Hatred of squishy faced dogs

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Lotsaquestions
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Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by Lotsaquestions » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:51 am

Hey all, thought I would make a new thread for this specific problem.

I've been working really hard on Merlin's excitement barking at dogs, and he's coming on amazingly. However I have noticed his hatred of squishy faced dogs escalate. He and the neighbours pug (who Merlin has met before twice and tried to play with - pug didn;t like him) both had a handbags at dawn moment whilst on a lead. Really angry stuff.

Then he saw a boxer, female, and Merlin went ape. Really angry, on a lead, lunging growling, the boxer understandably did it back. The boxer was off lead to begin with (on the streets, seriously the council need to do something about this...) which peaked his excitement before anything else happened so he was already amped. I took him away by the woman brought the boxer closer.

He also doesn't like bulldogs. The boxers, bulldogs and pugs don't need to be doing anything for Merlin to react, but he will react with more anger if they are pulling towards him / barking at him / staring at him. The more amped the other dog is, the harder it is for me to distract Merlin with 'watch me's'.

Despite this, off lead, he either ignores them completley, or LOVES them. One of his best buds is a boxer, and he had an amazing time with a pug. It seems to be limited to on lead but I don't want it moving from there onto off.

I was wondering if the treatment for this is the same? I think it might be fear as it began when the Boxer at his IMDT class went crazy at him, he never did it before then. I did try BAT work after that with that boxer and he was fine, but now he doesn't like other ones.

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JudyN
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by JudyN » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:27 am

Despite appearances, I think Jasper and Merlin must be related :lol: He really doesn't like what I call 'ugly dogs' (apologies to all squishy-faced-dog owners :oops: ). I think it's partly because they already look angry and also, in the case of boxers, they also have an upright, forward stance that coupled with the face makes then look challenging to start off with.

So yes, I think it's a case of doing what you usually do, but more so - more distance, more avoidance, more encouraging walking calmly past or in the opposite direction, and treating when you'd normally treat.

I still take avoiding action if I see a bulldog or a young boxer but OH tends to give J the benefit of the doubt more often than me and he said that J was absolutely fine with a couple of boxers he met the other day. So give it a few years... :wink:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Shalista
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by Shalista » Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:54 am

Also you may now be translating down the leash. hes had negative reactions to squashed faced dogs in the past so now when you see one you tighten your grip and go "oh no"

................soooo Merlin goes "oh no" and gets upset.

So its a feed back loop. that may be a contributing factor to why he he's better with them off leash. he cant pick up your concern.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by Lotsaquestions » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:33 am

I'll keep doing what I'm doing then, he saw a pug today whilst he was off lead, and he just ignored it completley. One look and 'nah I don't want to say hello to that thing' and carried on. So he definately doesn't like them, but I guess on a lead he thinks he can't practice avoidance.

I also most definately think I am making things worse. There was a Yorkie on a lead that popped round the corner, I panicked and said 'oh no' and dragged Merlin across the road, which was where he started to bark and pull. I think if I just relaxed in those situations like I used to, he would have just sniffed and carried on like he used to. Its just hard to relax.

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JudyN
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by JudyN » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:14 am

Yes, I'm an expert now at going 'Tralalalala, let's go this way, nothing happening over there...' with the calm of a Zen Bhuddist master :wink:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

jacksdad
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by jacksdad » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:00 pm

Lotsaquestions wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:51 am
I've been working really hard on Merlin's excitement barking at dogs, and he's coming on amazingly. However I have noticed his hatred of squishy faced dogs escalate. He and the neighbours pug (who Merlin has met before twice and tried to play with - pug didn;t like him) both had a handbags at dawn moment whilst on a lead. Really angry stuff.

Then he saw a boxer, female, and Merlin went ape. Really angry, on a lead, lunging growling, the boxer understandably did it back. The boxer was off lead to begin with (on the streets, seriously the council need to do something about this...) which peaked his excitement before anything else happened so he was already amped. I took him away by the woman brought the boxer closer.

He also doesn't like bulldogs. The boxers, bulldogs and pugs don't need to be doing anything for Merlin to react, but he will react with more anger if they are pulling towards him / barking at him / staring at him. The more amped the other dog is, the harder it is for me to distract Merlin with 'watch me's'.
These breeds natural body movements and noises can be scary to some dogs. so if you have a dog already somewhat fearful of another dogs, it is actually not surprising they may have a bit more escalated response to Boxers and some of the bully/squished face dogs.

Remember, there is always a distance your dog can be and not react. that distance may not be identical for all dogs. some dogs may require extra distance than is normal. Also, once the "reactions" start, it is better to cut your loses and just get out of there as best you can and regroup for another day.

