How do I walk a puppy that barks growls and lunges at people and other dogs Once barking starts she is in a trance and nothing will stop it until she can t see them anymore I have tried ignoring picking her up using
You are correcting puppy incorrectly!! From your question you are actually REWARDING YOUR DOG FOR UNWANTED BEHAVIOR. You are unintentionally encouraging for this unwanted behavior to reoccur over & over by repeatedly Rewarding puppy by picking up, giving treats etc… You need to stop what you have been doing! The only thing your succeeding at is creating a bad habit. If what you are doing is not working then stop doing it! Right. Use what knowledge you do Know? And that is when you are walking with her and you Know she will react to approaching dog. What you do is You REACT BEFORE SHE DOES. Give a tug on leash and say, “No!” with a tone of your voice that is commanding. Not loud, but one that means business. She will already be shocked that you interrupted her “normal behavior?” by you Reacting before she could. A slight tug on leash to remind her you are The Leader. This also brings her eyes right to yours. Your tone and Presence, staying calm while keeping her focus. This is following through in your correction. Her Only Reward during this time would be continuing the walk. The walk is a Reward. So if she is good or you see immediate changes in her behavior you finish the walk. This is how you show her your approval. If she does not respond right away?(which might be the case bcuz a bad habit has formed?) then you DO NOT PICK UP, DO NOT FINISH WALK, go right back home take off leash and you IGNORE HER 100% so she has to think “Why am I being treated differently?”. Now she has a comparison to look at. You ONLY REWARD GOOD BEHAVIOR! ok
EDIT: One last reminder if your dog does not get it right away? (That u r the leader & the behavior needs to change) Please do not scold or say to your dog that they are bad! This behavior is because you were NOT correcting the right way. It is not dogs fault only yours. So by just your actions you are telling your dog that this behavior is no longer acceptable & they will understand as long as you show them your leadership skills.
There is one ting you did not mention. You didn’t try to just correct the dog by using your ”NO” power.
I think everyone can channel our inner “big mamma” that will scare the sh*t out of any kid. You gotta get serious. Get angry, feel it! Mean business. And THEN correct the dog, tug the leash, say NO in a firm voice, make it clear, you’re not tolerating this!
If you don’t feel like this will work because you’ve already let it happen so many times, practice with another behavior, for example…. you don’t love it when the dog starts jumping on you, practice when the dog does that. Feel angry, channel the angry and say your command. I’m not telling you to be angry at the dog, I’m saying FEEL the energy, so you can actually give off that energy and no, you can’t accept the behavior after this. Walk away, or pull the dog away, poke or slap the dog gently (depending on the size of the dog) cause if you do that now with the angry energy, the dog will feel like you’ve hit them. And that is crucial. I know, you might say I’m being terrible… Cause you’re not mad. You look scary! I don’t want my dog to be scared of me! But hey, that is role play! You feel the same feelings but you don’t really mean it. A good actor feels it but it’s just an actor. You’re playing the big scary mamma, you gotta learn to do that role, it’s all acting. You know why?
If you don’t learn to do that, your dog may be attacked by a bigger dog. Your dog could attack a person. They could put your dog down for that. Your dog might be bigger and kill a smaller dog. Even a puppy or a cat… and you will be devastated. Big mamma protects their kids with discipline and control. Big mamma foresees situations and prevents them. And sees how terrible things can turn out and will not let it happen! Love and cuddles have a lot of room, you can spare some for anger. This energy is the only way animals will respect you, as a rescuer I can tell you. I love them, all of them, any of them. But I know this technique is the number one dog rescuer, cause barking angry dogs don’t get adopted, don’t play with others dogs, don’t belong in a nice pack and I can’t let that miserable life be around me. I need them to be happy and feel amazing about mom! But I require discipline. That’s all I ask. And I know it pays off and changes their whole life.
Your dog is reactive, just like mine!
I have both good news for you and bad news.
Good news is, she’s not aggressive!
Bad news, your not dealing with it in an appropriate manner and dog reactivity is VERY hard to get rid of completely.
Financials can be difficult, but I highly recommend looking into a trainer. One that won’t use force, aggressive control, punishment, or prong/e- collars. These things I’ve mentioned only traumatizes your dog more.
I’ve answered some questions regarding dog barking, feel free to check those out. Now, it’s going to be very difficult to “fix” this reactivity. It’ll be hard to do if you don’t have the time and effort that it takes to train. I usually end up crying at least once a week. I am very emotional, though.
When a dog is reactive, there isn’t any trust between you two. She is fearful and full of anxiety. She’s afraid and all she can do is bark to get that human or dog away. Some people/dogs will go about there way. That by itself (although out of your control) is reinforcement. Why? because they go away when she barks. Whether that may be intentional or not, it works for your dog.
You’ll have to create a bond, make a job for your dog (mine’s a doodle, we do find work bc right now, she thinks it’s her job to bark when its not), practice management commands (find, what’s up?/look at me, down, leave it,heel, come) and move your way into desensitization (high value treat at the dog’s mouth as it follows another person/dog with their eyes). It’s hard work, and frankly, VERY difficult to do on your own.
Here are some comforting blogs for reactive dog owners:
Good luck and DON’T give up! I haven’t yet, and I hope you won’t. With the right training, you’ll get to your goal. Always focus on how much your dog has come, not how far she is from the goal you’ve set. 🙂
-a fellow reactive dog owner (it’s bad, it’s hard, it’s emotion, but it’ll be worth it. that’s what keeps me going)
Actions x reactions. Your dog acts, you react. Switch It — YOU act, your dog reacts.
You call your dog, she must come to you, not your dog comes to you and you pet her. If your dog does not answer your call, do not keep trying, ignore her. As you should ignore her when she asks to be petted, or to play or anything. You initiate any activity, be It play, eating, walking, petting, whatever. It’s difficult, I know, those lovely warm eyes staring at you, the paw scratching you when she wants to be petted…
But you should ignore. Not speak, not say “NO” (that’s another reaction to the dog’s actions).
So, when walking her, act before she does — switch ways, turn quickly to avoid the unwanted behaviour, keep her off guard and get her used to paying attention to you, and you alone.
Ignore her unwanted behaviour while keeping her at your side during a brisk walk (walk fast, make her keep up with you).
A tired dog is a calm dog, but please note that walking doesn’t tire a dog. Running, hiking, strenuous play (catch, fetch, digging, wrestling), swimming, any activity that mimics hunt will tire a dog. Walking is for Humans.
I would begin by reversing the direction in which you are walking the moment she begins to bark. So……..once she sees the “object” which she believes she must protect you from and begins her “usual behaviour”, say her name clearly, then say “right about “ ( assuming you are walking her on your left side) and turn away from “said” object. Reward her the second she follows you “right about” Timing is important here. She needs to know that she is being rewarded for changing her direction ( and subsequently stopping her ‘protection mode” ( Actually I would keep a treat ( chicken hearts are great – boiled and cooled and cut in half) in either hand convenient for you ( make sure it goes to the left hand) once you ‘need to reward’ so you don’t have to dig around for a treat in your pocket. ( You’ll be washing your hands when you get back in the house, right?) The first several times, it will seem awkward and a lot of work for you but you sound great and interested in correcting this dilemma – don’t give up!! It really takes some time – so dependent upon how smooth you get with the correction 🙂 Please also wait until she actually begins to do the unwanted behaviour – i.e. if you see someone approaching please wait until it becomes the issue you need to correct otherwise it won’t be effective. I know, it’ll be hard for you, but honestly you will be pleased in the end! Best of everything to both you and your dog!!!!!!!!!!
You get a trainer to work with the two of you. I rescued a Fila who used to think it was okay to do the same thing. I call it the red zone and the way you stop it is to never allow her to reach that level. Eeyore weighed 250+ pounds and was a really powerful dog and could not be allowed to ever be the one in control. He was the largest big dog I ever rescued but I had Great Danes, Rotties, GS. etc. so I did not need a trainer as he was not my first large breed rescue nor my last.
Get a trainer used to dealing with the type of behavior your dog is showing and teaching you to be the one in charge. There is a rule in my house that goes as follows: when you are the one with the job and pay ALL the bills, clean up YOUR messes, FEED you, etc. you get to be the boss but until all that happen I am the boss of you!
They may not want to believe that but it is your job as the one in charge to show them it is the truth. Good luck and know it takes commitment and follow through to train them.
KARA QUICK. Gave a very good answer to this question below. Treat should not factor in AT ALL here. Before she barks and as her body tenses on seeing the dog you jerk sharply on the collar and give a firm NO! LEAVE IT! HEEL! If she doesnt stop and come to your left side you forcefully put her there and MAKE HER STAY walking on her left side. If she tenses you repeat, if she lunges and barks you jerk even sharper and react even more strict.
I use a combo martingale and ecollar on dogs I train. If I say heel they heel or zap. If they are allowed to walk the ahead then they get zapped if they EVER PULL. Especially if it is to chase after a tree rat or cat or bark at a dog. It is dangerous and they could be killed were they off leash and bolted across the road. ALWAYS TREAT YOUR DOG LIKE IT IS LOOSE AND OFF LEASH. If you treat a dog fully under your control as if it wasn’t and treat an out of control dog the same as if it was under control it will learn to behave consistently.
For those uncomfortable with the idea of an ecollar. I would still advise you look into it. But even if not then I recommend a GENTLE LEADER head harness as it will forcefully redirect the dogs head and thus make her pay a lot more attention to you.
Honestly you’re gonna have to use something like a prong collar. Do a couple pull corrections and demand the dog focus on you but make sure your dog doesn’t try to bite you as a redirection. Just teach your dog the art of ignoring other dogs. You have to start from a far proximity like if you know a certain park or something where dogs are or maybe even a puppy park just find your dogs comfort zone. Then just work on some basic obedience stuff sit stay, whatever. The idea is to move closer and closer and closer, and then just back up if your dog starts reacting to the other dogs in the distance. If you commit yourself to this a few times a week your dog will be a lot less reactive to other dogs. If you don’t have something like a prong collar it’s gonna be very difficult to get your dogs attention when his or her drive is as bad as it is right now. You’ll need something like that to get your dogs attention and before long you probably won’t even need it anymore. I realize there are going to be some “positive only” critics here, but you can choose to be happy go lucky and bribe him with treats to ignore other dogs and that works to a degree, but when your dog is in that prey drive you need something that will get its attention. Believe me that will take a lot less time with the proper use of a tool.
Look at the reasons, behind the behavior. MMy dog reacts – and he is a scarey large German Shepherd, og to be able to pick him up – because he resource guards me. And there was me thinking resource guarding was mainly around food.
We were unlucky that our dog broke his leg and so we not only had to stop walking him for months, we had to spend a great deal of time with him. II slept on the floor with him for weeks. Meant we sort of reset him. But trips to the vet were funny, the sight of the pup going ape at the vet, but quietly taking sausages and going ape again, taught us a lot. Especially as the terrorising of my wonderful vet only occurred when I was around. Seeing him great a family friend, and playing with this guy in the garage, but changing completely, moving in front of my and growling a warning at our house guest, as soon as I walked in, spoke volumes.
On walks with husband and son, they engage constantly with Sif, no half hearted walks reading phones, no reaction to people or dogs, most he does is give a quick bark back to any dog that barks in his face, otherwise he ignores them.
At the moment I don’t walk our boy. I’m hoping that we might be able to reset his resource guarding, as I gradually restart walks, and create a new normal.
In your case, try to work out why your pup is reactive, what distance from triggers are good, engage all the time, peck 300 is a great loose leach walking training and keeps him alert to your actions all the time. Work with your pup!! Good luck.
Reactivity is common. It can be fixed, but it takes changes to how you interact with your dog and some daily exercises. The most common cause is the dog has the misunderstanding she owns you and needs to scare off the threat or competition. So you need to change your interactions so you don’t reward demanding behavior. You need to initiate interactions instead of reacting to your dog’s demands.
