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Discussion Starter #1
I posted on this before -- sorry for a repeat post, but still hopeful that someone may have some ideas for me..

Xargos continues to lunge, despite haltie, forceful "no", preparatory "don't even think about it" and then pulling his head high up in the air once he does lunge. We are working with person trainer on this (and the above is based on her guidance).

Next step will be to try e-collar on the lowest setting..

He is the sweetest and most layed back puppy (with a mind of his own though, you can say a great teenager, but teenager still..). He is getting very strong, so this behavoir needs to stop! FYI: he is a bad case as he started doing it from the time we started taking him for walks at about 8 weeks or so and despite on and off successes it persisted..

Any thoughts on what to try?

Also curious, are there any GSD who didn't lunge at cars as teenages?

Tanya
 

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I taught Jack to SIT and STAY at each car approach.... and great praise after he did it ...I started when he was 16 weeks... and have been consitant with it.... of course there was a time he would not do it but kept up the sit and stay..... I am also working on him siting before we go out the door and I go first and then allow him to come out after he stays for a minute we have 2 doors to go through,,, He is doing that pretty well.. He has terrible recall so I am working on this sit thing and stay... Good Luck I know it's hard as Jack has a bit of a stubborn nature,,, but am finding that making him sit before I go out and allowing him out is really helping other things..... I am not a trainer nor am I really good at it but that is working for me LOL
 

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my dog never lunged at cars. when he was 9 weeks old i would
sit on the lawn near the road and let him see the traffic
pass by. i sat with him, trained him, played with him,
brushed him near the road. everyday i took him
close to the road for something. my GF or i took him close
to the road several times a day. we also taught him not to
go into the road.

if i had a dog that lunged at cars i would work with
him near traffic a lot. i would find a busy street and train
near the traffic. i would only have the dog near the traffic for
a short period of time in the begining. i wouldn't
want to make the situation worst. if my method wasn't working
quickly i would find a professional trainer immediately.
 

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The others posted some good ideas about working near traffic, etc. This is a good place to start, but is going to take a lot of time. I'd also have to agree with an e-collar. I don't usually train with an e-collar, have used one before, but they do have their place, and chasing/lunging at cars is one of them. This is a life/death scenario, and needs to be stopped sooner rather than later. You need to STOP the DANGEROUS behavior immediately, then you can work on the desensitizing methods to build up trust and confidence.

If you are not familiar with e-collar training, please work with a trainer who is. As with any training equipment, there are right and wrong ways to use them.
 

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Originally Posted By: caviewAlso curious, are there any GSD who didn't lunge at cars as teenages?
I'm on GSD #4 & #5, and I've never had one that DID lunge at cars, so I don't have any advice for you. Good luck, I hope you get this resolved.
 

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Originally Posted By: caview
Also curious, are there any GSD who didn't lunge at cars as teenages?
i'm on #2 and #4 -- none of mine have lunged at cars (i got them at 7 weeks, 9 months, and 2 at 10 months). i am following this thread however because its interesting - my uncle once had a dobie who chased cars and i never could figure out why (protective, territorial, prey drive, herding, etc) - has your trainer given any insight as to why dogs do this? seems like that would be the only key to curb the behavior.

best of luck with your sweet boy. can't wait to meet him!

ETA: maybe you've already tried this - but perhaps you could 'stage' a few cars (friends, family, neighbors) to drive pass, and when he lunges, have the car stop... allow him to go to the car to see that its no big deal? on one hand i imagine this could work, but on the other there is the risk that allowing him to go to the car will be seen as a reward for his behavior.

i know that with cats, Tilden loved to chase them, but once my cat stopped running - Tilden would just stop and look sort of dumbfounded like "oh, now what" and in just a matter of days he stopped.

sorry, thats all i got, lol
 

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Dakota used to lunge at cars.

How I think I worked her out of it was to approach an intersection where I knew there would be a steady stream of cars but not one after the other. This was in the winter when there were piles of snow. I would get her in a sit stay where she could not see the cars approaching, but I could. Just as the car is about to enter her field of view I would say 'Leave it'. She reacted a few times by trying to lunge but I was waiting for it.

Or, she just grew out of it as she became used to traffic. One day it was not a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you, guys! We did the road desensitizing a number of times .. he doesn't react to the stream of cars, only when they are on a quiet street..

I don't think it's a fear/confidence thing -- he is not afraid of the cars and if there is something more interesting, he ignores them altogether..

