The Most Dog Friendly Community Online
Join and Discover the Best Things to do with your Dog

Welcome to Our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Pug that lunges towards traffic

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Josie, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    1,417
    Likes Received:
    1,121
    Trophy Points:
    113
    My friend has a lovely Pug called Muffin who the family rescued.

    When we were out walking the other day I noticed that every time a car went past she really lunged towards it. Which was quite scary because if you aren't prepared she just runs in to the road.

    My friend said for some reason she's just started this behaviour. Does anyone have any good tips she can do to break this behaviour?

    Do you know if this offence to cars is a pug thing? Her last Pug Albert was the same and sadly died after being run over. Not from lunging on the lead but from escaping out of the front door. He was only just over 1 years old :(
     
    Violet Turner likes this.
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    689
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Dogs feel the need to 'see off' threats if they are unable to take themselves out of the way and avoid them.. He likely feels anxious but being on lead, he can't get away so has to put on an even bigger display of 'I'm big and scary, don't mess with me'.

    He will have an invisible radius of space around him where he feels secure (called flight distance - anything within that radius would trigger the fight or flight response which you may have heard of). Suggest to your friend that she finds out what that is and keep him far enough away from cars that he is relaxed. A park bench is usually a good place. Reward his calm behaviour. Gradually, over weeks and months, not days, work on reducing the distance. But - be aware that if the dog has had a stressful episode the stress hormone can stay in the body for up to 48 hours so a distance he was comfortable with the day before might be too close that day. So the safe distance can change, watch his body language. For the same reason I would only start this 48 hours after an episode so you start with stress levels at zero. She could also use an Adaptil collar.

    Perhaps obvious but it bears saying to use a very well fitting harness that he can't escape from and NEVER an extending lead as the lock mechanism on these can fail or in a panic, the user can accidentally not lock it properly.
     
    Violet Turner, JudyN and arealhuman like this.
  3. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    1,417
    Likes Received:
    1,121
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks @JoanneF - I will pass this on.

    Luckily she does already wear a well fitted harness!
     
    JoanneF likes this.
  4. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    977
    Likes Received:
    755
    Trophy Points:
    93
    What @JoanneF says ;) Jimmy will still occasionally do this, especially if he's nearer traffic then usual, e.g. on a narrow path. He does it almost always to buses and large vehicles like trucks and lorries. For example, this morning, during hurricane force winds (well that's what it felt like), he decided to have a poo in an awkward place, a small patch of grass next to the road, which meant whilst I was picking it up, he was close to traffic. A couple of cars went by and he barked and pulled, but I had him securely on the lead thankfully as I anticipated this would happen. With ordinary cars he's now generally OK, but sometimes when it's wet the extra noise they make can set him off. My advice? For what it's worth, I'd be walking the dog on the inside so I'm between him and the traffic, keeping him close to my legs so he feels comforted by my presence and also his vision of traffic is obscured, and use reassuring words when traffic passes, backed up with treats. That seems to work for us so it may be worth a try.
     
    Josie likes this.
  5. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

    Messages:
    1,417
    Likes Received:
    1,121
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks @arealhuman - She's very food oriented so I'm sure some treats could work wonders in distracting her!
     
    arealhuman likes this.
  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    689
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Good points @arealhuman. There is another, complementary theory that I always think of more in response to stimuli from live triggers like dogs; but actually you have made me realise it does apply here too.

    It is referred to as the Three D's - distance, duration and distraction.

    Distance is what I said above.

    Duration - your dog might tolerate the perceived threat for, say, a minute. After that he will react. So limit the time and build up.

    Distraction - how distracting the stimulus is. So your dog might be ok with dogs that walk past quietly but if they are dancing about or yapping, you might see a reaction from yours. Apologies @Josie for not seeing this in relation to traffic (which I just thought of as just passing by) but it could Of course apply to vehicles too. So a big vehicle like a bus or a faster vehicle or even slower one than normal, or with added factors like spray from the road, or noise from the wind, could trigger a reaction in the dog. Thank you @arealhuman for helping me realise this!
     
    arealhuman likes this.
  7. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    977
    Likes Received:
    755
    Trophy Points:
    93
    No problem @JoanneF! Just listing what seems to have worked best for The Jimster, no real knowledge there yet ;)
     
    Violet Turner likes this.
  8. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

    Messages:
    1,094
    Likes Received:
    469
    Trophy Points:
    83
    I will post in a bit @Josie ....
     

Share This Page