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Hi everyone,
Chloe is almost 6 months and still barks non stop at other people coming at us when we are out walking. She's really good at the "leave it" command so I thought I would try this on people.

When they start coming towards us I tell her to leave it and hold a treat out as a distraction, when she doesn't bark I give her the treat. Can anyone see a downside to this? I don't want to continue it if it's not a good idea.

Thanks for the input!
 

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That is what I would do, but I would use a different command like watch me or focus so she is focusing on you and when she looks at you and immediately treat her. This is what I do with Sonny, also when you pick up the pace of walking it snaps her back into focusing on you too.
 

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my pup is the same age and does the same thing. i stop her from barking as much as possible, she usually gets the idea after the first person that passes, then after that if shes quiet i treat after each person walks by.

tho its usually back to square one on the next walk. but i think she's slowly getting better. shes not too too bad with just people now. its mostly people who have dogs with them.

for that i try to make her sit and be quiet before she can go say hi
 

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That sounds like what you should be doing for starters. Hopefully you will get to the point when you should fade the treating.

You may want to determine a very high value treat- not store dog treats, but maybe chicken, bacon something you may cook at home. And use it only on these occasions-Her very special treat.

Not sure I would have used the leave it command in this instance but if it's working for you, keep doing it.

Not people, but Kayla would be reactive in agility classes with very fast dogs-get along fine with them on the sidelines, but when they took off on a run she would go nuts. She would also react (by wanting to chase) to certain dogs during recall exercises during ovedience class work. I starting using peanut butter and chicken and work her on the sideline when those dogs came up with focus work and reward justas the dogs went by close-trying to associate the fast dog going by with the something good and the treat when she was watching me instead of that fast dog. We would also work on very fast sit-down-stand series mixing up the commands.
 

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another thing you can do is when they are barking you can actually stop and do a fast run back and say watch me watch me by regaining the focus giving the treat and then start forward again, that works with us too
 

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when did Chloe start barking at people on walks? if my dog barked at people on walks i would go to some street that's busy with people and start training/socializing.
 

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Well I just moved to a new location for school so before she was mainly in a large backyard with trips to petsmart, so I hadn't really realized this behavior until we moved.

I took her to where a lot of people run but that seemed way overwhelming, probably more from me be tired of her barking lol. So right now we are walking at a place near my apartment with occassional runners and I thought we would work our way up from there.
 

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Originally Posted By: JenI took her to where a lot of people run but that seemed way overwhelming, probably more from me be tired of her barking lol. So right now we are walking at a place near my apartment with occassional runners and I thought we would work our way up from there.
Runners are going to be a bigger challenge than just folks walking by. If possible you may want to try to increase the distance from the runners for a while. Then slowly decrease that distance as she gets better. If you can spend more time around folks just walking about first, it may help get her focus more under control.
 

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I would recommend a prong collar once the dog is a little older, especially if your method isn't working as well as you'd like. I know they look like torture devices, but when used properly, they are a terrific training tool. When the dog barks or lunges, give a sharp correction away from where the dog is looking, then leave no tension on the lead. I can walk my dogs through ANYWHERE or ANYONE (rollerbladers, bikers, runners, other dogs, ANYONE) and they won't lunge on their leashes. They may look or lean in very distracting situations, but never jump, bark or lunge. Jack (my pup) doesn't even have a training collar...he's just learned so well from Marshall that he doesn't need one as of yet.

Your idea may work for your case, but in reality you're training your dog for a rock-solid "watch me," or in your case, a rock-solid "leave it." Great for building solid performance on those commands, but you're distracting the dog from performing the bad behavior rather than directly addressing the problem and showing the dog that this kind of behavior is not acceptable.

Just my opinions...take them as you will. I hope they help.

Good luck.

Christian
 

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I have a similar problem with my dog. When she is in my car she will bark a strangers when we drive by, or sometimes cars get her barking as they drive by, mostly at night.

I am teaching her the quiet command. Sometimes I will sit with her in the car and wait for a car to approach, then I give her the quiet command in a soft voice to calm her. If she is quiet she gets a treat after the car passes. She is still very reactive to dogs so I need to work on that as well, a little harder since dogs are not as common as cars!

Glenn
 

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When the dog barks at people or cars going by the house, she is trying to protect the house from danger. When that car or person continues on instead of stopping, she thinks, "Wonderful! I'm great at my job of scaring people away and protecting the den. Yay!" She has no idea that the person or car had no intention of stopping at your home.

