My dog loathes the rottie next door...

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by tigerlily46514, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Well, Mr. Buddy is coming along nicely here, especially since it is BEAUTIFUL outside now! SPRING HAS FINALLY SPRUNG!! Now that Buddy is outdoors a lot more now, he has started an obsession with the rotweiler who lives almost next door.

    When the 110-pound-rottie is outside, my lil 50-pound-Buddy goes nutz. Barking, tense as a fiddle string, :dogangry:occasionally growling, super hyper, but not in a good way. I have been able to teach Buddy to stop barking on command now, almost always. Not 100% but close. I have sat with buddy inside our fence and got buddy to lie down and mostly relax while the rottie is outside in his yard. I have got Buddy to be able to glance at me at times instead of staring at the rottie nonstop like some crazy dog. :dogwacko:So far, i can only brag on getting glances, not full attention yet.

    Buddy does not do this crazy barking thing for the dogs who live immediately next door, nor for most dogs. but he's got a real unhealthy thing for that rottie...

    If Buddy sees the rottie on walks, oh my, what a job to keep Buddy in his collar..:dogmad:.wow. Carries on like nobody's business.

    The other day, we were in garage with Buddy, who was off leash in our garage. Usually, this is safe, even if Buddy sees another dog going by, Buddy will completely obey us to not run out of the garage after it.

    Wellllll, the rottie went by on a golf cart, and Buddy took off after it full speed, with Craig chasing Buddy chasing the golf cart. The golf cart driver had to stop so Buddy could be caught by Craig.

    Luckily, the rottie is non-reactive dog :dogcool:who is extremely well controlled by his owner. And luckily, the rottie's human is a very friendly person :msngrin:who seems to have pretty deep understanding of dogs, and is even interested in Buddy's rescue story.

    SO HERE'S MY QUESTION: I am interested in introducing Buddy and the rottie, in hopes of defusing Buddy's anxiety/fear?/aggression towards the rottie. I sense the rottie's owner would go along with this effort, i also sense the rottie would also be okay, only my Buddy is the problem.:dogmad: (Okay, now for real, HERE's my question::msngiggle:)
    HOW TO INTRODUCE THE DOGS? I'm figuring the dogs, at least MY dog, would have to be on leash, which would probably not do a thing :dognowink:to foster good interactions...darn, but we'd have to use leashes for safety's sake..

    Should we do that walking back and forth in a park thing in opposite directions, coming closer? I'm not certain this would work, i think it would take about 100 tries,:msniwonder: because Buddy reacts:dogmad: to the sight of the rottie even a block away....


    I would also like Buddy to witness me and Craig being okay with the rottie, greeting it and being friendly to the rottie, :doghuh: i am thinking if Buddy sees WE are okay with the rottie, it might help Buddy re-catorgorize the rottie as not so bad after all?:dogblink:

    I am open to all advice!! Anyone ever do this?

  2. fickla Experienced Member

    I think you have a good idea by walking on leash, however I wouldn't walk towards each other but parallel instead. I would just start however far apart you need to be, or physically can be and then just go for a walk. If you do decide to walk towards each other, I would at least walk in an arc so you're not approaching head on. But I personally feel that parallel walking would be easier in the beginning, and just gradually moving closer together.

    I also think you have a really good start in the yard! Being there and rewarding eye contact is amazing! unfortunate I wouldn't leave Buddy unattended in the yard if the rottie is out (not saying that you are doing this) since he would just practice the aggression and make it much harder for you to get rid of.

    Good luck! Let us know the progress and what you decide to do!
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Indeed walking parallel at a comfortable distance would help.

    What I usually recommend is having the reactive dog not really going anywhere, but the other dog pacing. Meaning have Buddy do some tricks so he has to focus on something other than the Rottie--if he knows "leave it" and "watch" use these a LOT. If not just run through a bunch of tricks or just put him in a sit and stuff his face if he's calm and not paying attention to the other dog. If he starts to react, make yourself incredibly interesting and run away from the other dog(with Buddy leashed of course). Or, you can have the other dog sitting at first and walk Buddy along. There are many ways to use this method. Just remember that the starting point needs to be in his COMFORT ZONE. If Buddy is comfortable with Rottie boy 10 ft away, 100 ft away, 1 mile away, so be it. Start with the Rottie here and only have him come closer when Buddy is completely calm and almost even oblivious to him.

