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Difficulty passing by other dogs on walks

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by kahvi, Jan 4, 2021.


  1. kahvi

    kahvi PetForums Junior

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    There's a rowdy bulldog type that Nuka and I have passed a few times on our walks near home. He lunges and barks and Nuka will back right up against my legs and sit on my shoes and growl at him. We've always been on the other side of the road from the bulldog (I make sure we cross as soon as I see him) but his owners irritate me because they just laugh. Anyway I got annoyed by the situation and decided to start walking Nuka elsewhere.

    So today I took her to a new place for a walk. The walk was less about walking and more about checking out the new place together, so we didn't go far and all and the whole walk lasted about 15 minutes. We had to drive there and Nuka wasn't too thrilled about being in the car but she settled down after a bit and seemed ok once we got there. She always protests loudly for the first 5 minutes of any car journey before settling down, so I didn't think too much of it, but maybe she was in a bad mood after the car ride.

    During our walk a springer spaniel passed us on the other side of the road. Nuka stopped and I crouched down to partially block the spaniel from her view (maybe I shouldn't have done this?) she growled at him and once he had passed she barked at him. The spaniel perhaps glanced in our direction but didn't respond in any way (I apologised to the owners and they were very kind).

    Nuka also stopped to watch a labrador jog past in the middle of the road but they went pretty swiftly so all she did was stop and stand alert and watch them.

    When she sees other dogs I can't seem to keep her focus on me. I have treats and in all other circumstances she's great at focusing on me when I say her name but when other dogs are passing I feel like I lose her entirely.

    I can't get any more distance from other dogs other than being on the other side of the road, which is usually enough unless it's the bulldog (and today the spaniel). I'm a bit wary about taking her to open places because dogs are so often off lead and I'm worried a dog might run up to us which I feel would be too much for her (I've found a private field to walk her off leash and practice recall in).

    What should I be doing in these situations when we have to pass other dogs? Nuka always stops dead in her tracks and focuses on the other dog, but I'd like to get to a point where she's focusing more on me in these situations and we can keep moving past other dogs.

    She's now just over 4 months old and we're starting puppy foundation classes this month, so I'm hoping that will give her some good experience with other dogs in a more controlled environment.
     
  2. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    Since we are in lockdown and you may have time I have had some great advice on my thread in dog chat ‘just don’t know what to do’ about moving Loki on and passing other dogs.

    Two key things we are working on ...

    123 let’s go (to keep moving) I practice at home in the private field and out.

    If you can’t get her away I’ve been training him to go between my legs whilst the dog passes give him a little squeeze and talk or sing to him. He tends to look up at me. (Loki likes The Beautiful South) or you can just chatter.

    I know it’s polite to apologise to the other owner but it made it worse for us as once I spoke to them they spoke back and bang goes Loki’s focus. I just create as much space as possible and completely ignore the other person.

    Try a high value toy to go out with.
     
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  3. kahvi

    kahvi PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the advice!

    The things you're working on sound like great strategies - I'll check out your thread!

    I think I'll stop apologising to other people for the time being. I totally see what you mean about it breaking Loki's focus and I think maybe it hasn't helped Nuka that I've divided my focus away from her in these situations.

    I'll definitely try a high value toy on our next walk and see if that helps.
     
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  4. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    It’s been hard for me to stop but I noticed as soon as I speak we lose the plot. I hope it’s obvious to others I’m trying my best.
    She’s only young it could well be that she wants to play and is getting frustrated you are absolutely right to want the focus on you. What breed is she ?
     
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  5. kahvi

    kahvi PetForums Junior

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    I'm sure it is obvious that you're doing your best but I completely understand having the urge to say something.

    If she's meeting new people close up she often barks and then goes up to sniff them and is fine with them. She even barked at me when I came home after being gone for two nights. I'm hoping it's the same with dogs or that she just wants to play but because she also growls I'm not sure.

    She met the family dogs at Christmas and she was a bit reserved. She was fine with the older dogs who are really laid back and polite with other dogs. When their youngest wanted to play with her she often moved away but she did instigate play on a couple of occasions (and then backed out when it got too much).

    She's a working cocker spaniel. What with the lockdown the puppy classes have been cancelled or postponed which is a real shame because I feel like she'd benefit from more positive experiences with other dogs in controlled environments.
     
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