Does it matter what people think about your dog's behavior?
You should care, because when out in public your dog is an ambassador for canine-kind. If he behaves badly by lunging at strangers, jumping up, or barking, this is unpleasant and intimidating for others. However, a well-behaved dog that walks nicely to heel and sits politely to greet people is a positive pleasure.
A dog that behaves in public means you can relax and enjoy walks, rather than be on edge all the time in anticipation of problems. Remember, the dog and his behavior are your responsibility, both in moral terms and in the eyes of the law. Should your dog jump up at a senior citizen, knocking them over so that they fracture a hip, then you could well be liable for their surgical expenses.
To behave well in public means having the dog under control at all times, both on and off the leash. This skill doesn't happen by magic but by putting in the time with regular obedience training. Even a basic command such as "Sit", along with walking to heel, equip the dog with a great grounding so that he is able to meet and greet strangers without showing you up.
Training both puppies and adult dogs does require time, persistence, and patience. For the puppies, the world is a big exciting place full of new sights, sounds, and smells, so distraction is rife. For the adult dog, they may have deeply ingrained bad habits that need to be replaced with new good behavior.
For both young and old, be sure to use reward-based training methods. This rewards the dog's good behavior, which sets them on the path to thinking about what they need to do to please you and earn a reward. Old-fashioned methods based on dominating the dog are outdated because they use intimidation and punishment to cow the dog into obeying. Not a happy scenario!
Basic obedience training requires little other than:
A collar and leash to restrain the dog
Bite-sized tasty treats to use as a reward
A bag that clips onto your belt, in which to keep the treats handy
Time, patience, and consistency
Train your dog a couple of times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also incorporate training into your walks, such as getting the dog to sit curbside. However, be sure to make training fun and always end on a high with a command the dog knows and can do well. This helps build self-confidence and enthusiasm for the next session.
i want to take her to my school as an ESA but i dont want her to jump on people or get too excited also bark
Hello Alison, To help Roxy get used to being around a lot of people but also to learn not jump on people, follow one of the methods in the training article bellow, and be sure to bring her around a lot of people to practice. Choose people who you either know or who will agree to help you teach her when you explain what you are doing. Here is the article link for teaching a dog not to jump: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump You can also work on the barking by teaching her to be calm and by teaching her the quiet command. To teach her the "Quiet" command use "The Barking on Command Method" found in the article linked bellow. To teach her to be calm around people use "The Desensitize Method" from that same article: I recommend either using "The Desensitize Method" or using both methods. https://wagwalking.com/training/be-quiet Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I have been doing a lot of leash training lately. My dog walks very nicely on a leash now around most distractions and if she gets distracted, I can always get her attention back on me using treats and a look at me command or a sit. However, if another person joints us on a walk she gets very excited and behaves as if we have never done any leash training. I have to stop every few steps because she is pulling, and I wait for her to come back into position (next to me) and to look at me before I continue, but there is no improvement whatsover throughout the walk.
Hello Jil, That's wonderful that you have made progress with leash walking in general. I have found when training, that many dogs actually have the hardest time heeling when walking with an additional person or other dog (even from the same family). Many dogs either compete to be in front, get focused on keeping everyone together, or simply get excited about the group, and seem to forget training and pull a lot when you add another person or dog to the walk. This can be even more difficult than passing other dogs! Treat this like a high level distraction that you have to practice around (like you probably had to do around other walkers and when passing dogs in the past while training). Recruit a friend or family member to go on a walk regularly with you just for the purpose of training. You can also look for a dog walking group somewhere like www.meetup.com, a local obedience club, rescue group, or online if you do not have friends who can help with this. Walk with a couple of feet between you and the other person help you (so that you don't bump into them when you do what I am about to mention). As soon as Season starts to pull ahead, cut directly in front of her at a ninety degree angle, then turn another ninety degrees again so that you end up walking in the opposite direction as your friend. To get back with your friend you can cut two more times, to make a complete box with your turns, so that you are walking in the same direction as your friend again. Instruct your friend to slow down whenever you do this so that you can catch back up with your dog in a few minutes. Make this a training walk. Do not have the goal be the walking itself, so that you can focus on your dog and turn in front of her as many times as you have to to teach her to focus on you again, without feeling frustrated about not getting very far distance wise! Choose a patient friend or family member to help with this since the walk will be rather awkward at first. Expect this to take a lot of practice, and not to be something resolved in two walks. Try not to get discouraged but instead notice small improvements. Doing this training simply teaches her that she still has to pay attention to you and follow you during the walk, rather than focusing on your friend or getting overly excited. Turning directly in front of her teaches spacial awareness (you may bump into her a bit and that's alright if she is generally a confident and non-aggressive dog). The more you practice this the better she should learn to pay attention to where you are and what you are doing though. Be sure to turn in front of her as soon as her head starts to move past your leg. If you turn too late it will be hard to do. If she gets so far ahead that you cannot turn in front of her, then turn 180 degrees , the other direction, so that you end up walking in the opposite direction as your friend. Walk that direction until she is paying attention to you again, then turn back toward your friend's direction to continue walking with your friend. Check out the "Turns" method from the article below for more detail on how to utilize turns and changes in speed to teach Heeling: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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