped as well.

I know prong and martingales have been suggested frequently, but I really did not want to go that route. She's still young, and I'm hoping with consistent training and a bit of maturity, it won't be necessary. Anyone have success without it here?
 

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If you do it right you don't have to use the prong for a long time, maybe a few months at the most (my personal experience). Also I found that treats work well with very young puppies but at this 5 month's stage I started using toys and play as a reward. And no interactions with strangers. No treats from anyone, ever.
Dogma is right I think: you are doing everything good, now use it with a prong. Study the Leerburg videos on it. I used to be like you; never a prong. But these intense dogs opened up my mind to other tools. They are not what they appear to be.
 

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A prong is good. One thing a young dog or any dog for that matter needs is a good outlet to blow out built up energy. You don't have a yard, so you need to find a place with a fenced of area, so the dog can freely run off leash. Most communities have public enclosed tennis courts, nobody uses them. Let her run and burn off energy. After they burn off energy, they are much easier to handle for a walk. More exercise leaves less energy to expel on things during the walk. A tired dog is a good dog!
 

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In cases like this you need to ask people you know not to acknowledge the dog when it is jumping like crazy or that reinforces the behavior.

Generally if a dog jumps on them their first response is to say, good boy and rub/cuddle them.

Anyways,

Go find a quiet carpark sometimes to practice walking for treats. When dog gets it but starts to loose interest add leash pop or prong correction, or verbal correction.

When my dog was overly reactive (totally different case i know) I'd walk and train her at night a lot. Much more free space at night so less distractions. You can get more cats though but that was part of the training in my case.
 

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I know prong and martingales have been suggested frequently, but I really did not want to go that route. She's still young, and I'm hoping with consistent training and a bit of maturity, it won't be necessary. Anyone have success without it here?
The martingale is not the same thing as a prong in that you're not using it to give corrections. It just helps you gain control of where your dog is putting her weight, so you can redirect easier. Also, she'll get a LOT more physical feedback as to whether or not the leash is slack, which is what you're going for. With the harness, it's made to distribute weight so the dog doesn't feel it so much. With the martingale, it's really noticeable whether or not the leash is tight, but it isn't so much pressure on the throat the way there is with a flat collar.

I also want to throw out there, remember to keep your instincts about what works best for you and your dog. I think I'd mentioned this to you in another thread, but when my puppy was 4 months old, I had trainers telling me that my dog was a working line girl and that I'd come around to using a prong eventually. Stated very matter-of-fact, in a, "You'll see how right we are, " sort of way. I don't care what side of what spectrum you are with any sort of training, I don't respond well to ultimatums or absolutes! For a long while I felt like I was doing something wrong, but then I started following my gut again and doing what I felt was right for us, and how we were making progress. I'm really glad I did because the way we train is absolutely the best thing for both of us.

This isn't at all to say that a prong is the right or wrong way to go. Just that YOU need to be the one to make that decision, and if you DO decide to go that route, do so with a trainer that is experienced in fitting and working with prongs, and one that sees it as one of many options, not the one and only right way to train. Like I'd said before, I still think how handy one would be for us every once in awhile, but then I realize those days are few in number and everyone has setbacks. If you're working how you are and seeing progress that you are happy with, then stay the course. If, on the other hand, you're still feeling you're in over your head and unable to control your dog to your own satisfaction, that's when it's time to find a trainer to help you with a prong.

You are your own judge of your progress! You're doing great so far, keep trusting yourself! :)
 

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this isn't a phase --- this is in her breeding

when you have the park worker pay attention to her , have him NOT give her a treat , that builds anticipation

her ideal response should be neutral so have strangers ignore her and if you allow interaction have it not rewarding so that there is no value in needing to meet anyone

front ring harness great if you want a sled dog , flat collar not a training collar -- get a prong and do obedience exercises as you would in the companion dog routine, heel, sit when stop , down stay , stay, recall .

calm her mind ---- good clean food , essential fatty acids - omega 3 , DHA and EPA .

recommended book Fired Up Frantic and Freaked Out FIRED UP, FRANTIC AND FREAKED OUT: TRAINING THE CRAZY DOG FROM OVER THE TOP TO UNDER CONTROL - Dog Training Books - Dogwise.com

this one discusses diet and behaviour CHILL OUT FIDO! - HOW TO CALM YOUR DOG - Dogwise Published Items - Dogwise.com

had a friend who some of the old forum members might remember , who ran a highly successful (titles and high trial placements) obedience class . She was very observant and took a casual poll on a questionnaire at the end of the first group class . She would watch the dogs and make notes and later compare them . She was almost always right in quessing what the dogs were eating !

