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Unread 11-07-2012, 05:56 PM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 671,762 times
Reputation: 445
Default Dog barking at other dogs

When we first got our dog he wouldn't bark at other dogs, he'd just whine a little and pull on the leash toward the dog. For the past several months he's gotten really bad around other dogs. He started barking and pulling at bigger dogs a while ago and now he does it with smaller dogs too.

We took him to obedience class earlier this year and he learned some basic things. We've been trying to reinforce the "watch me" command when another dog comes around. He sort of gets it when the other dog is at least across the street behind a fence but not when the other dog is walking on a leash. Once he gets started barking he completely tunes out our commands.

When we take him somewhere new he's not as bad so I'm wondering if he's being territorial. One time we had him at a park with a fence when a dog came by on the other side of the fence. He got out of the fenced area and ran up to the other dog barking. The other dog didn't show any agression so our dog stopped barking and the two stood there sniffing each other.

He goes to a dog group every week with the same 6 or 7 dogs but there is one dog there that he doesn't like. This particular dog will growl at the other dogs and the other dogs will back down and avoid contact with her but my dog won't. We did notice that the other dog backs down from my dog.

We are going to sign him up for the next phase of dog obedience class for next month but I'm worried about taking him into the small area they have while there are other dogs there. I fairly certain he's not trying to attack the other dogs but I can't be sure the other dogs will know that.

Why has he gotten so bad about other dogs? Do we need to socialize him more? Is it just his personality? Is he just trying to be the dominant dog all the time? Is he being overprotective of us? We got him from a no-kill shelter when he was just about 2 so we have no idea what his life was like before we got him. What can we do?
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Unread 11-08-2012, 06:44 AM
 
956 posts, read 620,558 times
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Without seeing how your dog reacts, it difficult to make an assessment. My suggestion would be to find a behaviorist rather than a trainer.

Also when you do give your dog a command does he obey it right away or do you have to say it a few times before it "sticks?" You can work your way up to advanced classes but they don't mean SPIT if the dog doesn't OBEY basic commands.

I have one soon to be two 200lb dogs, people ask me all the time how do I train them. Its very simple I MEAN what I say and I only say it ONCE. You'd be surprised of HOW MANY people don't enforce their command even scarier few realize that they are doing it. Size shouldn't be factor either small or large there's nothing more irritating to me than a disrespectful dog.

Last edited by WildnFree; 11-08-2012 at 07:03 AM..
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Unread 11-08-2012, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Louisiana
1,557 posts, read 691,740 times
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WildnFree---I'd love to hear more about telling your dog something ONCE. I have a Maltese who knows numerous commands, but she is easily distracted and I often have to tell her more than once.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 12:22 PM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 671,762 times
Reputation: 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildnFree View Post
Without seeing how your dog reacts, it difficult to make an assessment. My suggestion would be to find a behaviorist rather than a trainer.

Also when you do give your dog a command does he obey it right away or do you have to say it a few times before it "sticks?" You can work your way up to advanced classes but they don't mean SPIT if the dog doesn't OBEY basic commands.

I have one soon to be two 200lb dogs, people ask me all the time how do I train them. Its very simple I MEAN what I say and I only say it ONCE. You'd be surprised of HOW MANY people don't enforce their command even scarier few realize that they are doing it. Size shouldn't be factor either small or large there's nothing more irritating to me than a disrespectful dog.

When there are no distractions he will listen to commands. When he gets fixated on the oncoming dog he starts barking like crazy and he either tunes us out or he can't hear us due to all his barking. IF I get his attention before he sees the dog he is a little better but he still barks. I'll give him the watch me command, he'll bark a couple of times, turn and come over for a treat, I tell him good and treat him, then he turns to bark again, I give another watch me, he turns for treat, etc. That's if I catch his attention before he sees the other dog. If I didn't see the other dog before him then he just pulls and barks while I'm shouting watch me over his barks. When the other dog gets farther away he'll turn for the watch me and treat.

He's a super smart dog and he picks up on commands easily if there are no other dogs or distractions around.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 04:19 PM
 
956 posts, read 620,558 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
WildnFree---I'd love to hear more about telling your dog something ONCE. I have a Maltese who knows numerous commands, but she is easily distracted and I often have to tell her more than once.
Same principles apply see my response below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
When there are no distractions he will listen to commands. When he gets fixated on the oncoming dog he starts barking like crazy and he either tunes us out or he can't hear us due to all his barking. IF I get his attention before he sees the dog he is a little better but he still barks. I'll give him the watch me command, he'll bark a couple of times, turn and come over for a treat, I tell him good and treat him, then he turns to bark again, I give another watch me, he turns for treat, etc. That's if I catch his attention before he sees the other dog. If I didn't see the other dog before him then he just pulls and barks while I'm shouting watch me over his barks. When the other dog gets farther away he'll turn for the watch me and treat.

He's a super smart dog and he picks up on commands easily if there are no other dogs or distractions around.
When you see predators identify their target, what are they doing as they stalking? They fixate on their prey before they go on the attack.

