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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello Everyone!

I am 5 minutes new to this forum but do know how forums work. I attempted to research my problem but finding various and specific situations that are slightly different for us.

Quick Background:

We got out puppy Bandit when he was 16 weeks old and he is now 8 months old. He is a mix of many things but we are not quite sure what exactly he is. Some say he may be mixed with a German Shepard, Rottie, Lab/Retriever and some sort of herder. I take Bandit for walks everyday for about 1.5 hours and he does okay in Petsmart, and around people...but he is SUPER happy to see people. We have been to the Beginner and Intermediate courses at Petsmart but our puppy just does not care for treats when he sees another distraction thats greater. I have been using the Don Sullivan's The Perfect Dog system for about 5 weeks but decided to switch to a Haltie leash which still doesn't fix the issue.

So what's the issue?

Well my puppy seems to be VERY happy when he sees people and tends to jump up on people. Another problem is that when he sees a dog walking with the owner, he tends to aggressively growl and bark/lunging...but then whines when the dog walks away. He does not bark or growl like this at the dog park...just when he sees a solo dog.

My wife and I have taken our puppy to the dog park a few times and he has done well with other dogs. He will try to jump up on other dogs sometimes and I think he is trying to set dominance. Overall, The Perfect Dog system has perfected the sit, down, come commands but he still gets very distracted with other dogs.

Is this a case of just him still being only 8 months old? I followed The Perfect Dog system and Treat and Reward system RELIGIOUSLY but have some hiccups I just can't seem to get rid of.

Thanks for your time and hopefully someone can lend me some tips/hints. We love our dog and we take him to parks all over the state...but this aggressive barking (all show) and jumping up on guests for the first 20 minutes is just annoying.

Thanks,

Mike

 

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Hi Mike, and welcome to the forum !

First off, I have to say .... what a beautiful boy you have there ! His eyes are sooooo soft, man oh man. And I bet he has a real willingness to please, too. :)

our puppy just does not care for treats when he sees another distraction thats greater.
Exactly what have you been using for treats ? Sometimes things like pupperonni just don't cut it, and you may have to experiment to find something that your dog definitely desires MORE than the distraction. Cooked beefheart, or baked liver are good examples. And it doesn't have to be food, it could be a toy or ??? whatever. Also keep open the possibility of "premacking", although not really advisable in the case of meeting people excitedly. Premacking is ascertaining what your dog really wants (ie: sniff, or chase rabitts etc), then you apply the principle of "if you do what *I* want FIRST (ie: sit calmly/pay attention to me, walk on loose leash etc), then, after complying with my wishes I'll release you so that you can do what *YOU* want".

Another problem is that when he sees a dog walking with the owner, he tends to aggressively growl and bark/lunging...but then whines when the dog walks away. He does not bark or growl like this at the dog park...
Sounds like "the Mailman Syndrome". In your dog's mind, he probably thinks he's accomplished a tremendous feat by 'scaring' the other dog away. Makes him feel powerful, .. very self-reinforcing. Doesn't happen at the dog park, likely because the other dogs don't 'leave' if he barks at them.

but he is SUPER happy to see people. We have been to the Beginner and Intermediate courses at Petsmart but our puppy just does not care for treats when he sees another distraction thats greater. I have been using the Don Sullivan's The Perfect Dog system for about 5 weeks but decided to switch to a Haltie leash which still doesn't fix the issue
I don't think either Don Sullivan's so-called system, or a Halti will fix this kind of issue, at least not properly. My advice would be to find that TOTALLY irresistable reward, work on a flat collar, and apply other proven, time-tested techniques such as gradual desensitization etc. You may find other tips in the stickies too.

Good luck, and again ... welcome aboard !
 

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Rather than You giving him the treats, conspire with other people to treat him... that way you get both distraction as well as treats.

If he has all of his 3 sets of shots, then it is time to socialize him with lots of friendly dogs... so that he'll learn how to play. He looks very much like a Lab x Rott mix, so I recommend finding some Lab pups of equal energy (and maybe a little larger) to play with... Energy rather than size is the key. He will slowly learn that other dogs are fun.
 

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Hi Mike, and welcome to the forum !

First off, I have to say .... what a beautiful boy you have there ! His eyes are sooooo soft, man oh man. And I bet he has a real willingness to please, too. :)

Exactly what have you been using for treats ? Sometimes things like pupperonni just don't cut it, and you may have to experiment to find something that your dog definitely desires MORE than the distraction. Cooked beefheart, or baked liver are good examples. And it doesn't have to be food, it could be a toy or ??? whatever. Also keep open the possibility of "premacking", although not really advisable in the case of meeting people excitedly. Premacking is ascertaining what your dog really wants (ie: sniff, or chase rabitts etc), then you apply the principle of "if you do what *I* want FIRST (ie: sit calmly/pay attention to me, walk on loose leash etc), then, after complying with my wishes I'll release you so that you can do what *YOU* want".



