Living With A Dog-reactive Dog... Another Great Article!!!

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by sara, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. sara Moderator

  2. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

  3. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Great article!! Altho Makena has come soooo far and is much better now (altho we'll never be visiting dog parks or out making friends!!;) ), as I was reading, I was laughing and thinking ... been there, done that!! :LOL::ROFLMAO:
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  4. MaryK Honored Member

    Loved it!:ROFLMAO: Especially the reward for yourself - Chocolate and Alcohol:LOL:
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  5. SD&B Experienced Member

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  6. Dogster Honored Member

    I LOVE this article!!!!!:love: So funny, but fantastic advice!!!!!:LOL:(y)
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  7. southerngirl Honored Member

    Great article it's so funny, but full of helpful advice.(y) I loved the pretend you are a ninja:ROFLMAO:.
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  8. sara Moderator

  9. MaryK Honored Member

    Yes definitely keep your dog leashed!!!! I was walking, fortunately Zeus who's bomb proof, the other night when a young girl with two small dogs was walking along the sidewalk. The dogs where ALL OVER THE ROAD/SIDEWALK no where near her!!!!!!!!! The neighbor I was chatting too and myself called out to her about the two dogs. Sure they seemed friendly but (1) it's against the law to walk dogs unleashed on the side walk, let alone have them all over the place. (2) It's dangerous, even though it's a side street, cars whizz down dis-regarding speed limits - result of which one dog a while back killed and several cats likewise. (3) Not every dog is bomb proof like Zeus - Ra Kismet would have been set back quite a bit with a dog right in his face.

    The girl's reaction - rude finger gesture:mad:
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  10. JazzyandVeronica Honored Member

    LOL @ some of the recommendations.

    I do find I sometimes sing to Veronica when we are coming up on/passing another dog...and sometimes for some reason she is actually curious about what the heck is coming out of my mouth and pays attention to me not the dog!! I usually do a version of "lookin at mom, good, good, good, not gonna eat the dog, dogs aren't for eatin, gonna look at me, gonna get a treat, treat, treat, treat, so good to eat".

    I generally do the opposite of #7 I don't avoid triggers I seek them out so we can practice; although recently I was reading about BAT and was seeking out triggers to avoid them O_o but...a few weeks ago Veronica sustained a minor CCL injury so we are doing conservative management and while she needs short walks, she can't pull on leash AT ALL (and I can't pull her either which can happen if she decides to have a real spaz attack and I have to stop her from mugging someone's minature poodle) I have been avoiding other dogs or any triggers (like rabbits) like the plague and it is quite amusing the route our walks have taken! I do feel a bit like a ninja or like I am on the run from the Feds :ROFLMAO:
  11. southerngirl Honored Member

    This always confusses me to a lot of articles and other information say to avoid triggersO_o How is your dog going to learn not to react if you avoid what triggers it. I like it when I run into another dog because it gives me the chance to work with Missy on her reactivity.
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  12. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    I think what they probably mean, and what would be more reasonable, is to try to avoid triggering your dog's reaction. Once you get past a certain point, the dog can't learn anything, so being just this side of a reaction is the sweet spot for counterconditioning. A Rottweiler 1 block away? Ok, great. A Rottie 3/4 block away? The dog's already exploded, and that should be avoided. Does that make sense? I agree that sometimes the wording is sloppy, but I think that's usually what's meant.

    (Of course, good luck not triggering your dog if you live in an urban area, and books rarely mention what to do in those situations, but that's another story!!!)
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  13. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Brilliant articles!! Great to see articles from a non 'train it out of them' point of view!! When I was younger my dad rescued collies and some had bad reactivity - it is great to see that positive methods are now coming to the fore more - I think my Dad was ahead of his time using Postitive methods back then (20 odd years ago). He was laughed at..! Great articles and fun to read.
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  14. Dogster Honored Member

    Another great read, Sara!!!:)
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  15. MaryK Honored Member

    Thank you A & C. That's had me a little confused too. Now I understand what is meant.

