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Rambo just hit 6 months about a week ago and has began barking and lunging at other dogs we pass by or see, but ONLY when he's on his leash. When off leash he stays by me and is watchful and very alert of the other dog, but if anything when the dog gets closer he is just very excited to meet them.

However, there's an on-leash walking park basically across the street from me, and I can't even go anymore because his behavior is so excessive when on his leash. I need outside the box suggestions--forget redirecting, praising, treats...his focus on these other dogs is INTENSE. I've tried all the afore mentioned, along with calling him back to me, I'll try tugging on him (choke collar is on) but it doesn't matter. The only thing that puts him at rest is to meet the dog...but I can't stop and meet every dog, other owners don't want to have to do that--not to mention they interpret it as aggressiveness because he's quite large and his hair stands up.

Need something I can do to get rid of this behavior. He's not new to dogs, we live right in the city and he's seen them and been around them all his life :confused:
 

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socialize, socialize and socialize. find a trainer. set up
some meetings with our dogs.
 

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I agree with doggiedad. I would definitely set up a meeting with a professional trainer; he or she will be able to evaluate your dog and help set up effective training techniques specific to your dog. Also, entering him in a beginner or puppy class would probably be helpful as well, since he would have to learn to socialize and obey you with distractions.
 

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I need outside the box suggestions--forget redirecting, praising, treats...his focus on these other dogs is INTENSE. I've tried all the afore mentioned, along with calling him back to me, I'll try tugging on him (choke collar is on) but it doesn't matter. The only thing that puts him at rest is to meet the dog...but I can't stop and meet every dog, other owners don't want to have to do that--not to mention they interpret it as aggressiveness because he's quite large and his hair stands up.
If you can't get his attention on you then he is already over threshold. You need to try and get his attention BEFORE he locks in on a dog. Have you heard of the LAT (Look At That) game? It would probably work best outside a pet supply store to start with. Stay a good distance and tell Rambo to look at the other dog and then have him look at you and treat him for staying quiet. Do this for 20-30 min every day (or every couple of days) and gradually decrease the distance until he is fairly close and looking at you for that YUMMY (high value) treat whenever he sees a dog.

I did this with a very dog reactive foster dog and had him walking through crowds of dogs in a couple of months with no problem. He still has some trouble in his neighborhood (in his new home) but it's mostly because his owner is nervous about his reaction and there isn't enough going on to keep him from focusing on the other dog. This dog looks scary and vicious but in reality, if a dog walked up to him, he'd sniff and say hello and be on his way but others don't know that by his reaction.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you can't get his attention on you then he is already over threshold. You need to try and get his attention BEFORE he locks in on a dog. Have you heard of the LAT (Look At That) game? It would probably work best outside a pet supply store to start with. Stay a good distance and tell Rambo to look at the other dog and then have him look at you and treat him for staying quiet. Do this for 20-30 min every day (or every couple of days) and gradually decrease the distance until he is fairly close and looking at you for that YUMMY (high value) treat whenever he sees a dog.

I did this with a very dog reactive foster dog and had him walking through crowds of dogs in a couple of months with no problem. He still has some trouble in his neighborhood (in his new home) but it's mostly because his owner is nervous about his reaction and there isn't enough going on to keep him from focusing on the other dog. This dog looks scary and vicious but in reality, if a dog walked up to him, he'd sniff and say hello and be on his way but others don't know that by his reaction.
Thanks this is more what I'm looking for. I knew people were going to say socialize but, he has been since 8 weeks...and we regularly play with dogs of people I work with, neighbors, etc. It's just being on a leash I think makes him feel vulnerable or something. I'll try training out side a specialty store that's right down the road from me though. Might have to use a toy though, he isn't super motivated by treats :rolleyes:
 

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That's awesome advice GSDraven. It's not how I would fix it but its great none the less.

My pet peeve on forums (not just this one) is when people post but really don't have a clue. I'm not trying to be a jerk but I could tell after reading this one time that the answer is not to socialize, this dog has already been socialized and thus really, really wants to go play.

The answer to this problem is one of two things.

1. Teach an alternate and incompatible behavior (GSDraven's method)
2. Teach the current behavior is never rewarding and is met with positive punishment.

Both methods will work and both have pro's and cons.

But to give her the advice of socializing and meeting other dogs is laughable.
 

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My Czech started out the same way, by doing this at the 10 month age and I didn't react fast enough since I had just adopted her....3 dogs (my own dogs) with stitches later, and she bit my leg too I was wishing I would have addressed the signs right away. (this is the first dog I couldn't handle myself)
We are on our 2nd trainer in the past year. Jump on it right with a skilled dog behavior trainer. My first one was a waste of time and offered no behavior modification skills. I have worked with Sasha 2 wks defining my leadership role and it has made dramatic improvements with her. I'll be more impressed if I can walk her near another dog, but baby steps!
Good luck
 

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i have the same problem with my gsd - he behaves when out with his Dad BUT WHEN I WALK HIM HE BARKS AND LUNGES at other dogs!! I was advised to have a double ended lead which is great cos i weight bear and have gained more confidence when KANE just completly loses his head after barking and lunging i have to stay on the opposite side to the other dog safer!! i would be interested in all the replies you get. My kane also jumps up and bites my arm when out walking but it is non aggressive but it hurts loads!!!

