Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, new member in need of some help with a beautiful 3 years old samoyed male named Runy.

There are many problems so forgive me cause this is going to be a long post.
To keep it simple i'll just lay down the things that bother us nad i think are not normal even for sammy.

In house (4 rooms apartment at 8th floor) he is quiet, minding his own business, looking for cool places to chill out. We take him for 3 walks a day about an hour each.

Sometimes he initiates play by bringing over a toy and grabbing you and pulling gently by your hand. If you can't do it at the moment, he barks at you until you make a sound with a newspapper (suggested by a breeder).

In car he barks endlessly, and is restless on the back seat, recently he started barking at people you pass by with a car. He does the same thing in the elevator but ONLY for the afternoon walk, morning and evening he is quiet.

When someone comes to our home he is very loud and excited to greet them even more if its someone he knew for a long time, does the same when we come home but he is not barking and jumping, just howling and "talking".

When left alone, he probably sleeps it over, does not make a mess or bark but he does seem depressed while we prepare to go out.

He seems obsessed with going out, he goes into "following you around the house" mode about an hour or so before the actual time for a walk. And he know whom to follow, whose turn is next. If i (or anyone else in the house) start dressing up he gets excited and starts following me, but he reacts to the command "not you" and calms down and goes after his busyness, thou he seems sad after the command.

ONCE HE IS OUTSIDE, me, any reward, banana, bone, apple, other people, anything but OTHER DOGS and trees, corners, bushes (for peeing on them) STOPS TO EXIST. He is pulling on leash but bigger problem is he is pulling like crazy from one tree to the other (same for corners/bushes etc) and to the other dogs he sees. If dogs ignore him he cries for them out and eventually starts barking acting very nervous (not in a agressive way). If the dog is far to the side (and i continue walking) he sits down and does not want to walk along. Eventually i can pull him of the ground but he continues to stop along looking behind for a dog until the dog is far away enough for him to see it. Usually he acts so if he sees a female but not exclusively (he did not mate yet).
All this is more mild if a walk him the known route, and much more pronounced if we walk somewhere we usually don't or rarely do or someone else walking with us (my friend or so).

Recently he became kind of agressive to the dogs that are walked by someone on the leash. At first when they meet, he is reserved, sniffing and cheching out (tail down) just as the other dog is doing, but (as it cant go forever) as soon as i tell him "lets go" and gently pull the leash away he jumps on the dog, starts showing his teeth and barking (the other dog usually does the same), nothing serious ever happned cause he is not really doing anything, but its embaracing and i can't pull him off to the side easily (he is a big and strong dog).

I tried anything a came across to try to train him (for walking on leash at least) but he does not react, As i said he does not react to anything nor sees or looks at me at all when outside. The only way he calms down is when i really get stressed by his pulling and shout at him very angrily he gets scared and aware of the leash and tries not to pull it.

Sorry for such a long post, any help would be welcome.

Thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
There are no major behavior problems, here, that I can identify. All that stuff falls well within normal range for an energetic, headstrong dog, who has not been trained--and who is quite possibly a bit bored.

What you need to do is start from scratch with a systematic, sequential training program that teaches the boy what is expected of him. The dog can't know this stuff bugs you unless you tell him, but you have to tell him in a way he can understand.

There are as many training methods as there are stars in the sky, but a good first option is to take him to a class. If you stick with a training class (and actually do the homework) most of your issues will evaporate as if by magic. The issues that don't resolve themselves will be fairly simply dealt with. He's not Public Enemy #1, he's just a butthead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,153 Posts
I don't mean to jump on any bandwagon here, but I wonder if neutering would help? Not in the sense that it will "calm him down", but more that it would help to allow him to focus.

I have no experience with in tact males though, so that thinking may be flawed. And regardless, a good consistent training program is most definitely needed.
 
Joined
·
507 Posts
Marsh Muppet is correct.
First, please put away the newspaper and stop yelling at/scaring your dog. This just makes you seem weird and scary and it probably excites your dog more.
You will have to work on PROOFING. Start your training in the house, when ne is good there, then the back yard, then the sidewalk in front of your house. Slowly increase distraction. A professional can help with this.

