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Lunging and pulling

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Raymond brill, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. Raymond brill

    Raymond brill PetForums Newbie

    Nov 19, 2020
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    I have a staffie cross I've had him for about 3 months now he is 1 year old his attention is fab in the house or walking but when ever he sees another dog or a stranger he starts to bark and lunge at them I've tried standing in his way, changing direction, slip lead and even treats non of these break his focus on the stranger. He is not vicious and won't bite them but he gets some funny looks so I'm looking for some advise on how to stop this behaviour?
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Feb 1, 2016
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    It's always easier to prevent, rather than stop this.

    He will have an invisible radius of space around him where he doesn'tshow interest in the person/dog. It's called flight distance, anything within that space triggers his fight or flight stress response, which you may have heard of. Find out what that is and keep him far enough away from other people and dogs that he is aware of them, but relaxed.

    Your goal is to teach him that he doesn't need to react; not to stop a reaction in progress. Reward him for being calm with something fabulous, like frankfurter sausage or a very special toy. The aim of this is to change your dog’s emotional response to the person or dog by repeatedly pairing it with something good. In time, your dog will learn that people and dogs mean sausages appear and this creates something called a positive conditioned emotional response (+CER).

    This website explains it in more detail - http://careforreactivedogs.com

    Gradually, over weeks and months rather than days, you can work on reducing the distance. This may mean you have to be selective where you walk - choose places with good visibility so you can give other people and dogs a wide berth, or where you can turn and walk away easily.

    Alongside that you could train a 'watch me'. As your dog looks at you, mark and reward the behaviour. Ask for longer periods of watching. Then if a person or dog approaches, after you have worked on the distance issue, you can get your dog to focus on you and not them.

    Trainers describe behaviour like this with reference to the three Ds. Distance, as above but also be aware of Duration - your dog might be tolerant for 10 seconds, but not 15; and Distraction - how distracting the stimulus is, a calm dog might not trigger any reaction at a given distance but a bouncy one might.
    LittleMow and Lurcherlad like this.
  3. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy Biffy

    Sep 28, 2019
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    yeah a lot of people (non dog owners ) that dont know the difference between a reactive dog and an aggressive dog. Like mentioned above.. distance is your friend... if it means you have to go out your way to walk somewhere more quietly then that is what you need to do. Increase your distance and work from there... this will take time , months if fact and if he reacts move further back, use lots of distraction techniques if you happen to become to close by no fault of your own. Also wouldn't suggest a slip lead or collar for this maybe a harness... as by what i understand the tension around the neck if to close on a collar / slip lead around the neck is rewarding and good make the reactivity worse.. have you tried a tug toy.....?? im not promoting them but i got one from advice from my trainer was a tug toy from tug-e-nuff..... thought she was just promoting it for commission... but oh my god the faux rabbit fur ones are amazing..
    #3 Ragnar&Biffy, Nov 21, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
    LittleMow likes this.
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