Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Training and Calming a Reactive Dog

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    102

    Unhappy Training and Calming a Reactive Dog

    Because of a thread on another forum , I bought two books hoping to learn about the "look who's here" "who's that" (or something along those lines). The books are From Click to Calm and Control Unleashed.

    However, the books are for dogs who already "jump through burning hoops", do agility, etc etc, and I cannot find just the basic training for stopping a dog going ballistic at other dogs.

    My dog, Myrtie, is only 3.4kgs, but frankly I end up coming home at the end of a walk wanting to throttle her. The worst thing is that she stirs up the other dogs as well and I can sometimes be trying to control 4 reactive dogs while the other dog is just walking by with his/her owner totally ignoring me and mine.

    Can someone give me just the basics to get me started please?

  2. #2

    Default

    What are you walking her on... I have a method I like for reactive dogs, have to admit most of the dogs I work with are larger.... but I use two leads one on the collar as normal and a second lead flat lead wrapped thru the end of the handle and put around the dogs neck as a noose... up high... no pressure but on so that is firm... you will need to walk her alone at first or with a second person walking the other dogs... keep her close to your side and don't allow her to sniff around or get excited...keep her moving at a speed that she is not running but not walking ie a trot... I have some other techniques but you need to try one and keep at it for a few days... good luck,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    353

    Default

    OK, so here's my 2 cents.

    Is it possible that your doglet is reacting off your anxiety, and making a bad situation even worse? It isn't easy to walk a dog, just waiting for them to "exit stage left" at the first sign of another animal (or human), and stay calm. If you are anxious as soon as you pick up the lead, your doglet will know it, and will react to it. Your dog doesn't know that you are anxious because of their behaviour, they just know that you are.

    I am assuming that you walk from a lead attached to a regular collar.

    If so, that collar is useless in controlling a lunging dog of any size, but moreso I think in a smaller doglet because of their "leap and twist" abilities. Switch out the collar for a thinner knitted rope style lead (much like lunge ropes for horses, but much tinner in diameter), and make sure it is positioned up high, finishing with the lead coming up from the corner of the jaw, right by their ear. Only allow enough lead length for the dog to walk beside you - if the doglet can get in front of you, the get "the bit between the teeth" so to speak, and your control in any situation is greatly lessened.

    At the first sign of upset, I think you should absolutely turn on the spot and head in other direction, don't stop, force the doglet into movement so that it's brain can't engage in "danger!, danger!" reactive behaviours.

    But the ultimate thing is that you absolutely have to be calm. If you're not, neither will your dog be.

    To practise, just walk up and down on the footpath outside your house a few times a day until your doglet is used to the new walking style, then make it 2 house lengths, then 3 etc etc... it will take a while, but you'll get there.

    Sorry, I think my 2c turned into about $1.99!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    102

    Default

    Thanks for your replies. I walk Myrtie on a harness and I am going to try a halti.

    What I really wanted was a synopsis of the "who's that" "look who's here" theory.

    No amount of correction or going in the opposite direction stops her. I need a different technique.

    I don't set out feeling "OMG, what's going to happen this walk." Funnily enough I always set out feeling positive and relaxed. I often walk Myrtie on her own because she has so much more energy than the others who prefer to amble along sniffing every second blade of grass. Myrtie likes to go full bore for a while and so mostly I take her first on her own to give her what she enjoys and then loop back home to collect the rest of the dogs for a slower walk. I call it their "reading the newspaper" walk - LOL.

  5. #5

    Default

    I'm probably going to get fried for this but check out the dog training shows. dog whisperer has helped me so much, i havent had a miracle fix but i have had a great improvement and it has come down to me reacting differently to situations and learning when to shut her down before the behaviour gets hightened. you have to think about what is aplicable to you but it has definetly helped me.

  6. #6

    Default

    IMO it is worth getting a good behaviourist out to see what is actually happening and evaluate the dog's behaviour. I have a sometimes-reactive-on-lead dog and getting help from a behaviourist has reaped immediate rewards.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by de88ie View Post
    I'm probably going to get fried for this but check out the dog training shows. dog whisperer has helped me so much, i havent had a miracle fix but i have had a great improvement and it has come down to me reacting differently to situations and learning when to shut her down before the behaviour gets hightened. you have to think about what is aplicable to you but it has definetly helped me.
    There's a reason EVERY single one of those shows has a large warning before and after it...

    Do not try this at home

    Because one day you're going to get your face taken off because you've read something incorrectly! Sorry, but these statements make me SO frustrated, it's an ENTERTAINMENT tv show, not a how to guide!

    Florence, There are the "Look at that" videos on youtube somewhere. I'm fairly sure that you can find the links on DOL? Possibly on here, I can't remember what was said in the last thread about it.

    I train in drive. I give my work command and I have Batty's attention, I walk off the footpath when another dog is coming to us and have Batty sit & watch me. Works every time for me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,599

    Default

    Florence

    you might want to try
    Ruff love by Susan Garrett
    Ruff Love
    (note: she has updated her instructions for using a head halter - ie you don't need to leave one on the dog for three days, but you do need to train your dog to be pleased to see it. For that, there are detailed instructions in "shaping success" also by Susan Garrett - both books are really worth having but Ruff Love will get you what you want).

    andCalming Signals by Turid Rugaas
    Turid Rugaas - Calming Signals Community

    If you are prepared to follow the instructions, both will help you sort your dog's problems.

    As you are in Sydney - I recommend you look up Steve Courtney at K9 Pro The K9 Professionals; Dog Training and Behaviour Site, give him a ring and ask for help or recommendation to someone who can help. Also read the behaviour articles on his website.

    Essentially you need to start by training your dog in an environment where she can pay attention to you and work up to distracting environments where there are other dogs - slowly and in a controlled fashion. Dog clubs can be good for this. Going for walks where you meet other dogs face to face, is bad for this.

    Every time she goes ballistic at other dogs, she's learning that this is ok with you. Scolding will only sound to her like you joining in and if you do successfully "punish" her for reacting to other dogs, you may just train her to skip the warning growl and go straight to attack. I'm sure you don't want this.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •