How to Train Your Dog to Ignore Other Dogs

Hard
4-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

First, let's set the scene: you and your pup are walking along the sidewalk and everything is peaceful and relaxed. Suddenly, up ahead another person is coming your way with their pup. Your dog starts to bark excitedly and lunges towards the other dog. Not only is this type of behavior unseemly, it could lead to someone or someone's furry friend becoming seriously injured.

Now let's look at it from a different perspective. You and your pup are walking along as above, but this time your dog calmly walks by your side as the other pair walk by on their side of the sidewalk. Doesn't this seem like a much better scene? It can be yours as long as you are willing to put in the time to train your dog to ignore other dogs. You can teach a dog of any age to behave in this manner as long as they are old enough to have mastered the basic commands. 

Defining Tasks

In this case, you are training your dog to behave in a specific manner under certain circumstances rather than teaching him a new task or chore. While you may need to use some form of command word in the beginning, the intention is for your dog to ignore other dogs without having to be told. This is a very important behavior for your dog to learn as you need to be able to take for walks without worrying about his behavior. If you can't do this, it becomes far too easy for your dog to not get the exercise he needs.

You should teach your dog to ignore as young as possible, preferably while you are training him to walk on a leash. But at the same time, you can train an older dog to behave on walks, it might just take a little more time.  No matter what age your pup happens to be, learning to behave around other dogs could save him from serious injury or worse if he ends up in a fight.

Getting Started

Not much is needed in the way of supplies when it comes to training your dog to ignore other dogs. But more than anything else, you will need the time to go for walks every day and preferably more than once each day.  But you will need these things:

  • Leash: For when you go for a walk.
  • Treats:  For when your dog behaves.
  • Time: Time for two or three 15-minute walks every day.
  • Patience: Your pup is going to get it wrong at first, be patient and never punish him for getting it wrong

Remember, training your dog to ignore other dogs is more about time and patience than anything else. Also, the more you jerk on the leash, the more excited your pup will become. The calmer you remain, the more quickly your pup will calm down and back off. 

The Attention and Reward Method

Most Recommended
9 Votes
Step
1
Before you go
Before you go out for a walk, call your dog by his name. If he looks at you give him a treat.
Step
2
Repeat the process
Do this several times around the house over the next few days until he always looks up at you when you call his name.
Step
3
Distance walks first
Start walking your dog at a distance from other dogs. Note when first notices them and call his name. When he looks at you, give him a treat.
Step
4
Slowly get a little closer
Start working your way closer to other dogs using the same method. Rewards if he behaves, move further back out if he doesn't and start again.
Step
5
Keep going
Keep working closer until you and your dog can pass by others at close quarters without your having to worry about your pup misbehaving.
Recommend training method?

The Nudge Method

Effective
5 Votes
Step
1
Go for a walk
Start by taking your dog out for a walk around the neighborhood.
Step
2
Remain calm
As you walk, remain calm and relaxed. Your pup can sense this and will behave in the same manner.
Step
3
No pull
If your dog starts to lunge towards another dog, do not pull on the leash, this will only make him pull harder.
Step
4
Nudge him
Instead of pulling on the leash, anticipate the behavior and using your knee gently nudge your pup in the side to distract him. If he settles down, give him a treat.
Step
5
Sharp tugs are better
If he doesn't back down, you may need to give the leash a short sharp tug to get his attention while calling his name. Reward him for good behavior.
Step
6
Keep trying
It can take a few weeks for your dog to fully accomplish the change in behavior you are trying to teach him, be patient, it will happen.
Recommend training method?

The Friend Method

Least Recommended
5 Votes
Step
1
Talk to a friend
Have several of your friends agree to bring their dogs over for training sessions.
Step
2
Bring your pup in
Find a large area where you can put your pup on a leash and stand with him.
Step
3
Conga-line time
Have your friends line up spaced about 20 feet apart with their dogs on leashes.
Step
4
Ready, set, go
One by one, have your friends walk their dogs past where you and your pup are standing.
Step
5
Each time he lunges
Each time your pup lunges towards the other dog tell him "No!" and make him sit. When he does, give him a treat.
Step
6
Keep the line going
Keep the conga-line moving around in a big circle for training sessions of at least thirty minutes each day or at least several times a week. Once he has mastered this, you should be able to take him for walks in public and expect the same behavior.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Dymond
Shepherd
3 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Dymond
Shepherd
3 Years

Focus on me rather than other dogs he sees he des not lunge bur does look and get a bit excited want him to focus on me when we see other dogs out there. thanks.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Claudia, Teaching focus around other dogs mostly takes practice. Work on teaching Dymond the "Watch Me" command and "Heel", and when Dymond starts to get distracted give him something else to focus on by practicing "Watch Me" and by doing lots of heel work, with lots of right and left turns, and changes in speed - so that he has to pay attention to you to keep up. The training should be fast paced until he is focused back on you. Reward his focus on you and work on his obedience while the other dogs are in the background. Start with the other dogs far enough away that he is only mildly distracted. As he improves, practice the training with the dogs a bit closer, until you can work with him close to other dogs and he is still able to focus on you. Attending an Intermediate Obedience or Canine Good Citizenship class is great for building focus around distractions if he already knows Basic Obedience. The environment with other dogs gives you an opportunity to practice his focus while other owners are also doing the same. One of the things Canine Good Citizen typically works on is teaching dogs to ignore other dogs unless given permission to play. You essentially need to practice general training and things that build your dog's focus on you in general, around other dogs often enough that the other dogs become boring and just background noise. Watch Me (AKA look at me) video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6PogCb_mLc Heel article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Make sure you have a high currency such as chesse, bacon, or even hot dogs. It will help a lot but make sure care out treats soon as well.

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Grim
Mixed
1 Year
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Grim
Mixed
1 Year

Hi,my puppy is a service dog in training. I'm training him myself. The most main problem I'm having is reactivity. He crys when he sees dogs, barks and lunges at kids, barks at some adults and loses focus around those distractions. How do I re-focus him on me and to ignore everything and only allow him to greet people/ dogs on command?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kailah, Look into a Canine Good Citizen Class in your area. That class will work on teaching dogs to ignore other dogs and people and act calmly while out in public. The focus around distractions simply comes with practice. If he is struggling to focus around people and dogs, then add more distance between him and others and break the training into much smaller steps for him. A class will still require mostly owner-training from you, but it will provide an environment to practice obedience around others in a controlled way, will give you the support of your fellow owners, and a trainer to show you what to do so that you can continue to practice what you are shown past when the class ends, to the level you will need for Service Dog training. Look for others in your community who are doing owner-training for Service Dogs, emotional support animals, and therapy dogs. Try to get together with them regularly and practice your dog's obedience, focus, and calmness around them and their dogs. Change factors to keep the training at the level Grimm is ready for, by staying further away, moving closer as he improves, having the other owners act calm or act silly, adding more or less people, and so forth. Think though the scenarios that you dog will need to handle one day as a Service Dog and break those distractions down into pieces, like environment, noises, people, dogs, ect, and practice with only part of those distractions until he is ready for you to add another distraction to the mix. If you feel like Grim is lunging and barking out of aggression and not excitement, then you need to hire a professional trainer immediately. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Loki
Border Terrier
19 Months
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Question
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Loki
Border Terrier
19 Months

Hi, Loki has fantastic recall - providing there are no other dogs around. He is super friendly and just wants to say hi, but I don't want him to run up to every dog he sees - they may be unfriendly or recovering from illness. I've tried and tried but he ignores me, but as soon as I approach him he knows he has been naughty. I don't shout or hit him, just say nothing and put him on the lead. Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sharon, Practice his recall on a long leash around other dogs. Intentionally go to places, like dog parks and parks that dog's frequent, and practice the recall on a leash. When you go to a dog park do not go inside while training. Simply practice his recall in a safe park of the parking lot or grass area next to the fence, so that Loki encounters dogs passing by and in the background. You can also recruit a friend with a dog that Loki likes to practice this with on the long leash. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Reel In" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Milo
Yorkie Russell
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Milo
Yorkie Russell
6 Months

How to help my dog be able to go walk off lead lead without running up to other people or dogs and barking

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ellie, First, pup needs to learn how to walk on lead very reliably. Check out the article linked below and the Turns method to teach pup to not only not pull, but also pay better attention to where you are walking in relation with them - which is important for off leash later. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Practice the heeling until pup can heel past distractions reliably - like people and other dogs at the park, and stay focused on you and ignoring the distractions. Once pup can do the above, purchase a 20 foot lightweight leash - you might have to make your own lightweight one out of paracord or climbing accessory rope braided to get it light enough. Practice the same heel training, but do it on the long leash, giving enough slack in the leash for pup to not feel leash tugs, so that they are heeling due to focus on you and not dependent on the leash - bu you can still give reminders and they can't get away with ignoring you and wandering off. Practice until pup can do it around people and dogs also on the new leash. Finally, practice the above, but occasionally release pup from their heel while on the long leash and let them wander several feet away. Practice Come and pup resuming heel when commanded to, then staying in the heel without leash pressure while passing others on the trail. Come - Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bonnie
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Bonnie
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
2 Years

We just rescued a 2 year old female pitbull. She is super sweet but she tends to bark and jump and becomes antsy around other animals either seeing or hearing them. She's never been aggressive just noisy. With her being a pit I'm worried how people will react. We think she was abused at one point and was in a foster home but supposedly wasn't allowed around the 6 other dogs there. I need to figure out how to stop this reaction. Unfortunately I don't have other friends with dogs to help me out. What would be the best methods to try?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katie, If Bonnie is just excited and distracted around other dogs, but you have no reason to believe that she is at all aggressive, then I suggest enrolling in a leashed obedience class with her. Look for one with a really experienced, well respected trainer, who also has advanced or specialized classes. Even though you will just be doing a basic obedience or intermediate obedience class with her, you want a trainer that is very experienced. Many trainer will be willing to evaluate her beforehand to see what class is or isn't appropriate for her. Not all trainers will let an over-excited dog join, so mention it and look for a trainer who is open to it if they feel like she is safe and won't be too over-stimulated. A class that is help outdoors or in a large, spacious area will be better than a small indoor class, which might be too stimulating for her. Bonnie needs to practice obedience and focused exercises around other dogs, while being rewarded for calm behavior and focus on you. This will help her form a positive association with the other dogs, will make them less exciting if she practices with them as background noise often, and will help her focus on you more around other dogs. Another great way to accomplish this is to find a group that does pack walks with a number of dogs. Start teaching her a really structured, focused "Heel" command, then go on a walk with the group and don't be afraid to hang in the back and practice your turns and focus. It might feel frustrating at first when you can't keep up with everyone because she won't stay heeling, but if you go regularly every week when they meet, then she will improve with practice. Meetup.com sometimes has local dog walking groups. Clubs and rescues are other good places to ask. Finally, go places where there are other dogs, like open parks or dog parks with adjoining fields, and practice her obedience with treats and fun, while the other dogs are in the background at a distance she can handle. As she improves, gradually get closer during training sessions overtime. DO NOT take her into the dog park fence though, this can make the over-arousal worse at this stage. She needs to practice calm, friendly interactions, and that is not always the environment inside a dog park. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
moti
not breed
1 Year
0 found helpful
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moti
not breed
1 Year

my dog is not stay in home
why

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Luna
Husky
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Luna
Husky
6 Months

when walking Luna she will kangaroo jump/jump at dogs that pass by, tried treats and distracting but nothing seems to work

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sally, When dogs get over-aroused through excitement or aggression (excitement probably in this case), they typically will not eat eats. This is a sign that her environment and the training in that environment is too exciting and too hard for her to learn. To address this, first teach her a few basic commands, like "Come", "Sit", "Watch Me", and "Heel". Practice these until she can do them at home, in your yard, in your neighborhood when dogs are not around, at the park when dogs are not around, and other locations. When she can do the commands without dogs around, then make sure that you have a way to enforce each command if she disobeys. Check out the "Reel In" method from the article below for "Come". https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Check out the "Position" method from the article below for "Sit". https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-havanese-puppy-to-sit Check out the "Turns" method from the article below for "Heel". https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel You can use fun treat luring methods to initially teach the commands, but you want to be able to enforce the commands too when she does not want treats if you know that she understands the command and is capable of obeying. Next, go somewhere where there are dogs at a distance, like a large park with open grassy areas. You want to be able to control how close she gets to other dogs. Bring treats with you and favorite toys if she is motivated by play. With the dogs in the background, practice her obedience. Keep the obedience fast paced, fun, and energetic...You want to keep her attention on you so much that she cannot focus on both you and the other dogs. Reward her heavily when she obeys with treats (If she will take them) and a little dance and silliness with praise. Don't worry if she won't take the treats. Once she calms down she will be more likely to get interested in them. If she is really struggling to focus then you are too close to the dogs. Practice this until she starts to notice the other dogs less when you are there. When she can handle that then practice slower commands like "Sit-Stay" and "Down-Stay" where she notices the other dogs more. If she moves from the position she is supposed to be in, then gently but firmly and consistently insist that she obey. This will take repetition for her to learn how to obey around the distractions -- practice. This is also a good socialization exercise. You want her to be around other dogs and learn how to be calm and focused at this age. When she can handle commands like "Sit-Stay" around the dogs, then practice closer to other dogs. Gradually decrease the distance between her and other dogs until she can stay focused and obedience while another dog is close-by. It's all about practice. Start small and work up to the other dogs being close-by. For greetings with other dogs, practice the methods from the article that I have linked below with another friend and her well-behaved, friendly dog. Make sure that the other dog is not aggressive and set up several sessions, working up to letting them walk next to each other as the dogs shows signs of being ready to get close, which the method in the article describes. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Caesar
German Shepherd
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Caesar
German Shepherd
10 Months

