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 Post subject: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:10 am 
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Hi everyone,
You all have been such a great source of knowledgeable advice, through all 5 of the challenges I have faced while raising my cocker spaniel. We have gone through 5 challenges successfully: potty training, separation anxiety, nipping at ankles, chewing, walking on a leash.
Here comes my latest challenge, Barking, and growling at other dogs. When we approach other dogs on a walk, I try to be very calm and keep walking at my original stride. When KC starts barking (85% of the time which is growing) at the other dog I pull at his leash which is attached to his harness and say no. Then I usually have to walk a bit faster and keep pulling until the other dog is out of sight. Sometimes I am able to let the dogs sniff each other out and KC then becomes "in love" with them and wants to stay and play and walk together. But I don't want to have to do that each time I pass someone, and I suspect the other dog owner does not want to either!
I took KC to a dog beach that is not fenced in yesterday, so I kept KC on a 16 ft. leash. It was amazing; I had never been to one before. KC barked at every dog there! No one barked back. My husband and I were humiliated! I was torn between going up to greet ever person and their dog or to just go home. I let KC swim with our 2 children for a time. KC would swim for a min or two and then get out to bark and lunge at other dogs and then the cycle would continue. I ended up going home after only 10 min.
He is going to be seven months next week, I hope its not to late for him to learn his manners. If you all have some advice about what to do, please let me know. I would like a well rounded dog, not just a house pet.

Thank you all!


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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:10 pm 
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I'll let others who know more give training tips BUT please get that baby on a shorter leash. I've been there before with my pom mix

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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:34 am 
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Hey Rose...

KC needs an obedience class. Seriously some of that behavior could be a confidence issue and a class would help.

A couple things you can try in the meantime.

Before you go out in public.... (I use a clicker for this activity) Every time KC looks at you click and treat. At first click and treat even if it's just eye contact. Progress to clicking and treating when you call his name and he looks at you. Dog's catch on to this very quickly... to the point that they will sit and stare at you LOL... do not treat staring. Get up and do another activity to break it up and then try again.

Another thing to try is Targeting.... (again I use a clicker) Teach KC to touch his nose to a target.. your palm works well since you will always have it with you. Hold your hand close to KC's nose and click any motion towards it. I was taught to click and then treat at the target site... in other words click then put the treat right on the palm. Move the target about 1 inch away and when KC touches it click and treat. Progress to various positions.

*Just a note... Do not speak at first during these exercises... you want the dog to figure out what to do first then you can name the action. Wait till the dog is about 80% accurate before labeling. I use "Touch" for targeting.

How to use the above... BEFORE KC sees the other animal try calling his name to get his attention... click and treat. BEFORE KC starts lunging and barking try using "Touch" to distract his attention from the other animal.

It's best to head off the barking and lunging before you get close to the other dogs. So as you see another dog coming towards you try using a VERY high value treat and keep KC's attention on you as you go past the other dog. Treat and praise if you can walk by with out any issue. (if you can find someone who will allow you to walk your dog past several times that would be great!)

Another option would be to turn and walk in the opposite direction till you are out of "barking" range and then try the above.

If there is a nice person willing to help you out... ask them to sit their dog and let you walk past several times ... you keep KC's attention by calling his name, talking, treating, Touch .. whatever you need to use to make him successful. TREAT him well when he make it past without incident.

I still would recommend a class. They are wonderful for cementing your relationship with your dog. Oh yeah.. a shorter leash, as Debbie said, for more control. I've always used no longer than a 6 foot lead for training... except for recall training.

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Lisa R

Chesapeake OA, OAJ (CGC)
4/20/10

Competing in Excellent Agility ...
JWW ~ 1 of 3 Q's
STD ~ 1 of 3 Q's


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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:05 pm 
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thank you Debbie and Lisa. Clicker is purchased and training has begun at home. I will start saving for an obedience class, wow, they are pricey!

I took KC to pet smart to buy the clicker, he has been there before with little problem. Today he went strait for the nearest dog to bark and lunge! The store employees all gasped. I have got to nip this in the bud.

He is cuddled up by my feet as I write this, what a sweet little thing :dk !


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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:31 pm 
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RoseVarga wrote:
thank you Debbie and Lisa. Clicker is purchased and training has begun at home. I will start saving for an obedience class, wow, they are pricey!

I took KC to pet smart to buy the clicker, he has been there before with little problem. Today he went strait for the nearest dog to bark and lunge! The store employees all gasped. I have got to nip this in the bud.

He is cuddled up by my feet as I write this, what a sweet little thing :dk !



Rose,
If he's that bad I'd think about contacting a behaviorist or trainer for some one on one. Your right nipping this in the bud is vital. Good luck with your training!

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Lisa R

Chesapeake OA, OAJ (CGC)
4/20/10

Competing in Excellent Agility ...
JWW ~ 1 of 3 Q's
STD ~ 1 of 3 Q's


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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:27 am 
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Sounds like he needs obedience classes. There you will learn to redirect him and also to teach him the "watch me" and "no bark" commands. I too would get a short leash, 6' for walking/learning.

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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:34 am 
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OOPS! :bang

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Last edited by dawn & kevin on Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:47 pm 
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I looked up classes in my area and found a kennel club about 45 min. away from me. I hope to get into their 8 week class that starts early september. It seems so far away :shock: ! Meanwhile I will be working on clicker training KC on walks and at home. We just took a 45 min walk, he walked very well, right at my side, of course he did expect a treat. To bad no other dogs were out and about.