I would do some research on being a better pack leader. I also had this problem with my dog, now that I've really established myself as his pack leader, he no longer has to worry about watching out the windows and barking at cars or people.

Also, I would always give commands in a firm, low tone rather than a soft tone.

Hope this helps.

Christian
 

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Quote:When the dog barks or lunges, give a sharp correction away from where the dog is looking, then leave no tension on the lead.
Please check out this thread where there's a link to the findings of a year long study by the U of PA that showed that using aggressive techniques on dogs showing aggression does not fix the problem and can, in some cases, make the aggression worse!

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=977263&page=1#Post977263
 

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Just because the dog barks or lunges doesn't mean it's aggression.

My dog used to do this when he wanted to play and showed no aggressive tendency in it. And even if the bark isn't playful, it could be territorial or protective or even dominant (over the other dog) without really being aggression.

I agree that using that correction technique on an aggressive dog could surely make the situation worse. I'd consult a professional if I thought my dog's jumping/barking/pulling/etc was aggression. The way it was described, it didn't sound like aggression. It just sounded to me like the dog was getting easily distracted from the focus of the walk and didn't know proper behavior on the leash.
 

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Originally Posted By: Christian2009Great for building solid performance on those commands, but you're distracting the dog from performing the bad behavior rather than directly addressing the problem and showing the dog that this kind of behavior is not acceptable.
Actually both methods directly address the problem. Just taking different paths to get there.

Using the focus and treat method suggested actually can accomplish the same desired behavior (remaining calm around walkers/runners) as an approach using corrective methods such as the prong and a sharp correction when the unwanted behavior occurs. It is not so much distracting the dog from performing the bad behavior as it is approaching teaching the dog what the appropriate behavior should be. It is all a matter of the handler determining what method will work best in their relationship with their dogs.
 

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Ok Lexi is 9 1/2 months old and her problem which keeps getting worse is she is very protective of me and her food, only towards other another. What can I do? She gets between me and them and if the make a move she will lunge. I feel so bad for my other sweety's because they don't understand.

Thanks
Pat
 

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Originally Posted By: Everett54

Actually both methods directly address the problem. Just taking different paths to get there.

Using the focus and treat method suggested actually can accomplish the same desired behavior (remaining calm around walkers/runners) as an approach using corrective methods such as the prong and a sharp correction when the unwanted behavior occurs. It is not so much distracting the dog from performing the bad behavior as it is approaching teaching the dog what the appropriate behavior should be. It is all a matter of the handler determining what method will work best in their relationship with their dogs.
Using a prong collar / correction method teaches the dog that a behavior isn't acceptable. I don't have to constantly remind him that it isn't, he knows all by himself after 5 minutes and remembers that.

If you use the focus / treat method, won't you have to tell the dog to focus every time you want her to behave? I have never honestly tried that method so I can't say for sure that it won't work, but it seems to me that it's more avoidance than anything else. If you don't tell the dog to "focus" when the runner comes by, I doubt she'll automatically go into "focus" mode and ignore the runner (instead of getting all excited) every time one passes.

But I do agree that every dog is different...you should do what works.
 

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Part of teaching our dogs to ignore other dogs on walks, is them feeling comfortable and able to ignore dog in general while they are out in public and on leash.

Have you been able to just go to a busy park, find a bench, and sit there with your leashed dog as the world goes by? What happens?

How about downtown on Main St? Finding a bench there and doing the same?

Kids playground? Front of Home Depot?

I want my dog so bored bored bored with this that she's laying down and taking a nap! Nothing fazes her. So any people walking past, or loud carts full of stuff, or kids on bikes skateboards, or someone else walking past with a dog.

I also really tend to use food on these trips because I want them about setting my pup up to do the RIGHT thing to earn the treat reward. Rather then having them do the wrong thing and forced to 'correct' with the collar.