He starts to linge at other dogs and when he sees them he can't be distracted. He is a working pine German Shepherd so he does not give up easliy. It is also hard to stand still when he is pulling because he pulls so hard and he is so heavy. Today he ran into someone'sbackyard after their dog. Any methods to help?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Prashi, You need to hire a professional trainer to help you in person right away. You need someone who uses both positive reinforcement and fair (non-abusive) corrections, has experience with high drive breeds, and has access to multiple dogs, somewhere like a training facility or training group with multiple trainers and board-and-train dogs. I suggest that you be involved in the training process, but you want the trainer to have access to other dogs, starting with her own well trained dogs usually, for practice during sessions. Caesar needs a lot of structure and boundaries. A very experienced trainer needs to show you in-person how to earn his trust and respect, how to manage his behavior (with obedience and heel, among other things), and how to deal with the root-cause of his aggression (possible territorial-ism, dominance/bullying, fear, genetic aggression, prey drive-with small dogs, protectiveness, or another type of aggression). Because his aggression is likely not fear-based, you will need a trainer that knows how to deal with non-fear based aggression (many trainers only work with fear-based aggression, which is treated a bit differently than other types of aggression). To learn more you can check out Jeff Gellman from solidK9training's YouTube channel and Periscope. He is an aggression specialist who is based out of Rhode Island. I highly suggest finding a trainer to help you in person though and not tackling the aggression by yourself. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Max
Boston Terrier
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Max
Boston Terrier
3 Years

Max is three days into living with an at an apartment complex. He lived with three dogs in a house with mom for the past two years and now he is with me. On walks he is constantly barking at dogs when he sees them trying to go meet them. Any suggestions on getting him to calm down around other dogs?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shea, If his barking is due to excitement because he likes other dogs and wants to play with them or meet them, then I suggest that you join an obedience or canine good citizenship class that specifically works on heeling around other dogs while focusing on people. A class like that will have several other dogs up-close who are also being trained to ignore other dogs on walks and not react to them. Also, teach him what "Quiet" means. After he knows that command, when he barks, tell him "Quiet". If he obeys, then reward him with a treat and have him do a couple of obedience commands and receive treats for those too - to teach him to focus on you around other dogs. If he does not get "Quiet", then correct him with the leash (spend time watching videos on how to do this correctly), have him do a few obedience commands, one right after another, such as heel with lots of turns or Sit-Down-Stand in various orders really fast. You want him to be busy enough and focused enough that he doesn't have time to think about the other dogs. Go a lot of places where you can control how far away other dogs are. Practice his obedience while other dogs are walking around or playing in the distance. Choose a distance from the dogs that Max can still focus on you at while you work with him - but he does notice the dogs are there. As his focus on you gets better - especially his heel if he tends to pull when the dogs are around, then you can practice his obedience closer and closer to other dogs, until he can remain calm on normal walks. You can do this training as his daily exercise also - if he is not ready to be around dogs on sidewalks yet. The training combined with obedience work like heel should wear him out. When he can be calm around other dogs, then practice greeting friends' dogs by walking the dogs on separate sidewalks, and gradually getting closer throughout the walk while the dogs are calm, until you can walk the dogs together and they can remain calm. If he is off-leash playing with another dog, before you let him off-leash, tell him "Go Play", so that he will learn that he can only go play when he is given permission and not to expect it during walks when he hasn't been told that he can play. The obedience commands, correction done correctly, and the rewards for focus on you and calm behavior all go together...If you only correct, then you likely won't see long term improvement. Instead he might just become frustrated and anxious. He needs to be taught what to do instead also - through obedience, rewards, and practice. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ajax
German Shepherd
8 Months
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Question
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Ajax
German Shepherd
8 Months

My puppy is super curious and VERY easily distracted. The slightest of sounds or movement gets his attention. At home his recall is very good but once we're on a walk outside he just ignores me. He is very friendly and wants to say hi to every dog that passes by but when I don't allow him to he barks and lunges at them. He is a stubborn GSD pup and any advice would be great!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kiahna, I highly suggest joining an intermediate obedience class run by a very experienced trainer who also has experience with off leash training. He needs to regularly practice what he already knows on a long leash around other dogs frequently. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Reel In" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Major Tom
German Shepherd
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Major Tom
German Shepherd
2 Years

GSD about to be 2 years old. Never paid any attention to other dogs. Always took him everywhere and was able to walk in crowds. Sweet boy who loves people but all of a sudden when he sees another dog he barks and lunges. Never growls just barks and lunges. How can I stop this behavior and why is this happening all of a sudden?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brooklyn, The response now might be related to hormones and age. Many behavior problems that stem from protectiveness, dominance, timidity, respect issues, and so on, become most obvious between one and three years of age when a dog matures. The exact age usually depends on the breed and specific dog's maturity. I suggest working on his general respect for you by adding a lot of structure and boundaries to his life right now. When he walks he should walk right in the heel position and pay attention to you and stay with you. Check out the article that I have linked below to help improve his respect for you. You can use all three methods but pay attention to the "Consistency" and "Obedience" methods https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you I suggest hiring a trainer to come evaluate why he is responding that way. His body language should tell a lot about why he is reacting the way he is. Is he excited, nervous, challenging, dominant, or protective when he reacts that way and walking with you? Look for a trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections and is very successful and experienced working with high drive, protective breeds like German Shepherds or Malinois. Look for reviews or ask for client referrals. You want a train who understands positive reinforcement and how to use fair corrections and challenge a dog's brain to actually teach the dog, since the issue could stem from a couple of different things that would each need to be addressed a bit differently. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Diggie
Saint Bernard bulldog
2 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Diggie
Saint Bernard bulldog
2 Years

My dog focuses in on dogs and calling his name and keep walking or pulling nothing works when he is focused on anything he does not listen we don’t know what to do and is is to strong for us to hold him

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Braylin, If the focus is due to excitement and not aggression, then I suggest purchasing a gentle leader collar or prong collar for everyone's safety when he pulls. Check out the video below for how to properly fit a prong collar. https://youtu.be/M3iczULPcdE Give a brief tug on the prong collar or simply keep walking with the gentle leader while saying "Let's Go!". As soon as he turns toward you and follows, offer three treats, one at a time. I suggest regularly taking him places where there are dogs off in the distance and working on a structured heel while he is wearing the prong or gentle leader. Utilize a lot of turns, changes in speed, and other commands like "Sit" while heeling. He should walk right beside you in the heel location, with his nose at or behind your leg and not in front. As soon as he starts to move in front, turn directly in front of him at a ninety degree angle. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Turns" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel If you are still having a hard time with the training, I suggest hiring a professional to work with you because the training will be easier when it is demonstrated in person and practiced with someone experienced doing it hands on. Look for a trainer that uses a lot of structure also and not just treats (treats are fine but may not be enough by themselves). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Shenanigans
Beagle
16 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Shenanigans
Beagle
16 Weeks

I appreciate that this may just be because she's a puppy and wants to play, but Shenanigans will not leave other dogs alone. She's constantly jumping at them, barking at them, howling at them, climbing over them, etc. It's actually resulted in her getting bitten twice by some friends' dogs, once hard enough to draw blood. And even then she didn't stop 'harassing' the dog. She also does it with strangers' dogs and even when she's on the lead, she'll bark and howl at other dogs we see out and about. I've tried changing direction, distracting her, making her sit, heel, etc. She didn't do this until she spent time with my friend's dog who is really bad on the lead with other dogs, so I'm guessing she may have picked it up off him.
How do I stop this? It's becoming almost embarrassing taking her anywhere because all you can hear is her barking and howling!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chris, I suggest joining a high quality puppy class that has time for supervised off-leash play where the puppies are interrupted if they get too rough or one starts to get bullied, and where the class has time to practice obedience manners around other puppies. Puppies are different than adult dogs. She needs to be learning from puppies right now, instead of mostly adults - especially poorly socialized ones. When puppies play (with people's help in the classroom) they give each other feedback. When one puppy gets too rough the other puppy will yelp and stop playing with the rough puppy. This helps the rough puppy learn to control himself better so that the fun can continue next time. Having structured time to work on obedience around a group of puppies also helps the puppy learn that the entire class is not play time. There is a time to play and a time to focus on you. Before you let you puppy go say hi or go off-leash to play in the class, have her sit, then tell her to "Go Play" or "Say Hi" and then let her go. This helps her learn that she can only interact with other dogs when she is given permission. Many puppy classes cut off the entrance age at five or six months, so I suggest that you find one as soon as possible and ask how the class is run and whether there is time for off-leash play and obedience practice. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Brutus
pitbull
2 Years
0 found helpful
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Brutus
pitbull
2 Years

Hi so I have a service dog named Brutus and he just has a little problem with other dogs he does not bark or lunch or anything at them but he still looks and one time he growled if there’s anything that I could do to stop him from looking or growling what can I do??? Thanks…

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jestin, I suggest joining a Canine Good Citizen class - where pup gets to proactively practice heeling past other dogs and ignoring them. How does he do when greeting dogs in person? There also may be some stress or frustration related to other dogs present. If so, check out the passing approach and walking together method. Work on desensitizing pup to well mannered friend's or fellow handler's dogs, using those methods. Going on structured hikes and walks with other dogs, where the dog's all practice heeling while in the presence of each other, calm a calm, focused activity - walking, to do together, and are releasing pleasant chemicals while in each other's presence to improve associations about other dogs, can also be good. The walks need to be structured though and not with dogs who are aggressive and reactive - and thus doing things to intimidate the whole time. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Finally, pay attention to how pup acts around you in general. How is their respect for you? If pup lacks respect for you in an area, they may be trying to resource guard you around other dogs a bit. If that could be the case, check out the article linked below for some non-confrontational ways to increase respect. Read over all the methods, but pay special attention to the Working method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lewi
Jack Russell cross foxy
2 Years
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Lewi
Jack Russell cross foxy
2 Years

Hello!
usually My brother goes for walks in the morning and I go for one in the afternoons, with my dog. He never listens to me when we go walking, but he will listen to my brother. The problem is, whenever I want to run, he runs faster than me and I say no, and stop it, and then I hold his leash shorter, and still doesn’t listen to me and still barks at dogs when we are running, and I can’t run as fast.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amelia, I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused he is. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him. Practice lots of changes in pace and turns so that pup can only focus on one thing at a time - you, an gets back into a more focused and calmer mindset. Finally, dogs tend to respond best to calmness and confidence. Lead the walk confidently but calmly - expecting to take the time to work on training proactively, stay calm, and follow through with commands. Focus on training and not just getting somewhere or having the walk go perfectly for a while. Work on you and pup's trust and relationship and teaching some new expectations proactively through things like the Turns method and taking time for the walk to start out calmly to begin with. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
America Staffordshire
2 Years
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Luna
America Staffordshire
2 Years

We recently rescued a very sweet and energetic girl. She has a few behavioral which are being worked on but the biggest one would have to be that she barks a lot. She used to not do it when we got her but overnight she seemed to have found her voice. She barks at visitors, the door, and dogs she hears at night. I want her to be able to ignore all of those sounds. I tried to let her bark it out and then reward her when she stops, but it is very hard especially at night when we live with other family members. Should I continue in this way or try another route.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, First, I suggest teaching her the Quiet command. After she knows what "Quiet" means, when she stays quiet and doesn't bark at all, reward her with a treat. When she barks tell her "Quiet" and if she continues barking use a Pet Convincer to spray a small puff of air at her side (NOT face) while saying "Ah Ah". Telling her "Ah Ah" at the same time will teach her to listen to that correction even when you do not correct after she learns it. Follow the "Quiet" method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, I suggest desensitizing her to the things that she barks at so that she doesn't feel the need to bark as often to begin with. Follow the "Desensitization" method from the same article linked above, and check out the two videos linked below for examples of how to desensitize a dog to things they bark at. General Desensitization: https://youtu.be/Jp_l9C1yT1g Guest and door desensitization: https://youtu.be/DxPrNnulp5s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bill
Labrador Retriever
4 Years
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Bill
Labrador Retriever
4 Years

I have 2 labs bill and barney bill is choc lab cross always been a nervous dog very quiet , are older dog died last year bill became really anxious and depressed the vet advise us to get another dog as company we bought barney full pedigree black lab they have got in fine and barney is now a year old , they have suddenly after staying with a lady for a weekend who was also looking after 6 other dogs become unruly when off the lead , bill will spot another dog across the field and take off towards it will barney following , they would always run back if the other dogs barked or growled but now they will both become aggressive barking and bill especially will fight only for a second then run back to me , it’s like he showing off to barney but it’s becoming such a chore to let them off for a run I’m worried they are becoming a pack and pair of bullies , this has only started since they went to this lady for weekend with 6 other dogs .

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jayne, It sounds that that behavior might be something the other dogs did at her home, or perhaps one was bullied for the weekend (or got away with being a bully) so now they are up reacting to other dogs. First, while this is still an issue they need to be on a leash. Not only are they a potential danger to other dogs but Everytime they practice the aggressive behavior it will get worse. Purchase a long leash and work with each dog one at a time on recall, Down-Stay, Sit-Stay, heeling, Watch Me, and following you with the long leash slack around other dogs. Don't allow them to go up to the dogs. They do not have to meet. You want to simply communicate that they need to cut it out, drill them on obedience in a calm way to remind they to focus on you, and practice ignoring other dogs. Practice this with each dog individually first, then practice with both dogs together - recruit someone your dog's know to handle one dog while you handle the other if needed at first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Colin
Great Pyrenees
15 Months
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Colin
Great Pyrenees
15 Months

Colin has been in puppy classes (he has his STAR Puppy) and intermediate obedience classes to work on his CGC. He was socialized very well as a puppy and has never had any problems with men or other dogs. But a few months ago we were passing a neighbor's dog on a walk who was pulling towards him and he just started barking and lunging at it. He's never had any problems passing by other dogs, even if they were pulling and barking at him, but now we can't go on a walk without me worrying that he'll freak out. He's not aggressive or bad, he just has a really loud bark and it embarrasses me when he gets so upset. Since he's so big, many people misinterpret it as he wants to hurt their dog, when in reality, he doesn't. He knows 'look', 'heel', and 'leave it' very well, but when another dog is introduced into the situation, he usually doesn't care even if I have treats.
Our other problem is that dogs are scared of him. He doesn't have any problems with other dogs. When he approaches them, he approaches them from the side, isn't aggressive/dominant, has a playful grin, and happy body language, but sometimes dogs just start barking/growling at him even though they're fine with other dogs. I'm not really sure what I can do here, since I can't control their dog, and as soon as the other dog starts getting upset we leave it alone. I would like to be able to bring him to a dog park, but I would like to have better behavior before we go.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laurel, When he acts the way he does toward other dogs he is being very rude and not respecting canine social cues essentially - this is pretty typical for a lot of dogs his age. Other dogs are probably trying to discipline him for it to teach him to be more respectful but you don't want all dogs doing this to him because some are not tolerant enough or patient about it and may act aggressively toward him...Essentially he needs to learn to be calmer and more respectful. A good way to help him learn this is by adding more structure to your walk to work on him being more focused on you and learning to ignore other dogs. I definitely don't suggest the dog park right now, not only because he would likely get into a fight by annoying another dog, but because it will make his leash reactivity worse. He needs to practice doing structured things with other dogs, and not wrestling and being wild with lots of unknown dogs right now. If you have a friends with well behaved dogs, go on walks together with their dogs, practicing the "Passing Approach" method and then the "Talking Together" method as he improves. Once he can walk calmly with them go on walks together or hikes together but have both dogs heel strictly and don't allow them to pull to be in front. This should be a calm exercise. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Check out the videos linked below to deal with the rude pulling behavior: Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pako
Newfoundland
2 Years
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Pako
Newfoundland
2 Years