Do you guys think that it's more about redirecting attention away from other dogs, or do you think that it is more teaching proper manners like sniff instead of lunge and bark...?


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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:11 am 
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Rose....

I'm happy to hear your able to join a class. I hope it helps with the issues you are having with KC. I can relate to having to wait till Sept and how far away that seems! The club I train at basically closes down for the summer because of the heat and doesn't start up again till Sept. Is this the reason for the Sept start where you are going?

Good boy KC... walking by Mom's side for 45 minutes! That is awesome and I hope you got tons of yummy treats for that! That you didn't meet any other dogs isn't necessarily a bad thing. The more you can reinforce walking calmly at your side and looking to you for direction the better. It was a successful session and that's great! :th-up

As for your question.... I'm sorry but I have no answer. It could just be a matter of poor dog to dog social skills. :dk Redirection will help make for a more enjoyable time out in public and less embarrassment. Hopefully the obedience class will help too.

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Lisa R

Chesapeake OA, OAJ (CGC)
4/20/10

Competing in Excellent Agility ...
JWW ~ 1 of 3 Q's
STD ~ 1 of 3 Q's


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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:28 am 
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Max is dog reactive (though much older than KC). We've learned not to say "no" but instead redirect like has been suggested here. The logic is that KC is doing "get away from me!" to another dog but with added negative reinforcement it's "get away from me or I'll get hurt!" so now there's extra incentive to behave badly. And yes, get a shorter non-flexi leash and a class for socialization and confidence ASAP! This is one you want to nip in the bud before it gets bad. Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:35 am 
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I would not encourage "sniff". The other dog may not like him sniffing him, I also agree to redirect with "watch me" or heel and keep walking with his attention on you as his master.

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Deborah in South Carolina

Hannah-black/white, 06/01/02
Tonka-black/tan, 04/24/13
Roxi-Boston terrier, 05/28/2007 (grand dog)

Tucker-blue roan and tan, 10/24/02-02/12/13 (rest in peace sweet boy)

"Cockers make my heart smile."


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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Still waiting for my puppy class to begin... not till the 11th!

Thanks for your tips everyone. Every little bit helps me understand why this little boy thinks he needs to bark and lunge at every dog we pass.

KC has darted out our door from time to time and he will run around the house and the backyard and the neighbors yards. A couple of the neighbors dogs are off leash in their yards (Can't wait to see if that is possible with KC!) and KC is sooo very nice to them! I watch his sniff and be sniffed and then run in circles and jump on each other in play with no barking! What is going on? It seems that he only barks and lunges when he is on a leash.

Maybe the logic is right about him thinking, "Don't come near me or I will get hurt" is right, because when he is on leash and barks and lunges, I pull him back and pull him to walk faster away from the other dog.


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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:51 pm 
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RoseVarga wrote:
Still waiting for my puppy class to begin... not till the 11th!

Thanks for your tips everyone. Every little bit helps me understand why this little boy thinks he needs to bark and lunge at every dog we pass.

KC has darted out our door from time to time and he will run around the house and the backyard and the neighbors yards. A couple of the neighbors dogs are off leash in their yards (Can't wait to see if that is possible with KC!) and KC is sooo very nice to them! I watch his sniff and be sniffed and then run in circles and jump on each other in play with no barking! What is going on? It seems that he only barks and lunges when he is on a leash.

Maybe the logic is right about him thinking, "Don't come near me or I will get hurt" is right, because when he is on leash and barks and lunges, I pull him back and pull him to walk faster away from the other dog.




Rose
Is it possible that he is picking up your anxiety when he's on a leash? You could be projecting without realizing it. Dogs are very good about reading body language. Even if you are only slightly tensing he could be catching it and it translates into the barking and lunging. Could he be protecting you? Have you tried having another family member holding the leash as you walk... or even a friend? The fact that he seems to be OK off leash is encouraging... it give hope that this is an issue you will be able to work through. Bet you can't wait to start classes! I hope you are blessed with an awesome teacher who can help!

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Lisa R

Chesapeake OA, OAJ (CGC)
4/20/10

Competing in Excellent Agility ...
JWW ~ 1 of 3 Q's
STD ~ 1 of 3 Q's


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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:58 pm 
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Hi Rose

The obedience class is going to help.

Also - I wondered if KC has ever been attacked while younger by another dog. Sometimes if a puppy is attacked in a way that makes them very impacted can cause them to become dog aggressive.

If you can find a behaviorist - they will be a great help to you. We hired one for Arlo and saw immediate results (he had different issues). I'd start with just two sessions. Even though we bought a package. Really all our issues were addressed in two sessions.

I think also - if you do some internet searches you might find some posts by dog trainers that address your particular issue while you await your class.

Here are a couple of links to pages I found with interesting info.

http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/D ... People.php

http://dogtrainer.quickanddirtytips.com ... e-dog.aspx

Good luck... And, you are already halfway there because taking an interest like you are and getting the information is half the journey. Once you get the suggestions for what to do it is amazing how responsive these pups are.

:)
Leigh and Arlo :Parti

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 Post subject: Re: My Puppy Challenge #6
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:19 am 
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Rose

I sent you a PM with the link to an article that you might find helpful. Hope all is going well with KC!

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Lisa R

Chesapeake OA, OAJ (CGC)
4/20/10

Competing in Excellent Agility ...
JWW ~ 1 of 3 Q's
STD ~ 1 of 3 Q's


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