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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My started showing signs of reactivity close to 2 years back. Since then we've worked up to the following: we can pass other dogs (as close as across the street). I also bring him on trails but now go off the trail path so he can see dogs at a distance but have some long line freedom. In addition, he has social interactions/play sessions in a controlled small group on an ongoing basis at his training facility. He also goes to classes here and there.

It's been months now (maybe close to a year) and he has not reacted up until just a recent encounter. We were on the trail path and another dog he sighted about 30 or so feet away (it's a path we go to often, see numerous dogs at a distance and again he has not had reactions for months). In fact he's never had a reaction when on a long line (15ft +), this was the first time. In addition any blow up he had was always on a short lead and a dog in closer proximity...that's why I am rather stumped about this one.

Something caught his attention about this dog and next thing I knew he took off and hit the end of the line. He went pretty crazy from that point, continually trying to lung (let out a couple growls which he rarely did, think I heard him only vocalize twice ever). It wasn't just stand there react, this was trying to chase full speed, almost like a prey driven response. But when I looked at the other dog he was a rather large dog so the prey thing wouldn't make sense right? (thought maybe he though it was a rabbit, cat, etc). I kept him moving and that was that.

But now I'm rather shook up about taking him on a long line as the impact of him running like that was a little challenging (he's a pit mix, muscular and very strong!).

I should say I am always very aware of my surroundings and if I do see him getting the least bit fixated/aroused I redirect immediately. Mostly now though he will just look and go on his merry way, or on the occasion he's unsure he'll look back at me and I'll mark that/praise him or might add some movement and reward for a good choice either with food/play.

So it got me thinking after all this time what set him off at such a far distance when his threshold has been so much closer than that? Also, maybe there might be a better leash/collar/harness set up for when he's on a long line (right now I was using biothane) maybe something with a better grip, etc. I'm not anticipating it to happen again, but with a strong dog I want to be absolutely prepared.

Just wondering if anyone had any ideas of what might have caused this reaction and if anyone had experiences similar I'd be very interested and would appreciate to hear!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Yea might of surprised him, the other dog/owner did stop and stare as well now that I recall so he possibly could have felt threatened and the stop of movement triggered him.

I don't remember any moments leading up to the even to have caused the response.
Since then he's been fine (no blowups, no acting out of the norm) so I guess I'll have to be super vigilant and proactive to notice any body language before a response should it happen again (I'm sure there was a moment I missed before the reaction, even it it just was a second or two that I could have redirected him).

I wish I can find a place that's rather secluded like a very large open field where I can just let him be...I'll have to do some searching

I guess I was more worried about slipping the lead from my hand, maybe if I had it attached to my waist, I know that might be dangerous with a large dog but I'm walking of fields of grass (not pavement/concrete) so I'm not too worried about injury should I fall? Any maybe nylon/cotton long lead vs biothane as might be able to grip better? I know they have ones that don't tangle but will still get heavier when wet. I consider myself a pretty good handler and I don't anticipate this at all to happen again at all, I'm going to create even further distance now this happened even if it was just the one time, but I am just wanting to take extra precautions.

Hmmm, the reacting to scent rather than sight is interesting, didn't think about that one.

Maybe also using his backpack everytime he's on a long line for now, might slow him down a bit more mentally and physically? I did have his line attached to his chain martingale, might have amped him up more once it might the hard contact? Maybe attaching to his backpack (he has a ruffwear) and then backing up to his collar...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh that's a great idea will look into it! Also some have the bungee attachments which might help too
 
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