Please help...how do I stop my dog charging over to other dogs?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by alexpb22, Mar 2, 2011.


  1. alexpb22

    alexpb22 PetForums Junior

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    I have posted on here before about this very problem but am still trying to deal with it.
    I am currently on a waiting list for some socialisation classes but I wondered if there was anything I could do in the meantime as these may be a while off.

    I have a 5 year old rescue Saluki cross Lurcher who loves to meet and play with other dogs off lead. The only problem is that she has no self control and rather than approaching dogs calmly whilst assessing the situation she'll bolt over at 40mph to say hello. I do muzzle her for this reason along with the fact that she eats everything and anything but it is a bit unnerving for other dog owners.
    She is good in that she will come back when called and if the dog doesn't want to know then she'll come back very quickly but I have stopped letting he off leash whilst waiting for these classes. I also don't have any way of stopping her once she pelts off though and I have done a lot of recall training.

    The reason I am posting is because I have just ordered a 50 foot leash after reading that it could be a good option and hope that it allows me to let her run around whilst still being able to keep control of her.

    My question is that as I've never used one before (only 5 metres) what's the best way of dealing with it if she charges off after another dog? I want to teach her that it's not acceptable to charge over but to approach at a more "regular" pace. Do I stop her on the leash and tell her no and then take her over to the dog or does correcting her like that not really achieve anything as presumably she'd already be quite far away?

    I have seen behaviourists before but have not really got anywhere hence why I'm waiting for these classes but I want to do as much as I can in the meantime to try and curb this habit she has.

    FYI She tends to charge over to dogs even at only a few feet away and I will only use a harness with a long leash
     
  2. Rolosmum

    Rolosmum PetForums VIP

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    Just a quick thought, our dog stops running towards things when we use 'leave' this was just taught as a leave from stuff in the house, and gradually has progressed to leaving anything that we dont want him to have, from children to bikes to other dogs etc.

    In the meantime you will probably have to use a long line if it is a problem to be sure that you can pull him back.
     
  3. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    A long line is a good idea (and well done for using it with a harness, not a collar), but for now she should be on a lead. 'Leave' training is a good idea too. The company of a calm, friendly dog on walks would help. Do you know any who could walk with you? How about regular training classes? She would meet other dogs there under controlled conditions.
     
  4. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    Long line is a good idea to try and train her to keep within a radius around you. We used a long line on a harness for our pup and whenever he looked like he was interested in a dog across the way, we had more control over the situation as we could pick up/stand on the lead and give him the 'leave' command (then click and reward), rather than letting him run up to the other dogs. We kept him on lead around other dogs and had controlled, calm 'meet and greets' with the dogs we met, so he started to learn how to meet other dogs calmly. He also started learning to leave dogs this way. We'd reward him along the way and he started becoming more interested in my hand (for the treat) than most dogs.
     
  5. Andromeda

    Andromeda PetForums Senior

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    I own lurcher cross she is almost a properly lurcher :D
    Too small and to fat - ok she isn't fat but you can't see bones.
    But she is fast, very fast. With her acceleration she has enough of time to check on dogs and come back before I finish my recall command. Her recall is good, she always will back. Problem is that she lives by her eyes, brain is going after... When I distracted her in right moment - less than few seconds - she is ok, when I'm late she collapse on target and in another second she gone...
    If I would put her on a long line even with harness how fast I would have a dead dog? Sorry for being hash.
    Long line is for stopping a dog to reach his target, not for replacement "off lead" - buried in mind
    On long line a dog have got more freedom, but you can prevent him from self-rewarding behaviour - running to his target instead coming back. Part of teaching recall by using a long line is to give a dog opportunity: come back to you and earning reward or not reaching a target a loosing reward. That's why long lines are usually 15m long.
    I would recommend to you read "The House Lurcher" Jackie Drakeford. There is a lot of basics but in the book she cached a lurcher soul.
    In lurchers blood is to run, with their eyes you will never have an opportunity to relax on walks :D
     
    #5 Andromeda, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  6. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    To me making sure you are not right on end of line matters, so you can pay out a length when you need to, rather than have a 40 mph dog, suddenly hit the full length at full tilt and get a sudden jerk, which like last poster suggested could risk injury.

    You don't mention how she behaves after bolting, most such dogs have playful intent though some run over and are snarling, showing teeth and being very intimidating. Muzzles tend to worry other owners, it is natural to fear aggression, rather than be rational and realise a muzzled dog cannot bite.

    So I think those who suggest cultivating other understanding dog owners, with non-reactive dogs is a good idea.

    If your dog becomes accostomed to the control of the line the weight of it may inhibit her bolting, even if you are not holding the end of it, as drag will be felt.

    But the ultimate solution is for the dog to be calm and have doggy manners, when seeing other dogs, and be less impulsive.
     
  7. beltabout

    beltabout PetForums Junior

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    This post is a bit harsh but a lurcher could be at 30mph plus in 50 feet! The long lead if it does not stop him running at people might harm him.

