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I love control unleashed. It's similar to the Surprise Party game in the previous posts.

On our walk today, a reactive Border Collie lunged & barked at Zack. Zack snapped his head around, looked at me like, "pay up!"

Note - he had a very bad experience with a BC who chased him around an indoor agility course. BC's have been an issue - especially because they tend to slink down & stare - two threatening moves.

I'm so proud of my boy! I can almost forgive him for eating the cat's food yesterday. :p
 

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That is cool. My (formerly) excessively reactive guy does the same thing now.. a dog behind a fence charges up barking, he looks up at me.

I didn't use control unleashed, maybe it's the same principle though -- I just tried to change his association with other dogs to one with food instead of stress and barking. So when we'd see another dog, I'd ask him to / make him turn away from the dog, then reward him with food. Praised him too, which is what I do now when I don't have food.

That approach to me is much better than one where only physical corrections are used to get the dog to ignore something. That just stressed us out.
 

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your dog is starting to get territorial, sounds normal to me, why not just leash her when she does her business and unleash her at dog parks?

She is what she is she will be a territorial dog that is what gsds are why try to break who she is? My dog is the same way on her property shes EXTREMLY territorial i am not going to let her off leash so she can charge people that is foolish.

I let her off leash in public where she sweet and calm. Around the house shes a serious guard dog thats her job. As your dog matures you will see more and more of it. Be smart and careful with your dog.

Gsd can be a offleash dog but if you have a territorial one dont do it at your house
 

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I had always admired police dogs prancing closely to their handlers. No barks and no excitement, as they were too proud of themselves to notice us. I had always wondered how they were trained and what police dog may feel or think when sees unknown dog or meets unknown men on his territory.
The answer came simple: I should teach my dog to walk besides me without the leash. There should be two commands involved - "Heel" and "Walk", try different paces, let your dog to run forward, then call to walk close, then send him running again, make him turn together wth you left and right, turn round and teach him walking backwards together with you. At any time required your dog should return to you when you say "Heel". Your dog shoud sit if you stopped moving.
Things might come to a pretty pass at first. He will bark and run away, but, gradually, you will see the changes. He will become to know that the result of his misbehaviour will always be his aquired position next to you instead of satisfaction to attack when he challenges somebody. He will be more obedient with time, less interested in people or other dogs whose smell he sents.Treat him with command "Walky!" after the threat had passed.
One little trick: at the beginning I always had a ball in my pocket and flashed it out for my dog in order to turn her eyes to me.
 

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the leash: you shouldn't depend on it!

:D:):)
My male gsd was pretty bad and still kinda does the whole barking and running up to dogs. He used to lounge even on leash. He is not aggressive but rather is stimulated by the other dogs especially if running. and partly it is my fault he acts like that. If i see another dog and get excited or my anxiety flairs he reacts and nothing stops him.
He now has alot of obedience under his belt. and what ive found for him that works is if we're walking (he has a nice heel) and there are dogs out, i dont acknowledge the dogs, i keep my eyes forward or down and ive done better at staying calm and tell him "good fuss" and he pays no mind to the other dogs.:happyboogie:
Im currently doing agility with him and once again i try to ignore the dog and if we arent moving i have him do a few obedience tricks or treat him for sitting still and being quiet. He only whines when the little dogs go ahead of him. but that is something we will continue to work on. :)
 

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Same deal for me

I also have struggled with my lunging gsd. When she gets this way, I do not exist. My voice, food, etc. are out the window. I tried the "stop" technique described in this forum, and it seems to work to calm her a bit (still new to it). Once the other dog is moving away from us, she seems to realize that is it.

She goes from zero to ten in seconds. I don't catch it in time it's so fast. Some have suggested the halty collar. My girl is so sensative to her snout being messed with, I feel she could get hurt. Any thoughts? I have this rolled leather martingale collar (w/ chain) that has worked best so far.

I have physically turned her around so the other dog could sniff her since she will not allow another dog to sniff her rear. It has made a difference the few times I have tried. Any thoughts on this? I don't want to create another problem. Thanks.

S
 

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Older, very excited dog

Hi, I'm brand new to the forum. I've read through the thread, but am going to write out my story in case anyone has specific insight.

I adopted a 4-year old (neutered a couple of months ago) male GSD about a month ago. He's very lovable, and loves everyone -- people, cats, birds, squirrels, rabbits. He's okay in the dog park. We just started formal training classes.

