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Hey everyone,

I am the proud owner of Lexy, who is almost 20 weeks old. My girlfriend and I have been having some issues with her impulse control, specifically wanting to charge bikers and cars while leash walking. She also tends to pull hard towards and bark at other dogs until she is allowed to sniff them, at which point she is calm. This creates pretty big issues when a dog walks by the house that she cannot greet as she just barks nonstop. She tends to do this at parks and such as well when she sees other dogs in the distance.

We have tried multiple things. She completely ignores all commands of course, but even putting a treat in her nose she doesn't care. If we try to cut off her line of sight, she just goes nuts and doesn't stop anyway, and we have tried a shake can to snap her out of it. None of it works.

The best thing we have managed to do is anticipate bikers, other dogs, etc. that are approaching and don't let her see them, or have her in a sit when they arrive before she notices them, but even that has had little success.

She absolutely loves every person and dog she has met so far, so I don't know why she does it exactly. Also, her hackles are raised until she meets them, at which point they go down and she is fine.

What should I be doing to work on improving this?
 

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Hackles can also just mean excitement.

Your puppy is the age most of us see our dogs with new challenges and signing up for a great set of classes is a huge help!
 

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OH MY GOD.
this was (and still is to some extent) exactly my dog.
You can pm me if you want! I am not kidding, exactly the same.

Continue to make your dog sit and wait every single time a car or bike passes you, even if it means gently holding her butt on the ground. Try to stay a good distance away so that she isn't in complete freak out mode about the bike (ie: a bike is on the same sidewalk as you, pull her to the grass about 10 feet away as it passes, you can work up to the bike passing about a foot away)

The dog thing is hard, I'm still dealing with that, though it gets better. What is working for us a little bit: There will be a warming up moment, a split second before she barks but she has already seen the other dog. At that moment you need to turn her around immediately and walk the other direction, praising her and feeding her treats. When you are far enough away so that she is calm, allow her to look at the dog and feed her treats. this might be super far for a month, but eventually you can work up to a little closer.
I will say that distance is your best friend. For a few weeks, if the dog was a speck in the distant horizon it was too much for mine to even be interested in food, so you get farther, there WILL be a distance where she can refocus on you. It helps me to get far away after seeing a dog, then when she's calm, follow the other dog at a huge distance.
 

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I'm dealing with this with a dog that is about a year...I could ring the necks of his previous owners that did nothing with him. We just have a problem with dogs and since mine is full grown he is more of a challenge, because he can scare the bejesus out of people with their dogs:(
 

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This is like my boy Zar too! He'll be 19 weeks old this week and barks and pulls when he sees other dogs. Last week he got all fired up over a black garbage bag in the street, yet he's been pretty bombproof before that about most inanimate objects. Very barky in the yard any time he hears other neighborhood dogs bark. I don't know why they are barking more at this age - up til about 3 months he didn't bark at all!

I do try to focus him with food but it doesn't always work for him either. I will be interested to read any ideas other people have about how to teach impulse control!
 

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Thanks for the replies! It's good to know I am not alone. I will keep working on the stuff mentioned with her and try a little more with redirecting and treating for calm behavior.

I have been hoping for a while that just exposing her more and more to them will eventually result in less extreme interest in them. Hopefully between exposure and redirecting we can get it straightened out! I just feel bad for the other dog owners. Fortunately she is only 30-40 lbs. I am imagining this at full grown!

Just out of curiosity, what are people's thoughts on prong collars and bark collars? I don't plan to use them at least until she has been thoroughly trained in what she is expected to do through positive reinforcement, but if that's not enough, I am certainly not opposed to doing what I need to to keep her from pulling us into the streets or into a biker during a walk!
 

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Just out of curiosity, what are people's thoughts on prong collars and bark collars? I don't plan to use them at least until she has been thoroughly trained in what she is expected to do through positive reinforcement, but if that's not enough, I am certainly not opposed to doing what I need to to keep her from pulling us into the streets or into a biker during a walk!
since mine is going to be 6 months old very soon and can now overpower me, I bought a prong collar this week. it's not here yet. I plan on just leaving it on the dead ring, but mine loves to try to critter and sometimes if she gets a good lunge at them she really yanks my arm hard. She also lunges at skateboards on occasion and it's becoming a little too much for my 115 lb weak body lol.

We also do a lot of positive reinforcement training for loose leash walking as well as teaching alternate behaviors like sit when something exciting rolls by, but sometimes the chase instinct is a little too much to handle lol
 

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glad to hear im not the only one with a pup like this lol. Mine is perfectly behaved when walking without cars and bikes and skateboards. she heels, loose leash walks and even switches sides when i tell her to if another dog is approaching on that side, BUT when a car or more so bike comes by she absolutely loses her mind and nothing will snap her out of it. As someone above described the few times ive been able to call her off involve moving her aways before she starts barking and lunging. Generally its a split second thing though and she is pulling and barking like crazy. I'm hoping it will improve some with maturity because as of now I have tried all the common methods and she is barely improved at 4 months.
 
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