Don't let her say hello to other dogs until her behavior is under control (in a positive way)

Professional Help
Professional help is always a good thing. Just be aware that anyone can legally call him/herself a trainer. Be sure to interview the trainer about his/her methods. Anyone who talks about “correcting” the dog after she she is "in the red zone" should NOT be used. Anyone who talks about using the leash for “control” should not be used. I’m not saying the dog shouldn’t be on leash because she should, but she should NOT be yanked.

Positive Reinforcement Works
Some people might tell you that positive reinforcement doesn’t work.
Behaviorist and author Jean Donaldson says that people can’t execute a method incorrectly then blame the method. Positive Reinforcement when executed correctly does work. Negative reinforcement might work with some dogs but:
1. It hurts your relationship with your dog
2. It doesn’t always work and in many cases it will make your dog much much worse.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Just read the works of people who have studied animal behavior, who have advanced degrees in animal behavior, who do seminars all over the world. Remember that TV is for entertainment. Books are for education.
Everything isn’t about dominance

Behaviorist and author Ian Dunbar says that suppressing a growl is like removing a ticker from a time bomb. So “correcting” your dog when she barks or growls just teaches her to not give a warning next time. And she could bite without warning

When she is pestering you, ignore her until she is calm or ask for a behavior like sit or lay down before you comply with her requests.

Pulling on Leash:
Excellent Video below from Kikopup Youtube Channel. Also check our her channel for all sorts of great tips. Including more loose leash walking videos
Also see:
Crazy Man http://blog.mysanantonio.com/latrenda/2011/04/loose-leash-walking-crazy-man/
Red Light Green Light: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/latrenda/2011/04/red-light-green-light/
Harnesses: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/latrenda/2011/04/don’t-knock-them-until-you-have-tried-them/
Don't Leash Yank: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/latrenda/2011/04/leash-pops-and-chickenpox/

Loose Leash walking will help your dog stay less aroused during walks. Also see below for counter conditioning and desensitization. You will need for your dog to stay below threshold and start working with building her confidence:

The main thing to remember is to never let your dog form negative associations with other dogs. This means you must never hit, poke, jab, kick, or yell at your dog when he is around other dogs. Never ever yank your leash when your dog is around other dogs - even if your dog is lunging and growling. If your dog sees another dog, then gets a leash yank, your dog will associate pain with other dogs and will hate them even more. Never ever alpha roll your dog around other dogs. This is scary and will also make your dog form negative associations with other dogs.


You must use desensitization and counter conditioning to help your dog become more comfortable with other dogs. A good trainer can help you with this. Do NOT use a trainer who tells you to use leash corrections or any other harsh methods with your dog. If the trainer doesn't provide details on positive desensitization and counter conditioning, then find another trainer or behaviorist.


Sometimes harsh methods like leash yanking will make your dog stop growling (or could make your dog worse) but it won't help your dog to like other dogs. Even though you might have suppressed the behavior, the underlying problem is still there. You dog still won't like other dogs. And sometimes if you suppress growling, it could make your dog bite without any warning.


In addition to desensitisation and counter conditioning, loose leash training can help your dog tremendously. Dogs can feel uncomfortable on a tight leash when they meet other dogs. An excellent pamphlet on loose leash walking is MY DOG PULLS - WHAT DO I DO? by Turid Rugaas. More info on loose leash walking below.


How do you desensitize and counter condition your dog? You start below threshold and set up your dog to succeed.
Start with a dog who your dog already knows - like a friend or relative's dog. Have someone walk by with that dog; when the dog passes by, you praise your dog and give her a really tasty treat.

Do this several times until you see your dog getting happy about getting a treat. This could take a few days. If your dog knows other dogs then try the other dogs until you dog is happy about seeing the dogs.