Also, distraction isn't the goal. if you are feeling like you need to distract, you maybe too close. we ultimately want and need our dogs to be able to look at, pass by, etc any dog at a normal passing on the side walk distance. This is always the goal to work for. some people and dogs get there fast, others feel like they are moving a glacier speed. But you can't get there by distracting. your dog needs to have their association changed towards other dogs. See dog, good thing happens. then you also teach a skill they can perform when other dogs are around. other dogs mean moving into a heel, jump on the nearest bench, sky is the limit.

Lotsaquestions wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:51 am
Despite this, off lead, he either ignores them completley, or LOVES them. One of his best buds is a boxer, and he had an amazing time with a pug. It seems to be limited to on lead but I don't want it moving from there onto off.
Context is important. if past experience says when on lead bad things happen...of course there will be a reaction when on lead. some dogs will be specific...on leash I get attacked... but I am ok off leash. others will generalize...all dogs are dangerous.
Lotsaquestions wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:51 am
I was wondering if the treatment for this is the same? I think it might be fear as it began when the Boxer at his IMDT class went crazy at him, he never did it before then. I did try BAT work after that with that boxer and he was fine, but now he doesn't like other ones.
fear is fear no matter how it came to be. we use the same principles to help our dogs no matter what. how we apply those principles may need to be adjusted per dog, per specific scenarios etc. but the principles remain the same.

I would URGE you not to jump around in your approach. choose one, make sure you understand it, and how to adjust it slightly to specific situations. Then give it a good try. There is no magic, no quick fix. but the more you keep your dog safe, the more you can prevent your dog being in situations that trigger the unwanted reaction, the "faster" things will go.

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by Lotsaquestions » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:30 am

Well I gave the same approach I have been doing with excitement barking today. Two pugs came round the corner on the other side of the road. I had lots of steak for Merlin. Asked him to watch, then got steak, watch, then got steak. One of the pugs went crazy at him, but he didn't react whatsoever. He just looked at them, then back at me for steak. He definately has no want to interact with pugs as there was zero excitement there, but at least he wasn't afraid. He excitment barked at two westies, but when he was calm he got to have a play with one them after we'd walked away which was a nice reward, so I know it must be fear with flat faced dogs.

So should I keep doing this, or instead let him look at them -> click -> treat -> look at them -> click -> treat -> so on? You said not to change tactic in your post Jacksdad, and I am using the 'watch me' tactic you gave in your last reply to me at the moment.

jacksdad
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by jacksdad » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:48 am

Lotsaquestions wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:30 am
So should I keep doing this, or instead let him look at them -> click -> treat -> look at them -> click -> treat -> so on? You said not to change tactic in your post Jacksdad, and I am using the 'watch me' tactic you gave in your last reply to me at the moment.
I would stick with this for a while. the progression of progress might look like...your dog looks at "scary" 1 second, then looks at you (watch me) and stays focused on you as you move away. over time the looks at scary last longer, and he needs less "watch me" to stay calm.

The initial steps is to break the cycle. if that means watch me, then we use watch me. I know Look at that is all the "rage" these days, but I don't believe we should blindly follow protocols. we work the dog in front of us, be "slaves" to the principles, not the protocols and adjust to the dog in front of us. if the dog in front of us gets easily over stimulated visually, we sometimes need to start with encouraging them to break visual contact and move away to break their "reactive" cycle. Particularly when getting the ideal distance isn't physically possible.

when I said don't change tactics, I was more referring to starting with say LAT...then have a set back and switching to BAT...then having a set back then switching to watch me. you mentioned BAT and I was worried you might start jumping around a little.

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by Lotsaquestions » Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:20 pm

Thanks for the reply, I'll keep doing what I'm doing for now then since I know if he stares at a flat faced dog for too long he starts to get a bit on edge, especially if they then look back. He's been great today with dogs, and had a chance to reward him twice more for being calm. One spaniel he met even gave him her ball, was so adorable... Then Merlin trotted off with it ofc :roll:

I think he is actually understanding that being calm means he might greet OR get loads of treats / tuggy. I am hoping with flat faced dogs he'll be able to trust that nothing bad will happen with more practice.

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Nettle
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by Nettle » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:14 am

This should be a dog-training mantra:

I don't believe we should blindly follow protocols. we work the dog in front of us, be "slaves" to the principles, not the protocols and adjust to the dog in front of us

So well said, jacksdad
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

jacksdad
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by jacksdad » Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:58 pm

thanks. :D

you had a hand in forming that way of looking at dog training. thank you.

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Hatred of squishy faced dogs

Post by Lotsaquestions » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:37 am

Just an update, he seems to be slowly getting over his fears of flat faced dogs. He's still unsure about them compared to other dogs, but he isn't reactive. He's ignored reactive pugs, he's greeted a calm boxer, and he greeted a confident french bulldog. He even had a really good play with the french bulldog when they were off lead. I'll continue work with him around them and hopefully he'll be able to feel completley relaxed when he sees them on a lead. Luckily they seem to be in fashion at the moment, so I tend to get alot of practice :lol:

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