Tanya
 

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Do you to a small neighborhood park/grass area nearby? By small I'm thinking one-two house lot size?

If so, maybe work with Xargos further from the road for a while with cars going by (maybe staging a few cars as Calone suggested?). If he is behaving/reacting as you want, start to gradually move closer to the street.

I have not as yet dealt with a dog lunging like this, though I have one in Lancer's agility class that goes ape with passing traffic especially buses and trucks that his handler has to work on. So just throwing another thought out there as well.
 

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I have not had this problem. But if I did, I would try putting myself between the dog and the car then praise the dog when he resists going through me to get to the car. Your dog shouldn't try to run over it's master to jump at a car, but I can see it would be much more tempting if when he looks at the car, his master is "behind him" in some sense (or at least, not in front of him).

Have you had any luck with a "touch" (a la Cesar) to snap him out of fixating on the car? I can imagine if Cesar was on this case, he would snap him out of fixating then just keep moving.

I would also try circling into the dog while we're walking (assuming he is walking next to you). Then his focus will have to be on following you (as it should be) rather than what to chase.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, we do do blocking (like you said standing in front of the car) --we do circling -- we do lots of distracting and refocusing on a toy, with "look at that".. with watch me.. tried "sit" and blocking.. walking away ..

It doesn't work consistently .. he is smart and resourceful with cars.. it's not like it's the same reaction with every car.. he varies and calculates which one to let go and which one to go at..

I am so happy for those who doesn't have this issue! I am also very grateful for each and every suggestion to see which one may work!

Regards,
Tanya
 

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I have a 1 yr old German blood line German Shepherd. I brought him
home at 8 wks old and have been training for good behaviour ever
since. The one thing I cannot break him of ( unaltered male, very
high alpha drive) is lunging at cars. He is the Tazmanian devil with
cars, trucks, etc. We live on a rarely traveled road in the country.
I have walked him on the road since he was a puppy. He has always
been aggressive towards traffic. The closer they are and the faster
they are going, the worse he is. If we are beyond 25 ft or so from
the road, he will only look, no aggression. He lunges like a maniac
if we are along the road, snarling like a grizzly bear, snapping his
jaws, and it is all I can do to hold him back. Have tried blocking,
he will go through me, have tried 'food drops', he paid no attention,
have tried holding him by his collar instead of the leash, still the
mad lunge. Firm jerks on the lead during and afterwards, harsh
yelling at him, even slapping him on the muzzle, totally ignores it.
Believe it or not, he is sweet and well behaved in a large number
of other situations. Very smart and obeys other commands quite well.
It is just the lunging bugaboo and it is a monster problem. I know
the people driving by will think he is a dangerous dog, and he
really is not. He seems to just hate vehicles with an unreasoning
passion. Can someone advise if they have had a really bad car
lunging problem and what worked for you, or please tell me how
this e-collar I have seen mentioned works? I do not want to
damage our relationship by 'shocking' him every time we walk,
and I have almost given up road walks because of this behavior,
but this MUST stop and I am out of ideas. Thank you to all who respond.
 

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I had te same problem with Jax he is now 10 month old, not neutered. What I've done & still do is would go at the end of my driveway and wait for cars to pass, I would put tension on the leash, collar closer to his head than his neck as you have way more control, When the car passes I would put more tension as he lunges the control almost puts him a sitting position and after the car passes I would reduce tension in his leash and he got a treat. We'd do this over & over again after a while I didn't even need any tension at all. When he got that down I added a distraction with that now everytime a car passes he looks at me and not the car, he still snaps out of it sometimes but you can tell with their body language, when I know he is goinf to lunge, I make him sit and remind him to look at me. I find allot of the issues with him was the minute I have any sort of tension on the leash thats when he reacts, he knows your preparing for something coming, thats why I built it up slowly starting in the yard, driveway, not allot of traffic to more & more at a time. Hope this helps a bit as I know i'm not very good at explaining it lol


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Cruz has always lunged at cars, not every one that goes by but certain ones. I have use "no", "leave it" and "don't even think about it". To some what mixed results. He has had alot of time around traffic, as doggydad did with his pup. It works for awhile but if you do it his way, it requires reinforcement, meaning you have to work it into your training regime.

As far as why? I have always looked at it as prey drive. It's about the movement. He does birds and other animals the same way. He also loves to chase and be chased during play although I don't, he will still try me. I don't think it is fear aggression because to me it wouldn't matter if the car were still or not. Cruz has a low threshold and a very hugh prey drive.
 
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