Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I picked up my dog from my dad's at the beginning of summer. She's 6 years old and was living with a handful of other dogs and was doing fine. However, now that I have her, when we see another dog on walks, her hackles raise and she growls at them, pulling at the leash. BUT, when she gets to the dog (the few times I wasn't paying attention) she has just wanted to play with them. I just want to be able to put myself and others at ease to know when she wants to play and when she wants to fight.

Is there a way to train this out of her? She's receptive to other training and is well behaved other than this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,505 Posts
She sounds a lot like my seven-year-old. He's very magnetized to other dogs and gets frustrated extremely quickly when he can't greet them on-leash. It's not an uncommon issue - look up leash reactivity or frustration reactivity for more information from different sources. For many dogs, leash reactivity is a fear-based problem, but the training methods are very similar even if the problem is routed in greeting frustration.

I never let my boy greet strange dogs on-lead anymore. And only rarely known dogs. It's too risky; he is in an extremely agitated, excited state, and that means he displays rude greeting behavior like rushing the other dog head-on, jumping on them, etc. Many, many dogs find this obnoxious at best and terrifying/aggressive at worse. If his screaming, whining, growling, and pulling haven't already upset them, his manners are sure likely to, and if they're on leash too they can't get away or send him appropriate 'back off' signals. In other words... it's a fight waiting to happen. No thanks.

Instead, we've been teaching him how to disengage from exciting things and refocus on us. This often has to be done at some distance from the trigger, far enough away that he isn't pulling or screaming and can respond to cues. We've been trying different strategies to help him de-stress after an incident and get his thinking brain back (circles and cookie scatters). We've arranged local meet-ups with other owners whose dogs have similar issues (none are actually aggressive, but struggle with passing dogs and/or people on walks) so we can train in an environment where everyone's understanding and go on group walks when everyone's calm - no deliberate dog/dog meetings or play, just tandem walking.

It's a slow process. You're not training a new behavior so much as you are changing your dog's emotional state when she encounters another dog. If this is a new behavior that hasn't become habit, things may move more quickly, but in our case it was well-ingrained. We're seeing some significant successes now, but it took a couple years of baby steps and trial and error to get there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,374 Posts
being in a dog pack in a household, doesn't mean they learned the skills of meeting new dogs off property in strange places. That is what I feel your dealing with. I would put OB skill rules and time and space. to help teach how do we go and meet new dogs. I would start off with we do not need to always meet new dogs when we see them when we out and about working. work on solid heeling. first.. keep moving don't meet dogs they working... once you got that going. then you can use that solid heeling to control going over to where there is a dog from heeling to a sit heel stay.. give some time and distance for the excitement to calm down. off set your dog so they not face to face to each other your dog on your left side then you facing infront of the owner.. all calming approaches. access the situation and go from there. You should have control , attention to you and calmness from your dog before go further in meeting ...

others will explain leash reactivity stuff that could happen. I don't know anything about that. I stay at the level of we don't need to meet dogs while your working...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,173 Posts
First and foremost, pay attention. Put the phone down and look around you. Most people CREATE reactive dogs by just letting hang out at the end of that leash with no support from you. NO on leash greetings EVER. No just letting other dogs (or people" come up to your dog. Advocate for your dog.. step up the game, get between your dog and people and other dogs and let your dog know you have his back. It is not his to take care of because you ALWAYS have his back.

No idea if it is related to the last 6 months stay or not. It matters not. Today is what matters.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top