Next try this with a less familiar dog, but with a dog who is very calm (this is where using a positive trainer can be helpful). The dog has to be far away enough that your dog is comfortable and not lunging and growling. This might be 50 feet or 300 feet. If your dog gets upset, you are starting too close and moving too fast. When the dog passes by, praise and treat your dog.

Don't let the dog get any closer until your dog starts looking happy and excited about the other dog. This could a take couple of days, a couple of weeks or a couple of months. Moving too fast can make things worse.
Once your dog is happy, the other person can move in a couple more feet but not too close. And day by day or week by week or month by month, you can get closer and closer. You must take your time.

While you are working on counter conditioning and desensitization, you are going to have to manage your dog to keep her from being upset about other dogs. So try to walk her early in the morning or later in the evening when fewer people are out. Or put him in your car and drive to neighborhood or park where people don't let their dogs run around off leash (which is very dangerous any way)

Some excellent books on helping your dog become more comfortable around other dogs:
Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash-Reactive Dog

Scaredy Dog! Understanding & Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog


Your dog should be on a secure martingale collar so she can't break free ( a professional can show you how to properly fit one so it won't choke your dog and it won't slip off). A harness can also work great because dogs can get more aggressive if they feel pressure around the neck; but make sure it is secure. Be aware that a martingale is more secure. I usually attach a martingale to a harness when I walk my dogs.


Please see the below links and videos for more info on loose leash walking, desensitization and counter conditioning, etc..


Counter Conditioning and Desensitization
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WOFKPshhYQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoHTir_uK1o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQpP02nTVeg





More References:

Barking: The Sound of a Language by Turid Rugaas. It’s a small book and can be read in one setting

Patricia McConnell - “The Other End of the Leash” -

Patricia McConnell - How to be the Leader of the Pack and Have your Dog Love you for it.

Patricia McConnel - Family Friendly Dog Training

Patricia McConnel - Cautious Canine

Ali Brown - Scardey Dog -

Leadership and Dominance: http://www.stubbypuddin.com/2011/02/on-leadership-and-dominance-years-ago-i.html

Benevolent Leadership: http://www.stubbypuddin.com/2011/02/benevolent-leadership.html

Managing Behaviors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el1h90bq998

Teach your dog to sit: A hands off - non aversive way to teach your dog to sit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faqSuJFuxGg

Reward Calm Behaviors: http://www.youtube.com/peteducation#p/u/12/EIvWIyVZoGM

Things Humans Inadvertently teach their pets: http://www.youtube.com/peteducation#p/u/10/EQpP02nTVeg

Stopping Unwanted behavior before it starts: http://www.youtube.com/peteducation#p/u/9/YoHTir_uK1o

Inside looking out: http://kpk9listen.blogspot.com/2010/10/inside-looking-out.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First thank you all for reading adn replying.

Any professional trainer or classes are not an option, simply as i live in a very small town with only one trainer of german shepherd who won't come anywhere near any polar breed (he says they just can't be trained). So i'm on my own...

The thing is, i can almost see it in he's eyes that he knows what i want him to do, he just does not want to do so. He is a fast learner, i show him a trick (indoors), reward him maybe try it two or three times and that's it, he knows it for life. But during time, he learned where the rewards are kept, how they smell, and if he knows i don't have one he won't do a thing.

Same for leash walking, stop and go or random direction changes methods work if i apply them as son as we start to walk. But next time we walk he would just pull again untill i give him the reason not to, over and over again. He knows the command "slow" and reacts to it but not for a long, it's like he can't resist some urge to be at some place as fast as he can.

Why is he running from bush to bush peeing on them? I can't figure, is he insecure or being dominant...?

And one thing tham may be important...when he first came outisde on the leash with me (after the vaccine) he was in some sort of abnormal excitment, he was barking and running all over the place, i still dont know if he was happy or scared to be outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
First thank you all for reading adn replying.

Any professional trainer or classes are not an option, simply as i live in a very small town with only one trainer of german shepherd who won't come anywhere near any polar breed (he says they just can't be trained). So i'm on my own...

