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Old 03-15-2012, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Boston
1,432 posts, read 3,520,370 times
Reputation: 790

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So I've recently moved from Nashville to Boston with my 3 medium to large sized dogs. In Nashville they had a big backyard but here we have a small, shared backyard so most of their exercise comes from walks, which they weren't used to.

I got them 3 training harnesses which worked wonders in helping them learn to walk beside me and they are generally well behaved on walks. The problem is, I have to walk each of them individually. When they are alone and see another dog, they usually whine but I can refocus their attention on me or sometimes let them sniff the other dog out and this usually goes well. However, if I'm walking 2 or all 3 they just go crazy when they see another dog. They whine, bark, snap at each other, just act crazy, and it's embarrassing. Not to mention the fact that with all 3 its almost impossible to calm them all down or get their attention away from the other dog. The other owners also seem scared of my dogs because, as I said, they will snap at each other during this encounter...especially the oldest females who seems to have an alpha personality.

Anyone have any tips or suggestions? I'd very much like to walk all 3 at once one day as it would give me so much more free time.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Simmering in DFW
6,955 posts, read 20,830,629 times
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This tip coming from a person who is housebound with a broken ankle following a mishap walking three dogs......so take it for what its worth ... When I am walking my dogs, I'll run with them if I think there's a potential distraction., they are all about the run, and typically do not notice other dogs when we are running. I am always on alert and turn corners if someone is coming with a dog they are likely to respond to. I have been successful for about five years getting various dogs desensitized to passing dogs. Maybe if you have great control, walk your two best dogs and when they manage to ignore other dogs start adding the third. However my recent fall has made me decide I will only walk dogs in combinations when the total dog weight is no greater than one half my weight. And since the accident I've lost 9 lbs. having to haul my body around on walkers and crutches, so the dog to human ratio is scaling back!

One other thought. You might try and find a group that walks dogs together, I saw one a whole back on meetup.com. This would also desensitize your dogs by learning to walk in a larger pack. Also, can you find another adult to walk with you and the three dogs so you can train them to all walk together and be controled with another person initially?
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Old 03-15-2012, 05:23 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
13,142 posts, read 34,796,148 times
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I would not pair the 2 F together that pick on each other! Will one of them get along with the 3rd dog? IF yes then walk them together. Maybe work them 1 on 1 in basic obedience then add them in controled pairs then all 3. BTW thei will take lots of time! & may never work LOL But try see what happens.
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Boston
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Thanks for the advice. They are pretty perfect on their own it's just they go crazy when they get together on their leashes.

I like the idea of finding someone who would be willing top walk with us or another dog walker. It's tough because there are a lot of dog walkers in this neighborhood who just don't understand that my dogs are still learning to walk.
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:34 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
13,142 posts, read 34,796,148 times
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my dogs are still learning to walk.

There is your answer! Until your dog Learn what expected on walks then Your not going to have control. You Cant enforce a Rule or Behavour UNTIL the dog understands it 100%

Back to my org post...work them 1 on 1 in basic obedience

Last edited by Katie1; 03-16-2012 at 01:53 PM..
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:46 PM
 
Location: California / Maryland / Cape May
1,548 posts, read 2,697,684 times
Reputation: 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivelafrance View Post
So I've recently moved from Nashville to Boston with my 3 medium to large sized dogs. In Nashville they had a big backyard but here we have a small, shared backyard so most of their exercise comes from walks, which they weren't used to.

I got them 3 training harnesses which worked wonders in helping them learn to walk beside me and they are generally well behaved on walks. The problem is, I have to walk each of them individually. When they are alone and see another dog, they usually whine but I can refocus their attention on me or sometimes let them sniff the other dog out and this usually goes well. However, if I'm walking 2 or all 3 they just go crazy when they see another dog. They whine, bark, snap at each other, just act crazy, and it's embarrassing. Not to mention the fact that with all 3 its almost impossible to calm them all down or get their attention away from the other dog. The other owners also seem scared of my dogs because, as I said, they will snap at each other during this encounter...especially the oldest females who seems to have an alpha personality.

