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Couple of puppy behavioural problems

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Mikeyb182, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Mikeyb182

    Mikeyb182 New Member Registered

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    Hi guys, first time poster here.

    I have a 10 month old Maltese, hes absolute amazing, very playful and loving. He loves other dogs and when off the lead plays with them without any issues and has never been aggressive.

    However, i have an issue when out walking him that i was wondering if anyone here had encountered similar or could suggest any solutions.

    basically i think he is suffering from barrier frustration when on the lead, if we come across other dogs, he goes absolutely insane in order to get to them, if we try to pick him up he will actually bite us at this point (something he would never ever do ordinarily) He has been neutered, and this didnt change the behaviour. Its like he has completely lost his head and you are not able to communicate anything to him at this point.

    I have tried training him with repeated treats when we see other dogs etc but it had little if no effect.

    The other issue is more minor, but i walk
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Ideally we aim for our dogs to be dog neutral - not every dog welcomes attention, they might be elderly, sick or in pain for example. Or just not appreciate 'space invaders'.

    Your dog will have a distance that he is far enough away from other dogs that he can see them but isn't reacting to them - if he is reacting, as you have observed, you are too close and you can't get his attention. I suspect his biting you is just redirected frustration, so try not to let him get anywhere close to that point. So he should be able to see other dogs in the distance but be calm. This is the behaviour you want and need to practice. You can reward his calmness and train a quiet sit and a 'watch me'. Once you have that you can very, very slowly start working on reducing the distance.
     
  3. Mikeyb182

    Mikeyb182 New Member Registered

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    Thanks, have kinda started this method after watching a YouTube video doing as you describe.

    Unfortunately where we walk him, it’s a maze of footpaths and you can come upon another dog without meaning too.
     
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have heard of a game called 'Zombies' - when you want your dog out of a situation quickly, you turn away, shout 'Zombies!!' in a really excited voice and run like it's the best game ever, hopefully with your dog joining in the fun. I dare say treats are involved when you 'escape the zombies'. Presumably this is something you practise in advance and ensure your dog thinks it's the most exciting game ever and doesn't think there really is something scary they need to run away from.

    I've never tried this myself, but it might be worth investigating and/or experimenting with.
     
  5. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    We use the look at me method with anything that might spook Murphy. (he gets quite upset by barking dogs)

    Can I just say I think picking up the dog is a big no no.. there are theorys that say the dog being up higher than another dog just makes them worse. In our village was a family with a pup called Max, everytime another dog came near they picked Max up , Max seemed to learn that other dogs were dangerous and so if any dog approached he wanted to be picked up and when they wouldnt pick him up he got aggressive with other dogs because he was scared. Trouble was Max was a full chow. Needless to say he ended up getting re-homed.

    Dont give in to your dogs demands to meet others, when you say insane do you mean barking and lunging because many people and dogs consider that to be aggressive and that will cause a reaction sooner or later.

    Keep trying and hopefully your pup will soon get the message that his bahaviour isnt working and he needs to do things your way.
     
    Violet Turner and JoanneF like this.
  6. Mikeyb182

    Mikeyb182 New Member Registered

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    Thanks for the responses. Yes he barks and lunges, not really worried about a reaction tbh, but obviously i dont want to upset other people or dogs on the regular walking trail!

    Thanks for the zombie suggestion, treats dont seem to have much affect when it comes to other dogs, perhaps we need to think about changing the treats.

    very frustrating!
     
    Mad Murphy likes this.
  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    It's more likely it's because he is already over threshold (already over excited and reacting). Ideally you want to prevent the reaction, not address it once it has happened. Could you find an open area to work on it, like a big park where you can sit at the edge and let him observe quietly from a distance? That way you can praise and reward the calm behaviour you want rather than try to refocus his attention after he has started to react to the other dog (which is a lot harder). A friend uses the analogy of driving a car off a cliff - once it's in the air, the steering and brakes are no use. You need to apply them before you are over the edge.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  8. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Please dont take this the wrong way but when you say you are not worried about a reaction do you mean from your dog or from another dog.
    Its just that we hear so many of *the nasty big dog bit my innocent little fifi* type stories but if you knew 'fifi' you would also know the dog was a lunging barking snapping little monster who has pushed another dog beyond reason and caused a response for which the bigger dog ends up getting all the blame.. Its like poking a tiger with a stick, sooner or later it goes wrong.
    So I agree with @JoanneF you need to practice prevention..
     
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  9. Mikeyb182

    Mikeyb182 New Member Registered

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    Sorry I kinda took as you meant a reaction from another owner.
     
  10. Mikeyb182

    Mikeyb182 New Member Registered

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    I don’t let him get close enough to let another dog react in that way really.
     
  11. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    You need to keep him far enough away that he doesn't react.
     
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  12. Mikeyb182

    Mikeyb182 New Member Registered

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    I understand this, but as I’ve previously said, at times it’s impossible not to stumble upon another dog up close.
     