Secondly, what position is your dog in when you’re walking her? She should be by your side. Don’t give her too much leash. You can tell if your dog is in the right position if when you stop, you can pivot in front of your dog without having to take a step forward. When other people or dogs approach, move so you’re at least 6 feet away and put yourself between your dog and the other person/dog. More space and a physical barrier will help her react less.
Lastly, do some exercises at home to reinforce that you’re the parent and she needs to follow your directions. I recommend sit/wait at any outside door every time your dog goes in or out. I also make my dogs sit/wait for dinner and wait at the crate. Not even one paw gets to cross the threshold of the door or the crate door without me giving the release word. The do not get to move their butts off of the floor to approach their food bowls until I give the release word. The point is not me being mean. The point is to teach them self control and to follow my directions despite what their instincts tell them. Not only does it fix reactivity, it can also be very useful if they get themselves into a dangerous situation.
I agree get with a trainer. The trainer will evaluate your dog. I have reservations the assumption this dog is going into protection mode. Your description sounds like fear and I’d bet never properly socialized during his / her time as a youngster. Need to have accurate cause of the behavior that will determine how to handle. After trainer acesses they will be able to show you how to get the behavior you desire. You’ll learn correct handling technique body mechanics timing and attitude. The confidence you will get from the guidance will take you and your confidant more than all the rest. You will be able to get the tools you need to walk politely on lead in 1 maybe 2 sessions at most then diligent follow thru. Your dogs behavior is serious. You don’t want to try learning how to fix on internet. Get you a trainer. I promise you won’t regret it. Wishing you the very best of luck. Hang in there the best is yet to come
If your dog is that difficult to walk, you should get a head harness to start. That will control some of the lunging. As for all the other bad behaviors, I recommend when walking her to carry a spray bottle set on stream. At every bad behavior, squirt her toward her mouth area. Just use plain water in case it splashes near her eyes. I have a little tyrant myself & the water bottle works wonders. She is a miniature dachshund & she has done most of the bad behaviors you mentioned. It took a while but she is actually a pleasure to walk now. She is an alpha dog & she walks in a very regal manner.
After a dog has started to growl, bark and lunge there is very little chance you will be able to change the behavior at that time. The dog is totally focused on whatever is causing her stress. But she can learn to be calm.
The best way to stop unwanted behavior on a walk no matter if is barking, lunging or even just pulling is to turn around and go home. If you are close to home go back inside. If not close then walk toward home until the behavior calms down.. When the dog is calm return to the walk but instantly turn around as soon as bad behavior resurfaces, The dog will take a few times of doing this before they learn to be calm. When they are calm that is the time to use treats to reward the behavior you want,
I have the same issue but- my dog weighs 120 lbs. He is a Komondor and he does not like strangers or other dogs. When walking him if I see another person coming towards me, I will cross street so not to meet. Same thing with another dog being walked. I have encountered dogs off leash and fights almost happened but those were always little dogs I was able to chase off.
The joys of owning dogs. The burden is on you to keep rover safe and out of harms way. That means not allowing them to bite others. Stay safe and away
Then you catch the behavior before it starts. If you see another dog before she does you turn around and go the other way with lots of positive reinforcement. Talk to your vet, an animal behaviorist or dog trainer. Ask for someone who has experience with reactionary dogs. Try private lessons if possible, a lot of trainers are/will do online video lessons. If she ever responds without barking etc make a big deal of it lots of praise high value rewards etc. Do you know why she is reacting? Is she anxious, protective, high prey drive, aggressive? Finding the reasons behind her barking can help.
Your issues have nothing to do with the walking. The dog is completely ignoring you and following its impulses, however dangerous. The dog needs a complete course in basic fundamental training with a professional. And you will have to establish yourself as leader, before you even begin to walk. You don’t say how old the dog is, but let’s hope it’s still young and impressionable. Always use a short leash, so it has to follow you closely. Keep the dog close at home, too, so it doesn’t get to decide what to do next. Be the pack leader it needs.