Anyone have any tips or suggestions? I'd very much like to walk all 3 at once one day as it would give me so much more free time.
My girl was attacked by a much larger dog when she was very young and tiny, and my boy witnessed it. Since that encounter, both pups would behave as you described, and would even show signs of aggression (snapping, showing teeth when barking, etc). I know it was fear-based because of the trauma, but I wasn't going to allow it to persist.

I had multiple trainers come to the house to help us work through this. None of their tips worked. What worked for us, anyway, was plain old common sense. I decided that, at least in our case, the flipping out was due to fear so I had to replace that bad experience with good ones. So, I wanted them to see other dogs as a "pez dispenser". So each time a pup walked by that they didn't know, I'd say "don't bark" and if they didn't bark (which rarely ever happened in the beginning), they'd get a treat.

How do you get them to not bark when they're out of control? Well, luckily, there were one or two dogs out of the dozens at the park that they did know, and, thus, wouldn't bark at. We'd approach them, I'd say don't bark, they wouldn't bark (since they didn't fear those dogs) and they'd get a treat. After going to the same park frequently, we'd pass the same dogs on the paved trail, I'd say "don't bark" and eventually they wouldn't bark, get a treat, and realize what the command meant. Eventually, they got excited to see another dog on the path because they knew, if they didn't bark, they'd get a treat. Each season brings a new batch of dogs to the park, it seems, yet the training has carried over from year to year (it's not that they now know all the dogs). Even a couple old regulars that still go to the park have noticed a HUGE change in them and asked what I did to correct it. I told them, first thing I did was fire all the dog trainers. lol

We can now pass dogs fine on a leash with the simple "don't bark" command, however, a group of large dogs off leash running about will cause my kids to bark. I figure that's of no huge concern to me, though, since my kids are Chihuahuas and aren't large enough to be running in that group without getting trampled any way. My goal was to have a peaceful walk, and to be able to share an outdoor dining experience with other pup parents in a civil manner. It was a lot of work, but mission accomplished.

-----

Added:

I suppose I should also note that this was a long process for us. I also realized that the further away we were when we passed the pup, the less likely they were to bark. So when I first began the training, we'd pass the pups from very far away, to give mine a chance to successfully follow their "don't bark" command. We gradually began passing closer and closer to the other dog, where we can now share a sidewalk with them as we pass.

Pups that quickly (and quietly) sneak up behind mine will still cause mine to bark, though. So I keep an eye out for dogs from all directions, and if one is quickly approaching us from behind, I'll pull over, turn to the side so the kids can see the dog, give the "don't bark" command as he passes, when they don't bark, they get a treat, and we go on our way.

It works for us any way. Good luck!

Last edited by SunnyTXsmile; 03-17-2012 at 08:58 PM..
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:13 AM
 
Location: Boston
1,432 posts, read 3,520,370 times
Reputation: 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyTXsmile View Post
My girl was attacked by a much larger dog when she was very young and tiny, and my boy witnessed it. Since that encounter, both pups would behave as you described, and would even show signs of aggression (snapping, showing teeth when barking, etc). I know it was fear-based because of the trauma, but I wasn't going to allow it to persist.

I had multiple trainers come to the house to help us work through this. None of their tips worked. What worked for us, anyway, was plain old common sense. I decided that, at least in our case, the flipping out was due to fear so I had to replace that bad experience with good ones. So, I wanted them to see other dogs as a "pez dispenser". So each time a pup walked by that they didn't know, I'd say "don't bark" and if they didn't bark (which rarely ever happened in the beginning), they'd get a treat.

