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reactive?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by tiatortilla, Nov 22, 2012.


  1. tiatortilla

    tiatortilla PetForums VIP

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    i'm not too sure what reactive means. i think it's what tia is becoming if i've got it right though.
    she seems to be getting worse with other dogs. i've not put an advert up for walks as she's got lots more barky since and as was said on the other thread, it's not fair to stress out someone else's dog.
    she started reacting to dogs in her face in the last few weeks but now big dogs only have to look at her for her to start.
    can anyone give me any advice? it's now a different problem and idk what to do.
     
  2. tiatortilla

    tiatortilla PetForums VIP

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    also, i should add that it's quite clear she would like to play with the other dogs, she's not acting aggressively, just scared and confused.
     
  3. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    Can you find some calm dogs to walk with? This is the quickest way to give them confidence?
     
  4. tiatortilla

    tiatortilla PetForums VIP

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    we actually did this morning, went for a walk with a bloke with a lovely and calm pit (actually on the exemption list, never met one that was before!) and her confidence seemed to go up and down throughout the walk, but it was very iffy.
    he was great, though, totally unfazed by any of her noise and a really lovely dog.
     
  5. tiatortilla

    tiatortilla PetForums VIP

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    55 views and no more pearls of wisdom? :(
    i just need an idea of the best way to deal with it until we can go to the training classes.. if that's even still a possibility with what she's doing now.
    pretty please? :)
     
  6. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried teaching a watch me command, so that she keeps attention and focus on you at home realiably first, and then using it outside, starting working at enough distance so shes non reactive, and then gradually decreasing the distance a bit at a time.
     
  7. tiatortilla

    tiatortilla PetForums VIP

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    thankyou! that's good, we have been working on that, it's good for when we're still but doesn't work if we're walking along and she doesn't want to go any closer. she also gets distracted but obviously i know these things take time and she's really food orientated, which helps. does it matter whether she's stood or sat? i just don't want to do anything that's going to make her feel more scared!
     
  8. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Timings important, if you leave it too long before trying to get the attention and they get focused on the other dog and start the behaviour, then its harder to get and keep the attention, so you need to watch your timing.

    doesnt matter if shs standing or sitting really as long as you can get and keep the focus, at first you may also need to rapid fire the treats to ensure she keep attention and focused. A thing thats good if you havent tried it is the cheese spread in tubes that you can get ones with bits of ham and allsorts in as usually once they lick the bit squeezed out then a lot of dogs become really into it and engrossed trying to get more out the tube. If you can turn her facing away from the dogs too, or stand between her and the dogs that can help too.

    If you are walking along and she doesnt want to get closer, then stop, and keep the treats going whilst the dogs about and out of range again. If you teach the watch me, but also add a wait too that can help. You do this initially, by holding the treat in a position where she has to look up and make eye contact and as she does quickly say watch me and treat immediately at first. When she can do that then add the word wait before treating. When Ok with that then, say the wait but pause before giving the treat, as she gets better and better you can increase the time between the wait and giving the treat so she has to focus on you for longer and longer.

    Some dogs you can use a toy instead as well, these got a good reaction in training as they have squeakers in them to get the attention, and are furry but have no stuffing them so they are easier to carry around, you can then use it as a tug toy to keep focus and attention.
    Skinneeez Stuffing Free Crazy Critters Dog Toys
     
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  9. tiatortilla

    tiatortilla PetForums VIP

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    thankyou so much.. that's a huge reassurance as i've been getting between her and the other dog and getting her to wait and a few other things you mentioned.. just need to hear it from someone else sometimes! just have to keep trying and will try some of the things you've said that i haven't tried too.. thanks again :)
     
  10. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Your very welcome hope they help.
     
  11. Shadowrat

    Shadowrat PetForums VIP

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    Been there.
    Dres was barky at passing dogs (on lead only) from the age of about 4-5 months, until very, very recently.
    And like yours, it wasn't aggression, it was more uncertainty and defensiveness with a touch of excitement.
    I worked hard on it the second it emerged, using treats to distract him whenever another dog appeared, trying to get a sit and focus on me, and frankly, I never saw any improvement, not a tiny bit.
    I just couldn't get his attention when another dog appeared, he just locked on. Its hard to change a behaviour when you can't even get the dog to look at you or break its focus on the other dog.
    I had to practise avoidance in the end as the more he practised this behaviour, the worse it seemed to get, and it was frankly embarrassing.

    BUT....


    In the last week or so, we've made a real break through.
    Today, he passed 4 dogs, one of which was barking madly at him, and not one single bark! I had to keep him totally loaded with treats while we passed by, but the fact that he now focuses on the treats at all is a big improvement.
    He's also now also started looking to me when he sees another dog as he is anticipating a treat, rather than just fixating on this tiny dot of a dog in the distance!

    My point of this post is that I am fairly sure that a lot of his improvement has come simply from maturity; could that be the case with your dog in future? How old is she now?
    Dresden was intimidated by strange dogs as a younger pup. Now he's a confident adolescent, he seems to be self assured enough to not have to see them as a threat.
    While I worked hard on it, we never, ever saw an improvement until adolescence hit, which is why I think it is partly (mostly?) maturity that sorted him out.
    I guess its like when you have a toddler/young child and they are shy of new people and hide behind your legs when someone new talks to them, then you get an older kid and they are confident enough to hold their own and chat away for ages!

    I never knew anyone with a calm, nice dog to walk Dresden with, so that was never an option with me.
     
  12. tiatortilla

    tiatortilla PetForums VIP

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    sounds like you're getting there! well done :)
    she's one. the barking at other dogs is a very recent development, so it's quite a different situation from yours. she's never been keen on big dogs but there's been a few things lately that have confirmed her suspicions that all dogs bigger than her are out to get her and she's got all defensive. she does focus on me okay and it's not all dogs fortunately, it's mainly gsd/husky/mal shaped dogs and labradors so i'm hoping it won't be too impossible to sort!
     
  13. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Just had a thought and it didnt occur to be to ask before, how old is she, dogs can have a second fear period between 6/14 months (individuals and breeds can differ when it occurs) When they go through it they can suddenly become anxious, uncertain or even fearful of sights sounds and situations that may not have even bothered them before. It does pass, you just need to make experiences as positive as possible and try to avoid really frightening or stressful situations as much as you can, but usually given the time and patience to go through it and realise their fears are unfounded they usually come out the other side OK.
     
  14. tiatortilla

    tiatortilla PetForums VIP

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    yes, i have wondered this! she's a year old and had her first season at nine months so judging by the rate she's maturing it did sound about right. only thing is, she's pretty bomb proof with everything except dogs but i suppose dogs are the only thing she's had a particularly negative incident with while she's possibly been at this stage.
     
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