The thing is, i can almost see it in he's eyes that he knows what i want him to do, he just does not want to do so. He is a fast learner, i show him a trick (indoors), reward him maybe try it two or three times and that's it, he knows it for life. But during time, he learned where the rewards are kept, how they smell, and if he knows i don't have one he won't do a thing.

Same for leash walking, stop and go or random direction changes methods work if i apply them as son as we start to walk. But next time we walk he would just pull again untill i give him the reason not to, over and over again. He knows the command "slow" and reacts to it but not for a long, it's like he can't resist some urge to be at some place as fast as he can.

Why is he running from bush to bush peeing on them? I can't figure, is he insecure or being dominant...?

And one thing tham may be important...when he first came outisde on the leash with me (after the vaccine) he was in some sort of abnormal excitment, he was barking and running all over the place, i still dont know if he was happy or scared to be outside.

Everything you're describing is a training issue, every trainer has to deal with what you deal with.

When you describe his behavior as "he knows he's supposed to do this, but...", that's humanizing him. If you put his behavior in that light, you've effectively defeated yourself already because your reasoning becomes, "Hey, I'm doing all I can, but my dog's a bastard so there's nothing I can do about that."

The key here is understanding that your dog is motivated. He's not motivated by your commands or what you want him to do, he's motivated by what's important to him - bushes, trees, stimuli, whatever. If you can recognize what motivates him, you can allow him to work for what he wants. For example, wanna sniff that bush? Teach him to stay beside you in order to sniff that bush. This is how you reach his mind, by controlling access to what he treasures. You cannot expect any dog to simply obey commands just because. They need motivation, just like humans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks qingcong, i have to clear myself... when i said i know he knows what he should do, i told that because when he feels like (or smells a reward) he can do it just fine. For instance out of 20 times, he will sit down just on command, but 15 times he won't and he will even start being nervous and barking at me for telling him so. I didn't mean to be irrational or think that he won't do it just to make me feel bad or cause he is a bastard as you said, actually he a very lovin dog, who loves everybody.

Yes i can see what motivates him, and it works indoors, but outside, i have no control over it. For instance, i wont move until he loosens the leash, i wont let him go to that bush until he's calm, and he calms down, but as soon as i make a step he's again in the running mode, even more he slows down to be out of my sight (or waits till a look other way) and instantly pulls me to the side to that bush (few times i almost fell down), almost like he's delibaretly trying to fool me, like he has some major urge not to be calm and trying to do anything he can just not to be.

One more thing, when we walk he does not pay any attention to the people but if i meet someone on the street we cant shake hands and say hello because he will be jumping on that person wanting to greet him. If talk a bit he starts barking and going in circles like lion in the cage. Same thing he does i f sit somewhere during tha walk, he walks in circles barking and peeing on random object in his reach. He makes one circle-pee-circle-pee and it goes forever or until i stand up and go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,415 Posts
Follow the training advice in this thread. Also you say you walk him for an hour 3 times a day, but I wonder if you are REALLY briskly walking, or just moseying, and stopping to let him pee on things. Really walk briskly, even jog a little. Keep moving forward. No stopping. (Or if that's the only time he can potty...let him first go potty when you go out, then get going).

The brisk walking will help with energy, but you absolutely need to do some training with him daily. Really focused training (preferably after his walk.) That will help tire him mentally.

I'd also look into neutering him.
 
Joined
·
507 Posts
one trainer of german shepherd who won't come anywhere near any polar breed (he says they just can't be trained).
Well it's good then that you can't use this trainer because he isn't a good trainer at all.
Maybe not even a real trainer. Anyone can legally call themselves a trainer. That doesn't mean that they have any certifications. And just because someone has certifications, it doesn't make him/her good.

Any breed is trainable with patience.

Many breeds need more exercise than others and if they don't get it, they could develop problems.

One thing you can try is driving out of town to look for a reputable trainer who uses positve reinforcement. No newspapers, no yelling, no yanking.

i can almost see it in he's eyes that he knows what i want him to do, he just does not want to do so.
Nope. Dogs don't think like that. He is probably trying to figure out what to do to keep from being yelled at or what to do to keep you from scaring him with the newspaper.

He is a fast learner, i show him a trick (indoors), reward him maybe try it two or three times and that's it, he knows it for life.
Dogs don't normally work like that either. Dogs don't generalize well (not in training anyway). If you teach a dog to sit while you are standing 2 feet from your refridgerator, that is what the dog learns. If you go outside and ask him to sit, he will have no idea what you are talking about. You have to proof the behavior. Start with low distractions then slowly add distractions until your dog can perform in the neighborhood.


he learned where the rewards are kept, how they smell, and if he knows i don't have one he won't do a thing.
Well you have been bribing instead of training. Bribing isn't a bad thing in my opinion but using it as a training method won't get you very far. and if you use it, it's not right to expect a lot out of your dog. You will have to start working on fading the treats and putting the treats on an intermittent schedule.
A good trainer can help you with these type of things

Same for leash walking, stop and go or random direction changes methods work if i apply them as son as we start to walk.
In addition to proofing (which looks like is NOT happening here), you have to be very consistent and patient. You can't stop and turn around one day and expect the dog to be perfect the next day. This dog has been pulling for a while and a habit has formed. Its going to take some time to fix it.
If you started smoking 10 years ago you just can't get over smoking in a couple of weeks.

Why is he running from bush to bush peeing on them? I can't figure, is he insecure or being dominant...?
Sigh. Everything is not about dominance. TV is for entertainment. It's perfectly natural for dogs to want to mark when they are out on walks. Neutering may or may not help this issue. It does help some dogs. But there are many many great reasons to get your dog fixed. It might even help some of his others issues - like getting too excited about other dogs.

abnormal excitment...
Pet parents and trainers need to be extremely careful about labeling their dog. It makes training harder. Pet Parents and trainers need to start looking at what they are doing and how they can help the dog.
Saying things like the dog is being dominant, the dog is neurotic, the dog is abnormal, just gives the parent or trainer and easy way out.
We don't know what is in a dog's mind.
So instead of saying, "the dog doesn't listen", start thinking about ways to make yourself more interesting
Instead of saying the dog is hyper, examine whether or not the dog is getting enough exercise
Instead of saying the dog hates other dogs for no reason, start looking at your actions and see how you might be contributing to his fear or excitement about other dogs.

Also, instead of guessing what your dog is thinking, start reading books by people who have studied dogs for years, who have advanced degrees in their field, who do seminars all over the world

If you can't find a good trainer, start reading good training books
Start with
Family Friendly Dog Training by Patricia McConnell
Then read The Other End of the Leash, then start on the other books.

I agree with the other poster, your artic breed is going to need some hard aerobic exercise. But be careful about dragging him along and not letting him sniff during all of your walks. Going in fast motion past a whole bunch of interesting smells can further agitate your dog, get him more revved up. There is nothing wrong with stopping to sniff - as long as you are in control
And by being in control, I don't mean being a mean, scary person.

Please re read my original posts and links.

To sum up
-Get a GOOD trainer even if you have to go out out town
-Read some GOOD books on animal behavior, training and proofing
-Stop all negative reinforcement - no more yelling, no more newspaper,
-All training should be completely hands off and completely positive. i.e. you dont have to push on the dog's butt to teach sit.
-If you find yourself loosing patience, take a breath and take a break. Don't take it out on the innocent dog

- Remember that TV is for entertainment. Dogs can't be fixed in an hour.


Great info from QingQong. Sorry, I might have repeated some stuff you said. I didn't see your post until I after I hit "submit"

almost like he's delibaretly trying to fool me,
Sigh. You are still doing it.
1. Attributing human emotions to a dog
2. Assuming what's in his mind instead of figuring out what you might be doing or not doing to help the dog get better.

[/quote]be jumping on that person wanting to greet him.
Remember to not scold, yank or yell when he does this. This is normal dog behavior that can be fixed. A good trainer and/or a good book has some basic things you can do to help this issue. Since you know he will jump. Manage the behavior (don't let him close to strangers) until you can fix the behavior - so it won't become a habit - like pulling has.