    If he reacts at any point, don't have the Rottie move away, but rather move Buddy away. If the Rottie moves back to Buddy's comfort zone then he learns that if he reacts=enemy leaves. However, if Buddy has to leave the situation he learns reacting gets him nowhere. Do this even at the first signs of aggression so it doesn't escalate to lunging, barking, growling, etc. The second his eyes lock on, the second his ears go forward and his muscles tense, etc....walk away. Don't just move parallel to get away, turn right around so your and his back are to the Rottie so his focus on him is entirely lost.

    As Fickla said, don't leave Buddy unattended in the yard for now. The problem will escalate because the aggression now is reinforcing the behavior. Unfortunately I would also recommend having him leashed in the front yard at all times too if you choose to have him out at all. You can buy 50 ft leads at Petsmart or hunting supply stores.

    As for WHY he's doing it, many, many dogs have this issue. Typically the dogs want to kill each other across the fence, but away from the barrier they are fine. But oftentimes it's a problem with the dogs no matter what the environment. My aunt's boxer is having the EXACT same issue right now with the neighbor's Mini Schnauzer. Many people with dog aggressive dogs tend to stoop down and put their hand on the dog's chest to help hold them back. But really, holding a dog back makes him feel the need to try harder to get the other dog. Barriers of any kind tend to cause weird issues with dogs. Typically if these two were lose they might just go at it until they established a pecking order and then they would never have an issue again. I don't recommend this for the simple reason that this isn't always the case, and the dogs can get hurt, and in many instances it could make the issue worse. It just depends on the dogs and the situation. The fence probably initiated the issue: Rottie barked at something, Buddy got defensive: "What'd you say?? You talking smack about my yard??? Who do you think you are? You just wait till this fence gets out of my way! Let me at 'em!!!" Lol not literally but something to that extent. And so it began, and then he realized later when he saw him out of the fence that "Hey, that's the guy that pissed me off earlier!!!" Barriers are just like holding your dog back. I recently read a book by a police dog/Schutzhund trainer who had a lot of info on this and it makes a lot of sense.

    Be very thorough when you explain to your neighbor what to do. Hope this helps, and good luck!
  4. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Wow, great advice, thank you!!
    Do you think it'd be of any value to have Buddy witness US greeting and accepting the rottie?
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    See, my dtr (grown up) could hold Buddy on leash in the yard, and Craig and i could walk over to greet the rottie, with rottie's owner there, of course. Rottie is super gentle, well controlled nonreactive dog.

    Oh, the leash in the yard, is so Buddy won't escape and go get into a fight? Is that it????

    We don't leash Buddy in yard, in truth, Buddy could leave yard if he wanted, (we are working on this, trying to find fence spikes that are long enuff to snug the bottom edge down ) Buddy proved that his first week here, but got scolded, and has never ever done that ever again. Even if he is chasing bunnies or cats across the yard, when they go under, Buddy stops at the fenceline. Always. Even if he sees a dog he wants to play with, he never leaves the fence.

    Buddy has seen that rottie outside a hundred times, but never ever goes under the fence, nope, not one time. Buddy hollers at the rottie, leaps all around, but never leaves the fence since he ever found out we do not want him to.
    But still, to be absolutely sure we dont' lose our dog, we are working on snugging that fencing down to the ground. (Shocking how much fence spikes cost!!)
  6. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    It really just depends on the dog. Take for instance, my Zekers. If he were to encounter a stranger of his own free will he would avoid them entirely, but would happily allow petting if they initiated it. If I were with him, he'd be more accepting but still wouldn't approach of his own volition. If MUDFLAP were to race over and love on the person, Zekers would cautiously approach, sniff, and allow petting but probably not for long. He'd probably walk away to allow himself a little more space, then venture back in if Mudflap was still in love with the person(which she always is). If Buddy isn't all that dependent on you or Craig, then it may not do any good at all. But then again, it might help a lot to see his fellow pack members showing that the Rottie is all well and good.

