Dealing with a dog-reactive dog

Share your experience and tell us how using positive reinforcement training methods has changed yours and your dogs' lives.

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Erica
Posts: 2694
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Dealing with a dog-reactive dog

Post by Erica » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:50 pm

Had a fun walk with the Mastiff Zeus today...he used to be dog reactive and people reactive, but today...he blew my mind. He sat and waited while a family friend walked over to say hi on our walk, only standing up when the person was about a foot away, which is fine. Later on the same walk, we saw a Golden Retriever suddenly come around a bend...I got him to get off of the road and sit, while the GR and her owner walked by. The GR barked the entire time and Zeus sat the entire time! A while ago, it would have been a match of strength between him and I to keep him away from the other dog. :) Lucky that's not the case anymore - he "only" outweighs me by about 55 pounds (not exactly sure of his weight - he doesn't fit on the vets' scale).
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Erica
Posts: 2694
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Dealing with a dog-reactive dog

Post by Erica » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:28 pm

Interesting experience with Ami yesterday. We were getting ready for our walk, and went out to the front gate when oops! I saw the one dog he absolutely HATES. It's unfortunate - they live on the same cul-de-sac as Ami and Zeus, and walk around the same time, haha...well, Ami jumped on the gate and let out a war cry, but afterward I asked him to get off the gate and he did. He waited while me and other dog's owner talked about who would go inside this time (we take it in turns, as this happens pretty often). This time Ami and I would get to start our walk first...just as a test, I asked Ami to sit, as he seemed a lot more relaxed than he normally did when he sees this dog. He sat AND took the treat I offered him, all while being able to see his arch-enemy! He's improved so much - he used to be constantly lunging and yowling if he even thought he saw otherdog. To be close to him, separated only by a fence and about 20 feet, and be relaxed enough to take a treat...wow. :)

Just as a note, the reason he dislikes this dog is because his owners are scared of that dog. He seemed to pick up on it, but as I'm now doing most of the walking and have zero reason to fear this dog, Ami seems to be getting better. We also did the "turn around and walk away" thing whenever we saw him, so I guess that actually helped...it was more to avoid a confrontation than to train, but now I know that it was a great thing to do! The other dog is fairly calm and okay with other dogs. If he weren't, I would have gone inside while they backtracked to their house, but he shows no change in behavior whether there's a dog nearby or not, and it was valuable experience for Ami.
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

jacksdad
Posts: 4879
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: Dealing with a dog-reactive dog

Post by jacksdad » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:11 pm

feels good when the pieces start falling in place, doesn't it? well done for working to find that balance between managing and working to over come Ami's fear issues.

Erica
Posts: 2694
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:35 pm
Location: North Carolina

Re: Dealing with a dog-reactive dog

Post by Erica » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:01 pm

Another success story for Ami - today on our walk, we were passing a house when a dog charged from its hiding place, barking at us. A while ago, Ami would have been nigh-on unmanageable, but today he let me step between him and the other dog and continued our walk. He didn't even look back! :) And we had to take a funny route to get out of the house, as some of the floors were wet with floor cleaner stuff, so we had to step over a vacuum cleaner. Neither Ami nor Zeus wanted to at first, but with me between them and the main part of the vacuum, they were okay with stepping over it. So happy!
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

WufWuf
Posts: 1371
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 7:53 am

Re: Dealing with a dog-reactive dog

Post by WufWuf » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:34 am

Well done Erica, sounds like you are doing a great job :D
Operant conditioning rocks but classical conditioning rules

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