Below are some videos on jumping up:


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Puddin's got some good info there.

What I do to solve behavior issues is to make a list of what needs to be addressed. In your case it might looks something like this.
- pulling on leash
- jumping on people
- incorrect responses to verbal cues outside of house

Doing this allows you to clearly identify what you need to work on. Right now you're just in chaos, you need to put order to the chaos. Try to master one thing on that list first. If you can do that, you'll start feeling good about what you do and hopefully move on to mastering even more things on your list. In order to master something, you need to figure out how to start. That's where books like "Idiots guide to reward training" by Pam Dennison come in handy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,598 Posts
I'm going to suggest something for the leash problem only.

Teach him "With me" in your home. No leash. Say "with me" and lure him with a treat to walk a couple of steps at your heels. "Good boy" and reward.
Continue doing this until you can walk across the room with him at your heel. Then work on turns.
Eventually, add the leash and still do this inside.

Now, when you go outside, use the "With me" command and reward VERY often at first. Like every couple of yards. When you notice he is either a.) at a place you KNOW he likes to sniff or b.) beginning to not listen. stand totally still and say "Go sniff!" and give him the full leash for a little while. Let him wander and sniff, but don't move. When he seems to be calming down, start the "With me" portion again. Don't yank him, don't hurt him, just pick up leash and say "ready? With me!"

It won't work perfectly, but it does help teach leash manners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,851 Posts
Any professional trainer or classes are not an option, simply as i live in a very small town with only one trainer of german shepherd who won't come anywhere near any polar breed (he says they just can't be trained). So i'm on my own....
This trainer is either a fool or, being the only act in town, can pick which dogs he chooses to train. Arctic breeds can try the patience of some pretty good trainers, but they are absolutely trainable. Arm yourself with some solid training materials and do it yourself. You'll be spending the next 12-15 years with the dog anyway, so whaddya got to lose?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you all for such an excessive replies. I will look into it.

We just came home from a walk. It was a disaster. There was a woman with some dog behind us and he didnt want to go forward, he was barking and wanted to go to that dog. All i could do is hold him in place until they passed by. There was a pack of dog including female, they were following us and he was walking backwards and i was pulling him forward cause the males wanted to bite him but he didnt even notice it, he was just seeing the female. And ofcourse the usual bushes thing and barking. He had some time off the leash in the schoolyard and that was the only part he was calm, not barking, cause he was free to run from tree to tree to pee. My brother came, he greeted him with a jump and then started running around him and barking. Awter a while my brother jumped over the fence and set on a bench nearby and Runy went to the fence and started barking and trying to jump over it. It would have run like that forever if i didnt put him on leash and went away (he didnt resist).

I mostly tried all the mentioned techniques, but everything fall down to water when we go out, as i mentioned earlier everything stops to exist for him outside. There is no reward, there is no me, if i was to put him his favourite snack into his mouth he would just spit it and look the other way and even do a little barking on me for giving it to him. I don't mean to be rude or anything, but the chiwawa video looks funny to me. That dog is calm, looks at the trainer all the time, wights half a kilogram and if it wanted it couldn't pull a thing. I on the other hand have to deal with a 25 kilograms of barking and jumping muscles that act like im not even there. He's not even pulling in one direction but changing it every second, tieing the leash round my legs, pulling unexpectedly that it could brake my arm. and it's not something he can get tired of or stop doing cause he is tired, he is grasping for air, thirsty, had a really long walk and he is still doing it. Once, in the countryside yard he was running by the fence up and down the yard almost whole day because there was a dog lying outside. He made a path in the grass at that place, and its not a joke.

So the first thing on my list is how to make him less excited. I cant do any training outside at this point. Inside he does follow me in a foot but only if its time for walk and if it isnt there is no way i can make him to do so unless he knows i have a banana or some snack with me, and if i dont give it to him in a time he would just go away or start to bark at me.