    In the backyard, I would say just stay with him, but don't necessarily have to leash him. Just keep him from starting anything. But, I recall you saying he's loose in the front yard if y'all are out. No more. :) Leash him here, even if it's a 50-ft lead, so that you have some control. If you can see the Rottie before he does, reel him in or call him if his recall is perfect. Either use it as a training opportunity or put him inside as to avoid any reinforcement of the behavior. Never put him in the backyard unattended, at least not until this issue is solved. :) You might also have Buddy on leash in the backyard and have your neighbor play with the Rottie in his backyard. Since this is the original place of the problem, this might help him relax and chill out even though his enemy is being noisy next door.

    Good luck and keep us posted!!!
  7. snooks Experienced Member

    Do you ever watch It's Me or the Dog with trainer Victoria Stillwell? She does a lot of this and its very nicely done. Many of the recent episodes were online free but I think they stopped doing that unfortunately. it shows reruns on animal planet and has nice episode explanations http://animal.discovery.com/tv/its-me-or-dog/index.html

    the full episodes online were nice but as all good things in life they go away sometimes.

    Patricia McConnell does a good job of describing a good way to handle this with the 180 degree turn in one of her books. I'll pasted it at bottom of this post. I agree on the non-head on encounter. I usually suggest using other dogs or similar large black dogs you see at a distance so far away that Buddy doesn't react. Even as far as 100+ yards. As long as he's calm and looks at the other dog calm treats good treats good, any growl or bark or tensing then you do a 180 and walk farther away. it's hard to react with a bark fit when you're going the other way, of course while going the other way you say good and praise coming with you and doing as asked. Then when things calm down you could turn back toward the dog and be very conscious that you aren't transmitting OH NO or WHAT IF or I HOPE HE DOESN"T BARK down the leash. Be calm and don't tense up or tighten up the leash.

    this would be easier on neutral territory like a street, park, somewhere ur dog is comfortable tho that's not his yard or drive. and keep him below threshold by keeping the distance great enough that he doesn't react. rewards, clicks if u use one, and treats, praise etc. then if all stays calm a little closer and most preferable with a neutral non relative dog or dog walking away. As you work closer u may find threshold is 20 feet instead of 300 feet. and u may find distracting to a sit or stationary still posture is just way harder than to a mobile one like walking another direction. be sure to distract and redirect BEFORE the blowup of barking which can be self rewarding and harder to stop. intervene at a slight ear twitch or tensing or paw lift. So jump in at 2 not 10.

    I use food to determine if my dog is below threshold. if she won’t eat she's above and I need to intervene and redirect NOW then YAY reward for descending back below and make it fun above all-no drill sergeants. Control Unleashed is a great book for this by Leslie McDevitt and is my fav book of all time. She also has a youtube sight at http://www.youtube.com/user/LeslieMcDevitt
    more specific to u http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POprQmrJ2Bc&feature=channel_page
    Here she uses a great toy for a leave it item and u could use toys or treats depending on ur dog’s preferences. you get the idea though ---

    I do click for calm look at stimulus click for look back to me etc
    we all see the dog walker that sees another dog and starts wrapping the leash around their hand like a boxer taping for a bout. the dog reads that like a billboard and responds by having a fit. it's become a conditioned signal. so you give ur dog what he wants if he's calm. going closer and staying calm will probably require upping the treat frequency to every 3-5 seconds-getting and keeping his attention and keeping him too busy to get worked up is perfect. He barks u go the other way for a bit.

    Following another dog far away is good b/c the other dog most likely won't react and his backside is much less exciting than his head. There's also a technique called calming ovals which is very similar that Jackienmutts turned me onto with her trainer. http://www.gentlepets.com/Video-Calming_Ovals.html
    her home site is http://www.gentlepets.com/#

    there is also some on arbi about calming.

    Look in the classroom on leave-it and you'll get a bunch out of that cue. make it a fun cue like LET"S GO and it will have more power. in ur yard with the fence between u can use body blocks and rewards as u see on arbi though I might leash so the dog can't run around u and be self rewarded with a fence barking bout. just be consistent, calm, rewarding and don't just let it go even once since it will take many time more to make clear u are serious.
  8. snooks Experienced Member

    continued

    Pasted my description from another forum in 2007 below from a few related posts. funny I googled this and found myself even tho I used McConnell’s name.
    ============================================================
    A good quickie solution is to turn and walk the other way immediately on the first sign of alert from your dog. This does refocus your dog and removes any reward he may receive for lunging. Reward may only be that he wins, pulls you, gets to sniff or chase. The Halti is a great tool for executing this move because the dog doesn't have much choice in doing what you want gently without much pulling.

