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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hans is on a Sense-ible No Pull harness and tethered to me. It has been working beautifully and he now walks beside me very nicely.

I have a bag of treats, a walking stick and bear spray with me. I use the stick to block him from going on my right side, which he seems to favor, but I want him on the left. The stick is also for a deterrent in case we are accosted by off leash dogs.

Here is what happened today:

1) A white Newfie, who came bounding out of a yard, crossed the road to the field where we were taking a sniff break, and was headed straight toward us. I stepped in front of Hans and raised my stick like a torch, and called, "Get back! Go home!"

Dog hesitated, slowed down, but still approached. I got my bear spray and armed it, ready to fire, while still walking forward. Newfie was behind us at this point. Called, "Go!" focusing on sounding confident and not frightened.

Hans was not barking, but looking at me instead. Because of the harness, he had no choice but to walk along with me. I gave him a calm, "Good boy!" slipped him a treat, and kept going.

Newfie stopped and began sniffing the ground, thank goodness. We walked on without incident.


2) Right after this, Hans spots a man at a mailbox 10 feet away. Hackles went up and he barked. Bark didn't sound aggressive or panicked, it was a deep, normal GSD, "Woo, Woo!" I said, "No, leave it, " put him in a sit, which he did after looking at the guy once more. We did "Watch me," and he got a treat. Then I praised and walked on, passing by the man and saying hello. Hans did not bark again.

3) Almost home, and we hear, "ROWLEY, NO!" behind us. Neighbor's dog had bolted out of the front yard to chase us. Neighbor's teen is agitated, chasing Rowley, who is a Boxer, I think. We had met this dog once before, when he was bucking on the leash like a bronco. Owner at the time said he was hyper, but he behaved fine, after he got some treats from me.

So today, I stopped and let them greet, watching the other dog like a hawk. Told the teen to relax, because I thought she was agitating the dog, who was wagging his tail and was curious.

Hans acted social, sniffing and tail wagging.
I didn't want it to go on too long, so I gave the teen a treat so she could lure Rowley away.

As we were walking away, I praised and treated Hans.

How did I do?

Could I have done anything differently, and what do you make of Hans raising hackles and barking at the man, who was wearing a hat, but not even facing us or walking?
 

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Well, I think you did a darn good job! You remained calm, showed Hans you were in control in all those situations & that he just needed to take your lead.

Barking at the guy- he could have been scared BUT if he was he recovered quickly, you redirected him and he focused on you and forgot about it-good boy! To me the recovery after them being scared is important and how they react again by seeing/hearing the samething. I wouldn't even worry about it.

Good job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bumping up just in case someone else has something to say.
I really don't want to mess him up.
Today I was too chicken to go out walking, so I am waiting until my husband can join us for an afternoon walk.
 

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Amazing. Great job, you should be very proud of yourself. You're doing everything right, I think!

Key is to stay calm and confident. You're protected with the stick and spray, so remember that very few dogs will ignore bear spray. :p
 

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I have no experience, but you sound like you did really well. I love the way you describe the woo woo:D

I'm a new owner and Rocky's bark is getting just like that.:crazy:

Good job:)
 

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Hans sounds fine to me. You are the one who sounds, nervous, agitated, and fear aggressive.

-------" 2) Right after this, Hans spots a man at a mailbox 10 feet away. Hackles went up and he barked. Bark didn't sound aggressive or panicked, it was a deep, normal GSD, "Woo, Woo!" I said, "No, leave it, " put him in a sit, which he did after looking at the guy once more. We did "Watch me," and he got a treat. Then I praised and walked on, passing by the man and saying hello. Hans did not bark again. "---------

Absolutely perfect response to an unknown stranger in your personal space----Hans was simply informing him that he is there, watching out for you and keeping an eye on him.(indifference and nonchalance can be feigned) Then he went into "out" mode---good boy.

I recommend socialization training-----not so much for Hans, Hans seems to have very good reactions to me-----but I think it would help you relax, see more of what good reactions Hans has and allow you to gain confidence in what Hans is telling you about handling situations.

Hans is right. Just because some unknown person appears to be disinterested and occupied with something else doesn't mean that they are not a threat. Vigilant but not aggressive is the perfect response.
 

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I often carry a pocketful of treats. If an unleashed dog approaches us, I yell stop, which they usually do then I throw treats at him. While he is eating I turn around and go the other way. Buys me time to avoid a reaction from my dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hans sounds fine to me. You are the one who sounds, nervous, agitated, and fear aggressive.
------

Absolutely perfect response to an unknown stranger in your personal space----Hans was simply informing him that he is there, watching out for you and keeping an eye on him.(indifference and nonchalance can be feigned) Then he went into "out" mode---good boy.

I recommend socialization training-----not so much for Hans, Hans seems to have very good reactions to me-----but I think it would help you relax,.
I need socialization training, huh? :)

You are absolutely right.
My dog experience was with a homebody, couch potato Pekingese who went out a few times a day to run around the yard, but I never walked him formally.

