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At the GSD club meeting, where we practice heels and such in a field, Jupiter frapped out big time. The task was for him to stand on a wall in a stay. I left and recalled him. He ran toward me, but then, he ran past me and started growling and attacking a dog that happened to be sitting there.

It was hard to see exactly what happened given I had to chase him and the two dogs were jumping around, but people told me that Jupiter didn't actually bite or "do anything" once he got there. Nevertheless, it was obviously a bad thing...

The behavior was odd, since before, his recalls were "fronts," where he'd come directly to me. But I noticed he'd recently developed this habit of running past excitedly.

I think it's because for the last few weeks, I've been playing two-ball fetch. As he comes in, he'll drop the ball and I'm immediately throwing the ball--often in the other direction. So he has the habit of running past me. I think he's confused the fetch game with "front."

So: Maybe what's happened is those two behaviors have gotten confused and also, when he comes he's in a high drive state and that's what got him excited enough to go mess with the other dog.

Another factor is that when he jumps, whether up on a bed, a bench, or any other object, he gets excited and will usually try to nip me. This is his usual pattern.

Any ideas?
 

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Our male nips or "Air bites" when he is excited as well. He does it in a really playful way but if it catches your skin (or face in most cases) it doesn't feel playful.
I am looking forward to seeing others suggestions.
 
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Put him on a long line and correct him for that. I would be livid if that was my dog that was "attacked". Even if your dog didn't do anything aggressive, the other dog might and then it's a problem. Or your dog creates a problem for the dog from being rushed.

Work on fronts at home. Once you know he understand completely, do it at club. Put a line on him and teach him a front. Put a prong on him and correct him for going by. maybe even have someone else hold the line behind him. so he can't get by you by more than half a body length.


And no, I don't think it's a two ball problem. I think it's a problem of the dog not understanding the command and blowing you off. This is a correction worthy situation. This is actually how I ended up at a wound care specialist with a bad dog bite.
 

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With the two ball, work in a physical cue that will basically be a release. If I stand straight on it means come front, if I turn sideways and give his verbal release, he runs by. They respond to the physical pretty quickly so you don't really need the verbal release after a few reps. Fade out the second ball and reward in front for the recall. Play two ball randomly to keep the speed but be consistent with the physical release.

Be aware of where other dogs are on a recall. You usually add distractions last as you're proofing things, so you wouldn't normally do recalls with other dogs around until your dog is so focused on getting to you it doesn't matter, but even then I wouldn't ever call him with another dog behind or close to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would be livid if that was my dog that was "attacked". Even if your dog didn't do anything aggressive, the other dog might and then it's a problem.
Definitely, it was a big mistake and I apologized to the head trainer and the dog owner. I'll work on making sure it doesn't happen again.
 

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Once you have a lot of these individual pieces, and you're at the point of putting them together, I have a lot of fun keeping it moving and pretty fluid. Keeping it more like play. I'm always real careful about keeping that front position free of conflict. Playing like this and working in the obedience is a lot of fun. At about 2:30 on this you can see how he snaps around towards me when I say here, and then comes front after running by most of the rest of the time.

 

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When you called him front, were you using anything to lure him in? I use a ball at my the bottom of my ribs for a target so it lures them in and brings their head up.

I would work on engagement too. When I was a member of a club in NY, we used to heel and recall our dogs in tandem, 15' apart. These boys cared about nothing but us and that is engagement. They want to play with us more than anything else.
 

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The behavior was odd, since before, his recalls were "fronts," where he'd come directly to me. But I noticed he'd recently developed this habit of running past excitedly.

I think it's because for the last few weeks, I've been playing two-ball fetch. As he comes in, he'll drop the ball and I'm immediately throwing the ball--often in the other direction. So he has the habit of running past me. I think he's confused the fetch game with "front."

So: Maybe what's happened is those two behaviors have gotten confused and also, when he comes he's in a high drive state and that's what got him excited enough to go mess with the other dog.

One thing I do, that I didn't see mentioned is I will have my dogs run between my legs after the second ball. So they are getting used to 1) Running directly to me. 2) We get past that personal space barrier.

I will also have my dogs run in and actaully catch the second ball/tug, and I start playing with them. Again just driving them into me, not around or past me. I rotate between all these things when playing two ball.

This is my wife teaching Xander two ball when he was about 4 months old.

I was trying to find other video's, but my YouTube is being dumb. Out of the 100 plus videos I have it will only show me a few.
 

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Don't always throw the same...1 way and then the opposite and rinse repeat. Then he expects it. Switch it up. Make him pay attention to you. If he's dropping the ball and immediately runs the opposite direction, he's not paying attention to you. Throw it back the way he just came. Or make him sit-stay, and throw it, then release him. Do different things.
 

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Why are you doing a recall when there are other dogs sitting behind you? My recalls are typically with no one behind me. AKC type recalls would be done with a group but they were lots shorter than our 30 pace recalls. On top of that, I'd change up two ball in two respects -- first I'd go to throwing right then left instead of behind me, second I'd do some recall practice with each session, too.


Usually, when something starts screwing up reverting to "what works" or what was working is a good step, too.
 
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