Good dog gone bad! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Good dog gone bad!

Since I can't afford the Dog Whispher (LOL) I need help from my smart forum friends!
Does your Havanese have one dog in the neighborhood that he dislikes? When these two dogs pass each other during walks, it is a mayhem of snarls and barks. What is the best way to stop this behavior? I stand between Mojo and this dog to block his view, tug up on his leash and do a quick firm touch to his back to get his attention. Any other suggestions?
Also, when Mojo is at the dog park, all dogs are his friend. But when he is on a leash, there is a 50/50 chance that he will not be nice to approaching dogs. What gives?
Thanks for helping me become a better dog owner! Shannon
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 05:05 PM
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Shannon, some dogs will always dislike meeting other dogs when on a leash. It's usually because they feel (and are) restrained and they know that if they need to run away, they can't. The best thing to do is to start giving him treats whenever other dogs come around you during walks. Make sure he's paying attention to YOU and not the other dogs. Does Mojo know how to "watch?" Get him to look you in the eye and treat him for ignoring the other dog. Eventually after he's not growling at a dog passing him by, you can start trying to get him to sniff a dog. Always praise and/or treat for a nice encounter!


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 05:12 PM
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I just got a call about this the other day. Like people, sometimes dogs don't like another one in their species. (I know there are a couple of people that I'd snarl at if I could get away with it. LOL) I advised almost exactly as Carolina just wrote out. It works well when you can get the dog to focus on YOU and not the other dog, but that can be really hard at times, so work on it. I also encourage people to work on a dual command of sit & watch me.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 05:20 PM
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I agree with Carolina on this, one of the best ways to learn more about this is to google "reactive dogs" A lot of people mistake this behavior as aggression and it is not. Best of luck to you.

Leeann, Riley, Monte & Rumor


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 06:44 PM
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I agree with Kimberly's suggestion of dual sit and watch me commands. I used to have a Jack Russell Terrier who was a rescue. She was older when I got her - maybe 8-10, and had never been trained much of anything, especially not social skills or walking on a lead.

I started working with her by taking her several feet off the sidewalk (about halfway up a "normal" front yard), and putting her in a sit, facing away from the passing dog. I tried to time the "meeting" so we were in someone's driveway, but sometimes I had to just walk through someone's front yard. Once the other dog had safely passed, we would resume our walk.

Once she was comfortable with that (would stay focused on me until I released her), we did the same thing, only facing sideways (so she could see in her peripheral vision). Then we moved up to facing the other dog.

We then slowly decreased the distance from the sidewalk, until she would sit calmly on the edge of the sidewalk and let the other dog pass.

She did fine off-leash as well, but was actually never OK "meeting" another dog while on her lead. But I was able to get her to sit and behave, and "let the nice doggy pass." I would actually use that phrase, and I would say that loud enough for the other party to hear. "Sit, Stay, Be good and let the nice doggy pass." That pretty well clued people in that my JRT didn't really want to play. She would let the other dog sniff her....as long as the feet were still moving. If an owner looked hesitant, I would ask them to please keep walking as my dog is currently in a "training lesson" and it isn't time to play yet. That put the responsibility back on ME, but didn't make it sound like my dog was about to try and eat theirs.

Plus, most people would walk away saying "Wow, what a well behaved dog you have!" which was pretty cool.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 06:54 PM
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Another thing to try is walking with the other dog/owner ...not neccesarily right beside them but 5-10 feet behind. When dogs are allowed to walk in close proximity (in the same direction) it makes them feel more like a pack and they accept each other more easily.
Yes, I learned it on TV but I've tried it with Todd several times and it works really well. He went through an pulling/whining period on leash and now he's 80% better about passing other dogs without reacting.
"Watch Me" also made a big difference for him...make sure to use his favorite treat so that he pays attention to you.

Eva, Mom to Todd....2 year old short hair Havanese
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2009, 07:01 AM
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Good idea from everyone. I just talked with a personal trainer about this (Cody does the same thing) and her suggestion was similar to Lina's. The additional step was to be sure and catch MoJo before he becomes a wild dog to reward the behavior. For example, since you know the house he'll go nuts at, don't get all the way to that house before you stop, make him sit and focus on you - while he's still calm. Then get a little closer, repeat positive reinforcement, and so on. When you get to the point he starts getting worked up, turn around and walk the other direction. Just keep moving closer when you get the calm behavior you're looking for. She suggested using a really special treat that he doesn't get for anything else.

Jill - Tess & Cody's mom
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2009, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip....I will try that. Should I do it with each dog we pass, or just when I see Mojo getting agitated?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-04-2009, 03:40 PM
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I say with every dog at first... if he's not uncomfortable around a dog, it'll be even easier to practice sit and watch!


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