One of the many many many many many many many many many many many many............reasons I teach my dogs tons of tricks is because a 'trick' is less stressful to me than 'obedience'. So if I'm less stressed teaching my dog to rollover than to heel, then so is my dog! And if my dog starts to think EVERYTHING I am teaching is a fun 'trick' that earns a reward then I start getting more of their attention and focus, and they start learning faster, and the world around us when we are doing the 'tricks' are easier for my dogs to deal with. So I practice all the 'tricks' AND the obedience when I'm out on Main St, in the park, at Home Depot too. Hey, if my dog is in a 'sit' to get the treat, she is NOT barking at the other dog across the street. If she does a spin to the right for the treat , she is NOT barking as the other dog comes nearer. So I set her up to do something RIGHT to reward, and then don't even have to deal with the 'bad' and a possible correction.

http://silvia.trkman.net/tricks.htm is a great site about why teaching tricks is WAY more than just about the trick...

http://silvia.trkman.net/dogtricks.htm should be video...
 

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Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLee Hey, if my dog is in a 'sit' to get the treat, she is NOT barking at the other dog across the street. If she does a spin to the right for the treat , she is NOT barking as the other dog comes nearer. So I set her up to do something RIGHT to reward, and then don't even have to deal with the 'bad' and a possible correction.
Exactly my point though! If you're telling your dog to sit or giving another command to avoid the barking or pulling, IMO you're avoiding the issue. If you just sit there quietly and don't give that command, does the dog still sit there quietly and not pull the leash or bark or whatever the problem is? Probably not. If you haven't taught them, how can they know that that behavior is unwanted? I agree those are GREAT times to focus on the good and train them. But if you don't have time to stop and practice commands and you just want to walk, they need to learn to behave in that scenario too I think.

I can walk my dogs through a crowded park filled with runners, kids, and the football team at practice, cross right by other barking/pulling "out of control" dogs, dogs bellowing from the yard across the street, and they don't bark once. Many times I stop and my dogs sit quietly while the "crazy" dog pulls its owner past. If I stop on a bench and grab some H2O from Marshall's backpack in the middle of my jog, they might get a little curious and want to watch the runners go by or look at another dog...granted they're not taking a nap...but they don't bark or pull that leash...ever. I trained Marshall this way with a prong collar, Jack hasn't even needed a training collar yet because that little dude just watches and goes with the flow. They just know that that behavior isn't acceptable.

Now, I also sit on my driveway with people going by or whatever, and train my dogs to sit / stay / etc etc, basic obedience, and for this I use treats. Most times I don't even hold the leash...it's there "just in case."

Now to me, those are 2 different exercises. 1: Teach the dog that pulling/barking isn't OK. 2: Work on "tricks" or "obedience" or "whatever" with distractions around.

The tricks article was interesting. I just don't believe that you can properly communicate to a dog without EVER giving a correction though. I know you didn't really say that, but that's just my view. Eventually, you have to show him that you're the boss and even during the times (even if they're few and far between) when he doesn't want to listen to you, he has to!
 

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The OP posted their 6 month old dog's behavior as:

Quote: 6 months and still barks non stop at other people coming
and for me, it seems like the pup may not be comfortable with strangers and is not behaving confident and secure when they bark as described.

So, for such a young puppy, many times what we may see in this situation isn't purely an 'obedience' issue that corrections can teach and help. Instead it may be a lack of confidence or even the beginning of a fear issue that the pup is showing. My experience has show working on all the socialization skills to gain a happy and confident pup that is able to focus on me because it's so comfortable in new situations is my goal.

So while with my older dogs if they occasionally yank me, I do have a training collar on them and a quick correction immediately tells them to knock it off. I know I'm doing this with a fully mature and confident dog who knows EXACTLY what I'm correcting for and why.

Many times with and overstimulated and overly excited pup, that also may be going thru one of the many fear stages in the first year, I'd much rather work on their character and attitude with a long term goal. A happy confident puppy that can do tricks happily in any situation will make a happy confident pup that I"m easily able to train in any venue, and who will take a quick correction and move on.

Here's some info on just another aspect of our pups during the first year! http://www.diamondsintheruff.com/DevelopmentalStages.html

http://www.doberman.org/articles/puppy.htm
 

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When Yana was a puppy, and she was and is anti social and fears people, I used treats all the time, that was the only thing that worked.

Whenever we saw a person and she was quiet for a second she got a treat. She's an adult now and she's still fearful but she knows that she's safe with me holding the leash so when she lunges and barks (very rearely happens) she gets a correction and knocks it off. There is time for treats and time for corrections and that's our job to make the informed decision what to use.

ETA: First try to figure out if your dog is fearful or just excited. If your dog is fearful then forget about obedience or focus for a while and reward very tiny steps your dog does right. Like no barking for one second, then for two, ignoring the bicyclist etc.
 
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