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My boy is about 19 months old and has developed an aggressive streak towards other dogs and bicyclists on the streets when we are walking nearby, but strangers that come to the house he greets calmly and is delighted to meet them. I try to take him to different places to walk (sometimes even driving to a new park) so that he doesn't establish a territory, but I can't figure this one out. It seems backwards to me. Any thoughts?
 

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Taedyn has on-leash aggression towards dogs, joggers and motorcycles. My current theory is that it stems from a lack of control while on leash, and the barking hysterics is more of her complaining about being restricted by the leash. I think she's scared of them, and since she can't run away, she'll try to scare them away instead.

While off-leash, she's fine. However, joggers and motorcycles still spook her, but dogs she ignores.

The issue has gone down significantly when I started doing attention training and switched to a prong collar. I continually treat her for eye contact in many situations - I've gotten it up to 20 seconds of eye contact. I think thats really helping her to relax, learn patience and looking to me for support. It's even helped reduce her rock obsession.
 

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Thanks. I think you're right about the on-leash aggression. He does get nervous and starts to grab at the leash and tries to pull it from me. I've done focus training with him and he can do it in the house, but is unresponsive to food outside of the house. I guess I just have to find something more attention-grabbing for outside. He gets so worked up with the prong it actually excites him further, and I might get bitten by accident.

He does walk correctly on the leash though, always at my side and generally loose leash.

Any suggestions for getting focus outside when he won't even look to begin with?
 

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Taedyn has problems with outside treat taking, too. It's been very slow, but now I can give her treats in certain situations when outside.

Find a quiet space, even if you have to travel to get there. You may first have to get her very familiar and comfortable with the space before she'll take treats. Being very hungry also helps


I first used my back yard / car parking area. We go through that area at minimum 4 times a day, so she's very familiar with it. At first it was difficult to get her to take treats, but after I stood quietly for about 10-15 minutes, the surroundings weren't as distracting anymore and she paid attention to me.

After she was comfortable with that, I tried moving down the driveway while giving treats. Take it slow, moving step by step (could take 5+ minutes between each step) into the more distracting areas.

Last night I discovered a small quiet alley was just perfect. It was still "outside" but with much less distractions. I was able to walk up and down the alley with her giving her treats for eye contact.

As for getting him to look in the first place, just stand still and wait for pure boredom to take over. Stand there quietly, and praise him every time he faces your direction, even if it's just turning around. Eventually he'll get so bored of the surroundings and realize that it's much more interesting to be facing your direction. Once that happens, try to engage him more, scratch him, etc. Then start looking for eye contact, and praise for even a split second look at first.

Don't try to force him to look at you, or to stay with you. Let him know he has control to walk to the end of the leash, and that it's his choice to engage you. Be the most awesome of awesomeness so he wants to be engaged with you.

If you've reinforced the attention/eye contact training indoors, he may quickly realize what you're trying to do and settle into the routine. Once Taedyn gets what the game is, she immediately sits and just stares at me.

As a note about the prong, is it fitted correctly? Leerburg has a guide. If it's snug under the base of the skull and dead (so it won't tighten like a choke collar), it's theoretically supposed to not be an annoyance to them. If he reacts aggressively to the pop itself while fit on the dead ring, then you're right that it's not a tool for him.

Another tool to try would be the easy walk harness. It clips in the front. I found it helped to reduce lunging because it will cause them to spin around and face you.
 
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