As a predator (himself) this is what your dog is doing......What you need to do is to stop the behavior before it escalates. That's good you are giving him a command but instead of "watch me" ( which apparently is not working with distractions) do something else. For example have him "sit/down stay", or if you walking have him "heel." You need to GET his attention and KEEP him FOCUSED on YOU. Don't let him become ill mannered.

When you give a command say it like you mean it, that doesn't mean yelling or shouting. Your tone and body language says a lot to a dog. When I tell my dogs to do something I tell them ONCE. The second time I MAKE them do the command and they are not to do anything else until **I** say so. Again this does not mean getting rough/abusive/or doing alpha rolls ( PLEASE DO NOT do this) Like I said before mean what you say and say what you mean.

My oldest likes to test me from time to time, however he is still told a command ONCE. And if he's slow ( does the command in slow-mo) I tell him "NOW." You have to be able to read and understand your dog, to act accordingly. I know the difference between my dog just "playing with me" and when he's telling me "F'off." This is why I mentioned a behaviorist, he/she can help you identify those certain traits to help you understand your dog more. Again no matter how smart your dog is or what you train him to do if you don't ENFORCE it, you might as well not train your dog at all. See the logic in that.

I also want to say that every dog is different and there are numerous ways of keeping your dog focused on you. I tried numerous tools and ideas when I had an similar issue with my dog ( imagine a dog aggressive Great Dane haha) until I found something that worked for US. Good luck to BOTH of you. Its frustrating that's for sure but keep at it, pays off more than you know.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Land Of Moose, Blueberries and Chickadees
9,267 posts, read 3,910,735 times
Reputation: 11761
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
When we first got our dog he wouldn't bark at other dogs, he'd just whine a little and pull on the leash toward the dog. For the past several months he's gotten really bad around other dogs. He started barking and pulling at bigger dogs a while ago and now he does it with smaller dogs too.

We took him to obedience class earlier this year and he learned some basic things. We've been trying to reinforce the "watch me" command when another dog comes around. He sort of gets it when the other dog is at least across the street behind a fence but not when the other dog is walking on a leash. Once he gets started barking he completely tunes out our commands.

When we take him somewhere new he's not as bad so I'm wondering if he's being territorial. One time we had him at a park with a fence when a dog came by on the other side of the fence. He got out of the fenced area and ran up to the other dog barking. The other dog didn't show any agression so our dog stopped barking and the two stood there sniffing each other.

He goes to a dog group every week with the same 6 or 7 dogs but there is one dog there that he doesn't like. This particular dog will growl at the other dogs and the other dogs will back down and avoid contact with her but my dog won't. We did notice that the other dog backs down from my dog.

We are going to sign him up for the next phase of dog obedience class for next month but I'm worried about taking him into the small area they have while there are other dogs there. I fairly certain he's not trying to attack the other dogs but I can't be sure the other dogs will know that.

Why has he gotten so bad about other dogs? Do we need to socialize him more? Is it just his personality? Is he just trying to be the dominant dog all the time? Is he being overprotective of us? We got him from a no-kill shelter when he was just about 2 so we have no idea what his life was like before we got him. What can we do?
You need to be better, worth more, than whatever it is he focuses on.

If the other dog is a favorite treat, you need to be a steak dinner.

Find out what he just LOVES, whether it be a toy or a treat, and take that with you on walks. At first, the ONLY time he gets that toy or that treat is on those walks when he listens to you.

The hard part is, finding something that he desires MORE than barking and lunging at other dogs.

Oh, and don't forget your clicker...or, if you don't clicker train, don't forget an immediate, "YES!!!!" (and a ticker tape parade), when he DOES look at you when you ask for his attention.
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Unread 11-08-2012, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Land Of Moose, Blueberries and Chickadees
9,267 posts, read 3,910,735 times
Reputation: 11761
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayanne View Post
WildnFree---I'd love to hear more about telling your dog something ONCE. I have a Maltese who knows numerous commands, but she is easily distracted and I often have to tell her more than once.
You don't tell your dog more than once. You say it once, you demand it, (no, don't yell it or be harsh about it, you just let them know, when I say this, you DO it). If they don't listen the first time, it's time for correction whether that be ignoring, crating, putting off in another room, whatever it is.

Build up slowly. You start IN the home with NO distractions. Once you know the dog has it 100% in the home with NO distractions, you start to slowly, slowly, build up distractions. As soon as you find out where the dog fails, (what level of distraction makes him fail), you go back a step and you keep doing it over and over and over again.

Then you try with that level of distraction again. Everytime he fails, (the distraction is too much), you go back a step.

It's a long, slow, painful process but it is SO worth it in the end.

Always end up any training with a positive, with success, NEVER end on a failure.

To add: This is NOT a one day fix. This is weeks, months of slowly building up. You may have to take a step back and do that for a few days before you can try the failed level of distraction again. Training should be daily.
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