Sounds like "the Mailman Syndrome". In your dog's mind, he probably thinks he's accomplished a tremendous feat by 'scaring' the other dog away. Makes him feel powerful, .. very self-reinforcing. Doesn't happen at the dog park, likely because the other dogs don't 'leave' if he barks at them.



I don't think either Don Sullivan's so-called system, or a Halti will fix this kind of issue, at least not properly. My advice would be to find that TOTALLY irresistable reward, work on a flat collar, and apply other proven, time-tested techniques such as gradual desensitization etc. You may find other tips in the stickies too.

Good luck, and again ... welcome aboard !

Thanks petpeeve,

I haven't logged in because of my own stupidity. I was actually trying to log into "DogForum" and just now noticed that this forum is plural...ughh.

Thanks for your comments about Bandit, he definitely is a cute dog and his personality is even better :).

Treats: We have been through the Petsmart Beginner and Intermediate classes. Although our teacher was very informed and was a great guy, Bandit just never cared for the "treat and reward" system. Fellow classmates and myself have learned that our puppies only cared for the treat when they were hungry...another person told me he wouldn't feed his dog all morning just so his puppy would obey when they were in class. Overall, Bandit just doesn't care for a treat. I did take your advice and brought a Beggin Strips with me and he didn't pay too much attention when he seen a solo dog walking.

Mailman Syndrome: He may have a slight problem with this but not much. He doesn't bark at any people and he doesn't bark at the dog park. I took him a few times since my initial post to train him with distractions. He does well after he gets used to the environment. Once in the free area of the dog park, I let him run around with all the other dogs and plays normal. Its just the random barking he does around the neighborhood that doesn't make sense. I think he wants to go sniff and play with the other dog so bad he barks aggressively but that doesn't make sense.

With the neighbors dog he tries to pull to get to him but he doesn't growl or bark like when I am walking him around.....its just weird.

I will definitely research this forum to find better techniques. I ditched the Don Sullivan collar but am still using some techniques from the DVD. Bandit seems to be okay with the Halti but I will give that a few months.

-Mike
 

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Rather than You giving him the treats, conspire with other people to treat him... that way you get both distraction as well as treats.

If he has all of his 3 sets of shots, then it is time to socialize him with lots of friendly dogs... so that he'll learn how to play. He looks very much like a Lab x Rott mix, so I recommend finding some Lab pups of equal energy (and maybe a little larger) to play with... Energy rather than size is the key. He will slowly learn that other dogs are fun.
Thanks hanksimon!

I take Bandit to the dog park maybe once a week but he gets his daily walks out in about. He plays well at the dog park off leash and never had any problems.

Instead of treats I learned to quickly give our guests a ball to throw to him. That usually calms his jumping up to stop. This past week I put the Halti on him when my buddies came over. When he tried to jump up I would say "off" and pull slightly down on the leash so he got the hint. This was effective so I may continue with this practice.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Hello Everyone!
Well my puppy seems to be VERY happy when he sees people and tends to jump up on people. Another problem is that when he sees a dog walking with the owner, he tends to aggressively growl and bark/lunging...but then whines when the dog walks away. He does not bark or growl like this at the dog park...just when he sees a solo dog.
This is typical stuff for a teenager. I'll tell you how I deal with it: Practice targeting or look exercise, this exercise will become his coping mechanism for anxiety and excitement - this way you turn this high energy into something productive. You need not to break his threshold, do it gradually and slowly, if he stops responding to you then you're over threshold and should go back. To get his attention you have to be animated with lots of body movement, move backwards and give him food for following you, don't ever allow tension on the leash. Your leash is causing more tension so no pull harness will help prevent the tension but I personally don't use them. Google for "silky leash" method, it is very similar to what I do - instead of using special collars I teach the dog to follow my leash pressure (almost like you train a horse).

Simply put, whenever he gets anxious, nervous, over excited or insecure - he should look at you because that's one thing he knows best. You will thus break the natural habit of barking, snapping or sniffing the floor. Lastly, I would not let other people feed my dog, I think that just further reinforces his interest strangers and is ok if that's what you need. I have dealt with people aggressive dogs and never needed other people to feed them unless maybe the mail man :). As I said this is just my personal preference.

PS. This video will also help you (it's got 3 parts).
 
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