How do you get them to not bark when they're out of control? Well, luckily, there were one or two dogs out of the dozens at the park that they did know, and, thus, wouldn't bark at. We'd approach them, I'd say don't bark, they wouldn't bark (since they didn't fear those dogs) and they'd get a treat. After going to the same park frequently, we'd pass the same dogs on the paved trail, I'd say "don't bark" and eventually they wouldn't bark, get a treat, and realize what the command meant. Eventually, they got excited to see another dog on the path because they knew, if they didn't bark, they'd get a treat. Each season brings a new batch of dogs to the park, it seems, yet the training has carried over from year to year (it's not that they now know all the dogs). Even a couple old regulars that still go to the park have noticed a HUGE change in them and asked what I did to correct it. I told them, first thing I did was fire all the dog trainers. lol

We can now pass dogs fine on a leash with the simple "don't bark" command, however, a group of large dogs off leash running about will cause my kids to bark. I figure that's of no huge concern to me, though, since my kids are Chihuahuas and aren't large enough to be running in that group without getting trampled any way. My goal was to have a peaceful walk, and to be able to share an outdoor dining experience with other pup parents in a civil manner. It was a lot of work, but mission accomplished.

-----

Added:

I suppose I should also note that this was a long process for us. I also realized that the further away we were when we passed the pup, the less likely they were to bark. So when I first began the training, we'd pass the pups from very far away, to give mine a chance to successfully follow their "don't bark" command. We gradually began passing closer and closer to the other dog, where we can now share a sidewalk with them as we pass.

Pups that quickly (and quietly) sneak up behind mine will still cause mine to bark, though. So I keep an eye out for dogs from all directions, and if one is quickly approaching us from behind, I'll pull over, turn to the side so the kids can see the dog, give the "don't bark" command as he passes, when they don't bark, they get a treat, and we go on our way.

It works for us any way. Good luck!
This is almost the exact method I've used on them individually and it has worked. It's just that when they are together, it goes out the window and they tune me out. The excitement also seems to make them bite and snap at each other and not so much the other dog they've seen. I have 1 female and 2 males and if the males whine, bark, or pull toward another dog, the female will jump and snap at them. This is the only time she does this and, at home, they get along fine with no problems or fighting issues.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:50 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,329 posts, read 14,675,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirl View Post
However my recent fall has made me decide I will only walk dogs in combinations when the total dog weight is no greater than one half my weight.
I think this is very sensible. Squirl's not the only c-d'er who's been injured by their dog lately! I've banged my knees up pretty bad twice walking dogs at the shelter. No matter how well-behaved the dog, something out of the ordinary can happen. One of the dogs that brought me down had been walking loose leash for about three blocks when it saw something and lunged forward just as my toe was at an uneven place in the sidewalk. (I held on to him though!)
My own dogs have never pulled me down (yet) but I just plain tripped over my own feet walking one of them recently. Their combined weight is about 3/4 of mine. Walk them togther? Not me.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:16 PM
 
Location: California / Maryland / Cape May
1,548 posts, read 2,697,684 times
Reputation: 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivelafrance View Post
This is almost the exact method I've used on them individually and it has worked. It's just that when they are together, it goes out the window and they tune me out. The excitement also seems to make them bite and snap at each other and not so much the other dog they've seen. I have 1 female and 2 males and if the males whine, bark, or pull toward another dog, the female will jump and snap at them. This is the only time she does this and, at home, they get along fine with no problems or fighting issues.
I had a somewhat similar experience. My boy would only bark and show aggression to other dogs when his sister was there (the one that was attacked when she was young that he witnessed). If I walked just him, not a peep. As soon as his sister was with us, they'd both go nuts when a dog passed. I realize it was him protecting her (a slightly different situation than yours), but it wasn't okay with me. We sometimes walked them separately, but I had better success training them together because they seemed to learn from each other. His barking stopped before hers did, for obvious reasons, so when she saw him getting a treat for not barking, and her not getting one because she did bark, I eventually saw the lightbulb go off in her head. I can only imagine it's much more challenging since your pups sound larger than mine, though. :\
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:09 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
13,142 posts, read 34,796,148 times
Reputation: 9116
What you people are describing is FEAR! Your dogs are afraid of strange dogs so they are Barking & being agressive FIRST! Then to prove they are tuff to the strange dog they attach each other!

Last edited by Katie1; 03-21-2012 at 03:49 PM..
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