  13. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Of course but the more your dog has the opportunity to practise this behaviour, the more deeply ingrained it will get and the harder it will be to change it. Can you drive to more open areas?
     
  14. Mikeyb182

    Mikeyb182 New Member Registered

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    sometimes yes, but not everyday unfortunately, tbh, partly because of my shift pattern and partly because its been too hot to walk him in the day hes been having his walks very late at night/early in the morning and not really encountering any dogs at all of late....which obviously isnt a long term solution.

    Have taken on board everything you guys have said though and appreciate it, its kinda reiterated what i already knew tbh, but think its given another kick to try and focus harder on making it work.
     
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  15. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    I've had/have similar issues to you @Mikeyb182 (Blink182?). I've discovered that whatever anyone says and however remote a spot you go to, there will always be another dog that comes from nowhere surprises yours. I hope the tips given earlier help.
     
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  16. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    QUOTE, Mikeyb182:

    I understand [ "stay under threshold" ], but ... at times, it’s impossible not to stumble upon another dog up close [already inside his reactive threshold for distance].

    ______________________

    .

    Teach a happy, fluent Emergency U-Turn, while well-AWAY from other dogs, in controlled circs.
    Have a bright, cheerful cue that goes with it, such as "Let's go!"..., & *jog*, don't STROLL, away.

    Then when U are suddenly up-close & way too personal with another dog, CUE & GIT - don't hang around, don't apologize or explain, don't WAIT TO SEE HOW HE COPES... Cue, & jog out of Dodge.

    The faster U get him outside that threshold boundary, the better. // Meanwhile, continue working on improving his emotional / mental associations, with other dogs, under controlled circs, working to increase his comfort level at closer distances, only as he improves & can cope without reacting.

    A large car-park with a dog-destination at one end of it is good; a big-box pet supply, a popular grooming salon, a vet's practice with more than 1 vet on staff, a dog DAYCARE, & similar.
    If U have a car, that's great - U can use it as a safe recourse to let him cool out after working at B-Mod briefly, or tuck him swiftly into the car WHERE HE CANNOT SEE THE OTHER DOG when a dog abruptly shows up, already inside his reactive distance.
    His shipping crate upside-down gives U a place to put him that is familiar, & it cuts-off his view of the outside world - the bottom half has no windows, so only the door gives him a view. With the crate on the back-seat of the car, or in the cargo area SIDE-ON to the open tailgate, U stand or sit at the crate doorway, & ask him for simple behaviors that he knows well [such as sit or down or turn-around, with a lure if need be], while the other dog & owner move away.

    If U don't have a car, CHOOSE PLACES that will cut-off his visual ahead of time, such as past the corner of a wall, or the far side of a hedge, or just get a parked car between him & the other dog; keep him moving if at all possible, as sitting or standing will allow him to listen for the sounds of other dogs, & focus on any sounds possibly made by k9 passersby: panting, tag jingle, paws with claws on paving, etc.
    So... get him behind that hedge, wall, or parked car, & have him walk figure-8s, or learn to spin clockwise & TURN counterclockwise [with a lure, working on an empty hand by rep 5], or do puppy push-ups [sit, down, sit, down...], or learn to sit UP with forepaws hanging, etc.
    Don't just get him out of the other dog's sight & STAND THERE - it won't work; he knows there's another dog. Give him something to do which will allow the other dog & handler time to move away w/o triggering a reaction.

    BIG TIP:
    mute his tags. // Wrap a wide rubber-band around them, or buy a purpose-made tag silencer such as Quiet, Spot! [a neoprene bag with a drawstring].
    Dogs have phenomenal hearing - they hear infrasound, wide low-pitched waves that travel great distances, as well as ultrasound, super-short extremely high-pitched waves that travel short distances. Humans can hear neither one - which is why dogs react to sounds that don't exist, for us.
    HEARING TAGS JINGLE alerts every dog within 100-ft or more, that another dog is somewhere in the area, & they start to scan. // If other dogs cannot hear Ur dog's tags, they aren't already scanning & hyper-ready to react to *his* presence, which in turn reduces the likelihood of him reacting to their reaction.

    Remember U can only reduce the distance between him & other dogs as fast as he progresses - U cannot hurry the process, it's another how-long-is-a-string Q. How fast he progresses depends as much on how good YOUR timing is, as anything else.
    Make sessions brief & multiple; 4 sessions of 5-mins worth, each, doing Open Bar / Closed Bar, in an area with a long sightline for other dogs approaching / passing / departing, will get U further & make much faster progress, than if U spent 30-minutes straight doing B-Mod continuously.
    When he's on a break, get into the car & let him lie down, or go jog or sniff elsewhere briefly, & come back to the B-Mod area.

    HTH, & let us now how he gets on, please? :)
    - terry

    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
  17. Mikeyb182

    Mikeyb182 New Member Registered

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    Hi, sorry, thanks for your message leashedforlife.

    i will indeed let you know of any progress.

    thanks
     
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