If you are interested in looking into the brain gut connection have a look at Perlmutter's Brain Maker - Discover the power of gut bacteria, the human microbiome
Can you share the findings of this survey? I feed my pup Fromm but am curious as to her thoughts on the subject of feeding.
 

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Are walks her main exercise? I can't imagine that a pup's energy is even touched. How is her prey drive? I would work with her and a flirt pole (you can do that with a long line) and drain some energy and work on impulse control.
 

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Hi Galathiel,

We start with a walk, then we move into one of the following: run and play in the creek, or chase after ball, or play with a flirt pole, brief training interspersed (basically, whenever she is able to focus on me) and then we end on a walk back home again. On average, we spend about 45 minutes to an hour per outing, and we do two outings a day.

We also started visiting a dog park (30 minutes of play, which seems to tucker her right out) every couple of days, and hiking in the woods as well - trying to mix things up a little, and using these outings to get her excited about using her car crate...

We've been lucky and have avoided dogs recently in the park. She does pull a lot still - but the pattern seems to be pull like crazy before playtime, and once she gets to play, she does settle a little and pulls less. I have her tied to my waist and stop when she starts to pull. On the good days, she sits and looks at me pretty quickly and we move again. The bad days - she starts getting frustrated very quickly and forgets what needs to happen to get moving forward again, and just barks and whines... This is when I wait to see if she'll remember, and if she doesn't, I help her out by calling her name and get her to look at me before we move.

How do I work on impulse control? I think this would be very helpful for her. I started doing "watch me" games, and we also just started to teach sit & wait at the door before we can head outside - this she picked up very quickly :)
 

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RE: Impulse control, I definitely agree with looking up "It's Your Choice" games! Spectre's been doing awesome with things like that, and I do think it's helped a lot in other areas. I think it helps them flip that switch from, "I WANT IT GIMME GIMME GIMME!" to actually being able to focus and think. If nothing else, it could never hurt! :)

I also really love working on handling, being calm until release, that sort of thing. I'm a groomer, so that was one of the absolute first things we worked on, haha! People always love to give generic, broad advice like, "Play with their paws!" but unfortunately, even with that there's a right and wrong way to do it! Just allowing handling/touching is one thing. What you're really after is a dog that's going to hold still until you give the ok. Waiting until your dog has a decent grasp of some sort of "Wait" command is the easiest way to work on it, but it's not necessary. You basically do something you know the dog might wiggle for, but that it won't go over the top about. You hold a paw, for example, but do NOT let go if the dog is pulling away. YOU are the one who decides when you're done. The second the dog sits still, you mark, let go, and reward. The holding on is why you need to start small. If the dog goes over the top about it, you're just building stress, which doesn't help. You start easy and work your way up with difficulty and duration, just like any other obedience. Again, might not help in other areas, but it couldn't hurt! All this stuff also builds impulse control.

Bonus video of Spec and her "Wait" :D
https://www.facebook.com/wolfbag/videos/10153192845251989/?ref=notif&notif_t=video_processed

Can you share the findings of this survey? I feed my pup Fromm but am curious as to her thoughts on the subject of feeding.
I know it isn't the same thing, but I read awhile back they've found that in humans, IBS causes anxiety and depression as much as it does the reverse. They used to think it was only the other way around. Totally makes sense, though, if you ask me, if you're feeling nasty all the time it'll put you on edge, right? They also looked at bacteria in people's digestive tract and found a correlation as well. I'd assume it works the same for dogs!
 

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This makes complete sense to me. Was wondering if there was a list of commercial foods that the study revealed to be best for dogs?
 
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