And now we're chasing cars..

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Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 10:12am PST 
I haven't posted here in ages, but I need a fix. I used to post about how shy and timid was through puppyhood, so much so that when I took all the pups for a walk in the park I used to keep him off leash not bc he was trained but because he was so afraid of his surroundings he would not leave my side.

For the last year or so, he has made a complete change. He is no longer timid, hiding behind me or snapping at strangers. He loves people, dogs and is all around happy. However with that we have developed some issues.

1. As the title states- cars. He lunges, does his pug yodel/scream, flips- all sorts of madness. I don't take them on long walks anymore because of how nervous I am about it. Hes only 12 pounds, and black- so just the thought of him getting loose is killing me. SO I need some advice on where to begin with training. I have brought treats out on walks when I take just him without his brothers- and have put him in a sit when I see a car coming- and if he turns his head I have been giving him a leave it command and treating if he turns back to me. This works sometimes, but sometimes he breaks to lunge regardless. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. He also pulls on a leash, so starting today I am going to be working on walking nicely.

2.Related to 1 sometimes. When he gets worked up,like over seeing a car, another dog, person etc and all my boys start barking- he runs at bauser and attacks his face and then goes back to freaking out. It never turns into a full on fight, its just a quick thing. He also does this off leash in the house when they get worked up/ or just when bauser starts barking.

3.This isnt too important but I figured id ask while im here. Miikka loves playing with bauser at home and he is so full of energy that ill take him to the park occasionally because he plays great with other dogs. However, he seems to lack confidence. It usually takes him 45 minutes or so to finally start playing. When a dog engages play- or he seems to find interest in a dog he will run back to me and stand by me and whine or cry. Ill say "Its okay, you can go play!" and he will either jump up and whine some more or run off a little, but then run back. Ill repeat this a few times and he will finally go off and play and once he does, he is a NUT. So based on his history of being very timid, I am just going with this is a lack of confidence, like he needs my reassurance that its OK. I would just like for him to feel comfortable enough to play without being attached to my hip for 45 minutes, and needing me to encourage it so much. Im happy he is playing either way, but I wanted some input.

Thanks guys

Couch Potato
Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 10:19am PST 
Is he just lunging at cars or would he actually chase them. How does he behave toward parked cars?

Can you put him in a sit or down every time a car passes?
That's what I try to do with 3 of my dogs, and one I have to stuff food in her mouth!

Does he want to chase other things? Moving people, runners, horses, cows, sheep, other animals, bicycles, etc.?
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 10:34am PST 
One of my fosters would lunge at cars but by the time he left me he didn't anymore and he lives in the city now with way more cars!

This is what I did;
1. I walked him alone so I could focus on him and learn his cues.
2. Always had food with me.
3. I never asked him to do anything. I just stuffed food in his face every single time we saw a car. With him is was so bad that if we heard tires/muffler but didn't see the car I'd still treat him.
4. After a couple days of three walks a day like this he started looking at me as soon as he saw/heard a car. Praise and treat!
5. After a few more days asked for him to sit with a treat right infront of his face so he could focus on it and kept shoving more treats in his face as the cars drive by.
6. Really tested him by just standing at an intersection at a busy time of the day with him in a sit giving him treats one at a time with a few seconds between them.
7. Taught him to "touch" my hand when he saw a car to get a treat. I doubt you can do that with a little dog.
8. Cut back to just praise for slow/quiet cars and treats for loud/fast cars.
9. Cut back to treats just for the odd loud/fast car.
10. Just praise.

ETA- You can do this with just about anything, the same dog was scared of people on the street and men in the home. I did pretty much the same thing and he was fine by the time he went to his new home. way to go

Edited by author Tue Feb 26, '13 10:35am PST



Barked: Wed Feb 27, '13 12:42pm PST 
I am assuming he would chase them, but I am not willing to find out. He pulls and screams until the car is out of sight. Parked cars he doesnt pay attention to. Moving people I dont think he so much wants to chase, but he does want to see them. All those other animals are non existent where I live so I am not sure.

Thanks for your suggestions. Jewel its nice to hear a success story, I like knowing there is some hope. At this point I am ready to keep 2 leashes on him, one connected to his collar and one to his harness because I am so nervous.