Hi, our dog is around 85kg and is 2 years old now,the big problem we have with him is that everytime we go on the walk there is the neighbours dog in the garden and Pako starts to run towards him and they start to fight (through the fence) almost impossible to remove him he has too much strength and we tried to call him, we tried with treats and nothing it's almost like his brain shut off and as he's a big dog it makes it very complicated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alicia, You need to hire a professional trainer who specializes in behavior problems and has a lot of experience with aggression to help you. Honestly, any advice I could give you on aggression here would probably not be something you can safely implement without help. There needs to be more structure on your walk, more respect for you, the right tools to make managing his size easier, corrections for early signs of aggression - but this needs to be done by someone who is very experienced doing it or it could result in the walker potentially being bitten. Once the dog is calmer, then he needs to be desensitized around the other dog and rewarded for being tolerant and calm around them, so that the dog becomes not a big deal - especially if he doesn't do well with other dogs either. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bella
Pitt Mix
8 Years
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Bella
Pitt Mix
8 Years

Bella is a very well behaved dog, we got her at 8 months and have trained relentlessly. When my mother in law took care of her for a couple weeks she became leash aggressive. We talked to a trainer and i forget what she called it. Its because she gets too excited to say hi and it turns to frustration. We worked with her a lot doing the treats and closing distance etc. We got stuck where we couldn't move any closer without a reaction. We unfortunately gave up and decided to leave her off leash, play in our large yard instead of walks. It worked for a long time then we moved to a house with a large yard but no fence. She has a reliable recall and typically ignores dogs outside of the yard because they are further away. Today though a neighbor was walking his two large dogs by the driveway and she decided she wanted to say hi. (She is not aggressive so I know she just wanted to play.) Problem is she has no dog manners, she has been around tons of dogs but one thing we have noticed is she doesnt approach slowly or do a play bow, she just runs expecting them to play right away and it usually scares the other dogs causing them to attack her. She doesnt learn. It happened today with 2 dogs attacking her and i am terrified shes going to get horribly injured or in trouble because of her breed. She really just wants to say hi and play. Is there anyway to teach her dog manners? Or do you suggest just perfecting the walk and recall? Her recall has only failed us 3 or 4 times since we trained her on it 6 years ago.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amanda, I would definitely suggest working on calmness and structure on the leash, which can positively effect leash reactivity. Work on your response around other dogs while she is on the leash - which needs to be calm and confident, and then working on off-leash recall and heel is always a good idea, but leash reactivity can be address. Some methods don't work for all dogs, so unfortunately the method you tried with your dog first may not have been right or maybe it needed longer practice. Dogs that are leash reactive really need to start out the walk (or stepping into your backyard on a leash) with a lot of structure. The walk should be a very focused, heeling slightly behind you on your side so she is following you and watching you. You should interrupt your dog as soon as you see them scanning the horizon to find or see another dog. You want your dog to learn to ignore other dogs and work for you on a walk so that they don't expect a meeting or to play with another dog then, and get less aroused when another dog approaches - you want other dogs to become boring while your dog is 'working' and your dog should be 'working' anytime they are on a leash. Service Dogs are incredibly well socialized as puppies and go to puppy play dates and things, but when they get older, their interactions with other dogs are expected to be very calm - long down stays next to other dogs, heeling beside other dogs, ignoring new dogs in the room, and focusing on their work and owners instead. Leash reactive dogs need this type of expectation when on the leash. They need to be given focused work, to build impulse control, and taught how to calm themselves. It is very hard to interrupt a leash reactive dog once they are over-aroused and in a reactive state. Look for the early things to interrupt, such as looking around for other dogs, not staying behind your leg at a heel, tensing up when they see another dog, loosing focus on you, pay attention to where their mind and body language is at - if it's getting too aroused or loosing focus on you remind them to focus back on you or cut it out. You want to give them information while they are still deciding how to react in a situation or thinking 'bad' thoughts but haven't reacted on those thoughts much yet. While they are still in that calmer state you can interrupt them more easily with a correction and a simple "Ah Ah" or "No", followed by a reminder of what they should do instead, like Heel, Watch Me, Let's Go, then calmly rewarded while they are in a calm state and focused on you. You can react a reactive dog while in that state but understand that while setting up training scenarios less learning will take place while a dog is aroused vs. still calm and their brain able to retain information. You also have to use a bigger punisher once the dog is over aroused. If you give treats while they are still aroused, the treats can actually increase the arousal even more and make the training harder - and unfortunately a lot of people are told to do just that - reward an aroused dog while they are still in that state. You want to reward calmness in a super nonchalant way, correct arousal early before it escalates, and make your dog be focused on you and working for you during the walk and not looking around for dogs - the way you start the walk will often strongly effect how things go when you do encounter another dog. As your dog becomes conditioned to be calm around other dogs on a normal leash, it should become easier to give a little more freedom and maintain calmness if you want to use a longer leash in your yard for pottying - no retractable leashes though - they are terrible for leash reactivity for several reasons. Overview of leash reactivity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yLKOaASQl4 There are two sides of this, and you need both. The highly aroused state of mind needs to be carefully interrupted with a carefully used, well timed punisher, but in addition to punishment there also needs to be pleasantness to reward the dog calmly for heeling, focusing on you, and being calm around the other dog once the punisher has calmed them down enough they can learn those things. You are saying no to one mindset and yes to another but both should be done very calmly. Most of all you want a lot of structure to make the corrections and rewards work though, so that the dog knows how to behave and succeed instead of exploding. A dog can also learn calmness by practicing things like a structured heel, Place command, and focus on you. Methods that only punish a dog for reacting or only reward a dog tend not to work well when its just one extreme or the other, and not the dog stopping the bad behavior AND learning something better instead. Step 1. Corrections and structure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yLKOaASQl4 Notice the body language of the person walking the dog - calm and confident, leash loose unless he is giving a quick correction, then loose again after a correction. You want the leash to be loose and the dog walking slightly behind you (where this dog is) and paying attention: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGofhEc1YPg Step 2. Desensitization and structure - when it doubt be calmer not more excitable. Follow up heel and obedience work to desensitize her - I would want the dog even a bit calmer than the dog in the video before rewarding though. The interrupting of the reactivity needs to be corrected and addressed before adding in the rewards in most cases though - this type of training comes later, after the arousal has decreased with correction - keep praise soft and calm, even calmer than this trainer's - watch your dog. If he struggles more when you praise, then your praise is too exciting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb8SlGzOw8k Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Structured Heel: Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Max
Rottweiler
3 Years
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Max
Rottweiler
3 Years

Hello please help
I love my dog to bits however he really doesn’t like any other dogs he sees on walks and he’s too strong for me to hold back , he pulled my mum off her feet chasing a dog before please how can I stop him pulling and ignore other dogs or how can I get more control over him ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Josh, I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help in person with this. Look for someone who specializes in aggression, comes well recommended by previous clients who dealt with dog aggression in their pups, and has access to other well-mannered dogs to practice practice training exercises around. See if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area and join one if you can. Those classes are for dog reactive/aggressive dogs, who all wear basket muzzles (more comfortable) and are intensively socialized together in a structured environment. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Finally, work on the structure of your walk to set the tone for calmness and respect and trust toward you. Do the following only with the direction of a qualified trainer or behaviorist. Some dogs will redirect aggression to whoever is closest while aroused, so a basket muzzle or other precautions might be needed while training to keep you and others safe. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive he is - it makes him feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not his around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him - Don't wait until pup reacting really aggressively, refocus before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Only do interruptions with the help of a trainer for safety reasons. Finally, with pup being so strong I do suggest using a no-pull type device. It won't stop the dog aggression but can make physically handling pup while they are still working through this easier and safer for you. See what your trainer suggests after evaluating pup. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Samson
Black Labrador
11 Months
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Samson
Black Labrador
11 Months

We have a lovely gentle black lab, I am training him to not too pull, but when he sees a dog if its on the open field off a lead or on the streets, he just pulls forward, but on the field when off the lead, other dog owners are now started to complain my dog wont leave there dogs alone, the dogs he knows he is ok with, he says hello then runs off, but other dogs he wags his tail and wants them to play. It is geting me down. What can I do, I have tried recalling him and he does come after about 20 times of calling him I have tried everything for about 6 months and no luck so far.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tracy, I suggest teaching a high distraction Come, encouraging following, and teaching an off-leash heel. All of these things will take practice. First, use the Reel in Method from the article linked below to work on teaching Come around distractions - this method uses a long leash and encourages practicing intentionally around distractions on the long leash - the leash lets you enforce your command. Right now he knows that when you call him you can't enforce it so he ignores you - you need the ability to follow through. His main issue is him ignoring you and not staying with you when told since he is friendly around other dogs. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ The information from the two articles above if practiced consistently is often enough for most dogs to learn to come reliably but a few dogs need further training. In those cases, I recommend teaching an e-collar Come - which is taught using a long leash on a dog's "working level" - which is the lowest level a dog indicates they can feel the e-collar stimulation. It also involves a lot of practice but gives you a way to enforce your command from super far away - providing the follow through that's missing in his experience right now. This training has to come after the Reel In method though. Check out the videos linked below on e-collar training - this trainer also has other good how to videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJxSXu4rfs&t=537s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98dt9Uqu-Ds While practicing Come on a long leash also practice automatic following and attention. To do this, walk around with pup on the long leash. Randomly walk away from pup and let the leash catch him and give a little tug if he isn't paying attention. After it catches him a few times he should start paying better attention to where you are. Whenever he starts following you or comes over to you without being told to do anything, give a treat, then let him walk away again or continue to follow - whatever he prefers while on the long leash. If he chooses to stay close, reward with another treat occasionally. If he continues to stay close for a long time walk toward things for him to sniff that might encourage him to walk away from you again. If he still won't leave, he is probably ready for a little more distractions. The more times he is randomly rewarded for choosing to come over, the more he will probably want to stick closer and pay better attention to where you are on his own. Third, work on teaching an e-collar heel. Like Come, you have to work on a normal structured heel first. Sometimes practicing a normal heel first is sufficient and ends the pulling. Practice the Turns method from the article linked below. Once he can heel great on leash, then use the long leash and begin an e-collar heel also if needed or if you plan to walk with your dog off-leash and simply need him to stay close off-leash too. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel E-collar Heel - again, you have to practice a normal heel first so the dog understands the concept of heel. An e-collar heel is first taught in a distraction free area until the dog becomes really good at it. As they improve, you gradually increase the amount of distractions you practice around: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yy-HHvNLDY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Moose
Great Pyrenees german sheperd mix
11 Months
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Moose
Great Pyrenees german sheperd mix
11 Months

moose walks fine in our back yard. but when i go to take him on walks in our neiborhood their are horses in their fence and another neibor has dogs in a fence he does not like horses and lunges not in an excited way but meanly. with other dogs he kinda does the same way we have socialized him and we also have a little dog that is a jackrussel terrier so he is arounnd dogs. i love walking and i love bringing my moose everywhere so please help me solve this problem- Sarah

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help you with the walk. Have them work with you and pup until pup is responding well to them - then practice the training they just demonstrated yourself with pup under their guidance so they can coach you, then it should just be a matter of practicing the training yourself consistently, which you may be able do without having to pay a trainer to continue helping, if you are up for working with pup yourself a lot - which it sounds like you have already with other training. Check out the videos linked below. I suggest having a trainer initially help because whenever a dog is behaving aggressively there is always the chance they may redirect the aggression to whoever else is closest instead - like you, so have the trainer be the one to condition pup to paying better attention to the person walking him and to ignore the distractions of the horse and dogs. Once pup is calm and doing well with both you and the trainer, you can work on further desensitizing him to the animals by offering rewards for staying focused on you while you pass the animals. The interruptions most likely have to happen first before you can reward though - you don't want to reward an aggressive, aroused state - you need pup to calm down before you can reward. Once pup is calm, rewards can help pup learn to ignore and not mind those distractions even more. Keep your attitude calm and confident while training in this situation - that will help pup a ton if you can remain calm but confident and acting sure of yourself (which does take practice and having a trainer who is that way can help you learn that yourself). Work on a structured heel in general, but not around the other animals at first: Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Once pup has the heel down without the other animals around, you can work on the reactivity/aggression also while pup is heeling - this is the part I most recommend professional help with because of a bite risk: Reactive dog example - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Aggressive dog example - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kagoma
Pit bull
3 Years
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Kagoma
Pit bull
3 Years

My only challenge is i dont have any friend with other dogs that can help me test/ work with kagoma ignoring other dogs its not that she is dog aggressive she is just over bearing .... and i need her to ignore other dogs especially when she is working ( she is my emotional support dog) with out her i cant leave the house my anxiety gets to high and i fold into my self .... in all other aspects of going to say the store or the mall kagoma is perfect ignores ppl food listens to my every command just not other dogs .... plz help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Abby, First, look and see if their is a canine good citizen class in your area - one of the tasks taught in that class is heeling past other dogs calmly. Ask the instructor before signing up if you will work on this in class, then see if your fellow classmates would like to meet outside of class to practice at other times also. Another good option is to go to a dog park parking lot. Don't go inside the dog park because that could make the issue, but if the dog park area is fenced and there is an area outside the fence, such as a grassy area, practice pup's obedience commands in that area with the other dogs in the distance to help desensitize pup to their presence. Pup doesn't need to meet any of the dogs during this time, just to see them nearby. This can also be done at the regular park if there are a lot of other dogs around and you can simply practice pup's obedience with other dogs in the background to desensitize to other dogs without having to meet the dogs up close. Finally, check out instagram and facebook for service dog training groups. There is a pretty good community online and you might be able to meet other service dog owner-trainers in your city who would like to practice obedience with their own pups and arrange for get-togethers to train together around each others dogs. In instagram for example, search #servicedog Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Spirit
Golden Labrador
7 Years
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Spirit
Golden Labrador
7 Years