    Yes, wish there were some articles on how to deal with suburban situations, as I had the other day. No way I could cross the road, or move away or even turn back - was 'hemmed in' every which way. Fortunately very little reaction from Ra Kismet, almost lost him but nothing like a total meltdown thank goodness. He was completely settled five seconds later, that's a good sign.
  16. sara Moderator

    I am a singer, and a runner, and a ninja with Oliver... LOL I do alot of avoiding, unless we can really control the situation, and I know the other dog/person/child isn't going to stare at Ollie.
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  17. SD&B Experienced Member

    Another perspective. A trainer once explained to me that we should always, 24/7, be in one of two modes - training or managing. My thoughts are that, if you are training to try to change the behavior, you should seek the triggers, though everyone is correct in that you should be careful not to cross the threshold that sends the dog off the deep edge. For example, passing by a dog at a certain distance under threshold and rewarding the dog for the desired behavior is training. When managing, you are trying to prevent the behavior, so you would want to avoid the triggers. For example, you avoid passing another dog altogether, so that your dog is happy, you are happy, and any other dog and owner you may have otherwise met are happy. Another example of managing is to crate the dog while you are out to prevent unwanted behaviors or to close the curtains/blinds to avoid the dog barking at passersby. Sometimes management is a viable option and is especially useful to prevent self-reinforcing behavior.

    Those are just my thoughts, since I'm not really a trainer. I did remember that one lesson about the two modes from a class long long ago.
  18. sara Moderator

    And your trainer is so very right!!!
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  19. jackienmutts Honored Member

    SB&D, really good explanation -- seek them out (the triggers) so you can then make the choice as to how to manage and best work with the situation - cuz you know your dog best. You always want your dog under threshhold, and if you know where the triggers are, there will be no accidents, surprises, or meltdowns. Also remember - practice makes perfect (and that goes both ways). You don't want your dog constantly rehearsing the "see the trigger, and have a meltdown" -- sometimes it's best to avoid them and just have a nice relaxing walk, it's good for both you and your dog. And sometimes work is the order of the day, know where the triggers are, and work on them. Other times ... ya just gotta manage it, and get thru it. :confused:

    And Sara - loved that second article too. Just had that very conversation at the park yesterday with a member of a dog group who walks there daily with their (leashed) dogs. A very elderly couple shows up almost daily for a walk (not with this group) with their chihuahua, never on a leash, running and barking all over the place. The man is now in a wheelchair. Ok, I see the problem, she's got her hands full, I get that. BUT - there's a leash law, so .... it applies to everyone but them? I mentioned this to one of the men in the group yesterday who is friends with them, he basically was saying to cut them a break, she has to push his wheelchair now. My point - their Chi had run up to Makena one day (when they wer both walking, no wheelchair involved), I literally saw it coming and had to get her attention and say "let's go" in the happiest voice I could come up with and take off running to avoid that dog landing in her mouth. One day, the ending will be different, it could be horrific, and altho I'll feel horrible, it won't be my fault. I've talked to her before, about how her dog runs up to other dogs (it's a snarkly little thing) and how mine does not like other dogs and how there's a leash law, blah blah blah. Her response was: she forgot her leash (uh, every day??). So frustrating. I pray nothing happens, we stay waaaay clear when I see them, altho that little Chi runs all over the place and they have no control at all, I fear it's pop up from around a bush one day before I notice them). We do frequent the park tho, as it's a beautiful place to walk and do Nosework. Hopefully that little thing never gets close enough that any harm comes to it. *sigh*
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  20. MaryK Honored Member

    First Jackie, I can really feel for you with the Chi, that's a frightening thing to have to deal with.

    I am learning so much from this thread. With Ra Kismet I am taking, at present, the 'middle road'. I walk him past houses which I know have dogs behind fences but either barely visible or totally unsighted, but not unheard. With very rowdy dogs which are clearly visible racing along their fence lines or jumping at their gates, we walk the other side of the street , just to be sure he won't go into a total meltdown. He's now passing the Mr. Rowdies without batting an eyelid, in fact he rather seems to enjoy passing them, as he get's his treats. And will actually give me eye contact, tail wagging, completely calm just wanting his treat:D. We are though still going to continue passing these dogs on the other side of the street. I do not want to push him at all.

    So far not too many dogs head one and when one was unavoidable the other day, he reacted a little but VERY quickly settled back to trotting along, tail wagging and investigating all the lovely smells.

    The way he's improving is really grand and I am sure by keeping to the 'middle road' way, allowing him to hear/see barking dogs but, as far as possible, not pushing him to head on confrontation, he will in the not too distant feature recover totally from his trauma and walk past dogs without any problem.
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