Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

My dog is so reactive :(

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Nat88, Oct 21, 2012.


  1. Nat88

    Nat88 PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    3
    Argh my dog is getting me mad now. I love her to bits, but I've had her a year now (she's a rescue dog) and I've exposed her to all sorts of situations where she has improved; she was not socialised with dogs or people and used to bark at EVERYTHING. She's great with everything now except dogs when she's on the lead. She will tense up and if the other dog meets her eye or starts barking she will react, pull her Halti off and start barking and growling.

    Today however, a husky growled at her while she was off-lead and she went for it and got into a small scrap. Luckily both dogs were ok, but my question is how do I stop her being so reactive? Thanks for any help :)
     
  2. GermanShepardOwner

    GermanShepardOwner PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    4
    Do you know her history? Why she was in rescue etc? what breed? Neutured?

    Some dogs can be very reactive on lead, this is because they can not display their fight response, so therefore they can only fight. So when they are in a situation they will tense up, growl, bark etc because they are being defensive and they feel its all they can do.

    You need to work out at what distance she starts to get anxious and defensive, then work from there. Once you know the distance you can try and avoid her getting to that point.

    Work on a watch me command inside, use a whistle, toy, treat, anything to distract her. Getting her to watch you and listen will get her attention of the other dog.

    When out if you see another dog, use the watch me command, get her to do a command such as sit, paw etc, keep talking, keep treating etc.If she reacts at all to other dog then ignore, turn and walk away. Praise for good behaviour.

    Dont let her near other dogs whilst she is like this, she is anxious and fearful and does not want to be in that situation. You need to get her attention and make her understand that you are more interesting, she will get praise and reward for ignoring the other dogs and not reacting, but when she reacts she gets nothing.

    Working on the watch me command will help, then at least you may be able to walk past other dogs better without so much of a reaction.

    Do not let her off lead untill this is sorted. Also i would use a gencon for more control.
     
  3. Nat88

    Nat88 PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    3
    She's a smooth collie cross. The rescue wasn't too sure of her history but they think she was bought for someone as a christmas present then just shut in the garden when they got bored. They got her from the council pound. I knew she hadn't had much stimulation because when I first started taking her for walks she used to squeal and bounce along on her back legs as though it's the most exciting thing she's ever done. She's calmed down a lot now, it's just the dog thing that's the problem.

    Might have a look into the gencon, is it a lot harder for the dog to remove than a halti?
     
  4. GermanShepardOwner

    GermanShepardOwner PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    Likes Received:
    4
    When you see another dog, use a squeaker or something to really get her excited!

    My dogs can get the nose part of if im not paying attention if its loose, but they cant get the bit over neck off because it will then just turn into a slip lead and tighten.
     
  5. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,603
    Likes Received:
    227
    These will help

    Jean Donaldson - Fight!

    James O`Heare - Dog Aggression Workbook

    Grisha Stewart - BAT

    :)
     
  6. Owned By A Yellow Lab

    Owned By A Yellow Lab PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    Messages:
    6,437
    Likes Received:
    136
    Firstly WELL DONE for helping your dog improve so much - my rescue dog is very reactive and I know how hard it can be. Sounds like you're doing great :)

    RE OTHER DOGS:

    My Lab is exactly the same as your dog. The second he even *thinks* there may be another dog nearby, he tenses, growls and if the other dog gets 'too close', he will lunge, bark and generally go beserk.

    I have found the 'watch me' really helpful - but it does take a lot of groundwork. You need to start at home, with no distractions, and practise until your dog will look at you (and maybe a treat or toy you're holding up) as soon as you give the command.

    Then you start doing it when the house is busy, then you start doing it on walks that are calm. Then in slightly busier places. Build it up gradually.

    Eventually, start practising when there is a dog quite far away - DO NOT try the 'watch me' when the other dog is very close to you because at first it probably won't work. Ultimately you probably will be able to do this but don't rush it :)

    RE HEADCOLLAR:

    The Gencon All-In-One is fab with very strong, excitable dogs. It's basically a lead that then forms two loops; one loop goes round the neck, the other round the dog's nose.

    I don't recommend it IF your dog pulls a lot because the Gencon does tighten. However if like me you have a dog that will walk nicely but then go mad with excitement when it sees other dogs, then the Gencon can work really well.

    The Dogmatic is also a great choice; if you use this one email them for sizing advice.

    BEST PLACE TO GET THE GENCON ALL IN ONE:
    Stop Dog Pulling - Gencon All-In-1, Head Collar | DogsKit.com


     
    leoti likes this.
  7. leoti

    leoti PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,152
    Likes Received:
    34
    As Owned By A Yellow Lab has said using the WATCH ME will help u can start this by using a clicker , we use at training alot its the first thing we teach a reactive dog because if you get a rock solid watch you have got the first hurdle, next thing to do when you are out walking and she notices a dog you will be able to click her, turn her and walk the other way as you walk away u treat her but as you turn tell her turn , have used this method with reative dogs and it does work , it is a form of BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training)
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice