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My dog has started barking at other dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Jobeth, Jan 2, 2012.


  1. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    It seems to have been the final straw. After a few unfortunate run ins and an attack-2 big off leads dogs crowded him and started to growl and snarl at him. He was on lead, but so frightened he whimpered. When he saw some dogs yesterday he immediately started barking at them and ignored the chicken that I had. He didn't stop barking until they had gone past.
    He has been to dog training and was fine there. My sister's dog is very calm, but is too old to play and they just ignore each other. I'm not sure of the best way forward. Thanks.
     
  2. SLB

    SLB PetForums VIP

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    If he ignores the distraction - turn and walk away.

    He'll learn walking away is when you've had enough, be careful giving him chicken when he barks though - you'll teach him that he CAN bark at other dogs. Try a "watch me" command and practice this in the house, garden, with no distractions to start with. Then take him out and sit on a bench and practice there.. then when a dog walks past - you can give the watch me command..

    If it doesn't work, just turn and walk away. You'll only stress yourself and him out otherwise.

    HTH
     
  3. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    Thanks. The watch me command usually works, which is why I had the chicken. Usually he can sit, but I had to walk quite a distance for him to stop barking.
     
  4. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Right now this is an emotional response, ie. fear and you giving him chicken is unlikely to reinforce the barking behaviour.
    In fact that he ignored the chicken tells you that his body is saying 'get outta here' rather than 'let's have some grub' :)

    Leash reactivity is generally associated with fear and now that your dog has had a number of bad experiences with other dogs on leash (and possibly in other situations?) his responses have escalated.

    This is unlikely to have been an out of the blue kinda thing but cumulative - the behaviour you are seeing now, the barking, is his escalated distance increasing signaling as his other more subtle behaviour has been ignored and effectively punished. Leash reactivity can be difficult to live with and there may be requirements for lifelong managment in some specific situations.

    Here is an indepth piece on living with and modifying leash reactivity (rather than me go through everything here!): Road Rage Rover | Pet Central's Pawsitive Dawgs Blog!

    Best of luck :)
     
  5. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Not sure from your post if it all happened yesterday, the run ins and attack and then later when he saw the dogs he immediately started barking at them and wouldnt stop until they are gone?

    If it did happen all in one day, tbh Im not overly surprised, his stress and adrenaline would have been up already, making him instantly and more immediately reactive to the other dogs approach. If he had already had a scare and a bad experience on lead, and still was then, he cant take flight or practice avoidence so he was likely left with last resort fight, Bark lunge early and hope he looked scary enough to make the dogs do away. Thats why he didnt stop barking until they had gone away, once they have its to his mind job done. Its likely why the chicken and the watch me didnt work yesterday, once they become stresssed or uncertain, then they often wont take food.

    Things you need to watch now possibly, will be because his barking to his mind will have worked (they went away) you may find he will try to repeat it,
    or he possibly might.

    I would take a couple of steps back, Start doing the watch me and treating but to get him back in the swing, do it as a regular expercise in an area, where you can see dogs at a distance and that is still within his confort zone and before he reacts. Then start to get closer over time again as a regular exercise, so that you know you can get his attention and keep control again.
    Maybe try some new treats, cheese, sausage, hot dog and liver based stuff is good. You could always try something different to get his attention even too, like a stuffed toy with a squeaker skinnezze are good and easy to carry
    Skinneeez Stuffing Free Crazy Critters Dog Toys if you want a look, they got good results in training, and if he is toy or squeaker toy orientated may be another trick up your sleeve for difficult situations anytime to get and keep his interest.

    I know you said your sisters dog is too old for him to play with, but he could be very useful. If he is a calm confident dog and very dog friendly and scociable, he may be an excellent teacher and example for yours to go out on walks with. ive used Nan to help with a very nervous fear agressive with other dogs lurcher in the past and it really helped. Gained the dogs condfidence, introduced Nan and rewarded him for quiet calm friendly behaviour and once he liked and trusted her we took them for walks so she could set an example and take her lead. So your sisters dog may infact or could be a big help.
     
  6. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    Thanks. Took hot dogs this time and didn't see a single dog! Will keep working with him using all the ideas.
     
  7. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Typical days you want to see some so you can get on with some training and are ready you dont!! Hope the suggestions will be of some help.
     
  8. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    Thanks. Saw a dog today and he started to whimper, then bark. I walked away and then when he was comfortable he sat and ate a treat. For the next 2 dogs he didn't bark at all and I didn't have to move so much out of the way. It worked better with feeding him lots of tiny bits to keep his attention.
     
  9. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like he is back on track, bit of consistency and he should be OK again by the sounds ok it. You can and do have the odd set back sometimes, something can happen beyond your control, but sounds as if you are going in the right direction again.:thumbup1:
     
  10. dorrit

    dorrit PetForums VIP

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    I have this trouble with Oscar he was actually attacked and bitten twice while on lead once ripping his cheek open..

    I used the 'look at me' command and kept eye contact with him while we passed other dogs ..Only if he didnt respond did he get a treat...
    We have now progressed to the point where he only ever barks if the other dog kicks off at him.. Otherwise I just say walk on and he will walk past ignoring the other dog providing it isnt too close, he still wont trust unknown dogs being up close while hes on lead..
     
  11. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    Just an update that he is no longer barking at dogs and is ok with a treat. Hopefully I won't meet any more out of control dogs that scare him again. Thanks for the advice.
     
  12. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    If you do have the odd experience and he does bark again, dont start worrying and panicking that its all happening again. Its not unusual to have the odd setback so dont worry. Its important that you remain calm as if its no big deal do all that you are doing now and carry on
    Glad it is working and things are much better.
     
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