behaviour issues?

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behaviour issues?

Post by Pshopper » 28 May 2014, 18:35

I wonder if anyone may be able to throw some light on the behaviour of our lovely boy. He is coming up to 14mths and was *done* in April (all went well). He has a long off lead walk, where he does all the happy normal doggy stuff except when there are joggers or cyclists about - I understand that this is a bit of a problem for a lot of doodle owners and I'm hoping that he will become disinterested as he becomes more mature - he will try to chase joggers or lunge at cyclists. We are aware of it now, so lead him or distract him and that seems to be doing the trick. The problem I am having is that I have taken to using the halti (only very recently) for when we do the afternoon walk around the block, due to his random lunging at anyone (male or female) who happens to walk past. This afternoon, 3 youths minding their own business crossed from the middle of the road to our side of the pavement. They didn't acknowledge him or me but he went to lunge for the one nearest and appeared even to bare his teeth. The lad was obviously as shocked as I was, because there was no obvious reason for him to behave like that. I verbally reprimanded him and continued down the lane, whereby a lady also walked by and he did the same to her. I stopped him and once again told him off, then checked the halti lead and noticed that I had put it on him slightly askew. We continued the walk with him dragging his feet all the way home! In the past he has sometimes lunged at passing trucks or buses but not really people. I feel that I need to nip this in the bud pdq as he is pretty much perfect in every way. Help?

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Re: behaviour issues?

Post by Bid » 28 May 2014, 20:39

In general I find it is more successful to tell your dog what you do want him to do, than trying to tell him what you don't want him to do! What I would do is as soon as you see someone coming, arm yourself with a treat, assuming he is on your left, hold the treat at nose height on your left thigh and give your "heel" command (mine is "close" rather than "heel") and speed up until you are past, at which point you reward with the treat. Alternatively move to the side of the path and put him in a sit with a "watch me" until they have gone past. It's not perfect as it relies on you spotting them coming, but eventually he should start to do this automatically when people approach. If he is not food oriented you can do the same with a toy.

I would also make a big effort to carry on socialising him as if he was a puppy - take him to town centres and sit on a bench doing exercises such as sit, down, sit etc etc while the world goes by, and so on.
Beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man without his vices - Byron

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Re: behaviour issues?

Post by Ianto! » 28 May 2014, 22:17

I am sure that you are already aware that just lungeing at people can be taken as 'threatening' behaviour... I adopted an old rescue dog who used to do this, and I wasn't aware that this was classed as 'Dangerous' under the then Dangerous Dogs Act- it was quite a shock when I eventually realised.

Bid has already given you the best advice, but if you are still concerned it may be worth contacting a good dog behaviourist to help you to deal with this situation as soon as possible? I'm not for one moment suggesting that your dog is dangerous, just that others could make a complaint under the new law and you need to be able to protect your lad.

With all my best wishes,
Anne & Ianto xx

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Re: behaviour issues?

Post by Pshopper » 28 May 2014, 23:01

Thank you Bid and Anne. Good advice as per usual, and Anne, yes I was aware of the Dangerous Dog Act, hence my need to nip this behaviour in the bud asap.
Back to basics then :shock:

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Re: behaviour issues?

Post by DiSet » 29 May 2014, 16:41

My dog used to do this, not at people but at quad bikes or landrovers/trailers. Although, he's always been a little too interested in people and other dogs for my liking.

We did and still do (situation dependent) what Bid suggested. This helps redirect his attention and seems to help him realise that these "triggers" are good things not bad. I've had people tut at me for "spoiling" my dog with treats - until I tell them what the alternative could be :x . He will now look to me for treats when "triggers" occur, or when he thinks he's done something good. This suits me perfectly and our walks are more peaceful.

Don't let this get you down, its just a blip and can be sorted :D

PS. I use a gencon for our evening walk and really like it. It stays in place and he seems comfortable wearing it.

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