Help in dealing with on-leash aggression

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by nikki8t, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. reveuse Well-Known Member

    Romeo is like that too..... He will actually lie down AND stay (without making stay negative , he just tends to know that lie down generally means "park it and make yourself comfy for a while" so he does just that) ..... when there is an incoming target (and if im kneeling down or showering treats from above he wont move AT ALL when the target goes past)

    So strange I agree!

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Way to go Helps!
    Glad to hear that he is doing better. :) Keep it up!
  3. helps Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys for all the comments.... I think *knock on teeth* we have won this one. Doggie seems to be fine .... He hasn't barked/snarled or anything like that at other dog for few weeks and we even met dogs who were growling at us. My boy was being very good and just walked by my side, ignoring that. I'm so happy for him. ^^ I'm way more relaxed,too which I think helped a lot as well and he seems to be over this and trusting me that I'm there to protect him if anything happens. Yay! I knew we could do that.
    Edit: Just an observation - but it seems that after every passing-by-dog he shrugs off - is it also part of calming signals? sometimes he does that even before other dog leaves (when off leash)
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Congrats on the huge improvements!

    What do mean by "shrugs off?"
  5. jackienmutts Honored Member

    If by "shrugs-off" you mean 'shaking off' - then yes, he's basically self-calming, kind going aaahhhh, it's over, I'm calm now - kind of a doggie deep breath. I also have a reactive dog (my girl GSD lying down), and we've been working for ~ 2+ yrs. She's doing very well, and she also shakes-off after passing many dogs, especially ones who are barking or ones I know especially bother or make her anxious. One in particular used to really set her off on our walks - now she hustles by and give a big shake-off as soon as we're past. AAAAHHHH, we're past him. :-)

    If you notice when dogs are involved in play sessions, the play often has many starts/stops. Sometimes when it gets a bit too riled, the dogs will stop and both will shake-off - it's a self-calming technique, kind of an 'ok, I'm all calm now, I can continue' - and then the play will resume. Your dog has learned to calm himself - be very very proud of him! I actually rewarded my girl the first several times I saw her do that on a walk - it seems reactive dogs sometimes 'lose' some of their abilities to self-calm and almost have to re-learn (or remember) them.

    Congrats on the great work you've done - I know how hard it is!! And good observation on your part for noticing when your boy is shaking-off.
    Dodge likes this.
  6. helps Well-Known Member

    Oh yea, sorry... I meant shaking off. It's hard to not notice this "calming signal" because he's shaking off quite often. It's really interesting to read your girl is just like my boy. Sometimes he's shaking off during the play w/ the other dog,too. You're right... I've been observing him more closely and he's definitely like that.
    And thanks again - I certainly am proud of my boy. I've been re-thinking whole my approach and things and he's got generally WAAAAAY better these days - I mean, listening to what i say and stuff :) tho, puberty is not over yet, lol.
    and I've seen you commented on S. Clothier book - it's like seeing things I've never seen before - I mean, I was always kind of thinking that some tools or magical recipe could make my dog more obedient. But seeing things from Suzanne's perspective is amazing. :)
    Anyways, I'm happy that pup is not that much reactive anymore. I mean, like three weeks ago, he growled at one staffordshire bulterrier, but I guess the fault was on my part - I stopped and chatted w/ friend and my dog was standing by me and that STB was walking by and kind of pulled his leash and I think he was the first one to snarl. However this started my pup growled back at him. I should be more aware and careful, I guess. BUT didnt happen since then, so it's still a lot of success considering we were dealing w/ this only for 4-5 months.
    Dodge likes this.
  7. Sarah Wells Active Member

    My dog has the same problem when he is on-leash, but is fine when he is off-leash. When i first got him he was 5 months old, i rescued him from someone i knew who kept him locked up in his crate all day,he had to go toilet in there and sleep in there,never aloud out, it was disgusting!! So i took him away from her, Well she gave me him when i said that what she is doing is soo cruel and if she doesnt want him i will have him, N e way i thought hed have some problems when we went for our first walks together as hed never been socialised but he was great on and off leash towards people and other dogs, Then when he was 7 months old , he was on leash and suddenly 3 staffies came from no where and started to attack him!! Being on leash he couldnt run so i picked him up and held him high while trying to kick these dogs away, finally there owner appeared and got them away but didnt apologise or n e thing! Luckily Sam wasnt hurt but left shaken and since then when he is on-leash he is always aggressive towards other dogs. I have been trying to sort this problem out and one method that seems to be working is walking past the other dogs nice and relaxed while talking to him and giving him treats and telling him good boy in my high pitched excited voice lol, also if i have his football on hand i show him his football and say "football" He mostly ignores the other dogs now especially if i have his football. But it has taken a while and he still does bark, and i have to b ready to hold him back.
  8. helps Well-Known Member

