Fixating/staring At Other Dogs When On A Walk

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by chackk, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. chackk New Member

    Hey everyone, first of all I'm new here and I like the community a lot so I'll stick with it for sure.

    So let me get to the point.
    I got a six year old Boxer, worth mentioning that he's so hyperactive (a typical boxer I'd say :) ). So when we're out on a walk, when he notices another dog he lifts his head up and just stares at the dog, also often starts walking slower and if he sees a dog he doesn't know, meaning he doesn't see it often he tries to lay down, but I don't let him. Instead of that I slightly pull him up and continue walking.

    He doesn't show any aggressive behaviour like barking, growling, lunging towards the dog.
    If he is really tired he's a totally different dog on a walk, he's like ''I'm to tired to deal with you right now'', but trust me it's hard to get him tired and well that's not my goal really to tire him to the point where he doesn't care about the other dogs, I wan't him to show interest to other dogs just not in a way like this.

    I am considering on buying a backpack to keep him mentally challenged, you think that would help a bit?

    At this point I'm really not sure what is he saying with this kind of behaviour... Play, dominance...?

    Any help is more than welcome.

    Thanks in advance,
    MaryK likes this.

  2. Dogster Honored Member


    No, it is not dominance. Most likely he wants to meet the dog. It really depends on the type of stare. I would suggest teaching "look at me" or "look at that". For "Look at me", teach your dog to focus on you and give you eye contact. Give lots of treats and praise. "Look at that" involves the dog looking at what makes him do the unwanted behaviour, then give lots of treats and praise. In this case, you'd be looking for a quick look, not a stare.:) Though I'm not too sure if LAT would work as well in this case...:unsure: A clicker would work GREAT with both of these methods:

    More on "Look at me" and "Look at that":

    Good luck! and keep us posted!!!:D
    MaryK likes this.
  3. chackk New Member

    Hey thanks for your answer. I am more and more doubting it has anything to do with dominance really. One other thing I forgot to mention, if the other dog starts sniffing him he just like freezes really... Usually followed by that he does a quick move, I definetly need more socialized dogs around him to really see what is he trying to say.

    Someone recommended me the Look at that game already some time ago and we tried it for a bit but then we stopped doing our sessions, I'm not really sure why to be honest. Probably because I was thinking that it won't help that much since we only see the dogs on the walk and they keep moving towards us etc... But I guess I'll man up and ask some people if they got a spare minute to make their dog sit while we train for a bit.

    I will definitely start with the LAT game tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

    Also if anyone got any more tips, experiences to share I'd be more than glad to hear them.
    MaryK and Dogster like this.
  4. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    Hi Matic

    It sounds like he is stalking the other dog. This is a herding/predatory behavior but many social dogs do it to other dogs (many of whom do not appreciate being stalked!). My current dog does it, and it actually works ok to solicit play off leash but on-leash is more socially problematic--my guess is that the playfulness is less apparent. Here's an example of a dog stalking a toy:

    Does that look like what you're seeing?
    Pawbla and MaryK like this.
  5. chackk New Member

    Hey, that's pretty much how it looks like, just slightly less focused and well he keeps himself straight up most of the times even tho at times when he wants to lay down it looks like it yes. He starts to slow down, moves his head forward and just stares. Not pleasant to the other dog and well most people think he'd just lung at the dog and attack but he never showed any signs of aggression as I said.

    One thing tho is that he really doesn't know how to interact with small dogs, he just stands on top of the dog and he has those fast moves and just waves his paws around the dog lol... So I really try to avoid him interacting with smaller dogs because I'm afraid that he'll unintentionally harm the dog...
    MaryK likes this.
  6. Dogster Honored Member

    Shivon stalks Carmel (Dogcrazy's dog) at the dog park. She also stalks her other Doggy BFFs.:D The other dogs don't mind it at all. Does he do this when he plays with his doggie friends???:)
    MaryK likes this.
  7. chackk New Member

    We don't really have any dog friends around here, not that many great dogs I'd like him to play with are around here. But last time he was playing with a Husky and well he just slightly stared at her but we moved further and then the Husky came and smelled him and after that (they were on the lash) they were just slightly jumping around and 'bowing' to each other .
  8. Dogster Honored Member

    It could just be that he wants to play. You could try to find him some doggie friends.:)
    Pawbla likes this.
  9. chackk New Member

    Yeah, well I really do doubt he's doing it out of any aggression as I said. I'll really starts searching for some doggie friends around here like you said oh and for the LAT game, we did a couple of sessions inside with his toy and he did fine, we'll move outside today where there are a bit more sounds around and I'll keep you posted how it goes.

    southerngirl and Dogster like this.
  10. Dogster Honored Member

    That's GREAT!!! Glad he's doing well.:)
  11. dogcrazy Experienced Member

    Carmel used to do the same thing. She layed down and stared at the dog and didn't move until it came closer. Your dog is probably just trying to play. To stop this ,teach him to pay attention to you while another dog passes. So first get him to sit beside you when there is no dog and reward him for only paying attention to you. Later when a dog is passing by get his attention before he sees the dog and or pet him or give him treats for ignoring the dog. Hope that helped. :)
  12. chackk New Member

    Thanks dogcrazy, I'll try this after he gets a hang of the LAT game. Just to keep you posted he does pretty well outside playing LAT, we do it on walks and in our backyard, he sometimes smells/listens to something for 2 seconds then focuses back, nothing major I guess... But I want to take it slow so he feels confident enough when we switch to dogs.
    dogcrazy and Dogster like this.

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