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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Moxie is just over a year old, and she's never been great on walks. We've improved her walking a lot by always carrying high-value treats and rewarding her when she walks well. However, we can't figure out how to solve her worst walking habit: stopping every time she sees another dog.

Our neighborhood and the nearby park are full of dogs. When we walk Moxie, and she sees another dog, she always stops. Usually she will lay down in a sort of crouching position, but sometimes she'll just sit or stand. Sometimes she does the "stalking" movement first. She waits until the dog approaches, refusing to move, and then she pounces playfully when they come up and tries to engage in some playtime. This wouldn't be a huge deal but (1) we see a lot of dogs on our walks and (2) she will stop even if the dog is very far away. So if we see a dog in the far distance, she'll stop and refuse to walk until the dog approaches or disappears from sight.

This often makes our walks tedious, slow, and embarrassing. Also, sometimes she scares other dogs/owners who think she's unfriendly and trying to attack. She never seems scared or angry, just excited and playful.

So far I've just been trying to get her attention before she does it by saying "Look at me" and then rewarding her with a treat if she focuses on me. But too often, this doesn't work at all. Does anyone have any tips for how I can address this behavior? It makes walks feel like a stressful chore instead of the relaxing outings they should be.

If it's important, Moxie is about 50 pounds, a mutt with Bluetick Coonhound and German Shepherd (amongst other breeds) in her.
 

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That's a common puppy play behavior, especially if your pup has played with lots of different dogs. I interpret it as an immature form of play bow, requesting play. First, I suggest that you continue to let her play with lots of other dogs. Second, teach her to Sit on Cue. Then, when You see another dog, cue her to Sit. When she doesn't Sit, turn around and walk away from the other dog. It may take a couple of weeks for her to begin to understand why you are leaving.

After she learns to Sit, ask the other owner if they can say Hello ... and be ready to tell her to Sit and to turn&go the other way when she gets too excited.
 

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If your dog is stopping and refusing to listen to cues or take food, when she normally would, that means she is 'over threshold' and you are working too close to other dogs for the time being. Reward her for quickly and nonchalantly passing dogs from a farther distance, then gradually work closer.

It's your choice whether or not you want to let her greet dogs on leash, but doing so will probably make the training take longer as she will anticipate playing with a dog whenever she sees one on leash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for the replies! I'll be sure to give your suggestions a try. However, regarding the first reply, I don't think I'll be able to turn around and walk away when this happens. She is so focused on the other dog and firmly stopped, she won't budge if I try to walk in the other direction.
 

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Thank you both for the replies! I'll be sure to give your suggestions a try. However, regarding the first reply, I don't think I'll be able to turn around and walk away when this happens. She is so focused on the other dog and firmly stopped, she won't budge if I try to walk in the other direction.
What are you using for treats? Sometimes 'upgrading' to treats the dog likes more helps, too. I used to waggle hot dogs in my dog's face to distract him when he got hyper focused on something.
 

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Try working it as soon as you see the other dog. It's very likely she's got her eye on that dog for a bit before she freezes. Might be .01 seconds, might be 4-5 seconds but there is a space between her seeing and her fixating on the dog. As soon as you see the dog or note she's interested in something in the distance reverse with a cookie in her face or hide behind a bush or parked car and play obedience for treats.

Agree about upping the treat quality. I use string cheese and for normal stuff Bucky gets a raw rice grain sized bit but for the big stuff I pick him up and shove the whole thing in his face. He now looks like a baby with a pacifier. He grabs it and chews then looks at the exciting dog then grabs it again. He's bitty, only 13.5 pounds and this is easier than trying to hold his collar for me.

It may be play now but it's rude to run up to a dog and jump it. Bucky is incredibly rude, he humps, hugs and gooses vigorously because he's so excited. Even if allowed to visit I'd wait for a few minutes until both dogs are acting bored before visiting. Remember dog play is hunt practice. It takes trust to play and a pup running at another dog then wanting to jump would be scary to offensive to most dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We've been upgrading our treats over the past few months. We started with cut-up hot dogs and lunch meat. The past few weeks we've been using cheese cubes (like Kraft cheddar cheese cubes). They seem to work pretty well, but I'd love to find a treat she'd go gaga over. If anyone has other suggestions, let me know. Maybe we'll try string cheese to see if she likes it more!

And thanks for the additional advice, Kathy!
 

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Try peanut butter. You can put it into a refillable tube meant for camping or a shallow plastic container and allow a lick at a time. I like string cheese, comes in a handy wrapper and I can easily change how much the dog gets. No idea how the dogs feel about various bits of cheese. If you buy whole Parmesan cheese save the rind for her. It's hard to cut up but it is stinky and not too greasy.

You've been giving great treats already. Timing is everything. If I see a dog before B and start playing chase the cheese he can ignore the dog. Sometimes. Basically I think walks are fairly boring for him. He likes getting to move and sniff but DOG is where it's at. So if I give him something fun to do he isn't bored. I am, playing for miles on end is not my idea of a nice walk!
 
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