    You know, it's a long run thing. I'd suggest you try keep doing what you're doing. When he's calm and concentrated towards you, praise praise praise and offer him the tastiest treats. Every dog is different and everyone takes different amount of time, so I guess your dog needs more time to overcome this fear. I would say my dog never was 'serious' case of reactive dog. I think me being nervous only supported him, bu then before I realized it, he was fine. Just don't give up, I'm sure that it will pay off. So sorry to hear thta your doggie didn't have lucky puppyhood. I'd kick these kind of people ... :mad:
    Dodge likes this.
  9. Sarah Wells Active Member

    Thanks helps :) Ill keep trying with him, Im never gonna give up on him, I do belive he can become confident on leash again as he seems to b improving alot :) Yeah he had a really bad upbringing :( I think he has probably forgot all about it but it was soo sad to see him in those awful conditions i dont know how n e one can keep a puppy locked up in a tiny crate with nothing and never cleaned and hardly fed or given water. All he wanted to do was get out and play, I had to train him to do all the basics, toilet training, basic obedience everything, as he was never trained at all. Took a while but he is such a good well mannered dog now, except for this one problem, He is also very smart and loves learning all these new tricks i find on this forum, so glad i came across this :)
    Dodge likes this.
  10. sara Moderator

    I've been working for 2 years on Oliver's leash aggression... but he has such fear aggression, that if he feels even slightly nervous, he lashes out... poor guy. He is better off-leash, but strange dogs need to be dog savvy, and understand when to back off.
  11. Dodge Well-Known Member

    A great way to keep the attention on you is to have . . . .jars of baby food,yep,done it(worked for a couple of seconds,but he s not big on treats outside the house anyway):D squeezy cheese tubes,as you can squirt out little bits or lots to keep his attention or anything like that,like liver pate that comes in a round plastic roll thing(everything they can keep licking at), Dodge has not got any aggression problem just passing on tips I ve been given in the passed (he has got the most weirdest habbit,a dog s in sight and he s glued to the pavement laying down with even his face on the ground . . . same off leash in the park,apart from his head being slightly higher,he s dead friendly with any dog,just his way of saying " I m cool,please dont fight,I only want to say hi and wanna play!" (I ve tried every treat under the sun,he will not move,so maybe those treats wouldnt work for a fear aggressive dog either,just a thought though:))
  12. gaspegal34 New Member

    Hi i have the very same problem only my dog tends too pull on her leash just like she is playing tug and war and she also jumps up on me bites on the sleeves of my coat of sweater and she bites the pant legs and often ripped them how do i get her too stop i have tried talking too her calmly and she tends too continue even when i tell her too sit and relax or stop nothing works please help ... thanks
  13. gaspegal34 New Member

    sorry if i posted in the wrong section of this site just wanted a bit of advice
  14. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Hi gaspegal34, welcome. I have a couple questions for you. How old is your girl, and how long as this been going on? Without knowing anything at all about her, you, or how much training she has, what'd I'd suggest is first, using a chain leash. This will most likely stop the leash biting and trying to play tug immediately - biting a chain leash will take all the fun out of that game. Also, work on a solid "leave it" (start learning this at home, not out on a walk) with your girl, and reward heavily. When she grabs at something she shouldn't while on a walk (the leash, your sleeve, pants, etc), ask for a "leave it" and reward her immed and heavily with something high value - chicken, hot dogs, beef - no store bought packaged treats, use something really yummy that's better than her game of grab your pants! :ROFLMAO: Don't expect miracles overnight, this will be a process, a learning experience for her. Also, you may want to get a Gentle Leader (head halter) for her to help with the innapropriate biting etc while you're working on everything. The GL, the chain leash, etc - all just temp measures til she calms down, grows up, or ?

