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Old 04-07-2010, 09:28 PM
KKboss KKboss is offline
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Default need some advice, pom going crazy

We could an 8 month old pomeranian and a 4 year old chihuahua. Now that summer has hit, we've been talking our dogs out on walks. Let me preface this by saying that our chihuahua walks perfectly fine. He heels, doesn't bark, etc.

Our pom on the other hand, walks like he is on a mission to do god knows what. Walking like he is marching in an army. As soon as he sees another person, dog, anything, he flips out and goes nuts with barking and trying to run at them. We've done everything we can to try to get his attention back on us, but it's like we don't exist when this happens. He is not an aggressive dog at all, once he gets close enough to people he just starts jumping and wagging his tail looking for love.

So the question is, what steps should we take to resolve this behavior? I suspect shorter walks, with tons of rewarding for eye contact and good walking, but what else can we do? How should we react in situations where he seems to go off the wall and won't stop barking at a person/dog?
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:35 PM
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JPuckett1989 JPuckett1989 is offline
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I think the first step would be remove the dog from the situation as quickly and calmly as possible.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:56 AM
KKboss KKboss is offline
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I agree, but what should be the training steps to train this behavior out of him?
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:58 PM
Maura Maura is offline
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You first want to figure out his comfort zone. How far away when he alerts on them (is simply aware the other dog is there- ears up). How far away when the starts responding. To do this you need to be in a park or similar area where dogs can be far away. Once you figure out his distance needs, you bring him to the line and either work him on obedience cues to distract him and teach him to listen to you, or you turn and walk the other way. His comfort zone should change so that he can get closer and closer to other dogs without reacting.

You also need to work him on obedience, in a friendly manner, all over the place so that he will respond to you in every place on your walk.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:28 PM
KKboss KKboss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maura View Post
You first want to figure out his comfort zone. How far away when he alerts on them (is simply aware the other dog is there- ears up). How far away when the starts responding. To do this you need to be in a park or similar area where dogs can be far away. Once you figure out his distance needs, you bring him to the line and either work him on obedience cues to distract him and teach him to listen to you, or you turn and walk the other way. His comfort zone should change so that he can get closer and closer to other dogs without reacting.

You also need to work him on obedience, in a friendly manner, all over the place so that he will respond to you in every place on your walk.
Thanks for the advice. We have taken him to the "dog park" a number of times. At the dog park he only barks when dogs approach him. During walks, he barks as soon as he gains sight of another person or dog.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:52 PM
Maura Maura is offline
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First, I would use a long leash, like ten feet, and take him out during a time of day when nobody else is on the street. Work him on sit, heel, release, down, look at me, etc. And make sudden direction changes without warning. Make the direction changes often. He thinks you are going to cross the street, but you turn back in the direction you came, that sort of thing (this is why we use a long leash). He doesn't get a punishment, just a tug on the leash when the length runs out. Do not talk to her about this or use treats. This helps to teach him to pay attention to you. Practice all of this obedience on the entire length of your walk (using treats and praise is good for the obedience parts). Needn't be done in one day, after all, this will slow your walk down considerably. If he does alert on someone or something, do your sudden change of direction- you are more important and more interesting than the new object, regardless of whether or not you have treats.

When you are satisfied with the dog's obedience and attention to you, go on to the next phase. If you can't establish a zone of comfort with stranger dogs while on a walk, then have a friend help you by working your plan during a time of day, when there isn't anyone on the street. Have the other dog far down the street. How far away do you need to be before your dog alerts? If he reacts right away, then you have to be prepared to act as soon as you see him react. Treat in front of his face, look at me cue, turn and walk away. You do not want to be scolding him or physically pulling him, except in order to get the treat at his nose. If he will show interest in the treat, do not put any pressure on the leash. It is very possible that his reaction is a fear issue, but in any case, you want him to eventually associate people and dogs he sees with being treated.

If you teach him to sit and wait when he meets people, you can move the sit and wait to strange objects as well. He is a puppy and there are many new and dangerous monsters out there.
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