Impulse control around other dogs
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Thread: Impulse control around other dogs

  1. #21
    Senior Member Kyllobernese's Avatar
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    Re: Impulse control around other dogs

    I agree with not letting dogs meet on leash. We use an off-leash trail around a nearby lake all the time. I have yet to meet one person who has their dogs off-leash that did not put their dog on leash when they see you coming as do we. Bonnie had a bad experience at our training group when a dog who was working at the other end of the arena, broke away and came over and attacked Bonnie who was sitting quietly beside me on leash with our backs to it. It really scared her and it has taken a lot of walks around the lake for her to finally just sit quietly beside me while a dog passes on the trail. The first few times she tried to bolt as soon as she saw a strange dog but I just moved her farther off the trail and now she just sits and watches it so gets lots of treats. Our training group does not allow dogs to meet while we are training so all my dogs do not leave me even when off-leash to greet other dogs.

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  3. #22
    Senior Member TGKvr's Avatar
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    Re: Impulse control around other dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by 3GSD4IPO View Post
    What is "impractical" about not allowing dogs to meet on leash? Or is that an excuse to allow your dog to rush up to another onleash all the while yelling, "Don't worry! He's FRIENDLY!" I suppose that IS easier than training your dog...

    ....

    NEVER let your dog greet another on leash. It forces an unnatural greeting and invokes tensions that can quickly escalate to the point where instead of making excuses you are making apologies.
    Um, did you NOT see my response where I said this drives me crazy? Look, I am definitely not that person. AT ALL. And it's kind of offensive that you would assume that. In fact I'm unclear how my dog could "rush up to another dog" while on leash... if I'm holding the leash. ?? I'm very focused on training, in fact. You are just taking this to the extreme, in my opinion, as well as others. It's all a matter of environment, social circles, and personal preferences. There simply isn't a one-size-fits-all solution for all dogs.

    IN GENERAL, I'd agree that on-leash greetings cause tension and are best avoided. I'm not stupid or thoughtless, as you seem to imply here. And when I'm out in public, hiking, or at Cabela's or wherever we happen to be - even in obedience class surrounded by other dogs, I don't allow my dog to approach other strange dogs as a matter of course, even when other people ask.

    Where I happen to disagree is when you're meeting friends and THEIR dogs. In my world it's completely impossible to separate our social circle from their dogs. It's just the way it is. We are outside people - we go hiking, camping, caving, climbing, etc. And most of our friends have dogs. Dogs die, then they get new ones. We all spend a lot of time together, and therefore so do our dogs. It's a large group of people, with a large number of dogs. We all arrive, we hug, we hang out, we eat... All the while, our dogs are with us. So how exactly is it practical to keep all of our dogs separated all the time?

    I've discussed this in other threads, because it's a challenge we're working on right now. It's impossible to teach appropriate and civil leash behavior UNLESS YOUR DOG IS ON A LEASH. Normally, I'd let my dog run loose with the other dogs and let them have their fun. But I don't ever let that happen *until* my dog has actually met the other dogs yet, and until she is no longer fixated on them. I'm in control of the situation - if I let her off leash to greet strange dogs, I'm no longer in control. And I *WANT* them to know one another because of the amount of time we all spend together. In some cases, where there are known problem dogs present, I will keep her on a leash and away from those dogs because it's the smart thing to do. The biggest challenge is not me with my leashed dog, it's all of our friends with their unleashed dogs.

    When strange dogs come to MY house, we greet in the yard - on the leash - then walk around together, side by side, until they ignore one another. THEN we let them off leash if it seems appropriate. In this case it's IMPRACTICAL to not allow her to meet a dog in our home from time to time. And it's better if they are both on-leash at the time, regardless of the philosophy that leashes create tension. Yes, they do... BUT at the same time, again - I'm in control. Until the dogs exhibit polite behavior, they are not allowed to be off leash. Would you suggest that when friends come over with their dogs that my dog hasn't met yet that I just let her loose with said strange dog from the get-go? I can assure you, that scenario is also fraught with danger. Or would you suggest that I immediately put my dog up and let the guest dog have free reign so as to avoid any interaction at all? That's not fair to my dog in her own home. I'd much rather walk them side by side, on leash, let them sniff, then mellow out, THEN let them be dogs.