My problem: when we are walking on leash, and see a dog (and often people), he'll just explode. Even at a distance. It is friendly -- the tail is wagging, and it's been a good result on the rare occasions we actually get to the other dog (and he's made a couple of through-the-fence friends), but he will literally pull me (a pretty big guy) in circles and barks loudly and repeatedly. I'm completely absorbed in trying to get in front of him, getting him to sit. Treats are of no interest.

No idea if important, but I've wondered if he didn't spend a long time chained in a yard. I've seen chained dogs act similarly.

My question: are there techniques/ideas to deal with this, or is this just something that has to be ground out one walk at a time? I'm thinking of taking him into places that have higher volumes of dogs and people, just to accelerate the process. Sensible or crazy?

Thanks!
 

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My question: are there techniques/ideas to deal with this, or is this just something that has to be ground out one walk at a time? I'm thinking of taking him into places that have higher volumes of dogs and people, just to accelerate the process. Sensible or crazy?
Probably not a good idea. Continuing to put him into situations where he goes over threshold and reacts isn't likely to improve things. The main problem with places that have a lot of people and dogs is that it's difficult to control all the variables. If you can find a place where you have enough distance from the action that he can ignore the people and dogs and focus on you, great. Especially if you an escape route planned out ahead so you can bail if everything goes to poop. It can be hard to find a place like that though, which is why a class for reactive dogs might be a better choice. There will still be other people and dogs, but it's a controlled setting and you'd be working under the guidance of a trainer.

The good thing is that he sounds more like a frustrated greeter than a fearful dog - many reactive dogs are acting out of fear and stress, and they bark and lunge to make the other dog go away, but others are like yours (and my Keefer), who actually wants to go meet everybody and gets frustrated when he can't. He's a social butterfly off leash, but on leash he can sometimes be barky. He has gotten much better, he was a lot worse when he was younger, but now I can prevent a reaction most of the time.

How is he in your obedience classes? You might want to talk to the instructor and see if it's something they'll work with you on. Here's an article about some different reasons for reactivity: https://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/dog-dog-reactivity-ii-the-basics
 

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Hard to diagnose over the internet but I agree 100% with Cassidy's mom to keep him out of excitable places for now. You don't want him practicing this behavior. Two things come to mind.
Ask your obedience instructor for guidance.
Get a copy of Control Unleashed.
You said that he is "okay" in dog parks. Given that he is so excited/reactive (and granted - being leashed can make this worse) I would keep out of dog parks for now. If another reactive dog comes in, you may have trouble.
 

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Thanks, Cassidy's Mom. He's definitely a greeter.

We've only had one class so far, and he was this way there. His excitement ebbed and flowed. The instructors are in favor of staying the course of focus, treats and the clicker.
 

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For reactive dogs, or really any dog that just gets over excited about other dogs on leash I would recomend the booklet Feisty fido. It did wonder for myself and Vega, who didn't know how to greet/what to do when she saw other dogs on leash and would either get scared or excited, depending. Its a simple read but very informative and well thought out, plus, its a quick read!

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Feisty-Fido-Help-Leash-Reactive-Dog/dp/1891767070/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414189689&sr=1-1&keywords=feisty+fido[/ame]
 

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Hard to diagnose over the internet but I agree 100% with Cassidy's mom to keep him out of excitable places for now. You don't want him practicing this behavior. Two things come to mind.
Ask your obedience instructor for guidance.
Get a copy of Control Unleashed.
You said that he is "okay" in dog parks. Given that he is so excited/reactive (and granted - being leashed can make this worse) I would keep out of dog parks for now. If another reactive dog comes in, you may have trouble.
The books and DVDs of Control Unleashed are wonderfully helpful..My dog was reactive after being attacked in puppy kindergarten, but is much, much better now at 8 months.
 

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If the dog is reactive because it is fearful of the other dog and is trying to get it to go away by barking, lunching, sticking its hackles up, etc, then correcting can produce a negative association with dogs and lead to more issues.

If the dog is maturing and becoming territorial on your property, personally, I would give the dog a verbal and possibly a physical correction, Knock that off!!! And, of course, a dog that cannot be trusted off lead, is not off lead. So that correction can be made, and the dog cannot rush into a neighbor and their pooch.

