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Old 05-19-2008, 10:27 AM
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Default Jumping on people during walks

I need a little bit of training advice. Bamm is pretty good on walks, but I've noticed that if people happen to walk past us on walks he tries to jump on them. I want to get him to the point where we can walk past people and him barely acknowledge their presence. Right now he just pulls on the leash and tries to jump all over whoever is walking by. Currently if I see someone walking towards us on the sidewalk from a distance I'll move him into the grass and keep him moving forward so that when the person does walk by us we're out of reach for him to jump on that person. Still... he'll try to pull his leash towards that person. But, I want him to be able to walk right past someone politely and not have to be moved off into the grass all the time.
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:16 PM
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One thing you could try is teaching him "leave it" and use that command whenever he looks at another person before he starts to jump.

You could also work on pivoting with him - doing a tight 360 degree turn with him on the inside of the turn. Then you can do that whenever he starts to pull, and that'll get him back focused on you (or at least not able to pull toward the stranger).
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:12 PM
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I would work on getting him to a really solid heel, so he'll have something to DO while people are walking by, instead of staring at the person and getting worked up. Like Lizzybeth said, teaching him all of the formal turns will help, too. When ever I have Gonzo heeling and there are distractions, he focuses way more on me if I occasionally turn or pivot.

One time, I was walking by a lady with Gonzo, and he was getting excited so I told him to "leave it"... and the lady goes, "Excuse me?! I am not an it!" heheh.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:38 PM
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I've found what a lot of folks do in their efforts to socialize their dogs, can sometimes become a classical conditioning/barrier frustration situation later on.

Many behaviors I see being diagnosed as "reactive" behaviors, are sudden barrier frustration.

If a dog has been classically conditioned to expect to interact with every dog and/or human they see, and then suddenly are faced with being blocked from what they've come to expect, they can become frustrated.

A great exercise is teaching your dog to ignore distractions by not changing the pace when someone "new" enters the picture.

This is best accomplished with the help of a friend with a calm dog who exchanges a friendly greeting with you, but does not alter their course. You and your dog also do not alter your course, or demeanor.

Often times an owner will escalate their dog's intensity by tensing up, leaving, or changing their demeanor when another being enters the picture. The owner may do this because they are concerned about what their dog might do, but (IMO) the dog primarily associates the change with the outside entity.

I don't know if I'm making sense, but do you get what I'm saying? Dogs look to their social group for clues on who is "okay" and who is "not".

A younger dog may seem to want to interact. But this can turn into aggression as the dog enters maturity or gains confidence in their new home.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:42 PM
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How old is Bamm? And how long have you had him?
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:51 PM
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He's 2 and she's had him since February, if that helps.

I'm working with Middie on leash-training issues, but I'm going to try some of these suggestions when we do start walking on sidewalks 'n stuff (um? when? this county HAS no sidewalks!) because I anticipate that we will have a problem. It's hopefully helped that when we go places he gets to interact with about 5% of the people we see, though, and only when I do, first. Hopefully that's set a good precedent.. LOL!

PS - Amber, I'm happy to work with you on the walking thing if you want me to. But I don't know if it would be the same, since he knows me.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelique View Post
sudden barrier frustration...

If a dog has been classically conditioned to expect to interact with every dog and/or human they see, and then suddenly are faced with being blocked from what they've come to expect, they can become frustrated.

A great exercise is teaching your dog to ignore distractions by not changing the pace when someone "new" enters the picture.

This is best accomplished with the help of a friend with a calm dog who exchanges a friendly greeting with you, but does not alter their course. You and your dog also do not alter your course, or demeanor...

I don't know if I'm making sense, but do you get what I'm saying? Dogs look to their social group for clues on who is "okay" and who is "not".
Great points! You make a lot of sense to me. I'm a big fan of making steps towards solving what seems like a big problem. It's way easier for the ants to eat the elephant one bite at a time, to use that old expression.
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:28 AM
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Thanks guys. We worked a lot on his heeling yesterday. He was doing really well. He sometimes tends to heel for a moment though and then move forward so that he's walking ahead of me (not pulling the lead but definitely walking ahead of me). I'm working on trying to get him to maintain the heel right where I want him. I want to get him to the point where he will heel at my side and not move from my side until I release him from his heel.

We had multiple people walk by during our session. He managed to maintain his focus on where I was moving and we practiced some of the pivoting turns. Most of the people that walked by he didn't try to jump on, but it did unfortunatly break his focus off of the heel that was supposed to be doing. There was one guy he did jump on, but that guy approached us differently than the others. Everyone else walked by and kept on walking by without changing their pace. This guy was interested in Bamm and wanted to say hello. Bamm did jump on him since the guy did the whole, "come up here pretty puppy"... oi vey...

Anyways... overall... it was a great training session. Hopefully we can keep this up. I don't mind him being friendly with people obviously... but I don't want him being so overly friendly that he's rude by jumping on people. When he sees someone walking by he turns his focus to that person right away and will not stop looking at them which usually leads to him jumping. Even after we pass that person he continues to look back sometimes... What are some ways I can keep him from breaking his focus off of me and onto other people that are passing by like when I'm trying to have him heel, etc..?
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:29 AM
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Oh and Stef, you are definitely more than welcome to help me out with it. He knows you so he'll probably act different than he would a stranger, but he also likes to jump on people he knows and loves... esp when he hasn't seen them in a while as you well know. So... it would probably be beneficial to use someone that he knows as well as people he's not as familiar with.
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skittledoo View Post

There was one guy he did jump on, but that guy approached us differently than the others. Everyone else walked by and kept on walking by without changing their pace. This guy was interested in Bamm and wanted to say hello. Bamm did jump on him since the guy did the whole, "come up here pretty puppy"... oi vey...
Often, training the humans is (IMO) the hardest part. Your dog is responding to their invitation, excitement, vocal tone, and eye contact.

I recently did a session with a couple's dog who was all over their guests whenever someone came over. The dog's behavior changed during the course of the session through how I behaved around her. At the end of the session I went outside and rang the doorbell to enter as a guest. She was an angel and the owners were shocked. But they saw the possibilities if they trained their guests to remain calm and ignore their dog.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skittledoo View Post

Anyways... overall... it was a great training session. Hopefully we can keep this up. I don't mind him being friendly with people obviously... but I don't want him being so overly friendly that he's rude by jumping on people. When he sees someone walking by he turns his focus to that person right away and will not stop looking at them which usually leads to him jumping. Even after we pass that person he continues to look back sometimes... What are some ways I can keep him from breaking his focus off of me and onto other people that are passing by like when I'm trying to have him heel, etc..?
Actually, just by keeping moving, not focusing on the other folks yourself, and sticking with this process of practicing to ignore, should improve the situation over time.

It's still okay to greet and meet folks occasionally in order to socialize. Just make sure it's on your terms and is your decision, not your dog's or the stranger's. Even stopping and talking with someone doesn't have to mean letting your dog interact physically.

I have a new pup at home who is also from a herding breed. He's a ACD/bull terrier mix. He also turns his head and focuses on motion. I just give a slight tug before he escalates, and keep moving.

It sounds like you're already making progress.

Good luck and keep up the good work!
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************************************************** ***********************************

Reward the good, ignore the bad, and always remember to duck during the temper tantrums!

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" Albert Einstein

Here's to you, Jane Goodall. So much insight into the mind of a species from someone who's never trained a single chimp.
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