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For the most part out dog is well behaved. She is not totally trained but listens to commands if she is not to distracted. Brandy is a 55 lb. Rottie/Sheppard mix and the biggest problem is when I walk her and we encounter other dogs. When we get within 50 feet of the other dog she gets very anxious and stars pulling at the leash in the direction of the other dog. Once 25 feet or less she starts growling and this escalates to pulling and barking pretty viscously. She pulls so bad I have trouble controlling her and even though I have her on a choke chain, she sometimes is rising up with only her hind legs on the ground and me pulling the leash as hard as I can, it doesn't seem to phase her. I have tried all the Dog Whisperer stuff of yanking the chain as soon as she shows any reaction to the oncoming dog, but it doesn't do squat for me. Any of the training books and videos I've bought do not directly address this problem. Any suggestions? Some more info: I don't have this problem when she comes upon a dog suddenly, such as walking into the groomer and the door opens and someone walks a dog out so they are close right off the bat. She just sniffs them and moves on. She also gets along well with the couple of dogs we've gotten her together with after some initial snarling.
 

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Try turning around and walking the other way when she starts to show a reaction toward another dog. I have had some success with this method. Also, if you are seeing the same dog or dogs day after day on your walks, you might arrange some time for them to meet, provided your dog is not dog aggressive. One of my dogs used to go crazy barking and pulling whenever we saw this particular shih tzu, which was like every day, and the shih tzu would go nuts too. One day we decided to get together and let them meet, and they were fine and we've had no problems since with that dog.
 

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I'm afraid you will need some in-person help with this. It's difficult to give a solution in writing. That said, your dog sounds like he's fearful and defensive. It's very unfortunate that you use a choke chain and have tried CM's techniques *without* professional help. If anything, it may have made him more fearful than before!

Also, avoid any unpleasant means of approaching your dog, whether it's jerking the leash, allowing the leash to be taut, yelling, pinching, and so on. Dogs learn by association. When you throw a choke chain on your dog while he's focused on another dog, it's very likely that he will associate the other dog with the pain, and thus develop an even stronger fear towards other dogs.

I recommend that you find someone with experience in dealing with similar problems using positive training methods.

International Assoc of Animal Behavior Consultans @ IAABC.org

List of Certified Pet Dog Trainers - [NY]

Trainer Search: United States
 

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Do you happen to tighten the leash and try to pull the dog near you when you see a dog? If so he could be picking up on your nervousness of seeing that dog and he reacts to it.
 

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Unfortunately I rarely see the same dogs since I have no set time when I walk her. I am conscious not to tighten up when I notice the other dog, but she gets excited on her own when she realizes there is a dog in sight. I have tried walking the other way but it doesn't help, if we turn around to head toward the other dog again it starts all over. Maybe I will need professional help, I just got "Woof! A Guide to Dog Training" DVD and have watched it once. Even though it covers types of aggressive dog behavior it isn't real detailed on how to correct it. Guess I'll watch it again and see if I pick up something new. Thanks Everyone!!
 

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It's not likely you'll find much actual training information from a Matthew Margolis DVD. It's intended primarily for educational purposes only, which is typical of many pop-culture trainers. Again, I think you'll find the most benefit from a certified professional.
 

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I also agree with a trainer and make sure you give all details that is going on. Before one does come in I would reverse the walk as soon as she sees another dog don't say a thing just turn and walk away. I would just hate to see the walks stop till you find a good trainer.
 

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Until you find a trainer, maybe try this.

Does your dog lie down on command? If she does, when you are walking and see a dog, tell your to lie down (it'll work best if you see the other dog and do this before your dog does) Have her stay there until the other dog passes and keep praising her while she's down. Once the dog passes without incident, throw a praise party then get your dog up and start walking again. You could carry treats and give her those too during and after the passing to keep her focused on you and not the other dog.

Since she's in a more submissive position, your dog may be less likely to act aggressive and all the praise she gets from not acting up might help her associate dogs passing with good rather than bad. Might be worth a try.
 

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What you are describing sounds a lot like leash reactivity, Welcome to the club, my dogs is that way as well. I've been working on my dog's "problem" with the help of a behaviourist, and while it might be frustrating at times, I am seeing results.

First and foremost I would encourage you to find either a behaviourist or a very experienced trainer, if you go the trainer route, make sure he/she has previous experience with reactive dogs, otherwise the risk of making things worse is pretty high (it happened to me).

There are two books I can recommend that have helped me a lot in both understanding and dealing with this issue. One is "Scaredy Dog" by Ali Brown, this one is more theoretical in nature, explains in depth the causes and what to expect, and a little bit of managing. The second book is "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons, this one is more hands-on, it is basically a compendium of "recipies" that will guide you thru several stages of getting your dog to be impervious to distractions. Originally I was pretty adamant about "Click to Calm", mostly because I started doing the excercises before I consulted the Behaviourist and got no results whatsoever. What the behaviourist explained to me is that the first results are the hardest and slowest to get, and it is the first stages where it is the easiest to get frustrated. So I went back on it, and a few weeks later I started seeing progress.

The one thing I would strongly recommend is, try as hard as possible to stay away from leash corrections or physical corrections as much as you can. Both books I mentioned explain why that can backfire (which is what the trainer I consulted did wrong and made things worst actually). Anyways, if you want to feel free to PM me or email me and I'll be glad to share what has and what hasn't worked (it's a pretty lenghty list)
 

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For the most part out dog is well behaved. She is not totally trained but listens to commands if she is not to distracted. Brandy is a 55 lb. Rottie/Sheppard mix and the biggest problem is when I walk her and we encounter other dogs. When we get within 50 feet of the other dog she gets very anxious and stars pulling at the leash in the direction of the other dog.
OK, then just shy of 50' is Brandy's comfort zone. You need to stay within that distance, to prevent her reaction of pulling to get to the other dog. Turn slowly to your left in an arc, to keep your body between your dog and the oncoming dog. Get, and keep your dog's attention as you walk away from the other dog, giving a fairly high-value treat as she moves along. Good girl!


Once 25 feet or less she starts growling and this escalates to pulling and barking pretty viscously. She pulls so bad I have trouble controlling her and even though I have her on a choke chain, she sometimes is rising up with only her hind legs on the ground and me pulling the leash as hard as I can, it doesn't seem to phase her.
You've gotten way too close to the other dog. Every time she displays this unwanted behavior, the behavior is being reinforced, and the harder it will be to ever change or stop this behavior. You must desensitize and counter condition your dog if you ever hope to get her over this reactive behavior.

I have tried all the Dog Whisperer stuff of yanking the chain as soon as she shows any reaction to the oncoming dog, but it doesn't do squat for me.
It's the worst thing you can do with a dog who is aggressing, and can actually cause the dog to redirect his frustration by biting YOU.

Any of the training books and videos I've bought do not directly address this problem. Any suggestions? Some more info: I don't have this problem when she comes upon a dog suddenly, such as walking into the groomer and the door opens and someone walks a dog out so they are close right off the bat. She just sniffs them and moves on. She also gets along well with the couple of dogs we've gotten her together with after some initial snarling.
Many dogs are dog aggressive when on lead and meeting an on-coming dog, but do fine otherwise. Without seeing you and your dog, I have no way of knowing what the triggers are, or if she's possessive of you, or even if she's sensing a tenseness in you when another dog is approaching (because you know how she gets) that's triggering her - our feelings travel down the leash, and our dogs react. A sudden meeting doesn't give you time to worry about how she's going to react, so this may be her trigger (note I said MAY, not IS). You might want to have a trainer come out to observe the two of you in action. It often helps to have an impartial but dog-savvy observer to resolve the issue.
 
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