Oh and the walk issues are a lot more pronounced during the day as i guess there is a lot more stimulli.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
Ok, I admit I have not read all the posts, so, forgive me if I repeat something already suggested! :) Some posts are blocks and blocks of good info, but hard to sift through in a concise manner, when you're short on time! :)
- As others have mentioned, dogs don't generalize well. So, if you can get his attention inside, it doesn't mean you can get it outside.
- Also, right now, at this point, your dog is over stimulated when he sees people or dogs on the walk.
- BUT, he still needs exercise, it's a great outlet for pent up energy, AND, helps with bonding, AND, stimulates his mind. (if he's not too distracted)
- SO, walk him at odd hours, or in out of the way places, where you don't expect to see anyone.

[I've done this myself; one of my dogs is reactive to other dogs, so we do a lot of avoiding. At first, I thought avoiding was, well, avoidance, and not dealing with the problem at hand, BUT others here have shown me the light!]

- A dog that becomes aggressive or reactive on a walk is flooded with stress hormones, and that can last for weeks. So, avoiding dogs on walks can help him calm down, and learn polite walking skills.
- THEN, you can gradually re-introduce other dogs on walks, BUT, stay under his threshold. Stay in his safety zone. For instance, if he starts reacting when he sees a dog 20 feet away, then make sure you get him 25 feet away, so he can see the other dog, feel safe, and not react.
- Gradually, if you stay calm and put in the work, you should be able to decrease the distance you have to stay away from other dogs.

All this is important, IMO, because he really needs exercise, but, he doesn't need all the stress that results when he sees another dog.

Like others have said, prioritize what you want to start working on, and start small. Give your dog the tools to be successful and confident! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,151 Posts
I haven't read all the suggestions, but I'm thinking Premack Principle...it takes some work, but once they "get it", it seems to help immensly. Instead of using food as a reward (or a lure), you use the environment as the reward. If he wants to pee on a bush, have him sit first (or at least look at you for a FRACTION of a second).
Like your dog, my dog would literally spit food out of his mouth when he was fixated on something else. Making him realize that his actions controlled what he got in return helped quite a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Great suggestions from these people here. You clearly have a challenge in front of you, a lot from the dog, but also learning to overcome certain mental blocks within yourself.

Your dog is a lot like mine was - swerving everywhere on walks, completely overstimulated, unable to relax, overall mayhem. Nothing seemed to work, but I worked on it everyday and right now he walks right by my side and has an alternate behavior when we walk by other dogs. It's a continual process of maintenance.

One real key that helped us to calm our dog down in the beginning was using the gentle leader. The difference was night and day in his behavior. Even though we had no idea how to train at the time, the gentle leader on its own gave us access to install an alternate habit. For most dogs, as soon as you slap on the gentle leader, their whole demeanor changes. Somehow, our dog gradually calmed down on walks until he basically "forgot" how to be nuts. At that point we weaned him off the GL and it became a lot easier to progress with more training activities as he wasn't over threshold the entire time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
649 Posts
I know from experiance how frustrating trying to get a dog to walk on a leash without pulling can be especially with a large breed.When we got our rotti X he was 3 and i don't think he was ever walked on leash in his life. He is also 130lbs and would litterally drag me around. I started doing exactly what you are doing and came up with so many different ways to fix this problem but As i have come to realize a year later, No method will work for every dog!! you really have to find what works for your dog!
For Rigz what works is putting a backpack on him with a couple water bottles. It gives him a job and he walks right beside me now hardly ever putting tension on the leash (this took a couple months to master). Also i make sure he is calm and behind me when we walk out the door.
Remember that these are suggestions and not all will work for your dog!
 
Joined
·
507 Posts
Also i make sure he is calm ..when we walk out the door.
Leaving the house when calm is an excellent suggestion and a must for an excited dog. Ian Dunbar talks about this in detail in his red light green light walking method. http://amzn.to/fb7poY
This can be a challenge for some dogs. I have a heeler mix who still gets over excited at 11 years old. I have had to wait for over an hour for him to calm down before leaving the house.
He's much better now that I know more about what I'm doing :)
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top