Dog Reactive

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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Graham
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Dog Reactive

Postby Graham » Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:58 am

I don't know what to do at this point.

We've been through trainers and followed everything they have said. But, here we are with our dog who is still extremely reactive when she sees another dog.

Our money is spent and this is still a big problem. The last thing I want to do is bring her back to the shelter. That is not an option.

Any advice?

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sunnygirl01
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby sunnygirl01 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:45 am

I am so sorry you are struggling with that issue. Unfortunately dog aggression is a very common trait in the pit bull breeds. Many members of this forum have multiple dog reactive dogs and live in a crate and rotate environment. You only have one dog so at least you don't have that problem to deal with.
I think you just have to understand that it is part of her personality and keep her away from any other dogs. I do hope you don't send her back to the shelter.

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Maryellen
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby Maryellen » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:59 am

since you are in the hudson valley area contact www.outofthepits.org and ask for training help... they are a rescue and Cyd Cross might be able to help. it takes time and patience to work with dogs that are reactive. its not a quick fix and can take sometimes months or even years to get to where you want the dog to be

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chinchi_&_chupa
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby chinchi_&_chupa » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:40 am

Graham, what have the trainers had you do to redirect her? Expecting her to like other dogs is unreasonable, but expecting her to be able to ignore them is not. I have had HUGE success with several of the dogs at our local shelter, all I ask of them is to sit next to me in the heel position and ask them to "focus" on me...then treat & praise like crazy as soon as they look at me. It actually becomes a game for them.

You can do this! You need to stay calm and try not to get frustrated. You CAN do this! It just takes time.

I met Nacho in early/mid May. He is a transfer from another Humane Society in AZ where he was deemed DA & HA and "no one there could handle him" so the director reached out to our local Humane Society who put him in contact with me and the transfer was arranged to see "if I could help". He was on their euthanasia list, but some volunteers were present and some heard about what happened on the day this video was taken and were (still are) ready to burn the director at the stake.

Nacho (the white PB) before we met: ***I have absolutely nothing to do with this first video - it was taken at a shelter in Yavapai County, AZ*** I also have no idea what they were trying to accomplish! The video is long, but the first minute or so is pretty much how the whole thing goes. At the end Nacho seems to not react and the trainer says he fixed Nacho's dog aggression in 12 minutes... :huh?:

http://vimeo.com/95776340

This is Nacho with me June 13th (kind of fittingly posted on my crazy white boy's birthday). I committed to working with Nacho everyday in the afternoon after I get off work. We started with a tennis ball as he was too amped up to take treats.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHZKyJ1P7FE

Another thing to note when you work her, distance. I didn't just jump in to putting Nacho this close to other dogs. Start where you see the first TINY sign that she is going to react, then sit and focus and treat. Slowly build up to getting closer. Do you have any friends with non-reactive dogs that could help? You can also place your body in her line of sight to the other dog if she won't focus while at your side, just take a step in front of her and face her. Hold the treat (really high value for her treats) in front of her nose and bring the treat up to your face. As soon as she looks up at you, treat and praise over and over again. Do you have someone who can take video of you while you work her? Maybe we can see something you can do differently?

Side note just because I mentioned it above: Nacho's supposed HA...I haven't seen at all. Nacho is 3-1/2 and spent the last 3 years (aside from being in shelters) on a tether basically just there and thrown some food. He had no idea how to be around people. He would jump in your face and teeth kiss you, he would mouth your hands and arms when you petted him. He's still kisses slobber kisses all over your face, but the mouthing is gone, he's passed his SAFER testing (while I WAS NOT present) and he is now up for adoption :headbang:

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Graham
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby Graham » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:05 pm

I absolutely do not want to bring her back to the shelter. Someone in our complex wrote the Home Owner's Association complaining about our dog. We received a letter in the mail stating that they were scared of her "demeanor" and were afraid for their safety. We try to keep a low profile. We walk out the back of the complex where most people do NOT walk their dogs. But of course, with the warm weather, folks have their dogs out on their back decks and I'm running out of options.

If there is a dog in eyesight, the reaction immediately starts.

I don't care if she ever plays with other dogs. Of course it would be nice, but that is not my goal. I need her to walk and ignore other dogs.

We have tried different things with different trainers and once she sees a dog, I feel like we haven't had an ounce of training. We have practiced the "look" command several times and trying to get her to look to me and pay attention to me instead of the dog. The only thing she seems to care about is getting at that other dog. You could be waving a steak in your hands and she wants to get to that dog.

I am trying my best to remain calm. I really want her to be able to have a dog's life. I don't want to have to worry about not bringing her places because there might be a dog. I keep telling myself that her life with me is better than what her life would be spent in a shelter.

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chinchi_&_chupa
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby chinchi_&_chupa » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:46 pm

Graham wrote:If there is a dog in eyesight, the reaction immediately starts.

