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Still over excited when meeting other dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Jobeth, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

    May 23, 2010
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    I've taken my 1 year old dog back to training classes to try and improve his self control around other dogs. I'm not sure that it is helping though as he gets lots of positive experiences of other dogs and then wants the same when he leaves. I do the watch me with a high value treat and he can do it for a bit, but not if it is a dog that he has met before. If a dog is walking behind he will pull to watch and won't come for a treat. He is a bit over excited when he plays with other dogs, but then is fine. He has given up trying to play with my sister's dog as he just ignores him and so I can't work on it with her dog.

    The lady at training class doesn't seem concerned about his behaviour and said that he would grow out of it. Someone made a rude comment about him today because of his excitement and I don't like people thinking that he isn't nice when he is desperate to play.

    Has anyone got any additional ideas? I have done the impulse control ones previously suggested and he could do those.
  2. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

    Feb 25, 2010
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    Dogs rarely 'grow out of' unwanted behaviours....in reality they escalate into something worse!!!

    the second you feel the leash go tense and you 'think' he is going to react to the dogs around him, distract him with a firm "LETS GO" and move him away (even if this just means walking him in a tight circle when you are in class).
    reward him vigorously for following you, regain his attention with your "watch me" and then continue with whatever you were doing.

    every time he reacts you must move him away from the stimulation. this way he learns that if he acts up.....play stops!!!!

    it wont come within 5 minutes like you see on tv. you will have to work hard at it but it can and will be done with repetition and patience.
  3. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

    Jul 1, 2010
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    Good! Think about how worse the alternative extreme would be, a grumbly anti-social dog, where you feared snapping or escalation to bite when your dog was approached.

    OK, so your dog can get the message, good!

    The treat is not working because your dog doesn't value it enough in that situation. The main motivators (and rewards) are food, praise and play. In this case, I think I would try play, and teach games like "Tug of Peace" which are fun, and allow you to increase and reduce the excitement level. If your dog, has the very best fun, playing with you; then he won't be as excited about play with other dogs and you can call him away from them.

    Don't worry about it. Quite often I meet anxious owners when out with Freddie, who have urge to reprimand their dog, when it's obvious their dog is just excited to play and communicating that. You cannot legislate and account for all the ignorant people in the world, politely ignore them!

    Now if anything my 12 month old, is acting a bit too adult and less willing to play with dogs and over focussed on play with me, so I think your issue is like the trainer suggests, a good one to have. As your dog matures there will be a tendency to be calmer.

    So we know, R+ works with your dog, start rewarding calm walk pasts & overtakes which occur at a distance, to increase the chances of your dog continuing to walk nicely, despite noticing other dogs.

    You might like to see the idea of a "Positive Interruptor" suggested in this post, to help you avoid embaressing situations How to stop unwanted behavior- the positive interrupter

    The ideas discussed in Dunbar Article - The Force in Dog Training could help to. As would reading about "Adolescent" dogs at Dogstardaily.com under the "Training Textbook" menu.
    #3 RobD-BCactive, Apr 8, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  4. Statler

    Statler PetForums Member

    Jan 3, 2011
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    there will be a trigger distance that sets your dog into overdrive, find this and use it as a base line, turn around and walk the opposite way, hopefully your dog will start to get the message and the baseline distance will shorten, but the one time u forget or let the dog get his reward its back to square one.

    dogs dont grow out of it or get bored in a class full of dogs!!!

    mind you what do i know i need to google what R+ is
  5. Mama Sass

    Mama Sass PetForums Senior

    Sep 8, 2009
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    We have had the same thing with Basil who is now 18 months old. He was brilliant off lead as long as there weren't any other dogs around. There were times when we thought we would never be able to let him off lead because if he saw another dog he would run as fast as he could to get to it and then never come back no matter what.

    We despaired of him at times and some owners got really annoyed, but mostly people understood. We tried all sorts; treating him every time he came back, carrying a squeaky toy to distract him with, walking in the other direction - all of these worked to an extent but he soon got wise. Walks became a bit of a rollercoaster ride and quite stressful at times.

    And then, just as we thought we would never be able to let him off lead, he started coming away when we called him (even if the other dog still wanted to play). We were in shock to be honest, the change happened almost overnight. I honestly think that it's because he has all of a sudden grown up. A few people did suggest that it would happen when he came through the 'teenage phase', but we didn't dare believe it.

    However, I have to say that I doubt very much he would be so good off lead now if we hadn't consistently put the work in and persevered even when it seemed hopeless! Just waiting for him to grow up wouldn't have worked - we did work at it for what seemed like a very long time!!

    So hang on in there, keep doing what you're doing and keep the faith that he'll eventually get the message - it worked for us!

  6. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2010
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    Does he like toys? You could try that to re-direct his attention if he does.
    You could try one with a squeaker, to attract his attention, or another good one we have used in training classes is the skineeze, they havent got any stuffing in them are just flat fur fabric with a tail. Maybe something like that and a game with you as the reward might work instead, worth a try. Another long lasting treat that you might not have tried already, otherwise is the cheese spread in tubes, you can get ones with pieces of ham or prawns in,
    most dogs once you have squeezed out a little as a taster, tend to get fairly obsessed, licking and trying to get more out the tube. So again if you havent tried it that might be worth a go. He does need to socialise too though, thats how he will learn things. From what you say about your sisters dog it does sound that he is beginning to get the message, by the fact he has given up as the other dog wont entertain him. He is only a year, and with persistence and repetition it will get better. They still do struggle with self control at this age.
  7. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Nov 23, 2008
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    Disagree with this :)

    Over excitement with other dogs in a dog which is still so young is very common.

    Time, age and training will improve this.

    My staffy was exactly the same and I had to keep him on a flexi lead for a long while. As he got over the adolesent stage, he is much calmer and a model dog for his doggy socialisation skills.
  8. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

    May 23, 2010
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    Thanks for all the replies. We did off lead stay/recall at class and he will come in that situation. He does give up quite quickly when playing with another dog, so it is just the initial excitement. It is worse with dogs that play with him. I tried the tube of cheese with ham and for some reason he didn't like it even when he was in the house. I'll have to stock up on hot dogs! He is going up to the next class and they work more on getting your dogs attention and hopefully that will improve things. I will try the squeaky toy again as it might distract him.
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