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Thread: How to handle this?

  1. #1
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    Default How to handle this?

    Occasionally while out walking Loki, another dog might walk or run past, maybe on a bike. He's usually not too bad if they're walking, but if they come past on a bike or something, he completely freaks out and usually tries to start chasing them. I use a regular nylon lead which I put in a loop - kinda like a choke chain, but using the nylon so it's not actually painful. One this happens, he basically just ignores me and I have no choice but to yank on his lead, and force him to sit down for a few seconds. Even then he'll be far too overexcited and keep trying to chase.

    But I feel by doing this I'm just making him scared and even more confused - but I'm not sure what else to do about it? He's only a year old so obviously he still has all the puppy over excitement to get through - but how else do I get his attention during this time? I always take treats on the walk to reward him (he sits at the edge of the road before crossing without fail every time), but even a treat isn't enough to get his attention in this case.

    Or do I just need to accept he's still a puppy and will act crazy occasionally?

  2. #2
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    I think I'd freak out if I saw a *dog* ride past on a bicycle. Wow - not much of that going around.

    Lots of dogs react to movement - especially herding dogs and you have to train them not to.

    There is also such a thing as too excited to respond - whether it be happy excitement, hunting excitement, or fear excitement.

    The nylon lead probably doesn't hurt as much as a choke chain but it probably does hurt a bit despite how thick coated huskies can be around the neck. You'd be better off with something that has limited slip on it like a martingale collar.

    I was using a front attach harness for when my dog was going off at other dogs or exciting things like cats... and I think it made her worse - because she'd launch - go flying around suspended by her arm pits - and I suspect that hurt some - and she'd blame it on what she lunged at and be worse next time. Not fun for me.

    So we're back to the flat collar. And I body block the view of the exciting thing until she pays attention to me again. Depending how bad she is - sometimes I get her by the collar and firmly but gently lift her paws off the ground so she can't get any traction to lunge at anything - that usually gets her attention very quickly back on me and I can put her feet back on the ground. I don't like doing that but it keeps us safe and doesn't escalate the behaviour.

    If I'm really good and I spot the whatever coming before she does - if I feed treats to her fast enough - she is much less bothered by the thing going by. This can back fire if it's a dog that she doesn't like and it tries to come over for some of the handout. Not a lot I can do about her reaction then except put the treats away and ask the other dog's owner to call their dog. All bad then.

  3. #3
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    Your post gave me pictures in my mind of dogs riding past on bikes lol.

    It is habit that he is starting to reinforce so I would work towards putting a stop to it or it will possibly become entrenched. Can you practice this scenario at a distance? where his reaction is likely to be less. I did a lot of obedience work and heeling with one of my dogs that was like this and it worked quite well. I practiced in many situations and distractions with good positive reinforcement. Far away at first from any distractions and then gradually closer to distractions. She had a rock solid heel on lead.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 11-26-2014 at 12:04 AM.

  4. #4
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    Oh sorry for the confusion, should have made it more clear it was a dog on a bike - not sure if he would have reacted differently if the human was riding

    Jokes aside, he's still not great at loose lead walking - if I hold a treat by my side he'll walk perfectly, but once I actually give it to him, he just goes out ahead again. I think he sees it as a way of just getting treats when he wants, not realizing if he could do the entire walk without pulling once I'd shower him in them

    He doesn't drag me like he used to, but it's obvious he's still not really paying attention to me (he's walked into various objects a few times not looking where he was walking)

    I'd prefer not to have to use the loop, but I'm not sure how else to immediately get his attention when he starts getting ahead.

  5. #5
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    Thingz

    This is going to make a few walks insanely tedious but hopefully he will get the picture...

    I'm guilty of luring my dog into a perfect heel on a loose lead with treats - but really if she's looking at me like it's all about the treat - I should put the treat away and not reward the treat cadging bush ranger of a dog I have.

    Pulling - it can be an ongoing thing but every step you take in the direction he pulls - is rewarding him (don't even need treats for that to get worse). So you reward him for pulling by letting him pull so he pulls more... If you want your arm to stay in its socket - you got to stop doing that.

    So when you hand out a treat for heel - touch the treat on your hip at the side where you want him and then give him the treat so he only gets the treat when he's in the right position (reward in position).

    If he pulls - stop and wait... see what happens, reward him coming back to you by walking again (ie no treat required). If he doesn't figure out he needs to come back, try a nice firm alert "this way" and march off in some other direction and bring him along with you... as soon as he gets to the end of the lead again - repeat. repeat lots... so he has to pay attention to you. Then you give him a treat. In position.

  6. #6
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    Thanks, yeah his main issue is paying attention, so many more interesting things to look at I don't really mind if he's not following my every step and walking under my feet, as long as the lead is loose, I'm happy with it. I feel we did get further with it on our walk tonight.

    Do you think it's better to give hi a fair bit of lead to walk with, or basically keep him as close as possible? I feel like by making the lead too short, he just feels he has to walk beside me because he can't get ahead - whereas if I can teach him with a fair bit of lead, it's more reinforcing the idea to stick by me. But I could just be making it more difficult for myself.

  7. #7
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    You can teach to heel on loose lead, that is the idea. I spent a lot of time reinforcing the correct position and it never involved a tight short lead.

  8. #8
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    how much lead to let him have?

    For me it sort of depends.

    If we've got a snorting male jogger approaching us - I want no slack - so if she does decide to have a go - she can't get near the guy. But if it's just us and the footpath and verge are open... I will give her most of the lead - keeping the end and one knot for myself in case she decides to have a go at something - I've got enough slack to have her before she can rip the lead out of my hand.

    I walk her with a horse lead rope not a flat webbing lead - because I can't hold those when she launches. And she can also chew thru them in about three seconds / bites. I do have a flat webbing lead for heel work classes and competition but that and catching stray dogs is the only time I use that one.

    I currently have a broken finger cos she launched when I wasn't paying attention - what do you mean I can't talk to people at the park? But I think if I'd had a webbing lead - I'd have no finger at all.

    So most of the time when she's on lead - she's out in front of me about a metre. Except when we're going home when she can be dragging along behind... or she can be right next to me when she's working me for bits of dinner kibble ration.

    It's also your choice whether you let your dog sniff too - you can say "go sniff" and give him some slack accordingly or you can say "with me" or "heel" and require him to be right next to you - ie you can give names to what he's allowed to be doing at any given time. And then the key thing is to be consistent about what those cue words look and feel like and make sure that's what he's doing.

    Tho if I say go sniff and my dog wants to stay heeling in hopes of kibble - that's her problem not mine - I don't reward that. Ok maybe I forget sometimes.

  9. #9
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    I guess I'm about the same, give him some slack when no one else is around, but keep him nearby if someone goes past.

    He's just so easily distracted by everything, I don't really have any choice but to yank on the lead to get him back to me - but I'm worried he's starting to fear the lead

  10. #10
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    Have you considered a check chain ?

    Lets face it ....dogs can be pretty bullet proof. The idea of a check chain can freak peeps out. But used correctly they work. Your doing all the 'checks' anyway.

    I've had great sucess with a check chain. My relationship with Mojo hasn't changed..... i dont consider myself a dog abuser......i'm not hating myself for being cruel in anyway shape or form.


    Ignore the BS that surrounds check chains ...they are not choker chains if used correctly. They work and get results if used correctly.

    My 2 cents anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by reyzor View Post
    Education is important, but big biceps are more importanter ...
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