    Another tool to add would be a good verbal cue to "Look at Me." Hold a good treat he really likes in front of your nose and cue him with "Look at Me" Make every time he looks last a little longer before he gets the treat. Then try putting the treat out to your side or above your head. With a little work he learns to not look at the treat but at your face for as long as you require. These are good things to refocus your dog away from distractions. You can also require your dog look at you before he receives his food as you progress.

    "Look at Me" combined with the 180 turn does work well with practice. The turn also tells your dog that if you pull whatever it is you wanted to see or chase you will never see or chase if you pull. As you get better you can expose him to distractions at a distance and get closer only if he doesn't start to pull or get anxious (ears or tail up, pulling, vocalizing, etc). Work your way up to getting closer gradually. I do suggest treats for help with this to gain his attention and help reinforce what you want in a positive way.

    Be sure he understands what you don't like too. I see a lot of dogs pulling the leash with people saying NO NO No and the dog isn't sure what No means. Is that No running, No sniffing, No lunging?? You could teach a different command for leash pulling. I use "Don't Pull."

    Don't allow your dog to pull you even a little--tough as it sounds the act of hauling you behind is a rewarding behavior in itself. If nothing else stop dead in your tracks and don't go one step until he gives you loose leash. Be sure he understands that loose leash is good with praise and reward. You may have a lot of very short and frustrating walks before he catches on but stay calm and in control. Also ask people you meet not to pet him if he's acting up, tell them he's in training and that they can help you by ignoring him. Do consider a training class too-- you do need to be safe and he sounds like a willing and friendly candidate for some more structure. A few tools for you to use would also help speed things safely along. Take care of yourself.

    I just found the reference I wanted to find for you. Read Feisty Fido by Patricia McConnell and Karen London. There's a section on Using the U-turn to Leave Trouble Behind. Be safe.
    ====================================================================
    With the excited leash going on a walk freak outs, which my puppy still tries to do you can stop this transference of excitement or anxiety with some calm practice. It may take a few tries or a few weeks but calm practice will change the way the dog behaves by taking away what he wants, "the walk," until he calms down. So when puppy gets wild I just put the leash down and sit down. Wait until she calms, start to put the leash on again, if there is any excitement ask for a sit or down (behavior incompatible with excited bouncing). Using a clicker and treats will accelerate the process. Emma Parson's book explains why and it does work. If there is more freaking, just walk away for a moment set the leash down or stand and ignore the dog for a few seconds. Whatever works. Your goal is to associate for the dog that calm gets you treats and excitement gets me to wait and ignore or put the leash down. Not that you give up your walk that day, just plan for some more time to get out the door calmly.

    I tend to treat my puppy sometimes like she's an old lady and just sweetly ask her to sit and slowly move to put the leash on and just pause and be patient if she has some excitement. After a while you'll still maybe see some excitement but a conscious decision of the dog clearly restraining itself because it comes to understand. I must be patient and calm and I get treats and the walk I wanted all along. You reframe he emotional response of the dog to the stimulus. In your case there may be some anxieties on the walk that are causing some of that emotion too. Maybe something you human senses can never pick up like a dog in heat or a previous dog marking territory.

    Usually for leash responses like you describe it give my "let's go" cue and turn 180 degrees and go the other way to increase distance to one where the dog does not react. It's hard to go nuts when you're going the other way. I think one thing that Parson's pointed out that several of my trainers did too is that the dog that is being told what to do doesn't freak out as much because he's concentrating elsewhere. So some turns and back and forth and sit and shake and look at me with click and/or treat distract and give confidence because the dog knows what to expect and things become less complicated.
    ===============================================================
    So the why of the barking would be the key in how to diffuse it. Hefts & Estep, two CAAB's in CO have an interesting book that helped me understand a lot. Help I'm Barking and I Can't Be Quiet on how to determine why using a body language, type of vocalization, and situation works book. In the mean time I would get some treats and distract with a 180 turn and let's go/rewards to get distance and treats and get below threshold. Then judge if she wants to go closer from that below threshold place. If the bark is excited I want to go see bark go the other way again and teach we go closer if you don't bark. If threshold territorial barking then you'll be able to determine that too and increase distance until calm and decrease as long as she is still calm. All with treats of course.
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Wow! Excellent advice!! I SO APPRECIATE THIS HELP!!!
    i DO love "It's me or the dog!" and watch it all the time!! I like her way better than Dog Whisperer, but every once in while, DW does have a good point, but i don't like all his leash-yanking that he does.
    turns out, after all my studying and planning, while i was at work, Craig was walking buddy, and they went by the rottie's house, and the rottie and his friendly owner were in their front lawn.
    I think Craig said Buddy started to bark, but Craig stopped Buddy from escalating...now i'm not sure what he said Buddy did.
    Craig spoke to the man, and said "Seems my dog has an issue with your dog. Can we try to introduce them?" and the two dogs circled each other on loose leashes, and sniffed, and then played nicely together.:surprised: Again, the rottie is a a way way cool dog, very laid back. Is probably why it went so well.