I am training spirit to be a ptsd service dog and I know that he has to be calm which he is unless there are other dogs around and I'm pretty sure he is no aggressive but frightened because I have another dog and he did not show a signal sign of agression there are a few dogs that he is not aggressive to and I'm wandering how to i geuss desensitize him
But I'm not sure

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, First, know that a dog can be aggressive toward strange dogs even if they are fine with dogs they know well - that doesn't mean that he is, but just to be aware. I suggest looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. A G.R.O.W.L. class is a class for dog aggressive or reactive dogs who are intensively socialized together in a structured environment under the guidance of the trainer. The dogs all wear basket muzzles to keep everyone safe. This can be a good way to potentially socialize pup safely more quickly. Doing activities like a structured heel in group walks and hikes are also good once pup can handle being close enough for that type of activity. The calm, structured activity, and physical exercise gives dogs a less confrontational way to bond and get used to each other, without direct nose-to-nose sniffing and as much competing. Be picky about who he socializes with - only choose tolerant and well-mannered dogs who won't bully. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Zeuz
German Shepherd bull Arab great dane
7 Months
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Zeuz
German Shepherd bull Arab great dane
7 Months

I got them both when they were around 3 months old and they didn’t have any vaccines so I had to pan them all out over a time and they couldn’t go for a walk yet. So when they finally could it has been almost impossible. They just pull and pull no matter how much I pull them back they just want to whine and go to any dog and run towards anything. It’s so hard and nothing is working and I hate smacking them cause it doesn’t work and just ruins our bond. What can I do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kassy, Work on the following with each dog on a separate walk first. Once both dogs are doing well separately, then add them together during the walk again. I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pups to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive he is - it makes him feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not his around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him. Don't tolerate challenging stares at other dogs. Remind him with a fair correction that you are leading the walk and he is not allowed to break his heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Leading the walk this way can actually boost a dog's confidence in the long run around other dogs because the dog feels like you will handle the situation so they can relax. Be picky about which dogs he greets. Avoid nose-to-nose greetings dogs who lack manners. A simple "He's in training" tends to work well. Be picky about who and how he meets other dogs. Avoid dogs that don't respect his space, pull their owners over to her, and generally are not listening well - those dogs are often friendly but they are rude and difficult for some to meet on leash. Also, avoid greeting dogs who look very tense around your dog, who stare him down, who give warning signs like a low growl or lip lift, who look very puffed up and proud - that type greeting with a dog is likely to end in a fight since your dog doesn't know how to diffuse that situation. A stiff wag is also a bad sign. A friendly wag looks relaxed and loose with relaxed body language overall. A tense dog with a very stiff wag, especially with a tail held high is a sign of arousal and not always a good thing. When pup is focused on you, calm, and obedient during the walk, at that point you can reward with calm praise and a treat - only reward while pup is in that respectful, calm mindset. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Raven
Poodle
2 Years
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Raven
Poodle
2 Years

Lunging at other dogs. Once she sees them all bets are off. No name calling, no treats will get her attention. Nudge works for a moment, at best. Help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Carol, You may want to consider desensitizing pup to a basket muzzle before working on the leash aggression. Especially if pup has ever shown any signs of aggression toward you while around the other dogs - many dogs who are completely fine around people will redirect their dog aggression to whoever it closest when upset if you aren't careful. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have her mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with her having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if she isn't calm. She should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk she should be in the heel position - with her head behind your leg. That position decreases her arousal, reduces stress because she isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents her from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind her. It also requires her to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive she is - it makes her feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not hers around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as she starts staring them down, interrupt her. Don't tolerate challenging stares - even if she is stressed. Remind her with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and she is not allowed to break her heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for her in the long-run. Once she can walk calmly past other dogs, you can begin using treat rewards and rewarding her for focus on you and calmness around the other dogs to further desensitize - don't reward while she is still tense and aroused though or that can further encourage that - reward for what you want her to do more of - focus on you, heel, and ignore the dogs. Leading the walk this way can actually boost a dog's confidence in the long run around other dogs because the dog feels like you will handle the situation so they can relax. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Examples of leash reactivity and aggression - you may need to hire a professional to help with this part of the training. Always be careful when working with an aggressive dog because some dogs will redirect their aggression toward whoever is closest while aroused and frustrated. A basket muzzle or help of a professional may be needed. Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Severely aggressive dog – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfiDe0GNnLQ&t=259s Aggressive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Outside of the walk you can work on building pup's trust and respect for you in other ways too to help her confidence. The following commands and exercises are also good for that: Agility/obstacles for building confidence if fearful overall: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Any tricks that challenge her mentally, require impulse control, and equal her learning new things successfully. A long down stay around distractions is a good thing to practice during walks periodically. When pup is doing well around other dogs. A good way to do practice additional socialization with other dogs is to recruit friends with calm dogs and use the Passing Approach and the Walking together methods from the article linked below. After a few practice session of this, when the dogs can calmly walk side by side finally, take pups on walks together with both in a structured, focused heel. This gives both dogs something other than each other to focus on, keeps their energy calm, and helps them associate each other with the pleasant experience of a walk. Repeat this with lots of different dogs, one or two dogs at a time - you want other dogs to be associated with calmness, pleasant experiences, and boring things - not roughhousing, wrestling, nose-to-nose interactions always, or being rushed by them. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Sometimes you can even find others to practice with through obedience clubs, meetup groups, or hiking groups. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Winnie
Pug
One Year
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Winnie
Pug
One Year

Winnie pulls when we walk and gets VERY distracted. He cry when we sees another dog and pulls and jumps and it is out of control.. We are so frustrated because he does not listen or respond to us.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Very cute picture of Winnie! It sounds as though Winnie is anxious to have playmates! I would enroll him in dog training classes. There, he will learn basic commands (and make friends), including walking on a leash and not pulling. He'll form a bond with you (the trainer). Whoever else walks Winnie and has issues should practice along with you to instill listening and obeying. We don't want Winnie only listening to one person. In the meantime, there are ways you can practice at home.Use the Turns Method here and you will soon see an improvement in Winnie. He'll focus while on a walk and that will enable you to control home when walking: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Good luck and have fun!

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Teddy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
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Teddy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

He pulls when he sees other dogs and growls at them.I need him to stop

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Olaff
Galgo Espanol
2 Years
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Olaff
Galgo Espanol
2 Years

Hi, we have rehomed 2 galgos . Olaff is reactive on the lead by lunging and jumping when he sees another dog (excitement). He wants to play but we cannot let him off the lead as he is a sighthound with no recall. He has a harness with 2 leads. We've only had them 2 weeks. He is a tripaw. Inside and in our garden he is delightful but outside he just goes crazy and spins in the air, cries and tries to get free to play. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, practice the Turns method from the article linked below without other dog's present. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Check out the video below for how to interrupt the arousal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg Once pup is calmer and doing well again, then reward heeling with calm praise and treats. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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finn
Mutt
3 Years
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finn
Mutt
3 Years

Hi! Finn is a very well trained and good mannered boy who loves going for walks, except he has one problem. On walks I can’t seem to keep him focused on me or the walk when he sees other dogs. He will try to go towards them in a friendly manner, but a little to friendly. The pulling is very irritating and distracts our walks. Although he gets over a dog very quickly once he passes it, he always tries to go toward them and I want to fix that.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Finn is very handsome! I would work on having Finn heel when you pass other dogs. It gives him focus, and you control. This guide has excellent tips for that: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. Work on the Turns Method. Based on what you are telling me, this method should do the trick. Also, work on the Passing Approach Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs. Finn will learn to not pay so much attention to the other dogs. Good luck and happy training!

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Kona
Border Collie
9 Months
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Kona
Border Collie
9 Months

Kona was re-homed recently. She had dog friends and played at the previous home but now she lunges, barks, and snaps at other dogs with us. She wasn’t on a leash much but now she is. Would this be barrier frustration? How can we help her overcome this?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

It does sound as though Kona has an issue with being on the leash. I would work on practicing how to greet dogs calmly: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs/ The Passing Approach Method. As well, use walks as a way to train and help her focus on activity instead of worrying about being on a leash. Use the Treat Lure Method so that she is getting a reward for her good behavior: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel/. Look into joining a walking group that has a trainer used to working with dogs that have leash reactivity. Dogs with similar personalities are walked together and then learn to socialize and eventually play together, whether on-leash or off. Look online for a trainer in your area. Good luck!

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Luna
German Shepherd
2 Years
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Luna
German Shepherd
2 Years

Hello! How can I train my dog to ignore other dogs on walks. I’ve tried treats cheese meat chicken hot dogs, taking the food bowl away and having her work for it, prong, e collar, and she doesn’t care! She just barks and lunges with freckles up completely ignoring anything else around her. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rosie, It sounds like it's time to hire a professional trainer to help you in person. Also, see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs who wear basket muzzles for everyone's safety, and are all intensively socialized and desensitized to each other in a structured environment. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Demon
Dogo Argentino
2 Years
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Demon
Dogo Argentino
2 Years

He attacks other dogs and barks alot

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Adrianna, If pup has drawn blood with other dogs, this is especially something I recommend hiring a professional trainer to help in person with. Look for someone who comes well recommended and specifically has experience with behavior issues like aggression - not all trainers specialize in aggression. Look for someone who has access to other well trained dogs, like someone who is a part of a training group and has their own well behaved dogs to practice training exercises around safely. Check out Thomas from the Canine Educator on Youtube for more information on aggression. Due to the risk of being bitten to you - since all dogs can redirect their aggression to whoever is closest when highly aroused, and the risk to other dogs and people, I don't recommend working on this on your own. If pup hasn't drawn blood on another dog during an attack, I recommend looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog aggressive/reactive dogs where the dogs all wear basket muzzles and are intensively socialized together more safety in a structured environment with the help of the trainer. For the barking, you can start by teaching pup the Quiet command, and working on the Desensitization method. I suspect at least some of the barking is related to pup's dog aggression, in which case the aggression will also need to be addressed for pup to become desensitized to that barking trigger. Quiet method and Desensitization method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Opal
German Shepard Mix
5 Months
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Opal
German Shepard Mix
5 Months

How do I get her to stop getting so excited when another dog enters the home? I’ve tried putting her on her leash and having her follow me throughout the house but every time she sees another dog she goes wild and just wants to play. I want her to ignore another dog in the house.

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Henry
Old Tyme Bulldog
6 Years
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Henry
Old Tyme Bulldog
6 Years

Hello my dog has started to run straight to dogs after I call him, he acknowledges that I have called him then runs over, he is not show any aggression and just wants to sniff and say hello, and then when I call him he comes straight over once he has introduced himself, I could do with some pointers

Thank you Ryan

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Molls
Labrador Retriever
2 Years
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Molls
Labrador Retriever
2 Years

My dog is easily distracted. We walk unleashed on the county and she stays right next to me, very reactive to me. As soon as we get into town she’s a different dog trying to get into everyone yard and showing her hackles to everyone we pass.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! That is a very typical behavior for a lot of working breeds. Their brains enjoy extra stimulation, but they often don't know how to process it. They usually become desensitized as time goes progresses, but in the mean time, you can teach her some commands to help speed the process along. "Leave it" is the perfect one for this. This is a command you can give to teach your dog to break her attention from anything that is distracting her. Smells, birds, other dogs, people, etc. Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until she finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer her the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and she stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of her reach. Wait until she stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as she does, either say “yes” or click and then give her a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding her with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching her that asking her to leave some food doesn’t mean she won’t get anything, but that in fact she might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach her that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items she would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in.

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Jessica
Springer spaniel cross collie
3 Years
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Jessica
Springer spaniel cross collie
3 Years

Hi my dog seems to behaving badly again we got her trained about 2 years ago and she was doing really well but lately she has changed she’s seemed to be going back to her old ways where she is lunging and barking at dogs again and i don’t get why because when we take her to the beach she seemed fine and now she’s changed back to her old ways

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lisa, First, if the training group who worked with you before is around, I do suggest contacting them, since they may know how they trained before and have insight into why there is a lapse in training, and which methods were used before that pup is used to, that may need to be brushed up on to remind pup of the training. Is she reactive only on the leash, but fine off leash? How does she do with different people walking her, is it everyone or just certain people she is reactive when being walked by. How you train, largely depends a lot on what's going on with her - such as fear, a lack of respect for you, possessiveness of you around other dogs, arousal on leash, ect... One way to address this is: I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have her mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with her having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if she isn't calm. She should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk she should be in the heel position - with her head behind your leg. That position decreases her arousal, reduces stress because she isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents her from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind her. It also requires her to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and aggressive she is - it makes her feel like the responsibility is on your shoulders not hers around other dogs. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as she starts staring them down, interrupt her. Don't tolerate challenging stares - even if she is stressed. Remind her with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and she is not allowed to break her heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for her in the long-run. When she is calm while other dogs are in view, reward and calmly praise. Looking for opportunities to let her know she did a good job without adding too much excitement or energy - which makes it harder for her to stay calm. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cash
French Bulldog
1 Year
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Cash
French Bulldog
1 Year

I go for walks with friends dog but my dog won’t leave him alone not aggressive just jumping on him and not allowing him to walk nicely any ideas. Thanks

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, if you have not taken Cash to any obedience classes yet, now is a great time to start. You will be pleasantly surprised by the change that direction and instruction can make in Cash's behavior. Private in-home lessons can do the trick as well! Until you get Cash signed up, I would start teaching him to heel on walks. Working on this skill will prevent your dog from jumping and make the walk pleasant for everyone. Try the Turns Method explained here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. Cash will focus on the task at hand and enjoy the opportunity to use his brain. To start with other obedience commands, take a look here: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-great-dane. Good luck and happy training!

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Ava
German Shepherd
16 Months
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Ava
German Shepherd
16 Months

My dog would bark at other dogs while in the car. Please help me on how to train her to remain calm.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, how is Ava otherwise around dogs? Is she well socialized, getting along with other dogs while at the park, or when she meets them on a walk? If not, you have to start there. Taking Ava to obedience classes will go a long way to giving her the tools for positive behavior. This guide has good tips in the meantime, until she starts class: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-to-get-along-with-other-dogs In the car, try the Quiet Method. It is taught at home, and comes in handy both there and in the car. See an explanation here: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-barking-in-the-car. Good luck!