    If you give more info, we can perhaps give more suggestions or help. How often is she walked, how long has she been doing this, how long have you had her, how long are her walks, etc.
    tigerlily46514 and southerngirl like this.
  15. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    great advice you just got there, from Jackie.
    If you do get a head-halter, Gaspega, take care that you never ever yank your dog's head, but instead, only gently lead the dog where you want the dog to go.
    If your dog is in a head-halter, only gentle leading is required anyway, to get dog where you want dog to be, never ever yank a head halter, as you could damage the dog's neck.

    btw, when a puppy bites something out of excitement, or out of frustration, it's not "aggression", this is very normal puppy behavior, there's nothing "wrong" with your baby dog.
    Also, don't forget, rewarding what you DO want the pup to do, is far more powerful and effective, than scolding, yanking, punishing, etc. Once the dog can learn what you DO want him to do instead-----cuz you reward/praise him then,--------- you are on the right track, but, it does take a dog a while to truly "learn" something, like Jackie said,
    and it takes a baby dog even longer to learn stuff.

    Here is a short, quickie video on puppy nipping/biting, it's only a few minutes long, i hope it might give you some ideas to use:
  16. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Here's another way to work on leash-biting (also, is not "aggression" btw).
    Be sure to also read the words posted right under this video, about when to try to train this:
    GOOD LUCK, and DO keep us posted with your progress, if these ideas are working/not working, etc,
    cuz we can help you trouble-shoot the training if you hit a problem, so please DO come back and let us know if you have ANY questions at all, okay?
    YOU CAN DO IT, GASPEGA!! :D Lots and lots and lots of puppy owners have same confusion about these same exact problems, so you are not alone, and your pup sounds pretty normal pup, so please do come back for more help if you need it, okay?
    The chain leash is probably a simpler solution, though.;)
  17. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    How old is your puppy, btw?
    and how long have you had the puppy?
  18. Dogster Honored Member

    Don't worry, you're not alone. Shivon used to do this too. By the way, some great advice above.:D How old is your puppy??? Most dogs grow out of this, it's one of those annoying puppy things. You just have to know how to help her grow out of it.:D
    southerngirl and tigerlily46514 like this.
  19. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Thought I'd resurrect another old thread just for the heck of it! No, really I was doing a search on leash aggression and this one came up. It was started in 2007, and it's really interesting to see the start of the pendulum swinging towards positive reinforcement. I loved Tx_cowgirl's response (reply #8) as a believer in Cesar Milan's methods, when she is introduced to new information and an alternative way of training. Bravo, Tx_cowgirl!

    Anyway, the links shared by bipa to ClickerSolutions Training Treasures are awesome, and give some really practical methods to try out. I am so open to just about anything right now in my efforts to help my poor reactive boy. He may not need medication, but I just might!
    Mutt likes this.
  20. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Oh, Brodys mom, just don't give up!!!!! There were days I'd honestly break down and cry after walks with Makena, she'd be so horrid -- nothing like a German Shepherd up on her back legs, barking/lunging/ growling/snapping, looking like any criminals worst nightmare, about to be taken down, me praying the leash wouldn't snap, trying to hold her back with all my might -- except the target of her rage might only be a chihuahua a block and a half away, or a beagle taking a nice walk with his family at the other end of the block, facing the other direction. And after the sight of another dog, and a horrid outburst, she'd stomp around for up to two days because of the horrid adrenaline rush. And of course it seemed these awful "sightings" always happened at the farthest points from home, and she'd spend the next 1/2 hour (or more) looking for more dogs to take on, looking for trouble, "just bring it on", and I just spent it praying we'd get home safely. And of coure, we'd walk in areas where there were almost no dogs - desolate areas. But one sighting was all it took. And I couldn't walk her with Alfie (who LOVES other dogs) cuz if she saw a dog with him, she'd immediately redirect onto him and then I'd have two GSs going at it, and she'd take him down, right there.

    BUT - after loads and loads and loads of hard work, she's a different dog. She'll never be a dog park dog, but we all walk together all the time, she can pass other dogs, no big deal, no redirection, no fights, no barking, no lunging, nothing. It's a wonderful feeling. We just took a great beach walk last night, it was a beautiful night, lots of people out walking with their dogs at the beach (onleash), we passed so many, no big deal. Live and let live. We don't ever meet-n-greet (much to Alfie's dismay), but at least we can all have a relaxed walk together.

    Don't give up on Brody, have faith in him, in yourself, and in your relationship. And keep asking questions. You'll find that 'thing' that helps with him, cuz not everything works with, or helps, every dog. But something will, or bits and pieces of this and that, will. And when you need moral support, we're here. I truly get it! Been there, done that - and still live it. I am ever-vigilant, and will always be. But things are so much better. Keep the faith!! (y)
    southerngirl and brodys_mom like this.

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