A quick, firm correction and quickly moving on, can be more humane than all the dropping treats, and teaching a dog to focus on you. This is because you are not allowing the dog to become entrenched in a bad habit. It is over in an instance and if it is clear, and strong enough to make a decent impression, without being abusive, then the dog is able to enjoy freedom sooner, the neighbors do not look at him like he is a cross between Hannible and Cujo, and the dog learns a boundary, and that you are in charge of that -- he doesn't have to be.

The problems people have with corrections are almost always more on the human end. If you are squeamish about it, just don't. You won't be able to deal a proper correction with the back up of good leadership. You will deliver an insufficient correction with a background and after math of guilt and apology.

It is not often helpful to liken dogs to children, but in some ways at some stages they are similar. There is a point in a child's development, when it is beneficial for him to view his parent or parents as a strong protector that is always good and right. As children mature, they will learn that their parents are not all powerful, all knowing, and even all good. But dogs do not need to get to that point. For them, even our mistakes, can be all good, if we pull them off with brilliance in the dog's eyes.

With children, we reason with them, and we offer choices. With dogs, it's my way or the highway. Their choices are whether they will chew on the antler or the hoof. They do not need to choose whether or not to bother the lady walking along on the sidewalk with her dog.

Furthermore, the timing of using treats for this sort of thing can also be a problem. If we drop a treat when Frisky starts to notice the other dog and begins his routine, we can actually reinforce the unwanted behaviors, rather than creating an positive association when other dogs are around.
 

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my girl just turned 6 months and old constantly wants to play with other dogs at class. Its horrible she barks and screams her head off and has no patience. This turns to frustration and has been lately snapping at the little dogs. But dogs her size or bigger its all play endless play. Trying to figure out how to handle this.
 

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my girl just turned 6 months and old constantly wants to play with other dogs at class. Its horrible she barks and screams her head off and has no patience. This turns to frustration and has been lately snapping at the little dogs. But dogs her size or bigger its all play endless play. Trying to figure out how to handle this.
If sometimes you reinforce her behavior by allowing her to play with the big dogs, then you are going to continue to have problems. Class time is work-time. "Eh! We're working!" Be consistent and do not allow interactions with any-sized dog at class. And, if you are taking her other places where she can go crazy with other dogs, you might want to reconsider that, as it is negatively affecting her ability to contain herself in class and learn what she needs to learn.
 

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If the dog is maturing and becoming territorial on your property, personally, I would give the dog a verbal and possibly a physical correction, Knock that off!!!

A quick, firm correction and quickly moving on, can be more humane than all the dropping treats, and teaching a dog to focus on you.
Would you be an advocate of using an e-collar in this situation??


SuperG
 

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Would you be an advocate of using an e-collar in this situation??


SuperG
I am sure Lou Castle would give you more informed advice on the e-collar, but no, I wouldn't advocate using an e-collar in any situation. I would not want the dog to get shocked out of no where, where he is focusing on another dog. I prefer the correction to come from me, and the dog knows it is coming from me. I am just not a fan of e-collars.

Here's something somewhat related. When I had the solar-powered electric fence for cattle, sheep, and dogs, hooked up about 18 inches from the ground along my regular fence. The dogs would run up to the fence, put on the brakes, and look where the wire was, and then bark at whatever dog or person was outside the fence. They did not want to get shocked, and avoided that. But at least they could see the wire, and there was no mystery about where it was coming from. The wire was not to prevent barking at the trespassers, nor did it. It was there to prevent the dog from digging under or climbing over the fence, and it did do that.
 

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I have used an e-collar for reactiveness. It worked quite well. Basically using an "off" command. Cruz was terrible about lunging at cars. I men excessive compulsive full on attack at passing cars. I tried treating etc. to no avail. Basically through time and consistency with an e-collar, he no longer lunges at cars. He doesn't even pay attention to them. He used to focus on them, pick one out and lunge. Every once in a great while he still locks into one but a simple "off" command or sound from me and he unlocks on the car with no problem. It took awhile but we got there. No longer needing a stim.
 

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My newest thing is that I use the leash.. Make it spr short? I sit down so she cant drag me away? and I cover her eyes saying BLINDERS .. this makes her stop barking long enough that I can get her attn even for a second. My girl is 7 months old? im getting a lot of results with this? she had gotten to the point that even hot dogs wouldnt distract her pulling and barking. This was my plan B. Lol
 
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