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George
cockapoo
3 Years
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George
cockapoo
3 Years

When walking George he can cope with the dogs on the side of the path, but if they are coming head on he lunges at them, when they’ve passed he does calm down quickly, I’ve tried treats he’s not bothered about it

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello. It sounds like you have the right mindset in correcting this behavior. I am going to give you some advice that will essentially take you back to the basics with this one, so you can build up to the point where he isn't reactive while walking. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

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Meiomi
Labrador Retriever mix
6 Years
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Meiomi
Labrador Retriever mix
6 Years

My dog is near perfect! Her only flaw is that when we are walking on a leash and another dog approaches us she lunges and barks at the passing dog. I have been shortening the leash and ignoring her carrying on, is that positive? Negative? What do I need to improve on?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello. I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

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Coco
Irish Wolfhound X bandog
11 Months
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Coco
Irish Wolfhound X bandog
11 Months

My puppy plays to rough to even play with other dogs as she just pounces without warning can be quiet frightfully for other people and dogs she was nipping playfully at other dogs ears a friend advised me to get a head trainer witch is sort of like a muzzle and it makes her look aggressive when she's not she's just learning she listens to me completely without fail when no other dogs apart from her the male mini foxy she lives with,he is very old and doesn't take to, to much play time so I spend most of my time walking her and trying to find play dates but it's proving hard with her behaviour the way it is.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, has Coco had her first session of dog training yet? That is an excellent way to socialize her with other dogs and people. It will also allow you to get to know other dog owners for meet ups at the dog park. There are also walking groups that cater to owners of dogs who are not yet sure how to act properly - the classes train them in behavior as well as give them exercise. Coco will need a lot of exercise - hour long walks are ideal and this may help to burn energy so she plays well with others. Also, work on the Distract & Discourage Method shown here:https://wagwalking.com/training/not-play-aggressively. It is also good to teach Coco the out command so that you can remove her from the situation when she gets too rough. Take a look here: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/. But definitely start formal training with her. Good luck!

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Link
Siberian Husky
4 Years
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Link
Siberian Husky
4 Years

My boy get over excited around other dogs on walks to where he will pull and lunge but doesn't make any noises. he knows where there are dogs behind fences to the point where he will pull hard at the fence even when the other dog is not there. i have used every anti pull halti/ harness out there but he is stubborn and will pull against them all even the head halter. i know its all training based and in general hes a sweet boy but due to his strength taking walks can sometimes get frustrating. He doesn't take treats on walks either regardless of whether there are dogs around or not (i guess going for a walk is more important to him than food)

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello. I am going to send you some training exercises you can use to help make your walks or outings a bit more peaceful. If he will not take a treat for the sake of the training, you can take him on an empty stomach and use his breakfast as treats. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what he is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell the dog, sit, "watch me" or whatever command you want to use for this exercise. Remember to go slowly. You will see a significant change in his behavior after a month of consistent practice.

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Bagel
Beagle
4 Years
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Bagel
Beagle
4 Years

Bagel is very reactive to other dogs. We are trying to provide treats before he goes over his threshold, but his eyesight is really, really good. We give him treats before he locks in on another dog, but it is difficult due to his eyesight. He also barks on his walks due to the smell of another dog or cat if they've been there recently. We stopped treating for his barking due to smell because it felt like we were rewarding his barking. We are trying to avoid him barking in other instances, like at home (we keep the blinds closed so he can't bark at dogs passing by). Any suggestions?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. When a situation like yours occurs, I have had success with having pet parents start asking their dogs for commands when they are in that state of mind. Yes, the treats are a great distraction. But as you said, there is a fine line between that and rewarding. So it is good to train him to do something other than bark in that scenario. You can start from feet away, and ask him to sit. THEN reward the sit/quiet behavior with a treat. While this does take some time, it really helps turn this behavior around.

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Riley
German Shepherd
8 Months
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Riley
German Shepherd
8 Months

Riley constantly lunges at other dogs when on his leash any advice thanks

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Zaira
German Shepherd
2 Years
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Zaira
German Shepherd
2 Years

Runs up on dogs.. barks and jumps when she sees other dogs outside

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shawn, If pup is excited to see other dogs and not reacting aggressively, I suggest recruiting friends with well mannered dogs to practice the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods from the article linked below with you with pup on leash. Walking Together and Passing Approach methods - start with the passing approach until pup is calmer, then use the walking together method for introductions. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs When pup does greet other dogs on leash (this all needs to happen on leash first), keep the greetings to no more than 3 seconds to avoid over arousal during greetings on leash, which also helps prevent fights if other dogs are reacting badly toward his over-excitement. After 3 seconds of sniffing, happily tell pup "Let's Go!" and start walking away with them. When they begin to follow you, praise and give a treat from your pocket (carry that baggie of treats in your pocket while out right now). Doing this helps pup also learn to happily follow you when you say "Let's Go" and not get over excited greeting other dogs on leash - on leash can be especially hard for dogs since they feel trapped. I also suggest working on pup's heel, Come, Out, and Leave It commands to give you better control of the situation and communication with pup, plus pup working on their self-control and calmness. Come: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Heel - Turns method - start with pup on leash and once they have mastered that, use a long training leash and gradually practice this around distractions like dogs on the long leash too, so that pup feels off-leash but you can still enforce the command until they are consistent at it. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - leave the area command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Joining a Canine Good Citizen or Intermediate Obedience class are also good things for this area, since those classes specifically work on obeying commands around distractions like other people and dogs, and the canine good citizen class works on calmness around others. An instructor would have to evaluate whether pup is ready for those classes or needs to start with a Basic Obedience class first though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chich
Pit bull
10 Years
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Chich
Pit bull
10 Years

My dog won't listen to me when there are other dogs around. I can't get his attention to ignore even when I have treats. When other dogs approach him when he is on lead and they are off lead I can't get him to walk on and ignore the other dog.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kelly, I would start by putting some distance between him and other dogs, like practicing at a calm park with lots of space so you can control how far away. Practice the Turns method from the article linked below and other commands that build focus on you from far enough away that pup can begin to succeed. This may mean being over two hundred feet away from the other dog or ten, guage the distance based on what pup can handle. Once pup is responding consistently at that distance around various dogs over several sessions, begin to gradually decrease how close you practice around other dogs, like 2 feet closer, 5 feet closer, ect...Until pup can pass right by another dog while heeling. This takes time and practice. Gaining an intermediate level of obedience - which is what heeling around distractions is, takes repetition. If pup can't pass them because of aggression, I suggest looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog aggressive/reactive dogs, who all wear basket muzzles and are intensively socialized around each other with structure. Check out the Turns method from the article below for Heeling: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Once pup improves enough to get pretty close, if pup isn't aggressive, check out the Passing Approach method. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kiara
Maltese Shih Tzu
1 Year
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Kiara
Maltese Shih Tzu
1 Year

My dog is insecure the first time they meet someone or another dog. And I don’t know why because I socialized her since she was little

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tina, Some dogs have naturally more timid or submissive personalities. Does she seem happy but just very submissive? If she is acting submissive but doesn't seem unhappy, then that is likely just a due to her personality. Praise greetings, keep greetings to no more than 3 seconds with other dogs on leash - to avoid other's trying to dominate her - at the end of the 3 seconds, tell her "Let's Go!" in a happy tone of voice and start walking away. When she follows, give a treat from a ziplock bag in your pocket you carry on future walks for such an occasion. With people, carry treats with you and have strangers who want to pet tell her to Sit, and feed a treat under her chin while they are petting briefly - so that their interaction is associated with the food and the approach is slower. If she is aggressive or too fearful to take treats from them, I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help with this, so they can desensitize her to several different trainers in the training group (look for someone who works with several trainers in a group), while being careful not to overwhelm her or be bitten. Agility obstacles, whether through a class or just agility type obstacles you make at home, can be a good way to build confidence in a dog too. Overcoming the physical obstacles, working with you, tends to build it. You can create your own out of PVC, boards, and kids tunnels, looking up instructions online, or buy equipment, or join a class. Certain trick training using lure reward training can also help. Calm interactions with structure with other dogs are probably the best type of social interaction for her right now - like group on-leash hikes or walks with others, obedience classes or practice at clubs or with friends, and canine sports like agility. Dog clubs, training groups, places like meetup.com, or getting friends together are some places you may find group dog walks and hikes -make sure the group is legitimate and safe though if you don't know the people. Things that are highly arousing and competitive like dog parks are probably not great for her. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Eddie
Australian Shepherd
3 Years
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Eddie
Australian Shepherd
3 Years

My dog has a hard time around other dogs. Things will be fine and suddenly they’re fighting. This almost always happens with female dogs more than male dogs. My dog is female and unspayed. I’ve been taking her on walks and playing lots of fetch to keep her calmer on the leash around other dogs and trying to distract her while she’s on the leash and other dogs are nearby, but I just can’t seem to get her to ignore other dogs no matter how hard I try. This is scary when I have her off leash for fetch and another dog comes near. I have to quickly leash her before anything can happen.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sophia, I suggest looking into a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. If there is one within driving distance I suggest joining that. A G.R.O.W.L. class if a class for dog-reactive/aggressive dogs, that works on intensively socializing them together with basket muzzles on, in a structured environment under the guidance of the teacher. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Quinn
Pure Breed Saint Bernard
5 Years
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Quinn
Pure Breed Saint Bernard
5 Years

My dog has never been able to be calm while on walks, she constantly pulls and wants to play with every person and other animal that she sees. I really don't know what i can do to stop this i just want to have good, calm and long walks with her.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her excitement. First we reduce her excitement around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will just add unwanted stimulation. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance, have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns her head away from the once-exciting dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Roman
Shnauzer terrier
3 Years
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Roman
Shnauzer terrier
3 Years

We're trying to get him socialized and his main issue is he freaks out when he sees another dog and occasionally lunges and cars. He only does this with me through and never has issues with other dogs with my mom.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Arianna, Since pup is not doing this while walking with your mom, I would work on pup's trust and respect with you. I recommend practicing the following commands with pup while dogs aren't around first. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Gentle ways to build respect https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you I also suggest working on the structure of your walk. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. She should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and reactive he is. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him carefully and calmly. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. Staying in a calmer mindset also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Once pup can walk past other dogs more calmly, you can carry small, soft treats hidden in a treat pouch or plastic bag in your pocket. When pup's body language stays calm, they remain focused on you, or are very obedient when other dogs are within sight, reward pup with a treat and very calm - almost monotone praise (too much excitement can make the situation harder for pup). Finally, work on calm socialization, and don't skip rewarding pup or calmness around other dogs once he is doing better on walk and is calm enough to reward it! That can help ultimately. Do things like joining obedience classes, trainings clubs, group dog hikes and walks, canine sports, ect...Your goal right now should be interactions with other dogs that have structure and encourage focus on you, calmness around the other dogs, and a pleasant activity with other dogs around - opposed to roughhousing or tense environments with tons of unpredictable dogs loose which increases adrenaline (no dog parks even once pup is better around other dogs). If pup does really well playing with other dogs eventually, recruit some friends with well mannered dogs to go on walks with you and your dog, following the Passing Approach method and Walking Together method to help the dogs learn how to be calm around each other, while also continuing socialization. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Another great resource is joining a G.R.O.W.L. class if you can find one in your area. They are classes for dog reactive/aggressive dogs who are all intensively socialized together in a structured environment under the guidance of a trainer, while wearing basket muzzles that are introduced using food rewards ahead of time - to eliminate the stress of wearing something new. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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lucy
Boxer rottweiler
8 Months
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lucy
Boxer rottweiler
8 Months

My 8 month old puppy is horrible on leash she pulls lunges barks and whines to get to people and other dogs im afraid that this can turn into reactivity. She also jumps on stangers and bolts out the door as soon as its opened she knows some basic commands but will not do them without being treated she also just chews things in generel i need help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mercedies, For the chewing, check out the article linked below. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ For the leash pulling, I recommend following the Turns method from the article linked below. I also recommend recruiting friends with well behaved dogs to practice the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods from the second article I have linked below. Practice those methods with a variety of dogs, one other dog at a time, to help pup generalize the training to all dogs and not just one other dog. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Passing Approach and Walking Together methods - start with the Passing Approach method until pup can be calmer. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Jumping - use the Step Toward method with those pup knows and the Leash method for guests. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Listening - consistency and obedience methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Stokeley
Pitbull mix
2 Years
0 found helpful
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Stokeley
Pitbull mix
2 Years

How do I get him to stop lunging and barking at dogs? We recently rescued him from a shelter and he’s amazing with humans but with dogs he just loses his mind. I’m nervous to bring him around other dogs because when we take him for walks he lunges, starts barking, and it’s hard to control him. It seems aggressive but I’m hoping he’s just excited.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Rocky
Rottweiler
7 Months
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Rocky
Rottweiler
7 Months

Hi when we take our pup out for a walk as soon as he sees another dog he goes crazy. Barking, whining and lunging. I can get his attention for a split second then he focuses back on the dog. He is friendly when he meets them. Because of his breed and size already many people think he is being aggressive and I suppose him being up on his back legs barking does look aggressive but what is the best way to deal with this please? Tell him no or quiet? We try to distract using treats but it doesn’t work and I’m worried I’m going to reward this behaviour by doing this.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nicola, I recommend working on calmness, the barking specifically, and more socialization. For the calmness, I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and reactive he is. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him. Remind him with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and he is not allowed to break his heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. Staying in a calmer mindset also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Once pup can walk past other dogs more calmly, you can carry small, soft treats hidden in a treat pouch or plastic bag in your pocket. When pup's body language stays calm, they remain focused on you, or are very obedient when other dogs are within sight, reward pup with a treat and very calm - almost monotone praise (too much excitement can make the situation harder for pup). Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel You need a way to communicate with him so I suggest also teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - neither too harsh nor ineffective. A Pet Convincer is one example of an interrupter. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking (catch them before they bark if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing him a lot to the things that trigger the barking normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever he DOESN'T bark around something that he normally would have, calmly praise and reward him to continue the desensitization process. Finally, work on calm socialization, and don't skip rewarding pup for calmness around other dogs once he is doing better on walk and is calm enough to reward it! That can help ultimately. For socialization, do things like joining obedience classes, trainings clubs, group dog hikes and walks, canine sports, ect...Your goal right now should be interactions with other dogs that have structure and encourage focus on you, calmness around the other dogs, and a pleasant activity with other dogs around - opposed to roughhousing or tense environments with tons of unpredictable dogs loose which increases adrenaline. If pup does really well playing with other dogs, have one-on-one play dates with a friend and their well socialized dog and intermittently practice obedience with them together so they learn how to also be calm and responsive to you around another dog. Recruit some friends with well mannered dogs to go on walks with you and your dog, following the Passing Approach method and Walking Together method to help the dogs learn how to be calm around each other, while also continuing socialization. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Duke
Indian Spitz
4 Years
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Duke
Indian Spitz
4 Years

While walking or traveling when he sees another dog ( some dogs who he doesn't know)starts barking a lot and pulling ...we should have given him training before but we didn't think abt it much cause when he was a pup he was much more friendly...

