calmly meeting new dogs

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by jazzycat, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. jazzycat New Member

    So Blue is not at all dog aggressive, but she is overly excited when she meets a new dog(s). I would like for her to sit, and then calmly approach to sniff. Any suggestions how to do this?

    She is very smart, and I am working with her. She already knows left from right, stop, go, and she knows sit, down, and up (on two hind feet). I just don't know how to get her into a calm state, and I don't want to be that person that someone on here talked about in another thread (the person whose dog runs up to greet other dogs, is overly excited, etc., and the owner just says, oh she's friendly). I want the experience to pleasant for everyone. Thanks bunches! :)

  2. fickla Experienced Member

    I recommend setting up a "goal" to walk towards on a loose leash. First make sure she can walk nicely towards something she really wants that is not a dog (use dinner bowl, people, bones, balls). I set the goal maybe 30ft away and walk towards it, anytime puppy pulls go back to the start line and try again. Even if she pulls 2ft away from the goal, go back to the start line. Once she's there on a loose leash, she gets to have it/interact it.

    Once Blue can do walk nicely towards lots of exciting things, then try this with a dog. It will be much harder, be patient :) Hopefully if you can get here there on a loose leash she will have enough self control to be calm greeting. Let her sniff for a little bit, then break off before it gets too exciting. If you get there on a loose leash and she's still really excited, try in combination with other methods below:

    You can also play the "Look at that" game (described in a ton in other messages and in the book "Controlled Unleashed." And do some parallel walking with other dogs, just walk in the same direction, but maybe 10 ft apart and reward her anytime she's focused on you and not the other dog. Gradually come closer and closer to the other dog, still walking the same way, until she can walk calmly with another dog. Then stop walking and let them say hi for a little bit.
  3. jazzycat New Member

    Thanks bunches! I will try that. She pulls like crazy. When I first got her a few weeks ago, she was much better behaved. I am wondering if I did something wrong, or if she just got more comfortable with me. I have been building up to walking her on longer and longer walks (now up to about 2 hours/day), and I got the walky dog so she can run next to the bike, and I am building her up on that, so I can drain her energy, which she has a lot of because she is young. I always try to stay calm on walks, but as she's gotten more excitable I get frustrated when she pulls, and I know that's not good. *sigh* She is very strong for such a small(ish) dog (about 45 pounds).

    On another note, I brought my ex's BC over yesterday for a few days, and it was very entertaining watching them play. :D
  4. fickla Experienced Member

    I am guessing that she just got more comfortable with you and her true excitable self is emerging! That's good, but it means you are going to really have to be consistent with your rules now :)

    There are quite a few threads on here about teaching loose leash walking in general. There are a lot of methods, but my favorite is "penalty yards" where I simply back up about 3 steps as soon as the leash looses its slack and then move forward again- teaching the dog that pulling makes them further from where they want to be. My previous advice was given assuming she already knew how to walk nicely when distractions aren't around. So I wouldn't necessarily work on walking towards the food dishes/toys/dogs yet!

    It sounds like you two are going to have a lot of fun together!
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Jazzy, i think Fickla is right, your new dog is just blooming into her "real" self the way dogs do after they feel more secure in their new home.
    There's lotsa threads on this board about pulling. I got a lil thin-strapped harness(called Hug-A-Dog brand, i think) for Buddy, if only to protect his throat. Thyroids are right there, all that yanking can't be good for thyroids...
    Anyway, the harness reduced his pulling but that alone did not erase it completely--BUT, one thing i learned the hard way, was, using an extending leash, messed Buddy up, and severely prolonged his learning curve on "No pull!"...maybe this is something particular to only my dog, though.

    I put the extending leash away for a while, and Buddy seemed to almsot suddenly realize, "OH! This is what that "no pull!" remark she keeps making means..." NOt sure why, but using regular 6 foot leash made big difference in Buddy figuring it out. Another person on this web, she used a Gentle Leader on her dog after every teaching method had failed, and said that helped her dog way a lot.

    If you can't find the threads about pulling on leashes, let us know, we'll help you find it. Someone smarter than me might post a link, i never have figured out how to do that...
    Edit, oh Fickla, you already mentioned that. I like the "Penalty Yards" thing, never tried that!!

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