    Craig is way more casual than i am about such things, but luckily, it went well!!! WHEW!!

    NOW I CAN'T WAIT TIL NEXT TIME BUDDY SEES THE ROTTIE THROUGH THE FENCE TO SEE IF BUDDY STILL WILL HAVE A BARK FIT OR NOT!!? But at least, now i know, Buddy can't be as afraid/angry/whatever since he HAS successfully met the rottie..!! I hope.


    but i will still know for next time, how to do this!! THANK YOU FOR BEING THERE, TOO!!!
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol oftentimes many dogs are like Buddy--all bark but no bite when they actually get the opportunity to "do something about it," lol! Zeke can be this way sometimes. He'll posture and act tough, but if the dog gets closer then he almost immediately backs down and is like, "Wait, I didn't sign up for this...Mom hold me!" Lol. Such a sissy.

    Like I said before, sometimes it's just the barrier that causes the issue. He was fine when they were together without a fence between them. I would keep having playdates with him just to make sure the issue is resolved. :) Good luck and keep us posted!!
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ha, even though Craig couldn't call Buddy back from chasing the golf cart with the rottie down the street, I GOTTA BRAG on my Mr. Buddy.

    TWICE this week, well, i found a street, if i walk Buddy at about 8pm or so, there's no dogs, no traffic on this one long culdesac street, and if he is being good, i drop his leash and then practice recall with him, frequently, so i know he's "with me" mentally.

    So, a few days ago, he suddenly took off full speed after a bunny, and stopped IN HIS TRACKS !!when i called him!! I almost fainted with pride and joy!! Kudos to Mr. Buddy!! :msnparty:THAT was hard!! He reeeally wanted that bunny!!

    Then, tonight, we went by the woods, a buck saw us and took off running, and Buddy went after him, and again, stopped immediately when i called him!! That one probably was easier for Buddy to give up the chase, it was a good sized buck, and i imagine Buddy was probably scared of it anyway.:doghuh:

    BUT WOW!! I CALLED HIM OFF A RUNNING BUNNY ONLY 10 FEET AWAY!! He coulda HAD that bunny, easy, and he stopped!! WOW!!!:msnparty:

    Sure, next week we'll be chasing him or something, (BTW, you are right about no more off leash in the front yard. Nope!!) but this week, he is King of Good Dogs!!!:dogbiggrin:
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    YAY! Congrats!! Flawless recalls and awesome stays are some things that I stress more than anything else. With Z and Mud I do lots of work calling them to me in mid-play or mid-retrieve or just generally in high drive so I know they will always come when called. For instance, with Mud on our off-leash walks I'll give her a release command so she takes off on her own. Typically she'll jog off several feet in front of me, and when she gets just almost to the point that she wouldn't be able to hear me in a normal voice, I call her back. We do kind of a relay thing several times--go and come, go and come, with varying distances. Her recall is flawless now but we still work on it frequently just to burn it into her brain, lol. I can't trust Z off-leash, period. If he's going to be more than 6 feet away from me at any point in training, I take Mud, because he'll do anything she does, lol. But even then I keep a 50-ft lead on him, so even if he takes off somewhere, I have 50 feet to catch him and step on the lead. Haven't had to do this at all so far because if Mud's just not doing it for him, then a tennis ball always will. But he rarely leaves Mudflap's side. His class is already helping him become more independent and we'll be working on better recalls.