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Cooper
Catahoula/ Australian Sheperd
1 Year
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Cooper
Catahoula/ Australian Sheperd
1 Year

How to train my dog to ignore other dogs without wanting to get off his leash?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Loba
Labradoodle
3 Years
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Loba
Labradoodle
3 Years

We have trained my dog since she was very young. She walks on the leash well and also without it. She normally ignores dogs that are on leash, since she knows they cannot play. She loves to play with other dogs at the dog park or when they come visit us at home or we go to their places. She is a very social dog. Unfortunately, near our house there is two German Shepard, that according to the owner are trained for competitions. The dogs are in cages all day, unless the owner takes them out for training a couple of times a week. And sometimes they are loose in their garden. The problem is that those dogs bark every time we go by, and when they are loose in the garden the jump towards the fence and my dog has started to react to that. She started by barking back, then she wanted to get closer. So we started putting her on a leash every time we went close to that house. Now she pulls the leash like crazy. I need to train her to ignore those dogs, no matter what.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Veronica, Check out the video linked below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n_fPKPLA2g&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=10 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sulley
Old Tyme Bulldog
1 Year
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Sulley
Old Tyme Bulldog
1 Year

He pulls and try’s to go for other dogs and people he doesn’t listen he even try’s to run over the road to get to other people and dogs he’s not social able when others come to the house he gets too excited and won’t settle

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Zara, Is pup wanting to get to the other dogs due to excitement and is friendly toward others, even if overly rambunctious? Or is pup aggressive or fearful of other dogs and people? If pup is pulling due to excitement, I recommend the following. If pup is aggressive, I recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues to help you in person, and the following training will have to be adjusted and changed with more safety measures and different methods in mind for the aggression. Excitement: I recommend working on calmness and more socialization. For the calmness, I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal, reduces stress because he isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents him from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and reactive he is. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him. Remind him with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and he is not allowed to break his heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. Staying in a calmer mindset also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Once pup can walk past other dogs more calmly, you can carry small, soft treats hidden in a treat pouch or plastic bag in your pocket. When pup's body language stays calm, they remain focused on you, or are very obedient when other dogs are within sight, reward pup with a treat and very calm - almost monotone praise (too much excitement can make the situation harder for pup). Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel If he barks, I suggest also teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing him a lot to the things that trigger the barking normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever he DOESN'T pull/bark/get tense/react to something that he normally would have, calmly praise and reward him to continue the desensitization process. Finally, if pup is friendly with other dogs up close and isn't aggressive, work on calm socialization, and don't skip rewarding pup for calmness around other dogs once he is doing better on walk and is calm enough to reward it! That can help ultimately. For socialization, do things like joining obedience classes, trainings clubs, group dog hikes and walks, canine sports, ect...Your goal right now should be interactions with other dogs that have structure and encourage focus on you, calmness around the other dogs, and a pleasant activity with other dogs around - opposed to roughhousing or tense environments with tons of unpredictable dogs loose which increases adrenaline. Recruit some friends with well mannered dogs to go on walks with you and your dog, following the Passing Approach method and Walking Together method to help the dogs learn how to be calm around each other, while also continuing socialization. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs For the guests, I also recommend practicing the above training to help pup develop calming and self-control skills. In addition to that, I recommend teaching Place and working up to pup being able to stay on place for 1 hour even around distractions - this will take a lot of repetition and very gradually adding in more distractions and time as pup improves. Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Jumping - Sit method https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ludo
Jack Russell Terrier
2 Years
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Ludo
Jack Russell Terrier
2 Years

Hi (:
My dog is a cross between a jcak Russel and a staffy.
I have 2 questions if that's ok?

The first being: How can I stop my dog from digging at furniture?(sofa mainly).
And the second: How do I stop my dog from being aggressive when he sees some dogs? He seems to feel the need to assert dominance around certain dogs and it's becoming a pain when we go for walks.

Thanks in advance (:

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell her fear. First we reduce her fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. As far as digging is concerned, that is always a tough one. It is instinctual for any type of terrier to want to dig and burrough. If you have a back yard, I usually suggest giving them a space to dig. You can get some potting soil and bury treats and toys in that space. If you don't have a back yard, my best suggestion is to provide him with a little more exercise or interactive toys like a buster cube. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Anna
pitbull
8 Years
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Anna
pitbull
8 Years

Jazz knows all his commands and has decent recall. My biggest issue is when we are walking and another dog approaches. Jazz becomes very excited; his tail is wagging but he pulls quite hard to rush at the other dog. How can I begin to teach him to greet another dog politely rather than rushing at them?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Annafella, Assuming pup is friendly toward the other dogs, I recommend recruiting friends with other friendly dogs and practicing the Passing Approach and Walking Together methods from the article linked below. Start with the Passing Approach until pup is good at that method, then use the Walking Together method to increase pup's calmness skills. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Midnight
Cane Corxer
2 Years
0 found helpful
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Midnight
Cane Corxer
2 Years

My dog walks fine she follows without a leash however as soon as she sees another dog she runs up to them to play

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Natalie, I recommend working on heeling with a long leash to bridge the transition between heeling on leash and heeling off leash around distractions. An off-leash heel is generally started just like a normal leashed heel, then as pup improves you practice the heel on a long leash so that pup is following because they are paying attention to you and not dependent on the leash - but you can use the leash to guide back when needed and prevent pup from disobeying and having inconsistent training. Once pup can heel in places like your neighborhood on the long leash, then also go places where other dogs are walking around and practice the long leash heel around other dogs - with pup learning to ignore other dogs unless told to "Say Hi". I personally prefer starting with a normal weight long training leash - like what you see online and in most set stores, then going to an extremely light weight but strong one when pup is almost ready for complete off-leash work. The light weight helps the training transfer to off-leash better since pup is less aware of a leash being on them prior to taking it off completely. Whenever pup starts not coming or heeling again well, snap the leash back on for a month and do a refresher training course to deal with any issues - the refresher shouldn't take nearly as long as the initial training but at some point most dogs will test ignoring you again and need the refresher. Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel I would also work on a Come command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nessa
Golden Retriever
8 Months
0 found helpful
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Nessa
Golden Retriever
8 Months

Everytime another dog is in sight she stops until they are close then lunges, as well as just pulling on leash in general

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Aiden, How does she do with other dogs when up close? Is she aggressive or overly excited around other dogs? If she is fine up close, and simply leash reactive I suggest the following. If she is aggressive, additional training and safety measures would need to be taken. I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with her having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if she isn't calm. She should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk she should be in the heel position - with her head behind your leg. That position decreases her arousal, reduces stress because she isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents her from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind her. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and reactive she is. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as she starts staring them down, interrupt her. Remind her with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and she is not allowed to break her heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. Staying in a calmer mindset also makes the walk more pleasant for her in the long-run. Once pup can walk past other dogs more calmly, you can carry small, soft treats hidden in a treat pouch or plastic bag in your pocket. When pup's body language stays calm, they remain focused on you, or are very obedient when other dogs are within sight, reward pup with a treat and very calm - almost monotone praise (too much excitement can make the situation harder for pup). Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Finally, if she isn't aggressive, work on calm socialization, and don't skip rewarding pup or calmness around other dogs once she is doing better on walk and is calm enough to reward it! That can help ultimately. Do things like joining obedience classes, trainings clubs, group dog hikes and walks, canine sports, ect...Your goal right now should be interactions with other dogs that have structure and encourage focus on you, calmness around the other dogs, and a pleasant activity with other dogs around - opposed to roughhousing or tense environments with tons of unpredictable dogs loose which increases adrenaline. If pup does really well playing with other dogs, have one-on-one play dates with a friend and their well socialized dog and intermittently practice obedience with them together so they learn how to also be calm and responsive to you around another dog. Recruit some friends with well mannered dogs to go on walks with you and your dog, following the Passing Approach method and Walking Together method to help the dogs learn how to be calm around each other, while also continuing socialization. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs If she is aggressive, I would look for a G.R.O.W.L. class instead. Which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs, who all wear basket muzzles and are socialized together in a structured environment under the supervision and instruction of the class trainer. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Tesla
Doberman Pinscher
1 Year
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Tesla
Doberman Pinscher
1 Year

My dog is scared of other dogs she got bite 2 time when growing up. Now she wants to lung at other dogs and bark non-stop because she doesn't trust dogs now even when the dog is small.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make his concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram his opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Emma
Border Collie
7 Months
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Emma
Border Collie
7 Months

We are attending obedience classes for puppies. There is another dog who disrupts the class with aggressive barking. My dog is getting more and more agitated and now returns the barking and lunges at the other dog. Also, she is not able to calm down enough to focus on her lessons.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jess, I would speak with the trainer about your concerns first, perhaps the class could be adjusted to space the dogs out further if outside, or work on a command like quiet in class with the puppies. I would also desensitize your dog to other dogs outside of class also, so your pup learns to look to you when they see another dog, in anticipation of being instructed and rewarded for focus on you. I would take your pup to places like the park, outside the dog park (not inside the fence, just so pup can see the dogs in the distance and practice things like heel and watch me around dog distractions in the background), and around your neighborhood. Check out the video linked below of desensitizing a dog to a barking dog - in this case one in a fence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n_fPKPLA2g Also, check out the Passing Approach method from the article linked below. Another good exercise to do with friends with dogs, and dogs in the distance at parks. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Finally, you can teach a Quiet command. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Arthur
Great Dane
1 Year
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Arthur
Great Dane
1 Year

We got Arthur just before the pandemic started, so when he was able to walk him we were all in a national lockdown. This meant we only had each other to keep him company rather than meeting other dogs on walks. We were also living in a rural area with fields all around us so when we walked he hardly went on a lead and was so well behaved, never strayed far away. Now we have moved to a busier seaside and there are dogs everywhere, because he is so big already, other people tend not to want him coming near their dogs so he still hasn’t had much socialisation. This means that he gets really over excited when he sees other dogs. If on a lead he jumps like a kangaroo and barks and if off a lead and we don’t spot the other dog in time, he is off and charges towards them. He would never attack but he just doesn’t understand when they don’t want him near them.
We have always taken treats with us but they just don’t work when it comes to other dogs, nothing can get his attention and he is so strong now so on a lead doesn’t help. He also chases birds and will just run until he runs out of space, again we cannot get his attention once this happens. It’s forced us to mainly keep him on a lead.
If there are any tips we could have to have him like he used to be when off a lead, not stray far and is always having his attention. Look forward to hearing from you!
Kind regards
Danielle

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I myself have had trouble properly socializing my dog because of the shutdowns. Something as a trainer, I never thought I would have to deal with! My puppy is absolutely insane and it's pretty embarrassing! So I feel your pain. The best route to go right now is to take a few steps back and start over with socializing. You will have to desensitize him to his distracting environment. Spend a week and take him out on leash, but don't go farther than your front yard. Work on training commands and reward for calm behavior for a good 10 minutes. When you feel he is calm and more focused on you, you can start venturing out farther. Any time he becomes overly excited, go back to the spot where he was last calm and re-gain his focus. You will do this on repeat for likely a good month until he is much less excited by his environment and you can finally go on a walk. Make sure to use soft meaty treats or even cheese. Something he only gets in this setting. In the mean time, you can also teach him leave it. Dogs often learn to ignore the word no because we use it for everything. You can try teaching your dog leave it. Leave it is great for anything you want your dog to leave alone/not go after/not get into. Here are the steps for "leave it" Teaching a dog 'leave it' Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until he finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer him the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and he stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of his reach. Wait until he stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as he does, either say “yes” or click and then give him a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding him with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching him that asking him to leave some food doesn’t mean he won’t get anything, but that in fact he might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach him that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items he would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Keep it fun Even though you’re practicing “leave it” as a way to keep your dog safe, you want him to see it as a fun game you play. When your dog is proficient at the game in your home, start practicing in a variety of locations with more distractions.

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Casper
Staffy Bull Bullmastiff
6 Months
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Casper
Staffy Bull Bullmastiff
6 Months

Casper has good recall given that he doesn't see a dog. However, he pulls a lot on the leader we originally only used a collar but now we have to use a harness because we don’t want him hurting his neck. he will walk next to me but only until we get out of our street after that he’s extremely distracted and doesn’t listen to me.

He’s also recently started to bark and lunge at dogs and sometimes men who have their hoods up. This is exactly concerning as he used to be extremely friendly with both people and dogs. We have been trying to get him to look at us instead of the people/dogs however he gets to distracted.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shauna, Practice a structured heel first in a calm area without other dogs around, and gradually working up to other dogs being around. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel As pup improves at heel, I recommend practicing the Passing Approach with friends. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs I also recommend looking for more opportunities to socialize pup around people in a way that rewards pup whenever they are friendly, calm, and not reacting poorly around others. I would consider joining a basic or intermediate obedience class with pup for the socialization. Pup may be going through a fear period. Pup is also maturing more sexually, which can cause pup to be more suspicious of others. You want other people to be very rewarding, while also encouraging manners like sitting to be petted and given a treat once pup is ready for pets again. Start with others simply tossing a treat at pup's paws when they are responding well to a new person, at first this will probably need to be from a distance. Don't pressure pup to go all the way up to someone before pup is ready and risk a fear bite though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Murphy
Dalmatian
2 Years
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Murphy
Dalmatian
2 Years

My Dalmatian is so friendly, and when ever out a walk I constantly have to avoid other dogs and dog walkers and her can’t walk past without going on his back legs.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, has Murphy had any obedience training? Now is the time to start and if you can enroll him in classes, you would be amazed at the change. Socialization with the other dogs and owners in the class would be very beneficial for him. He would also bond more with you and get used to listening to you. In the meantime, work on training Murphy to heel as you walk. He'll be so intent on concentrating on the training that he will not pay that much attention to the other dogs. These heeling exercises are great for building focus and all three methods are excellent. Read the guide through for excellent tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel. As for learning some obedience before classes, this is a good place to start: https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-german-shepherd-puppy. All the best to Murphy and happy training!