    To each their own. In my case, it's a matter of the lesser of two evils. I have a bull dog - she's very strong, and very exuberant. She doesn't like dogs that don't want to play with her or that try to corral her. She is sometimes defensive and territorial of her own property, which is fine. I simply cannot let her off-leash to greet these dogs, and they ARE going to come up to her whether I like it or not sometimes. We've developed a method that mostly works for us, and in the meantime, I've contacted a new trainer to work on polite dog-dog interactions going forward so we can be more consistent. So I'm not some clueless idiot that doesn't want to train their dog - I'm a person that cares about my dog's safety, and others, and chooses to remain in control in situations where I have no control over the *other* dogs.

    And if I meet up with a friend for a hike, and we both happen to have dogs with us, yes - we are most likely going to let the dogs greet one another.

    I guess I just dislike the term "NEVER" in these situations, because environments are constantly fluctuating, and when dogs are getting along there is nothing better than watching them at play. You are always saying that dogs don't need to be social, and they don't need other dog friends, but I just flat out disagree. Not ALL dogs need to be social, sure, but in my corner of the world and with our activities, most of the dogs are as much a part of our recreation as anything else so yes - it's impractical to think any greetings between dogs are off-limits. Maybe in some social structures that's easier, but not in mine. And if my default action is to keep my dog on leash until she exhibits calm, reliable behavior, then I'm damn sure not going to feel bad about it. A lot of our friends are clueless but we aren't going to be able to change that... so we work with what we have, using the methods and philosophies that are consistent with our training.
    If your dog doesn't like someone you probably shouldn't either.

  4. #23
    Senior Member crysania's Avatar
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    Re: Impulse control around other dogs

    Quote Originally Posted by 3GSD4IPO View Post
    NEVER let your dog greet another on leash. It forces an unnatural greeting and invokes tensions that can quickly escalate to the point where instead of making excuses you are making apologies.
    Well, we certainly all have our own opinion. But I let my dog greet other dogs on leash IF we agree to let them meet (otherwise no). And he offers the same play bows and behavior that he does OFF leash so...not really seen a problem. But to each their own.

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  6. #24
    Senior Member crysania's Avatar
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    Re: Impulse control around other dogs

    Also, to add...consider checking out Leslie McDevitt's Control Unleashed (there's a new "puppy" one that she's done that is good for puppies AND adults and is far better organized than her original). I had one of those frustrated dogs who wanted to greet every other dog and ended up at teh end of her leash, feet in the air barking like a maniac. I used to compare her to a toddler in line at the grocery store who can see the candy but whose parents said he can't have any. She was totally friendly, but SUPER obnoxious. And she wasn't a puppy. She was 2 and weighed about 45 pounds, so she was such a JOY to control. I ended up using the Look at THat game from Control Unleashed and it was FANTASTIC.

    The basic gist is that you figure out how close to a dog you can get where your dog NOTICES the other dog but does not go nuts (once they're over threshold, they can't learn and so all you can do at that point is move away until they calm down). So you watch their body language. My dog's ears would go up and she'd freeze just a tad bit. And at that point I would say "Look at that!" in this bright happy voice. Which would get her attention and she'd look back at me. She got a reward. Then I'd say it again, wait for her to look at the dog and back to me, then reward. We did that a TON until she'd start looking at me automatically when she saw another dog. Then we moved it closer. It took awhile, I won't lie. I think it was a good 6 months or more before we could walk past another dog in somewhat close quarters without her losing her mind. But it was a slow, steady progress and she was so much easier to walk after that.

    So that's the gist of the game, but really, the whole book is well worth the cost.

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