We have tried different things with different trainers and once she sees a dog, I feel like we haven't had an ounce of training. We have practiced the "look" command several times and trying to get her to look to me and pay attention to me instead of the dog. The only thing she seems to care about is getting at that other dog. You could be waving a steak in your hands and she wants to get to that dog.


Then you're too close. Keep moving away until she can be calmer and look to you. Then start doing your "look" & treating and move closer, literally a step a day closer. Deep breaths, baby steps, and huge rewards for small improvements. Have you tried toys instead of treats? Have you had her in a class at all? It's just going to take time and patience. Don't look at her immediate reaction as a setback, look at it as an opportunity to work together. Does she heel well when there aren't dogs around? There are other commands you can use instead of "look" too, like "touch" or "down" or "shake"...anything she's good at that can break her focus and you can reward.

You could also keep a training log/journal, just in case you need to show HOA people how hard you are working on it, and you can look back to see those small improvements and use that for motivation to keep working. Also, contact the people Maryellen suggested and the shelter where you got her. They might have different (and maybe cheaper) options. I'm a volunteer and not only help at our local shelter, but I do free private sessions for anyone who adopts any kind of dog from the shelter. Maybe they have someone there willing to help.

If you can get someone to video you, it would help so people here can give suggestions of different things to try.

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Graham
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby Graham » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:30 am

The training log sounds like an excellent idea. We are trying to keep a low profile. Another neighbor got a dog and they hang out on the back porch a lot. Now our "safe haven" for walking has become less safe. We had a close call yesterday (which was completely my stupid fault) and my boyfriend said that we were bringing her back to the shelter. I was able to talk him out of it. But, our situation continues to get worse.

She is not very treat-motivated. She loves toys that squeak; but I don't want to increase her "prey drive" by using those to distract & reward her for positive behavior. :dunno:

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Amie
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby Amie » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:23 am

Graham, send me an email to trainer@mdspca.org - myself or one of the other two trainers will be able to give you a lot of tips and suggestions to help get you started.

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Graham
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby Graham » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:20 am

Amie wrote:Graham, send me an email to trainer@mdspca.org - myself or one of the other two trainers will be able to give you a lot of tips and suggestions to help get you started.


Thanks Amie. I will e-mail you later today. I am not able to access my e-mail at this time. I would be very appreciative of any advice you can give.

petty254
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby petty254 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:17 am

REACTIVE DOG MANAGEMENT
(copied)
Remove any opportunities in the house for the dog to experience the outburst of emotions. Close the blinds, cover glass doors and put visual barriers if necessary to prevent the dog from being able to patrol windows, doors or fence. The dog should be crated or kept indoors and away from the windows when left unattended. If the dog reacts to people, the dog should be crated when visitors first come in the house.
Find walking areas where you won’t be encountering other people or dogs. Here again, we want to provide the dog with exposure and physical exercise while avoiding exposing the dog to the trigger, outside of planned training times.
Look for ways to provide your dog with mental stimulation. Rotating toys, feeding from food-dispensing devices, like Kongs products, the Tug-a-Jug or the Pet Tutor®, provide the dog with puzzles, like the Buster Cube. Spend a few minutes every day training your dog, even if it’s just simple tricks.
Look for equipment that will provide you with better control. Since dogs are very sensitive to our emotions, staying calm when out on a walk will be a critical part of the process. It’s therefore important to make sure that you feel in control even if the worst of situations was to present itself. A head halter like the Halti or Gentle Leader or a no-pull harness like the Easy Walk can make a significant difference in our ability to maintain our composure. Choke chains, prong collars, extension leashes and pull harnesses should be avoided as pain and discomfort will again, increase the dog’s aversion to the situation.
Away from distractions and chances of unfortunate encounters with a person or dog, practice teaching the dog to look at you (eye contact), ‘sit’, ‘down’ and walking without pulling on a leash. Working with a local trainer or find a tutorial DVD (clicker training) that will cover those behaviors can make a big difference in our chance of success.

justasmalldogpack
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby justasmalldogpack » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:58 pm

When I first got my pitbull Sandy she adored other dogs, but overtime she's become aggressive towards any dog except the three she lives with. If she sees another dog up the road she screams and howls (doesn't growl.) It is sad to know that I can't bring her everywhere with me and people will judge her because of that, and make negative opinions on her. I was the one who adopted her though and brought her into my life. She loves me and I love her and it isn't too hard to deal with a dog that is aggressive towards other dogs. Her walks are in private sections of town where people don't bring dogs, we take her into the deep woods where she can run and play. She gets to go places where other dogs aren't and gets lots of people cuddles. We have a wooden fence and put turkey wire on both sides just incase she ever broke it. Sometimes it can be stressful or upsetting when I see other people having playdates with their dogs but what I tend to think about is she's the first one to greet me after working all day, waking up in the morning, and gives lots of cuddles before bed. She loves learning new things and is always with me. It's not fair to give up on something that cares so much about you when you're the one to take it on in the first place.

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patty
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Re: Dog Reactive

Postby patty » Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:19 pm

:goodpost: Sandy is lucky to have you looking out for her.


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