I need advice again!!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by tigerlily46514, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Our new dog, Buddy, who did arrive covered in dogbites and blood, and is intact, not neutered yet (vet recommended we wait, build Buddy up a little, as Buddy was so malnourished, and had been through so much already, he has appt in January to get fixed, and vet wanted Buddy and us to bond up even more before he is taken away for surgery, etc.), and Buddy is showing fear/agression towards a german shepherd who lives right on our block.

    Initially, when we first got Buddy, he showed obvious fear when we went by that house. The GS growled menacingly at our Buddy, that first day or two, oh, btw, the GS is NOT on a leash, but has an "electronic fence" that Buddy does not know about, i think this adds to Buddy's fear--the GS looks free to attack to Buddy.
    BUT-- In only a day or two, Buddy seemed to be more confident, he'd glance at the GS, but didn't seem afraid, held his head up, tail straight behind, soft wag....no lip licking, nothing that we could see.....
    Then, for a while, Buddy seemed to be ignoring the GS, who also, quit barking as he'd got used to Buddy going by. Both dogs had tails straight out behind, not up.:dogsmile:

    Now, starting 2 or 3 days ago, when we go by that house, Buddy acts all like, "Cmon, i'll beat you up!" :dogmad: and pulls on his leash and barks, and carries all on. The GS just puts his tail up, but does not bark or growl. After Buddy is gone past, the GS barks once, but it sounds like a friendly bark, like, "Hey, come back, i wanna look at you!" Even if the GS is not even outside, Buddy goes on full alert to go by that house. I can distract him, break the focus, IF the GS is not outside...(i do believe the GS probably barks to go out when Buddy goes by, and the owners then put him out, so they DO see each other a lot).

    But Buddy is probably afraid? again, for some reason?, is maybe the cause of his aggressive reaction to the GS...have no idea why it started all back up again, there has been no confrontation, no difference.

    ANYWAY--MY QUESTION: Any advice on how to deal with this?? We stay on the other side of street, and i sometime try to tell Buddy in calm voice, "Oh that dog is silly, we are not worried about him." or something, but it doesn't seem to help...

    Hopefully, when Buddy is neutered, that may help. but in the meantime, any tips on helping Buddy be calm?

  2. snooks Experienced Member

    Emma Parsons wrote a great book called Click to Calm and Patricia McConnell has several short great ones. Feisty Fido, The Other End of the Leash, and Cautious Canine are all great. If not on Amazon check Dogwise or www.clickertraining.com. :dogwink:

    Otherwise keep enough distance between Buddy and the dog so that buddy doesn't react. Maybe that's 200 yards but that's fine. If he can look and be far enough away to not react and you can click/treat 20 times 1xsecond or so then turn 180 degrees and walk away from the dog. The reward for being calm is food then also its rewarding to have the dog gone and you go on your fun walk. Keeping him below threshold, where he barks, growls, stiffens is the key. I use food as my barometer in the absence of visible signs. If my dog won't take food she's stressed and above threshold. I remove her from the situation, distract and reward for calm, or do calming exercises. Each day a little closer as long as there's no reaction even if it's one step is okay.
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Oh Snooks, this is a GREAT idea!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I've seen this technique on "It's me or the Dog" now why didn't i think of this?? I can't wait to start this. It just kills me to have Buddy get all flipped out on what is usually such enjoyable parts of his day, takes him a lil while to get all re-settled again too, so this is a great idea, i bet this will work.

    I know what you mean about when they won't take food, they are over their line, I've seen Buddy like that, when Buddy ignores his lil hotdog crumb, i know he is gone to me, over some line....:dogblink:
    I can't wait to try this, i can't believe this great idea did not even cross my mind!!:msncrazy:
    I am going to check out getting these books.
  4. snooks Experienced Member

    Exactly like me or the dog. :dogbiggrin: It does work. So does asking for sit down shake spin sit heel and distracting the heck out of them. When you are click/treating tasks rapid fire you wield great power and bring stress way down. Much luck.

    A friend on another forum actually went with her dog too Kath Sdao with her reactive dog. Given Kathy's observations the dog was very trainable but some dogs in some yards were poison. So even avoiding the one bully or antagonizer for a while may help.

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