    If things work out with your Rottie friend, this would be a good test for him! :)
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    That's so cute how Zeke is kinda coming into his own, in class by himself! Who woulda guessed? It'll be interesting to see how he develops along like that!! but how cute how he follows Mud everywhere!!

    UPDATE: Buddy STILL does bark at his new rottie friend through the fence, BUT, his bark does not have that freaked-out tone to it, the fear/hostility/almost panicky-alarm sound is gone. Now it sounds more like, "Hey, i'm over here! Look at me!" kinda thing. Funny, how you can kinda know their various barks after a while, huh?

    Buddy will stop barking if i go out and say "SHHH!" but sometimes he will start back up again, if the rottie is outside for a long period of time, or, if the rottie does something interesting like run around fast.
    At any rate, somehow, i feel a bit safer, knowing they can get along. that rottie is one HUGE dog, wow, it's got a big head, big jaws...but it is so cool.

    The rottie has a ball obsession, and the owner can throw a ball, and the rottie retrieves it, and then, on cue, the owner will throw a ball, and the rottie will stare at the owner's face, not even flinch or turn, and not go after the ball til he is told to!!! WOW!!
  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ah, speaking of calling Buddy off various animals successfully, listen to what i did wrong last night!
    I had Buddy at Island Park, which is indeed an island, with rivers all around every side. He is only dog in park, so i had him offleash, and let him run around, doing recall practice. Buddy sees some geese, and chases them, and when he gets too close to the river's edge that the geese are jumping in to get away from Buddy, i call Buddy, and he again, freezes instantly and returns to me!
    The second batch of geese, again, I call Buddy back when he gets too close to the water, and he stops at the water's edge and returns.
    The third batch of geese that Buddy chased, I made mistake of thinking Buddy is stopping at water's edge, to avoid the water, and not because i called him, and just stupidly watched while Buddy took off after some geese, so i just watched, well, BUDDY JUMPED IN THE RIVER!!
    WOW! Wtih my heart in my throat i ran to the water fixing to jump in to get him, he went completely under the water, not realizing it was so deep, and popped back up and swam to shore. WHEW!! What a nightmare, i learned my lesson, and luckily, i still have an alive dog!!
    I know, i know, you all want to drive to my home and save my Buddy and take my dog away from stupid me, but i won't do that again!!! Thank gosh he is a strong swimmer!!!
    We had to walk the park for another hour so he could dry off enough to get into my car....and another bath, etc etc. I leashed him whenever we got to geese side of the park, though!! Buddy only glanced at the geese the second time going by them....
    WEIRDLY, i am, so far, 100% successful at calling Buddy back from chasing animals, but only about 80% when he is just sniffing around...another border collie we had long ago was exact same way, maybe is BC thing?
  15. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol yes I'm thrilled with Zeker's finally blooming. But he still is very dependent on me since Mud's not there, but in training that's kind of a good thing--he could care less about what the other crazy dogs are doing, because he's focused on me(and the tennis ball of course). We're working on shaping a watch like the one you described with the Rottie. ^^ Z's started looking at me for the okay when he's in a stay and I throw the ball. So we're trying to shape that into a watch.

    LOL oops. That's wonderful that he's doing so well! I'm not sure about i being a BC thing...at least not my BCs. ^^ I'm not entirely sure that Mudflap even knows she has a nose. Lol. AWFUL sense of smell. The only time she's not 100% on recall is if she's sniffing around to relieve herself. When she's gotta go, she's gotta go, and that's that! If we're training and she's gotta go, she'll half-heartedly work but you won't get much of anything out of her until she gets to go outside and relieve herself.

    Remember that you have to be reeaaallly excited and much more interesting than whatever he's sniffing. :)
  16. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Update on the rottie next door. Interesting thing happened, the guy got ANOTHER full size rotte, to go with his other 110 lb rottie. So now there's TWO giant rotties over there, walking calmly about and being good dogs, interacting well with each other.
    Here's the interesting part: This has had the most profound effect on my lil Buddy. He used to bark a lot at the single rottie, which WAS getting better as i was rewarding him for sitting calmly and just watching the rottie over there. Buddy came to understand his barking like crazy was NOT what i wanted him to do... Still, Buddy would need reminders/re-inforcement to keep him from losing his lil mind now and then...

