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barking and growling at other dogs

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Mika

blue/brown eyed- girl!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 8:09am PST 
Hi some of you asked if i could post my question here so you could understand more about what i asked. Ok so ive had my Husky for about 4 or 5 months she is 3 she is spayed and up until last week always friendly with other dogs. Now every time i walk her she growls and gets overly exited and barks when another dog passes us,we take her to the dog park all the time and she is fine with the dogs,so not sure why she is acting like this on our walk? confused
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Mika

blue/brown eyed- girl!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 8:13am PST 
I dont think she would ever hurt any of them, but i dont know for sure, she doesn't seem like she wants to snap but more like half "dont mess with me" and half "i wanna play with u" But people walking their dogs are obviously bothered by this and wont let Mika near them because they are afraid she will bite. frown So its getting harder to socialize her with other dogs now, im afraid that will make it worse!?! And the dog park is over an hour away so we cant go there every single day, but we do as often as possible...if anyone could help, i would really appreciate it
Thank you
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Obi

Sassy Britches!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 9:49am PST 
My dog had the same problem and as I said on the answer forum, BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training) is so extremely helpful for situations like ours.

http://www.petexpertise.com/behavior-adjustment-training-dog.htm l
has links at the bottom of the page as well

http://functionalrewards.com/BAT-basics.pdf
for more visual instructions page 4-5

I love kikopup's hints and tips with this sort of thing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY7JrteQBOQ&feature=relmfu

Hope this helps!
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 9:51am PST 
When she starts barking what does she do? Is her tail up or low? Ears forward or more flat to the head? The point she does the slightest indication is where you need to stop. When she is lunging, she is over threshold & won't be in any state to learn.
If you can get her to sit & look at you..great! Reward that & feed her yummy treats as the other dog approaches.
It is always a good idea to work random direction changes into your regular walk. There is no shame in simply doing a 180 & going the opposite way when you see a dog. If she gets used to that during no-stress times, it won't be an issue when you need to escape.
But forward momentum is important. If she is focused on you keep trying to move closer to the other dog. But do stop if she starts to amp up.
Another technique is "look at that." In this case you reward her for looking at the dog, then immediately looking at you. This can often be done to further your forward progress. Dog approaches, she looks at the dog, looks at you, gets a treat. She should form the association that approaching other dogs means god things.
Look into BAT by Grisha Stewart. It could be very helpful to you.
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Mika

blue/brown eyed- girl!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 11:42am PST 
Her ears are always up and tail is always up as well. The only thing that makes it seem more aggression or protectiveness then play is the way she growls and lunges at the other dogs...simply because she never used to do that. She would normally just want to smell the other dogs and whatnot, then completely changed! I will check out those sites, thank you very much for the help from both of you. I just hate the fact that my neighborhood thinks she is not a very nice dog, when she used to love other dogs attention ya know what i mean? Thank you again. applause
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Missy

Miss- Pig!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 4:55pm PST 
If she's fine with dogs off lead at the dog park then her behaviour with dogs when on lead could be frustration in that she can't get to them to play/greet, rather than actual aggression.

I agree with the BAT recommendations. I've found the book very helpful. But you might want to consider a good behaviourist too as frustration/reactivity can be hard to deal with on your own.
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Mika

blue/brown eyed- girl!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 6:11pm PST 
Thank you, I have been reading up on BAT online as much as I could find. I tried some techniques tonight on our walk and we got through the first dog we walked past just fine and the second not so good....actually one of the worst reactions yet...but i realize it is not going to happen over night and I will keep doing the best I can. I cant thank you guys enough for your help with this and I will definitely keep you all posted on her progress and the different things i will try.
She is such a sweet dog and we love her so much, I can't stand people thinking she may be a vicious dog when that is indeed not the case!
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ARCHMX Asher RL1X RL2X RL3X RL

we will dance in- the ring without- words
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 27, '12 6:19pm PST 
My guess would be that the first dog was harder than you thought for her, maybe raised the level of stress hormones in her system and set her up for failure with the second dog. It is SO hard for us to quit on that high note, we always want to push a bit. I know I am very guilty of this and warn my students not to be like me. wink

In addition to BAT, I would also check out www.reactivedogs.com and Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt.
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Mika

blue/brown eyed- girl!
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 28, '12 8:20am PST 
Yes you are probably right, thinking about it now that you have brought that to my attention, I probably shouldn't have pushed my luck with that. I will keep that in mind for our walk today. Thank you, and very good point!! hail LOL
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Bonnie

917256
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 28, '12 8:47am PST 
###Her ears are always up and tail is always up as well. The only thing that makes it seem more aggression or protectiveness then play is the way she growls and lunges at the other dogs...simply because she never used to do that. She would normally just want to smell the other dogs and whatnot, then completely changed!###

From what you say she is on high allert, she isn't protecting you she is trying to protect herself, what is she like when off the lead?

When a dog is on a lead if they are anxious they can't run away which most dogs prefer to do so they have to make themselves bigger which ears and tail up usually is, I suspect she also stands taller as well.

Barking and growling is communication, it is like us talking and shouting when we are anxious, she could be telling the other dog to go away.

While she is in this mode her brain has shut down, she is in survivla mode and no matter what you do she won't learn, she needs to be calm to learn. BAT won't work if a dog is anxious only if calm and you need to find the distance from the other dog were she starts to tense up, go inside that area and she won't learn anything but practice the behaviour you don't want, the more she practices it the worse it will get.

I have solved this behaviour myself with several dogs and many more owners have, we just kept our dogs outside the area were they reacted, it is important that they see the other dog but not close enough to react. Gradually this distance will get smaller and smaller as she realises that she has nothing to fear and eventually she will be able to walk past other dogs without any problems. By working this way you will also be using BAT at times.

I was put off BAT when I offered Bonnie for a demonstration at a workshop, she barks and leaps around when she sees another dog when she is on the lead. No questions were asked about her, all I said what I have just said about her but was told she wasn't suitable, if it isn't suitable for this behaviour what is it suitable for? I do know why Bonnie behaves like this, she wasn't socialised as a puppy, she was 8 months old when I got her, she came into a house with 3 other dogs but hadn't learnt how to introduce herself to other dogs. I was going to go to this workshop but didn't see much point.
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