He went to puppy classes but there were too many dogs there and ended up sitting down half the time whilst half of class did training kane got bored started barking they sprayed him with water - My husband wasnt happy and other reasons too we left didnt go back!! we have another small dog so its not like he doesnt see dogs - argghh!!!

Got a behaviourist at the mo but soooo expensive - not sure how much longer i can carry that on
 

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gypsy, how involved are you in your dog's training? It sounds like he recognizes that your husband is in charge but doesn't quite get that you are. Do you do NILIF with your dog?

Out of curiousity, was his puppy classes at a pet store? Spraying with water sounds like a trick from their book. It's great that you are working with a behaviorist now, maybe they can recommend a good training club that is used to working with dogs that get over stimulated by other dogs. A good trainer/class should be able to work with you and the dog so they can be in the class setting.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
i have the same problem with my gsd - he behaves when out with his Dad BUT WHEN I WALK HIM HE BARKS AND LUNGES at other dogs!! I was advised to have a double ended lead which is great cos i weight bear and have gained more confidence when KANE just completly loses his head after barking and lunging i have to stay on the opposite side to the other dog safer!! i would be interested in all the replies you get. My kane also jumps up and bites my arm when out walking but it is non aggressive but it hurts loads!!!

He went to puppy classes but there were too many dogs there and ended up sitting down half the time whilst half of class did training kane got bored started barking they sprayed him with water - My husband wasnt happy and other reasons too we left didnt go back!! we have another small dog so its not like he doesnt see dogs - argghh!!!

Got a behaviourist at the mo but soooo expensive - not sure how much longer i can carry that on
I'll comment, despite this being my thread ;)

GSDraven is right, NILIF is something you personally need to be working on--you probably have somewhat of a routine with your dog, for a couple weeks take over all the responsibility that would normally be your husbands (if he's the one that "enforces" the rules).

We've had this same problem with my girlfriend--Rambo will do anything I ask without prompting, i can be on the phone and say the word speak in conversation and then have to hear him bark in the background :rolleyes:. But the gf can't hardly get him to do anything without a bribe. So we've been working on letting her "kennel" him, play tug and make him release, fetch and drop, etc...started out with my supervision as he will listen better if I'm there backing her up, now trying to let her fly solo. It's just a stubborn age for him so, needing some extra reinforcement.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
and as far as my problem goes, i got a prong collar today that i'm going to try to work with between now and beginning work with a local trainer.
 

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In my experience, a prong collar and a choke collar increased Jax's reaction. It seems to be common that something tightening around their necks ramps them up instead of calming them down. I really do not recommend putting a correction collar on him for this particular issue.

What has worked for me is teaching Jax "Leave It", turning her around as soon (or hopefully right before she erupts) to remove her focus, redirecting her attention to a toy, treat, me, and rewarding her for not reacting.
 

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and as far as my problem goes, i got a prong collar today that i'm going to try to work with between now and beginning work with a local trainer.
I hope it works as well for you as it did for us, at least for managing the behavior. I'm anxious to hear what the trainer has to say about Shasta's lunging/barking/hackling tomorrow.
 

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I agree with Jax. What I found with the dog I posted about above is that the prong collar made him worse, especially if I corrected too soon. If you don't have experience with using the prong and haven't been shown how to properly time and gauge corrections, you could make the problem worse. If, worse case scenario, he associates the prong correction with the dog, you could unintentionally make him dog aggressive.

I think the better option would be to walk him where you likely won't run into dogs until you have the opportunity to work with the trainer. 90% of training classes is training the owner, only 10% is about training the dog.
 

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Thanks this is more what I'm looking for. I knew people were going to say socialize but, he has been since 8 weeks...and we regularly play with dogs of people I work with, neighbors, etc. It's just being on a leash I think makes him feel vulnerable or something. I'll try training out side a specialty store that's right down the road from me though. Might have to use a toy though, he isn't super motivated by treats :rolleyes:
Also try doing it when he is hungry! Works very well with ours.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
In my experience, a prong collar and a choke collar increased Jax's reaction. It seems to be common that something tightening around their necks ramps them up instead of calming them down. I really do not recommend putting a correction collar on him for this particular issue.

What has worked for me is teaching Jax "Leave It", turning her around as soon (or hopefully right before she erupts) to remove her focus, redirecting her attention to a toy, treat, me, and rewarding her for not reacting.
He knows "leave it, noo, ehh, hey! ah ah" and everything else associated haha...I can stack treats all the way up his legs when he's in a down, I can throw a treat right in from of him and he won't pick it up till I say ok. He will also make eye contact with "focus" command which I use in most instances to get his attention. But when we're passing a dog, everything goes out the window. There's nothing more I can do in private (that I know of) to help this, I think as gsdraven suggested I need to work in front of a high dog-traffic area.
 
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