This is a new world for me, of having and being around big dogs, and I am actually taking very deep breaths and doing relaxation exercises on our walks.

Thank you so much for letting me know he is OK. I feel like a VW bug owner who just traded in for a Ferrari. :D
 

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Bumping up just in case someone else has something to say.
I really don't want to mess him up.
Today I was too chicken to go out walking, so I am waiting until my husband can join us for an afternoon walk.
You did all the right things. A lot of people would have panicked to have a dog rush up to them but you did right by staying calm and acting confidently. If you don't mind my asking though, why are you scared to walk your own dog?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thank you so very much for all your input. It really helped!

Today we did a family walk. My husband, my 7 and 9 year old boys, Hans, and me. The cat stayed home :D


I often carry a pocketful of treats. If an unleashed dog approaches us, I yell stop, which they usually do then I throw treats at him. While he is eating I turn around and go the other way. Buys me time to avoid a reaction from my dog.
Caledon, I am so grateful for this tip. I purposely went back to where the offleash huge guy was, and sure enough, out he or she comes again. Dog did not seem aggressive, no one yelled this time, and I called, "Dog!" in a friendly tone, then threw freeze dried cod and beefstix. Laughed as dog looked startled, then began to scarf down the treats. As soon as he finished he followed a little more, but I am sure it was for more goodies. Threw some more, and dog was happy. :D

Hans whined a bit while all this was going on, but it was because he wanted to meet and greet, which I did not allow because of the offleash situation. Also maybe because the Great Pyrenees (husband said that is what huge white dude is) was getting treats and he was not. He got a treat for coming along with us and behaving very well.

We met several others along the way, and although he looked at them, he did not bark, walked nicely and politely. Waited for my little one when he fell behind. Pulled over and was calm when cars passed, so he can get his treat.

We even met Rowley, who was dragging the neighbor's 12 year old, while wearing a gentle leader that was too close to his eye. Poor dog. It was a very nice meet and greet, tails wagging happily, but Rowley could not get his treat from me because of that thing around his muzzle.

Thank you to all of you who answered, public and private. It is so nice these days, to have the Internet with instant help and feedback!
 

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----" Caledon, I am so grateful for this tip. I purposely went back to where the offleash huge guy was, and sure enough, out he or she comes again. Dog did not seem aggressive, no one yelled this time, and I called, "Dog!" in a friendly tone, then threw freeze dried cod and beefstix. Laughed as dog looked startled, then began to scarf down the treats. As soon as he finished he followed a little more, but I am sure it was for more goodies. Threw some more, and dog was happy."----------

You are training the other dog to charge you or anyone else he sees.

Hans did fine.

You are rewarding the other dog for behavior that you don't want. You are reinforcing bad behavior---thus guaranteeing that you will get more bad behavior in the future.

The better way to handle the situation. Talk to the owner of the dog. Have him tie the dog in the yard(with a training collar) and mark the end of his line. Then bring Hans by outside the mark line. The dog will charge. He will reach the end of the line before he gets to you and Hans. If he does not end the charge, he will give himself a correction. Come by again. He will stop short of the line----because now he knows his limit. When he stops the charge and sits, he gets to meet Hans at the line and get a treat. By shortening the line with each pass---he will soon be sitting nicely at a safe distance, you and Hans can approach----and so long as he is calm and friendly he gets to meet Hans and get a reward. And Hans continues to be praised and rewarded for showing good behavior. You now have control over the situation, and two trained dogs instead of one.

This way of handling the situation will improve Hans' control and response, and make him more reliable. You will probably also have another owner who wants you to train his dog as well as Hans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK. No more treats for offleash dogs :)

We went to WalMart and two other stores today. I have cool pics of him looking at himself in a big mirror and sniffing flowers.

He was around baby strollers, kids, men, women, crashing carts, 18-wheelers and UPS and Fedex trucks, and so much more.

After a while, we just sat in front of a store on the bench, and Hans went into a down stay on his own and watched the world go by.

He seemed a little anxious, but he didn't bark or react, and I was always able to get his attention with "Watch me." It is good that he is big enough where people don't mess with him so much anymore. :) A woman was extremely fearful as we walked by because she had a 5 year old with her, but I calmly told her to ignore him, which she did and we breezed by.

Can't wait to go to more places. Much more fun than just being on my street. And I did not need a walking stick. Bear spray was in my purse, just in case.
 

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Today we did a family walk. My husband, my 7 and 9 year old boys, Hans, and me. The cat stayed home :D
WHAT??? The cat had to stay home???? Poor kitty! Missed out on the family fun! :D
 

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I often carry a pocketful of treats. If an unleashed dog approaches us, I yell stop, which they usually do then I throw treats at him. While he is eating I turn around and go the other way. Buys me time to avoid a reaction from my dog.
I read this post a week ago - and was glad I did. This morning while walking my dog on his leash in the park, there was an unleashed dog who ran towards us. I shouted stop, and before I could throw the treats, he turned around and ran away. My dog was so surprised - he promptly sat - he got the treats!
 
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