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Lead aggression advice

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by winterrose, May 16, 2017.


  1. winterrose

    winterrose PetForums Senior

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    We've taken Micheie on a few walks now, and we can't pass another dog without her growling, barking and snapping. The dog could be metres away (one dog was over 20 metres away) and she'll start barking. She's fine with people on lead, and we've seen her happily interact and play with other dogs she's never seen before without a lead on at the kennels.
    Does anyone know how we could combat this before a dog gets hurt? I've heard of a couple of methods, but I'd like to know methods fully so I can fix this correctly. TIA x
     
  2. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Has the rescue given you any advice?

    As she was a street dog previously, they are more than likely to have encountered this problem before.

    Some dogs can be lead reactive, which is what you are describing and happily live with other dogs.
     
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Find the distance at which she is comfortable and praise, reward so she learns to associate the sight of other dogs as a good thing. Avoid close encounters which set her off. If 20 metres is too close for her just now, keep 30 between you and other dogs ;). Be alert and ready to turn and walk away if necessary.

    It is extremely early days and she must be feeling very overwhelmed by all the changes so I would keep everything very calm and quiet until she settles in more, and learns to trust you to protect her too.

    Each stressful encounter will top up her levels of the stress hormone so a couple of days at home to allow that to dissipate, then start again with some quiet walks will help.

    She doesn't need to meet/greet every dog she sees, so training her to ignore dogs will be useful.
     
  4. PawsOnMe

    PawsOnMe PetForums VIP

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    Perhaps sit on a park bench with her and give her treats when dogs are passing by. Work on a 'watch me' holding eye contact so she will be looking at you and not the other dogs and plenty of treats and praise when dogs are going by and she doesn't react.

    Even though a dog can be lead reactive it doesn't mean they're aggressive or would hurt another dog.

    Izzy can be lead reactive and it's usually frustration because she wants to go play. She sounds so vicious (she's a very growly vocal dog anyway) but we're doing the above and it seems to be working.
     
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  5. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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  6. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    Not sure how long you have had her as yet. Maybe look at taking a step back and looking at ways she can build her trust and confidence with you first, everything is very new and unknown to her, work on your relationship together first. It could be just time in the garden doing obedience or just being silly together and building that trust and bond, it might help her know you have her sorted and she doesn't need to react because you've got it :)
     
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  7. winterrose

    winterrose PetForums Senior

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    Thank you all for the advice. I'll definitely make sure to build up our bond (we do a lot of playing) and only take her on the quieter walks until her obedience levels are up and she's used to being on a lead.
     
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  8. winterrose

    winterrose PetForums Senior

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    We've figured out why she is lead aggressive, and now we know, we have started treating it properly. She's been incredibly quick to pick this up, and I'll continue being persistent with what I'm doing with her.
    I've realised that she cries a little when she first sees a dog. She'll then try bounding towards them, and cries until she has reached the end of her lead. She'll then start barking in frustration, growling a little bit and crying all at the same time - explaining the semi-high pitched growl that I thought I had been hearing.
    So, to fix this, as soon as I feel her body tense up when another dog is coming, she instantaneously receives a firm 'no', a slight jerk on her lead and we turn in the other direction and keep on walking that way for a few seconds. We'll then turn towards the dog and repeat those steps. She got about a metre away from another dog today, and considering that we couldn't even do 20 metres away only the other day, I'd call this an achievement. I've got myself a very smart little pooch :)
     
  9. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
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    Why would you jerk on the leash?

    Did you read the link I posted?
     
  10. PawsOnMe

    PawsOnMe PetForums VIP

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    That doesn't sound good :( she needs to associate seeing a dog with good stuff happenibg. Give her loads of treats and praise when she sees another dog and doesn't react. If she sees another dog and gets punished then she'll associate a dog with bad things. You want:
    Dog= lots of nice things
    Not
    Dog= punishment.

    I think you need to read the link stormythai posted, hopefully it'll give you a better understanding on how to deal with this situation...
     
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  11. winterrose

    winterrose PetForums Senior

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    I did read the link :)
    I also did some further research of which I was idiotic enough to not do it before I wrote this post, and think that her lead issues are frustration, rather than aggression. I would have treated aggression differently, had it actually been aggression. My nan has a reactive dog due to past experiences and although I know that dogs can be reactive in different ways, Micheie doesn't display the same body language. Sorry for any confusion caused.
     
  12. Meezey

    Meezey Slave to the Black & Tans and the Trundle Bugs.

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    So because you think she is frustrated you are making her seeing dogs a negative experience for her and possibly making her fear meeting other dogs? Just because she doesn't react doesn't mean you've fixed it it just means she now hides her reactions because she knows how you react to seeing dogs.
     
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  13. winterrose

    winterrose PetForums Senior

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    Thank you for the advice, I don't mean to make this a negative experience or cause her to fear other dogs, I'll remove the jerk. I just need and want to teach her that she'll be rewarded for being calm around other dogs. I really don't mean to cause fear!
     
  14. MiffyMoo

    MiffyMoo PetForums VIP

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    It is frustration, but she needs to learn that she has to calmly wait for the other dog to come to her so she can greet him / her nicely. The best way to do this is to get her to associate being calm with lots of lovely treats, and then the ultimate reward of her being calm is an interaction.

    If you make her worried to react, that frustration could impact negatively on the other dog. Don't forget, dogs can read their body language so much better than we can.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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