    My advice is until it is trained keep it on a lead, you are responsible to keep it under control at ALL times, if it knocked someone over and injured them YOU are responsible. The penalties for breaking dog rules can be tough and do allow for the destruction of the dog. The courts and police have a range of powers to deal with offenders you can be imprisoned for up to two years and/or fined. Whilst this is very unlikely it could happen.
     
  8. beltabout

    beltabout PetForums Junior

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    When is a lurcher not a cross?:confused1:
     
  9. Andromeda

    Andromeda PetForums Senior

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    When is mine :D
    I wrote it wrong. Sorry...
     
  10. beltabout

    beltabout PetForums Junior

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    I know lurchers can make you cross!

    It made me smile no end:thumbup:
     
  11. Andromeda

    Andromeda PetForums Senior

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    Problem is that she is doesn't look like a lurcher. To small and to round - chest area. This from outside, inside truly lurcher.
     
  12. stacey31

    stacey31 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there, I had/have the same problem with my dog, the minute she sees another dog she was off running and barking, I think it's a self defense thing, let me get to them before they get to me! But I also had a problem as her recall was none existant, so I had to keep her on the lead most of the time.

    There was one day she was off the lead in the park and she went bounding up to an Alsatian and barked her head off running back and forth infront of it, but I didn't realise in time that the dog had a muzzle on and was on a lead and the alsatian went balistic and knocked the owner over, luckily it was deep snow and the owner didn't hurt herself but I was mortified and embarrassed by the sitatuation so from that point on I got the 5mtr training lead and started working seriously on her behaviour.

    We practised her recall,, so everytime I called and she would come she got a wee treat (she now comes to me 99% of the time), but also when she was on the lead if she saw another dog she would pull and scrabble and bark her head off it, so we do the distraction technique, if I see a dog coming I get her attention with a treat and the dog passes with no histerics, or I have started working on another technique where if she starts pulling to get to the dog ahead we turn around and go in the opposit direction for a few paces and then turn back again towards to oncoming dog, we do this a few times if she continues to pull but she always stops pulling eventually and we walk passed the dog relatively calmly! Also if she now see's a dog and starts her games I say "Focus" this gets her attention and she automatically comes to me for a treat, so now we practise off the lead, she might still run towards another dog but normally she only gets half way there and I shout "Focus" and she comes running for a treat, I am just trying to teach her that these dogs are no harm to her and doesn't need to be constantly on guard ready to protect herself or me!

    Also from that incident if I have her off the lead and I see another dog that is on a lead, she is automatically put on her lead, at the end of the day if another dog is on a lead it's on a lead for a reason and I don't want her running up to a dog that might snap at her, as she is so small and one bite from a big dog could be the end of her.

    She is getting a lot better and with consistency in her training we will get to the point where she doesn't go mental at other dogs! I hope!

    Good luck in your training and my only advise would be to persevere!:thumbup:
     
  13. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Can those who are advocating only using a short lead, explain how they'll solve the recall problems and how this Lurcher is going to be able to exercise (not just walk at slow speed) in a suitable open grassed area, where the Owner has good all round vision of approaching animals so can control the situation?

    Having seen a Doberman being trained on a long line, it actually deterred other dog owners from approaching, or letting off leash dogs near. Something out of ordinary seems to inspire caution.
     
  14. Andromeda

    Andromeda PetForums Senior

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    Recall - by training. Is good idea to use a whistle. If you have money to spend, invest it on vibration collar. That sort it out situation when a dog freezes before runs off. Both need special training.
    Exercises and good vision- for example using fenced places as a stadiums. Believe me is many places like this.

    I own lurcher, dog who lives to run, she is off lead only in safety places. If I let her off in our doggy park I'm doing in during hours when I know there will be no dogs. And please don't say that you can't figure out it! If you are walking a god you know times, owners and dogs!


    Did you ever see a running lurcher? Did you see how fast they can be?

    Greyhound can run 45m/h and can reach top speed in two strides faster than owners reaction time.

    And now, put him on long line to give him free run...
     
    #14 Andromeda, Mar 3, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  15. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    So now you're trying to train recall off leash. Obviously on leash recall training is a joke, the obvious and recommended safe way to train recall with tricky dogs is a ... (yes) long line. Fine it may work if you can find a large secure place, but then you have the problem you need the same dog to recall in a park and proof it there.

    Oh and now you still have the issue that this secure place doesn't teach new calmer behaviour around random dogs that show up.

    Yes I have seen them and I understood the issue. You need to maintain control whilst using any long leash or line, and not have dog surprised by sudden tautness.

    There are plenty other dogs that run fast and could easily hurt themselves, yet I've seen owners sucessfully training with long lines (safely) and others succeeded after a while of inconvenience sorting the recall issue out.

    You point about observing the dog glare/freeze as it notices something is exactly the time you shorten any slack on line and encourage the desired behaviour instead of a bolt attempt.

    I'm not sure how much experience there is with expensive collars like vibration, they're presumbably more humane versions of shock collars that were banned in the UK?
     
    #15 RobD-BCactive, Mar 3, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2011
  16. beltabout

    beltabout PetForums Junior

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    Teach the recall in a safe area!