    But now that there are TWO calm rotties strolling casually around, Buddy just sits there, does NOT bark at all now!! He just sits there and stares through the fence, not in an aggressive way, as if he is stunned. Innnnteresting.

    ....wonder if my buddy is learning calm dog behaviour from watching these two, calm dogs stroll around...wonder if Buddy sees the first original rottie being calm with another dog, and maybe sees that original rottie is not a fighter after all...Craig laffed and said Buddy doesn't bark cuz he is way too outnumbered now!!

    At any rate, it is fun watching Buddy watch the two rotties. Oh, to be able to read his mind!!
  17. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol. ^^ I bet the NEWNESS of the new Rottie is so distracting that a barkfest is the last thing on his mind. Glad he's doing so well!!! My my, two Rotties...now that's a handful!
  18. xanny Well-Known Member

    tigerlily, thanks so much for posting your experiences with buddy!! you have encouraged me to try tackling my labs dog reactive behaviors again. When he was 6 months old, I went to a clicker trainer and had a bad experience (the trainer thought the solution was wrapping the leash around her arm several times and taking him around the room in his pulling/lunging/growling craziness to "greet" the other dogs. Ever since then I've been reading and trying things on my own. He's improved, but not to the extent I need for my back problems. Anyhoo, I recently moved to another part of Wyoming and have found a few clicker trainers online, hopefully one of them will be able to help me out. Thanks again tigerlily!!
  19. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Xanny, DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR DOG!! Sorry you have had bad luck with earlier efforts, sometimes we have to experiment to find what will help break our dogs focus, what will help them become calmer and then reward our dog for being calm. Do look around this website, there ARE many other threads on reactive dogs. (okay, probably many of them are from me, ha ha!!)

    Nowadays, when the Rottie is outside, Buddy barks at him once, and then that is about it. It sounds a lot like "HELLO!?" to me now..not "EY! YOU WANNA PIEC OF ME?" and Buddy no longer appears:dogmad: half out of his mind when he sees that dog. Sometimes on walks they can even greet each other and every once in a blue moon, they hang out for a few minutes.

    It took a lot of work, and some time, and we continue to work on this very issue, but Buddy is MUCH better. He is not yet 100%, he might not ever be 100%, but he is much much much better. Through the patient help and great advice the others here gave me, i learned many things to help Buddy. MOst commonly, i make him "look at me"..Now when he sees a dog he doesn't like, he will almost automatically look up at me,:msnparty: big praise, treats for that. It breaks his focus. It took me a while to understand and put to use the advice i got, but THERE IS HOPE, it CAN be done.

    Read all the advice--twice---that i was given, it works. I also found a german shepherd around the corner that Buddy doesn't like, and on walks, i'd stop soon as Buddy even started to slightly react, and make him look at me, and reward any calm behaviours i could get. Maybe shake paw. Then we left and went the other way. Each week we could get a lil further down the street. He is never going to like that GSD, but he doesn't lose his mind now either. Even the GSD's human, who is often outside, says Buddy is way way better now. We can usually go all the way past the GSD's house with no barking.

    Buddy has improved so much, so have hope, it CAN become better. I'm also reading "Click to Calm" as well, and am on waiting list for 'Reactive Dog" class.
    Also, setting up as many play dates with dogs he likes (okay, at first, he barely liked any dogs too too much, but some he could tolerate) helped Buddy get some social skills and develop some more confidence, too.

    ARe your labs dog-aggressive, or just hyper? HANG IN THERE!! Read the advice i was given, twice. three times. And find the other threads, too.
  20. xanny Well-Known Member

    Bender is VERY dog-aggressive on leash. Off-leash he is fine with dogs that know how to play, but has issues with other issue dogs =) In one of your old posts someone posted a page with Ian Dunbar training dogs with a halti (the search function doesn't seem to be working for me or I'd post the link again) and the dog aggressive dog that is being worked with is no where near how Bender acts if he is let to get worked up. When I first bought "Click to Calm" Bender was about a year old and I tried some of the suggestions by a park and we had to be 2-3 BLOCKS!! away before he was not showing aggressive signs.. yikes.. now we can occasionally get close to fences containing calm dogs, but still have to cross the street or high tailet when other dogs are being walked nearby, but honestly, I haven't been putting in as much time into this as I could because of my back issues. However, my darling husband has decided he will help me out if we can get into a dog class. whoo hoo!!

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