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Ruby
Rottweiler
3 Years
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Ruby
Rottweiler
3 Years

Ruby was adopted 3 months ago by my boyfriend and doesn’t seem to have had much time out for walks and spent a lot of time at home alone. She gets very excited on walks and pulls on her lead which we are working on with her but coming into some challenges with distractions around her. Ruby is a big dog and pulls hard and it can be scary for others who don’t know that she’s a big friendly dog who just wants to play!
She also suffers desperation anxiety and on the rare occasion now that she’s left alone she tends to raid the bin or goes to the toilet indoors!!
We have lots to work on with ruby and I’m encouraging my boyfriend to be patient with her but open to any hints and tips or even what to tackle first!! As everything needs work at the moment lol.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rebecca, What you are experiencing with the potty accidents and trash might be what's referred to as separation boredom, which is essentially when a dog learns that no one will enforce the rules when they are alone so they find destructive ways to entertain themselves while alone. I recommend crate training her, crating her for about a year until she develops a long-term habit of holding her bladder and chewing her own toys and staying out of the trash while alone. When you crate her, give her a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy to keep her entertained. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate I also recommend purchasing a more dog-proof trashcan if you don't already have one, such as this type. https://www.simplehuman.com/products/round-classic-step-can-30l?variant=30245372985475&gclid=CjwKCAiAl4WABhAJEiwATUnEF4NSgBsoaewH0koNfj45sHmGpWr5jve5lva9innOQOLNjj5kgZI4axoCk3EQAvD_BwE For the pulling, first work on teaching her to heel when other dogs aren't around. Check out the Turns method from the article linked below: Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Once pup is good at heeling when other dogs aren't around, I recommend recruiting friends with friendly dogs who are not scared of your dog, to practice the Passing Approach from a distance regularly with you and your dog. Once pup is good at that method, switch to the Walking Together method, which is a bit more challenging. When pup is good with the first dog, then recruit a different friend and their dog to practice the same things, practicing with a variety of people eventually to help pup generalize the training to other dogs in general, rather than just a couple specific dogs. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs If you physically have a hard time containing pup I do recommend a training tool that will keep you from being pulled over until pup is trained well enough you don't need it. That tool won't train for you, the above practice will still be needed, but it can make the training process easier and safer in the meantime. A front clip harness, gentle leader, or properly fitted and used prong collar tend to be more effective. Avoid choke chains because they can damage a dog's trachea. Whichever tool you choose, be sure to watch a couple of videos on how to properly fit and use the tool. Many are used incorrectly or fitted wrongly, and that can make some tools ineffective or even unsafe, especially with a prong collar, which needs to be fitted exactly high on the neck and not hanging loose lowly like a choke chain, to give a uniform squeeze around the neck with little force and not a hard hit at the front of the throat, which is unsafe. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Zeus
Mixed
4 Years
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Zeus
Mixed
4 Years

My dog is very nice to other dogs even while on leash as long as I let him approach them. If I don’t want him to say hi to a dog he whines and barks enough to startle the other dog and pulls very hard. I have not found a good and constant way to stop or control this behavior.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I suggest enrolling Zeus in obedience classes. He'll love the socialization, he'll bond with you and listen better, and he'll learn how to behave around other dogs. In the meantime, I have a few guides for you to read that will help you gain control, and help Zeus understand direction. Here we go: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel (for control over Zeus when around dogs and when on walks), https://wagwalking.com/training/obedience-train-a-german-shepherd-puppy (to teach Zeus some basic commands and techniques), and https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-pitbull-puppy-to-listen (to start honing those listening skills). This is a bit of reading but the guides all have terrific methods for training. Take a look and then start working on the methods for 10 minutes a day. Be consistent, firm but upbeat, and full of praise. Good luck and happy training!

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Loki
Border Collie
3 Years
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Loki
Border Collie
3 Years

Hello hope your well, my Loki is doing well but still struggles with ignoring larger breeds. She is not treat driven and won’t eat the treat or focus on me if the breed is large. She however loves her frisbee if I hold that up she will focus on that is it wrong to use that as a tool because I have no intention on throwing it. Or can I use that then reward her with a treat for focusing on me holding it? X Erika

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Erika, I recommend trying the frisbee. As a reward I would give the frisbee a very short toss in place of what would have been one treat. Check out the video linked below for an example of this. Notice the short, 1-2 foot throws that can be done on a 6 or 8 foot leash carefully as a reward. https://www.youtube.com/ This trainer also has several other videos of teaching various commands and for a couple of his dogs he consistently rewards with toys instead of food while teaching things. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bobby
American Bulldog cross American staffy
3 Years
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Bobby
American Bulldog cross American staffy
3 Years

We got our dog Bobby from a rescue when he was 2 years old, he used to be a fence jumper so is used to being able to do whatever he wants to out of the house. We have had him for about 11 months. He is awesome in the house, very gentle with the kids and will do anything for food inside the house. When we do loose leash walking outside in the backyard, he will walk perfectly alongside us if we have treats. He is fully house and crate trained and knows many tricks.
He has two problems. One is that when he wants something e.g. chasing a rat. He will totally shut off and not listen to us even if we have treats. The only time he will listen while he is chasing something, is when we yell at him.
The main problem is that as soon as we go outside the front, even just sitting with him in our driveway he goes over-threshold. He stops listening to us completely, even when there are no people, dogs, animals or anything around! As soon as he spots a dog, it can be 200 metres way, he starts lunging and Staffy screaming. It sounds like we are torturing him. One of our friends who walked by with her dog described it as “The most horrific sound I have ever heard a dog make”. We can’t walk him outside because he won’t listen to us at all, he pulls really badly and it it is too stressful trying to avoid everything and everyone. Occasionally when there is nothing interesting, he will decide he wants a treat, but apart from that he totally ignores us. We have tried orientation, games and attention training, he aces at home but nothing out the front. Please help we are desperate!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Claire, For what you are describing I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues and has a lot of experience with high drive dogs, to work with you in person. Check out Sean O'Shea from the Good Dog on Youtube Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Loki
Collie Pyrenees
3 Years
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Loki
Collie Pyrenees
3 Years

Thank u so much for your help Caitlin, the link sadly tho just takes me to YouTube and I’d really like to see the video you recommend can you please send the link again thank you Erika xoxo

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Erika, My apologies, try this link instead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDnJ7dwnSwo Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rolo
Chihuahua
4 Years
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Rolo
Chihuahua
4 Years

Goes barking and trying to lunge at other dogs al lthe time

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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Hogan
Bulldog
1 Year
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Hogan
Bulldog
1 Year

Hogan sometimes gets overstimulated on walks. Normal walks around the block on a lead are fine. He reacts to his name and stays close when asked, or wanders off on a long retractable lead when it is safe to do so.

Triggers for overstimulation seem to be wide open areas. He runs around and then runs back to me with pent up energy that he takes out by jumping on me and biting (never broken the skin, but bruising has occurred due to nails and his sheer size knocking into me). At its worse, he has also humped me constantly and I have struggled to pull him off me.

How do I get him to enjoy the outside space without getting too excited? Toys/balls don’t work. I tried a ball once and it made him even more excited and throwing it did nothing.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lauren, I suggest practicing something called "Jazz up and Settle Down". Which is a bit like red light, green light for dogs. During training in a calmer location at first, get him a little excited, then command "Stop" or something he knows like "Sit", and you freeze. Wait and completely ignore him until he calms back down. As soon as he gets calm or sits, praise and give a treat. Tell him "Let's Play!" again, and start playing and getting him a bit excited again. As soon as he starts to get a little worked up (not too much at first), command "Stop" or "Sit" again, then wait, reward with a treat when he calms down, then continue the game after he is rewarded. Repeat this a few times each training session, then end the session before he is too worked up (have lots of frequent shorter sessions). As he improves, and can calm down immediately, let him get a bit more excited before calling Stop. Gradually work up to him becoming more and more excited and having to calm down quickly from a higher level of excitement as he improves. Once he can handle the home environment, practice this in other locations, starting in situations like on leash, where he is moderately excited, then on a longer training leash (purchase a 20 foot type training leash that's more durable than the retractable). Once you have worked up to the field setting again, have a second person handle the training leash, so that pup can feel like they are off leash and excited but the other person can hold pup back with the training leash if they don't get themselves under control when told to. Work up to the field gradually, with lots of practice before then in calmer locations so that pup gains those self-control skills ahead of time and you are kept safe during the process. Hire a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues and has a lot of experience with drive, arousal, and impulse control if you feel unsafe, overwhelmed by the training or situation, or don't see improvement. If pup every harms you with the biting, you may also need to desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle ahead of time and practice Jazz Up Settle Down with pup wearing a basket muzzle to ensure your safety. Muzzle introduction video - for dogs who are new to the muzzle, this is generally done over the course of several training sessions, and not all at once, to ease pup into wearing it, only progressing as far as pup is comfortable each session, so pup learns to feel comfortable about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s I also suggest teaching the Leave It command from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Brownie
Flat Coated Retriever
2 Years
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Brownie
Flat Coated Retriever
2 Years

My dog is very friendly, he wants to play with other dogs while we are on a walk. He's very heavy so we have a hard time handling him. We walk him with a breast collar because it was getting very hard to walk him with a collar. We trained him for years, but he doesn't get anything and it's very stressful... He doesn't react to treats or to calls even though when there aren't any dogs he does everything. My dream is to teach him to run beside me and my bike in the summer. But with the reality i realise that this is almost impossible. How can i teach him to ignore others and walk and run beside me?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Beatrice, I recommend finding a trainer who has off-leash level experience, is very experienced with leash reactivity and working with high drive dogs, and uses rewards other than just food rewards. There are trainers who motivate dogs using what the dog wants as a reward (like getting to say hi to another dog - the premack principle), and the dog's own drive and instincts as motivation - called drive training. The majority of positive reinforcement only trainers may rely heavily on treats, but trainers who teach things like protection training, off-leash obedience, behavior resolution, canine sports that involve something pup is highly distracted by - like duck hunting and herding, and has access to a lot of dogs, like he trainers' own dogs to practice the training with pup around other dogs. Some things you can do are, work on the structure of your walk. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs or people. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how reactive he is to other dogs. You also want to practice passing other dogs at a distance far enough away from them that pup can still respond to your training. Recruit friends for this or the trainer's dogs. By repeating passing the other dog over and over and over until they become boring, you can start to condition a calm response in pup. This only works with repetitive passes of the same dog, so you will need help and not just passing random dogs once on the walk. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel The following videos are reactive and aggressive issues, but they are still good examples of structure, when to interrupt a dog's arousal, how to give feedback, and repetition in many cases. Once your dog is calmer through practice you can add in treat rewards for focus on you, but pup may be too aroused to want the treats at first. If pup doesn't want them then either, that's okay. Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Reactive dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Severely aggressive dog – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfiDe0GNnLQ&t=259s Once you are doing better on leash, check out James Penrith from taketheleaddogtraining on Youtube. He does a lot of off-leash obedience and behavior resolution with highly prey driven, excitable dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Gracie
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
8 Years
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Gracie
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
8 Years

My dog is extremely leash aggressive. Last month we were passing a dog, she was barking and lunging in circles and got out of her gentle leader, she proceeded to attack the dog across the street. Neither dog was injured and the owners were luckily very understanding but after this we have not been able to take her on many walks. She lunges, growls, barks, jumps in circles, and if we’re too close she will attack. She will lunge and growl at bicyclists, runners, and oddly, the elderly. All of these are newer. In the house she listens to all commands; sit, stay, down, no, paw. If she doesn’t see any of her triggers she is also perfect on the leash. She is okay in cars as well unless she sees a trigger out the window. We have tried positive reinforcement, loose leash, clicker training, tons of harnesses, a trainer, special collars, etc. We have had her thoroughly examined by our vet and she has a clean bill of health. I have watched many training videos and have literally tried everything the internet suggested. We don’t know what to do at this point and are open to any and all help. We don’t want to isolate her to the house and although we have a very nice, big yard she whines whenever we take our other dog on a walk without her and it hurts our hearts that we can’t take her too. Thank you for your time!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Marin, At this point I would definitely reach out to a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues to help you in person. Not all trainers have equal experience when it comes to aggression and reactivity. Look for someone who specializes in behavior issues like these. I would also work on desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle in anticipation of working on this. If you can find it in your area, I recommend the training group also have multiple trainers on staff with access to other well behaved dogs, like the trainers' dogs, so that you can set up controlled scenarios that mimic the things pup is reactive toward, to work through the training with those triggers around. Check out trainer's like Thomas from the Good Dog on Youtube. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lola
English Springer Spaniel
3 Years
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Lola
English Springer Spaniel
3 Years

Lola barks aggressively at other dogs and even people when out on walks but if put with them she’s friendly

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

I recommend working on calmness and more socialization. For the calmness, I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have her mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with her having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if she isn't calm. She should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk she should be in the heel position - with her head behind your leg. That position decreases her arousal, reduces stress because she isn't the one in charge and the one encountering things first. It prevents her from scanning for other dogs, staring dogs down or being stared down, and ignoring you behind her. It also requires her to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused, stressed, and reactive she is. Additionally, when you do pass other dogs, as soon as she starts staring them down, interrupt her. Remind her with a gentle correction that you are leading the walk and she is not allowed to break her heel or stare another dog down. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. Staying in a calmer mindset also makes the walk more pleasant for her in the long-run. Once pup can walk past other dogs more calmly, you can carry small, soft treats hidden in a treat pouch or plastic bag in your pocket. When pup's body language stays calm, they remain focused on you, or are very obedient when other dogs are within sight, reward pup with a treat and very calm - almost monotone praise (too much excitement can make the situation harder for pup). Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel If she barks, I suggest also teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing her a lot to the things that trigger the barking/reactivity normally from a distance (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever she DOESN'T pull/bark/get tense/react to something that she normally would have, calmly praise and reward her to continue the desensitization process. Finally, if pup is friendly with other dogs up close and isn't aggressive, work on calm socialization, and don't skip rewarding pup for calmness around other dogs once he is doing better on walk and is calm enough to reward it! That can help ultimately. For socialization, do things like joining obedience classes, trainings clubs, group dog hikes and walks, canine sports, ect...Your goal right now should be interactions with other dogs that have structure and encourage focus on you, calmness around the other dogs, and a pleasant activity with other dogs around - opposed to roughhousing or tense environments with tons of unpredictable dogs loose which increases adrenaline. Recruit some friends with well mannered dogs to go on walks with you and your dog, following the Passing Approach method and Walking Together method to help the dogs learn how to be calm around each other, while also continuing socialization. Passing Approach and Walking Together methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Shadow
Labrador Retriever
5 Years
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Shadow
Labrador Retriever
5 Years

Shadow is a very laid back dog, he sleeps all day and he is relatively low active. When we go on walks I can keep him from going towards people, but when he sees another dog he will do anything to get over there and say hi. He’s even pulled hard enough to knock me over! No matter what I try he doesn’t seem to learn to not lunge at other dogs. It’s starting to get to the point where I can’t keep him under control and he could just get out of my grip at any second.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Irem, What training tools are you currently using? I would start by choosing a training tool to help prevent him from being able to physically pull you over. Gentle leaders and Prong collars tend to work best for very strong dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23zEy-e6Khg&t=836s The tools will not train pup on their own, but they can make things more manageable and safer so that you can actually practice the training. I would recruit a trainer who specializes in behavior issues and has access to other well mannered dogs, and practice things like the Passing Approach from the article linked below. Even though it sounds like pup is friendly with other dogs, you likely need someone who can tailor the training to you, knows how to gets pup's focus on them, is familiar with such behavior, then once they have found a method that works for pup, they can teach you how to implement that with pup in person, so you can continue working with pup until reliable. Passing Approach: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs There are a number of ways to teach a dog the same thing. Sometimes a different method is needed depending on the temperament of the dog and their owner. I would find someone who uses a variety of methods and can tailor the training to each situation depending on who they are working with, instead of advertising that they only use one method to train. At the same time, the training should be something you can feel comfortable doing yourself when taught to you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Banjo
Australian Kelpie
10 Months
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Banjo
Australian Kelpie
10 Months

When we are out of the house (e.g. on a walk or at the park) he completley ignores commands (which he responds to at home) and even when he does it is hard to rewards him because he doesnt not accept treats when we are out. When walking on a leash and he notices other dogs he pulls towards them and barks if he cannot get there and does not listen to me. Also, when we are at the park he does not listen when i ask him to come to me. is there anything i can do to help this?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Grace, Is pup aggressive toward other dogs or excitedly wanting to go say hi? If wanting to say hi, I recommend practicing the Reel In method from the article linked below for Come, and the Turns method from the second article linked below. Start those things at home without distractions, then very gradually work up to the park, by practicing in places your yard, then different parts of your neighborhood, calmer parts of the park, then busier areas of the park. You can offer the treats. While excited pup may not take them, so you can still do the rest of the methods, pup will likely start taking the treats once they improve and gain more self-control. You can also reward with toys if pup prefers those. Reel In method for come: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall You can also set up scenarios with friends, where you use the very thing pup is distracted by as a reward for obeying you before they get it. Check out the Premack principle in the Come article below. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Heeling - Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel If pup is aggressive toward other dogs, I recommend joining a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area to help with the aggression before you work on other training on your own, due to the risk of a bite to you, the extra safety measures needed, and to addressing the underlying issues. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ella
Jack Russell
4 Years
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Ella
Jack Russell
4 Years

Ella was never really trained as a pup and now has a harder time learning manners. She pulls a lot on the lead, gets distracted too easily, and cant be let off the leash or she'll run away

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Wiktoria, the initial goal is just to teach pup what a word means and motivate them to learn. What comes next is intermediate obedience. For intermediate obedience, you will gradually work up to distractions and pup developing the skills to obey in those situations too - at first the distraction might be someone walking through the room, a squirrel in the yard, a leaf blowing by, ect...Start with less distracting environments, then gradually move onto harder environments and spend intentional time practicing in each of those new environments until pup can focus there too. For example, in your home without others around is easiest, your backyard is a bit harder, your front yard is even harder, your neighborhood is even hard, your home with guests present is even harder, a pet store is even harder, ect...Go out of your way to practice at the current level pup needs to learn at and to create the distractions pup is ready to learn to overcome during training sessions when you can control things - so that pup can also respond when things are more out of your control in every day life, but keep the distraction level what pup is ready for at that point in the training so pup can still succeed with your help - the goal is to guide pup and provide consistent, calm boundaries at this point. Second, you may need to switch some of your training methods after pup knows the commands and is sometimes choosing to disobey. For example, when teaching Sit I would first recommend using the Treat Luring method from the article linked below. Once pup knows that method well and has worked up to some distractions, I would enforce my command using the Pressure method from that same article when pup chooses to disobey something they know, but they will learn better initially with the Luring method - the Pressure method just helps you enforce something pup has already learned. The pressure method will still reward some but will also give a gentle consequence for disobedience to encourage pup to obey even when they don't find it as fun. Be patient with pup - keep things more positive and very gradually transition to intermediate methods for commands as pup improves. Sit https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit Reel In method for Come: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Turns method for Heel: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Down: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down Right now you can also keep a drag leash without a handle (for safety reasons to get caught less around the house) on pup while you are home. That way when you give a command like Come and pup ignores you, you can calmly walk over to them and lead them back to where you were - gently teaching them that they need to listen in every day life too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ruka
Boxer Terrier mix
7 Years
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Ruka
Boxer Terrier mix
7 Years

Ruka is super sweet. Out of a walk in the neighborhood (lots of other dogs in the neighborhood), She typically whimpers when she hears other dogs barking. If one gets nearby, she lunges, pulls, barks, misbehaves. Part of her problem, I think is the other, smaller dog in our house. I do not like taking them at the same time, hard to control both. I'm going to try attention and reward without the other dog. She has always whined and whimpered when she sees or hears other dogs in the distance. Not sure why. But I really need her to stop pulling, she's 60 pounds and hard to restrain.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chip, I would see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. It sounds like pup may be reactive, which is when a dog appears aggressive because of the frustration and arousal, but when off-leash or close up with other dogs they get along. A G.R.O.W.L. class is for dogs who are either reactive or aggressive toward other dogs, and works on desensitizing the dogs together in a structured environment while they wear basket muzzles to ensure safety. A second dog being with you is a distraction in itself, and if your second dog is also reactive, they are very likely feeding off of each other's attitudes. I would try training both separate until each are good individually, then combine and train some more, knowing that you will go backwards a bit when they are combined again and to keep working through that again - the second dog will be an added challenge. Check out the article linked below. If pup does well when up close with other dogs, I would work on desensitizing through something like the Passing Approach method. You will need friends with friendly dogs to be "strangers" in the distance so that you can pass the same dog over and over again, to allow your dog to become bored and calm around them - at which point you can reward. This will need to be done several sessions with the same dog until they can pass by calmly at closer distances, then again with multiple other dogs, one at at time, to help pup generalize the calmness to all dogs. Passing Approach method - don't expect to close the gap between the dogs the first session, that will come gradually over several sessions most likely. https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs You may also need to look into a no-pull device just to keep you safe and pup not pulling you over, until pup is trained. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Apollo
malamute, husky, wolf, american bull terrier
4 Years
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Apollo
malamute, husky, wolf, american bull terrier
4 Years

Apollo is a good dog. When he sees another dog from afar he goes nuts by whining and then if he is off leash he will take of after it and pin it down at its neck. today he was inside the office by the store front doors and a dog walked by on leash Apollo ran out the door and pinned the dog down and wouldn't let go. We need help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sally, I highly recommend finding a trainer in your area who specializes in behavior issues like aggression and has a lot of experience with high drive breeds. Pup needs to be desensitized to the presence of other dogs, their respect for you carefully build through things like obedience practice, management needs to be improved with better intermediate and advanced obedience skills, desensitizing pup to wearing a basket muzzle at times, and stopping pup from proper safety measures from having opportunities to practice the pinning when you aren't ready for it, while at the same time working on intentional training around other well mannered dogs, like a trainer's dogs, where you can control the situation and outcomes better. Check out trainers like Thomas Davis and Jeff Gellman Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jairo
Golden Retriever
3 Years
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Jairo
Golden Retriever
3 Years

Hi there!
My dog Jairo (the Golden in the photo) is really sweet with people and friendly with my sisters dog when they play. However, he started getting into fights with unknown dogs at the dog park leading me to not ever go there with me. We were also working in the backyard where he was off leash, and all the sudden he quickly darted off and got into a fight with 2 Dobermans that were walking by in front of the house. He isn’t bothered by any humans at all, but unknown dogs and he becomes really aggressive.
He is not neutered, as I was planning to breed him in a few years. I understand the extra aggressiveness that comes with being non-neutered, but I think there are some behavioral aspects that can be trained and are something that I missed in training him. Do you have any theories/suggestions?

Thanks!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dasha, The dog park is highly arousing and for some dogs can cause issues if there is a lot of competing going on and bad associations are formed about other dogs, with unneutered males this can especially happen because there is so much competition going on between them. A lack of socialization where there were pleasant experiences and not tension could also be a cause. Getting along with just one other dog doesn't always help a lot with socialization. Think of it like a person being around their own family but never exposed to outside people as a child, then being expected to be around strangers in the real world as an adult. A traumatic event like a certain fight can be one cause. As you can see there can be a variety of reasons. I would see if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your region, which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs. These classes are designed to help desensitize dogs to other dogs in a structured safe environment, while wearing basket muzzles for safety through the use of obedience exercises. I would also work on building pup's obedience level with you around distractions to build trust and respect for you, and help manage things from a safety concern, using things like longer training leashes and working at safe distances from distractions first. Come: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Beau
Rottweiler
6 Months
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Beau
Rottweiler
6 Months

How do I train my dog not to get excited when visitors come round? I’m due my baby in a month and worried about the health visitor coming round also worried about who can come round to the house to look after the dog in case my labour takes longer than expected. When she’s excited she jumps, bites and doesn’t calm down. I can’t use the lead in the house as she thinks she’s going on a walk and when we are on a walk, she jumps and bites the lead and me and my mum have both tried to ignore her when excited for weeks and she just jumps and bites clothes and nips skin when she isn’t getting attention so it’s really hard to know what to do now.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brandese, First, I would start by working on the Biting and jumping with you and family, this should include pup being leashed inside so that you can work pup through the biting and jumping while on leash as part of the training. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Step Toward and Leash methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Depending on how hard pup is biting, you may need to desensitize pup to wearing a basket muzzle in general - so pup doesn't mind it and so that it's not only associated with situations pup jumps in. After pup is desensitized, then set up scenarios where pup commonly jumps and bites and practice your commands like Leave It and stepping toward. When pup doesn't jump when you do things that normally cause them to, like jump up and down, entering the front door, holding a toy, ect...then reward pup with a treat hidden in your pocket through the muzzle's holes. A basket muzzle should allow you to do this, opposed to a standard muzzle. The muzzle isn't always necessary, but if pup is biting hard enough you can't practice scenarios where pup normally bites, then use one. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s I also suggest working on a 1-2 hour long Place command. At first with just regular household distractions and gradually building up time, to increase pup's self-control, then practicing around gradually more and more exciting things, like staying on Place while a family member comes home, practicing with a willing guest, who is willing to go in and out of the door a few times while you work with pup, until pup can hold Place while routine guests come over. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Once pup is completely calm, instruct guests to ignore them, and allow pup to calmly say hi. Check out the Leash method from the article linked below to use with guests and the Step Toward method for family members also, to deal with any attempts to jump. When pup is doing well, guests who want to interact can give pup commands are reward pup with a treat, calm praise, or a short pet for being mannerly - like sitting, down, ect... To set the expectation that pup has to be mannerly to get their attention. Example of work with an excited biting dog (which is handled differently than a truly aggressive dog -if pup is truly aggressive, you will need professional help and additional safety measures since the root cause of those behaviors is different than a young, enthusiastic dog who simply lacks manners and self-control). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg The above addresses self-control, respect, space and boundaries, and general manners. The below video desensitizing with treats can also be done to help pup feel less excited about guests arriving to begin with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sadie and Misty
Collie cross
8 Years
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Sadie and Misty
Collie cross
8 Years

I have 2 female collie cross dogs Sadie is 1 and misty is 8. Both rescue dogs. (1 unknown cross and 1 collie Alsatian cross) and they are good in the house apart from barking at passer bys and noises. When I’m walking them they lunge and bark at other dogs, becoming uncontrollable on the lead. Misty will stare out other dogs and if they look she will start and Sadie will copy. Really need some advice as I’ve tried redirecting and blocking their view but it’s so hard to do well with 2 dogs. I walk them on a tight lead to try to make them walk by my side as opposed to pulling, as they both pull badly. I will try the rewards based training but have tried this before and they were more focused on the dogs. Thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachael, First, I would focus the most energy on the dog who is instigating, since your other dog sounds like they are following that dog's lead, and by themselves may be less reactive around dogs. If you can address Misty, Sadie is less likely to be reactive. See if there is a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area. If there is one, I would bring Misty to the class by themselves, without Sadie. Those classes are specifically for dog reactive/aggressive dogs, who all wear basket muzzles for safely and are intensively socialized with each other. It sounds like Misty is challenging the other dogs to get a reaction out of them. Because of that, I would work on building her respect for you through things like a structured heel (walking her by herself for this right now), working up to a 1-2 hour Place command inside, and the working method below. Working method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Check out trainers like Sean O'Shea from the Good Dog, and Thomas Davis from the Canine Educator on Youtube. I would also consider hiring a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression, to help in person for this. Having access to other well mannered, non-reactive dogs that you can counter condition Misty around, practice your obedience commands and focus on you around, control the setting, distance, and reactions of others involved more, and have a second or third person to handle the other dogs and Sadie, will make the training far more attainable. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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