    There other place to train rather than the park. I use a piece of land between two factory units which is fenced on three sides, it's not used by dog walkers as it away from the areas they use. Factory unit car parks in the evening, tennis courts, your garden.

    Get the recall 100% in the controlled area, then when you move into an area control it as best you can, don't go when there are loads of folk about, walk past the busy areas, but remember that the behaviour that was 100% in the garden will not be in the tennis court, and then when you move from the tennis court to the field remember it will not be 100% again, introduce other dogs of the lead in a controlled way, dog training classes or someone who has a steady dog who is willing to help, and again remember that 100% recall with no distraction may not be 100% with, but each time you introduce new things this will improve.

    While it is not trained keep it on a short lead. If you want to use a long lead you need to accustom the dog to it this takes weeks to get right so why not in the mean time practice in those safe areas. Often the recall comes like a switch being turned. Dogs learn very quickly that the long line is on and if they have not bee accustomed to it they know all to well when its off so ou don't train a dog you just inform it it is on the long line.

    All training has do be completed in a variety of locations and with distractions I consider my dogs trained however I know that there are times it is better not to give the recall as they may ignore it, also every time we go out I will practice with them all of the commands they need to know.

    Training is never finished...
     
  17. Andromeda

    Andromeda PetForums Senior

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    I can see that you have got no idea what vibration collar is.
    Far better is said vibration= shock

    Vibration collars often are used on deaf dogs. Training looks like: vibration- treat, so when a dog is trained and feels vibration in runs to take a treat.

    As a reminder, what I wrote about recall:

     
  18. alexpb22

    alexpb22 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you for all your posts and advice/experiences etc.

    In an ideal world I would have many things at my disposal to help my situation but I will give you some background so you can understand why it's tricky for me.

    She is a rescue and served her 7 days at the pound and was due to be put down until the rescue saved her for me to adopt.

    First of all I work full time, before you say that that's cruel, I spend all my free time with my dog, and she gets around 3 hours exercise per day. This is made up of a walk in the morning before I set off for work around 45 mins, a dog walker comes in during the day and takes her out for about 1 hour and a half to two hours with her dogs, I then come home and take her out again for about 45 mins and then before bed she goes out for a toilet break. I don't have a garden so everything is done on walks. She also only spends about 3 hours on her own at any one stretch and usually sleeps during the day on weekends when I am at home anyway.
    I throw her toys around the house, do clicker training with her and do recall training inside with a whistle. I call her for her food and for everything with the whistle and we also do obedience clicker training inside.

    When my dog walker goes out my dog is let off leash with her pack and she runs around and plays with the dogs in the pack and other dogs she meets. She does charge up to dogs but when she gets to them just wants to play, isn't aggressive and my dog walker hasn't had any problems. She does have the luxury of being in a pack which can take the edge off her running to see other dogs and I don't have dogs with me which means every dog is really interesting.

    I live in London so there really aren't any places that are quiet. I have about 4 parks right on my door step and even when I take her for her walk at 6.30am before work I encounter many dog walkers so unless I go out in the middle of the night there really isn't anywhere to go without distractions.

    The parks are enclosed so I know she can't run off into a road or anything and she always walks right beside me (other than running off to meet a dog), so much so that half the time I'm thinking where is she and she's right under me!

    She is very well behaved but is just very immature in that she can't approach dogs at an appropriate speed and will get into serious trouble if she picks the wrong dog which hasn't happened yet! She is 5 years old so she's not going to grow out of it and I have enrolled her in socialisation classes outside of London where they use teaching dogs which will tell her off. It's at least a month before I will be starting on these courses so I thought maybe the long line would allow me to stop her as soon as she runs so that she knows it doesn't get her anywhere.

    I won't be using it on a walk per se, more when I get into an open bit of grass and I can throw a ball around for her and if she spots a dog that she wants to run after I can step on the leash and stop her in her tracks.

    I do recall training with her at home but if I take her outside of the home then there are loads of distractions so impossible to "build it up". Her recall is good but I can't stop her mid run, I can get her back once she's got to where she's going but not en route.

    A man this morning told me that I should just let her off because his dog used to do that and now it doesn't because he just let it get on with it. He said that dogs will tell her off if they don't like it which is true of confident dogs but shy or unconfident dogs won't tell her off and these are the ones I don't want her intimidating by running at them!
     
  19. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    And that's much clearer and useful as an explanation :)

    Absolutely agree, any long lead or line is a tool which changes something about the circumstances and you start with shorter distances & lengths and build up.

    I'm not sure I could find "safe" areas, particularly of the industrial sort, which are not littered with dangerous objects, offer open access rather than be fenced off and possibly patrolled, or don't have 24/7 traffic. Where I am it's easier to find an empty piece of open parkland, with low traffic that's very suitable and more pleasant for training.
     
  20. beltabout

    beltabout PetForums Junior

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    Do you think running with a pack of dogs is helping with this situation?

    Please ignore the chap in the park who suggests let them run at dogs and get told off by them, I would also be concerned that a trainer runs a class with dogs that tell other dogs off.

    Rob you want to see the parks round here old lorry parts are much safer than the glass cans and needles!!!!!!!!!!!:lol:
     
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