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Old 05-28-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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We have a shelter dog (Beagle/Bassett) who is great around people. However he does show dog aggression when being walked. If a dog is in it's own yard he will ignore it but if someone is walking a dog he will bark and if the dog gets to close he has nipped at the other dog. We usually take him off the road/trail and wait for the other dog to pass before moving on. At times he can go absolutely crazy getting this crazed look in his eyes as if he is not aware of anything else but getting that other dog.

I did take him to the local dog park with some apprehension, but he was fine there, interacting with the other dogs or just ignoring them. He does have dog "friends" he plays with. The problem seems to be when walking or if he is in our yard on his line.

Any suggestions on how to break him of this habit?
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:27 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fripper View Post
The problem seems to be when walking or if he is in our yard on his line.
Any suggestions on how to break him of this habit?
That habit... is a conditioned response.
The visual cue of the sidewalk and the range limit of the line reinforce it.

Countering that now?
An invisible (or real) fence for the house instead of being tied to the line.
Doing the park instead of the sidewalk almost exclusively for a while (weeks maybe even months).

Then go back to the sidewalk again.

hth
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
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Tying a dog to a line unsupervised is against the law in my area. I hope you never leave him outside alone tied up. He is very vulnerable to being harmed or stolen. It also makes him aggressive. I am assuming you don't leave him alone, tho, outside tied up.
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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We live on a small lot on a lake so he has a zip line about 50 ft. and no he isn't left out, just used when we are all outside and to do his "duty". Though there are days when he doesn't want to come back in especially when he trying to catch the frogs in the water or when playing with the neighbor dog. Being a beagle and with a large field and wooded area across the street he would be gone in a second if not on his line.

We can give the dog park in exclusive run for a while and see if that helps. It is not convenient, about 10 miles away, but if it cures him of the habit it will be worth the try.
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
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You may also want to google techniques for desensitizing dogs to other dogs. I had a leash aggressive foster and many of the tips helped.

ClickerSolutions Training Treasures -- Desensitizing Dogs to Other Dogs
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:29 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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I'd say the problem is frustration, not aggression. When he is on a leash he feels more secure (because you are there) and can act like a brat, ditto when he is tied out - he can see, but cannot go meet. Basically, he wants to go meet, but can't because he's tied or leashed.

Beagles and Bassets are pack hound breeds, bred to work in highly social packs cooperatively with other dogs. This is not a breed which typically does well alone and (I am generalizing because of his breed mix) he wants to be social with other dogs...this is why he does well in dog parks but acts out when he can't.

Work on attention/watch/rewarding for his attention on you when he acts out...what are you doing currently? Like, what do you do when you're walking him and he goes ape**** onleash at the sight of another dog?
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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He will lunge and bark as the other dog is passing. But please note this is only if the dog is also being walked. If we pass a yard with a dog in it he will completely ignore that dog, its as if he realizes the other dog is in its own territory and he has no right to it. But if the dog is in a public area such as a street or we do a lot of walking in a state park's nature trails he will go into the barking mode.

When I notice another dog ahead I will either take another route so I don't have to deal with the barking or if that is not possible I take him off the trail wait for the dog to pass then resume our walk.

One of my pet peeves however are people who walk their dog without leashes who will yell out don't worry he/she is very friendly, and I have to yell out well mine is not, with Rudy taking a good nip at their dog's noses.

I will checkout the website, hopefully that too will help us.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:48 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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People with offleash, uncontrolled dogs who yell "it's OK, he's friendly!" irritate the snot out of me too. It puts me in the position of "bad guy" because like you, I have to yell back "well mine isn't!"

Not to repeat myself but I will: Work on attention/watch/rewarding for his attention on you when he acts out. lots of dogs are reactive. The reason doesn't matter - the bottom line is, the dog ought to learn not to be a butthead. Your dog does not need to like every dog he meets. He does need to be calm and mannerly.

Example - you are walking your dog, and off in the distance you see someone approaching with an on-leash dog. Before your dog sees him and goes off, engage him with excellent treats, a toy, whatever most gets his attention. His focus should be on YOU. Keep a comfortable distance and reward like heck for his attention. Rinse and repeat. many times. Do not put your dog in situations he cannot handle; set him up for success. Every time you put him in a situation where he feels defensive/frustrated/whatever, you have failed. Take this constructively, not defensively. I've had several very reactive dogs and had to learn this stuff. I had a completely out-of-control Rottweiler who I worked really hard with and he ended up getting obedience titles and an agility champion titles - this involved a lot of practice and work with him off-leash around other dogs. He was basically a complete ******* and I was clueless at first...it is do-able.

Do not get excited or mad, ever, calm calm calm should be your objective. Rudy is going to pick up on your ambient emotion, keep it low-key.

Also, a well-run obedience class can do wonders. It will help him learn to behave in a controlled environment, which you can extrapolate to the great outdoors with a little practice.
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Middle America
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Our obedience training worked TONS on leashed dogs being able to handle meeting other leashed dogs while out walking and remaining calm.
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:20 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
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An added point - the theory behind engaging your dog before he notices other dogs is two-fold.

One: You head him off at the pass, as it were. Trying to get his attention while he's in full buttehad mode is basically impossible...best to pick your battles!

Two: A lot of what dogs learn is through association. If he learns that turning his attention to you the instant he sees another dog is rewarding, he'll do that. If you placate or remove him from the situation every time, he'll get that it is indeed a scary or stressful situation because you confirmed it by your actions.

Truly, we get what we train for! Whether intended or not.
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