You need to redirect your dog’s focus to you. This is not as easy as just saying, “Hey, Fido! Over here!” You need to teach her the “watch me” command.
This command definitely takes time, but it’s incredibly helpful in many situations. Here’s a good article that provides step-by-step instructions on how to teach this command — and even how to gain the same kind of focus during distractions.
Whether your dog masters the command in a day or a week, your patience will really pay off. I swear … you’ll love your new-found power (so to speak)!
I’ve had dogs like that. When I see somebody coming, I short leash my dog and usually switch him/her to the side away from the oncoming person and give them as wide a berth as possible. If necessary, I tell my dog to sit until they are past. You can also hold her mouth shut and say “Hush!” until the other dog or person is well on their way. You could also use a muzzle when taking her out for a walk. If she knows that she can’t bite anyone, she may not act so aggressively towards other dogs and people.
I think you need help from a good dog behaviorist or trainer. This is extreme behavior that requires evaluation and training by an expert.
Your dog may not have been adequately socialized around other dogs or people when young. This is a deficiency that is not easily overcome, but the behavior can be modified somewhat.
In the meantime, I would walk your dog where you are unlikely to run into anyone. It’s not doing your dog any good going through all that stress.
Try a head harness. This allows you to control her head. When you see a person approaching, do not stiffen up or pull on leash. You must be confident, walk toward the person, if dog starts pulling and bristling, turn around and walk away. By eliminating what she can bark at, and you being confident, you are in charge and she feels protected. By changing direction, you are taking control and taking her away from what she perceived as danger for her and/or you.
Some dogs just can’t be walked. If you don;t have a fenced in yard you will need to find a place very close where she can do her business. Also, no more treats when walking her. Treats are a reward for good behavior and it doesn;t sound like thats what shes doing. I don;t know how old she is but if she;s real young you may want to use a professional trainer to help you.
I used to walk a dog like this. I had to be VIGILANT about spotting other dogs, then reversing direction to avoid them in the beginning. Once I figured out the proper distance I slowly began moving closer, using my body to block her & stopping if necessary while treating. You should muzzle her as well. You can get her over this with persistence but it takes time. More than 1 walk a day really helps.
If you can work with a professionally certified dog trainer, that would be ideal. Also read BAT 2.0 by Grisha Stewart. That stands for Behaviour Adjustment Training. It is a phenomenal book detailing a very effective protocol with dealing with this behaviour. Good luck! I went through the same and ended up with a wonderful canine citizen, although back then, there was only BAT, no 2.0 😉
Giving it some thought I think she needs to be socialised more with dogs, get a friend with a dog and all walk together, if she starts any attention given could be seen as rewarding the behaviour, so I would suggest ignoring it, ( very hard to ignore a barking dog) but you have the lead and your voice, a shorter lead and a firm NO are all that you have. Do not pick the dog up, and no Treats. GOOD LUCK!!
Find a trainer who will work with you and your dog or use a short lead and have her wear a basket muzzle so if she does so happen to get loose she cannot bite someone.
Kneel down, hold his/her head firmly, & bite it’s ear firmly saying NO before each small but firm bite. He/she will yelp but hold it firmly whilst constantly saying STOP or NO. Stop is better because they will know the word stop & what it means quickly. It works, but hold it’s head until you have it calm. best of luck. It worked for me.
You need to remove him from situations where she becomes enraged. Find areas where there won’t be other people or dogs. You are putting the public at risk if a leash or collar breaks expect to sued and your will possibly be put down.
You get the dog in for obedience training ASAP or it’s going to bite someone! If you can’t get it to stop and you don’t have a fenced yard for it you put the dog down. If the e dog bites a child you’re not going to want to deal with the results.
You need a good dog trainer…the sooner, the better. Do this now, before you end up in legal trouble, for your dog attacking someone.
How about classes or a professional trainer ? Otherwise it’s sad for you and your dog as stressful for you both. Would be worth paying for kind professional