My new dog. Just one issue I need help with please!

(19 Posts)
MrsDeVere Thu 28-Mar-13 10:50:13

Some of you may remember I got a beautiful rescue dog about two months ago.
She is delightful.
She is about 8-9mths old and about the size of a jack Russell.

She is a brilliant dog. House trained, great with kids, easy to handle, no aggression and very bright.

I have been taking her out a lot, she is now trained on the lead fairly well but does not have recall yet. She is still very puppy-like so I am working on that and expect her to improve.

I need some ideas for the one thing that is driving me nuts.

She goes utterly bonkers when she sees another dog. She is NOT being aggressive but sounds very aggressive. She sounds like a cross between an excited staffy and an upset Doberman (i.e. very loud and and annoying).

What she wants to do is go over and say hello and play.
This is not practical and we meet a lot of dogs as we do the school run etc.

What are your best tips for sorting this out? I do not want to inadvertently encourage it by doing the wrong thing.

At the moment I take her out with my other little dog (who ignores other dogs). Do you think it would be better to take her out on her own for a while?

What should I do when I see another dog?
What should I do when she sees another dog?

I do ask if she can say hello sometimes but I can't do that all the time and she makes such a racket the other owner can not always hear me!
I am also aware that she may upset dogs who are not keen on puppies with no manners.

I have no idea how young she was when she was removed from her mother but it is likely that she was very young. She had a lovely foster home before she came to me but her background is vague as she is a Romanian stray.

Please help me tackle this before it turns into something permanent or really does become aggression (if it causes another dog to attack her it could make her aggressive IYSWIM).

NOTE I really have to go out for a while now so I am not ignoring responses. I would very much value your experience. Thanks!

MrsDeVere Thu 28-Mar-13 17:00:33

No-one can help me mould my dear little dog into a perfectly behaved little pooch?


My 8 mnth old puppy is the same so can I sit on the silly puppy bench with you while we wait for it to stop?

I am still following the advice from puppy class - watch me, sit and greet but he is so excitable it is a nightmare!

MrsDeVere Thu 28-Mar-13 18:13:37

I hope someone comes along soon to help us out fan.

I didn't have any of this with my other dog. He is very snooty smile

SpicyPear Thu 28-Mar-13 18:27:27

Mmm, puppy is the same without the noise and we've done watch me and sit too. Except now he often slams his butt to the floor as soon as he sees a dog coming and refuses to move on until the dog has come up close. So that's more of a warning what not to do as that although people find ot cure, it won't help you do the school run on time.

<waits for help with crazy pup with MrsD and Fan>

SpicyPear Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:04

Find it cute!

idirdog Thu 28-Mar-13 18:48:41

You dog is what I would call a frustrated greeter. eg she wants to meet other dogs but her behaviour is way over the top.

I would work on this as for BAT with reactive dogs but change the reward. Grisha Stewart does talk abut frustrated greeters in her book.

So your dog needs to show controlled/calm behaviour before they are allowed to greet the dog.

Frustrated greeters are generally over the top and do not really know how to finish interactions with other dogs so keep all greetings to start with very short, 30 sec sniff walk away.

So start a distance from dogs before you get the lungy barky behaviour. This may be miles away to start with, that is fine. Your dog needs to show calm behaviour whilst looking at the other dog. Look for a calming signal eg a sniff, lick of lips, brief turn away, backing away, sitting etc. When you get this signal take a small step nearer, wait again for the calm behaviour. I would click the behaviour. Do not attempt to go right up to the dog if you get any excitement. Say nothing and turn away. It will take a while for the dog to understand exactly what they need to do but calm behaviour is rewarded with getting nearer to dogs.

If you do come across other dogs too close and your dog goes into overdrive then just walk away - do not let the greeting take place.

Often dogs that are frustrated greeters will also show lack of control in other areas, so it it a good idea to work on these to let teach the dog to understand that they can change their emotions then it becomes easier for them to apply it to a really exciting situation eg meeting other dogs.

So work on a wait when letting them out of their beds or crate, teach them to go to their bed when the doorbell rings rather than charge up to visitors, reward them with letting them greet once they are calmly in their bed etc. Throw the dogs ball and make them wait before the chase it, wait in the back of the car before they jump out etc.

Be consistent, do not rush this and you will soon have a very happy sociable pup.

Marne Thu 28-Mar-13 19:12:42

Just started a similar thread, my puppy does the same but he is a little anxious of other dogs but fine once he has greeted them. We are trying to make him sit nicely before continuing on our way (or greeting the dog).

idirdog Thu 28-Mar-13 19:23:59

Marne if your dog is anxious then his reward is to be taken away from the dog.
So his calm behaviour will increase the space between the other dogs.

This will give him confidence and he will not need to be anxious etc and his distance will decrease until he is comfortable around dogs.

MrsDeVere Thu 28-Mar-13 21:22:58

Thank you. I am going to re-read this tomorrow so I really get what you are telling me.

I am a specialist developmental worker with children so I have quite a good understanding of the links in seemingly separate behaviours. I can see what you write makes a lot of sense.

I have already started making her sit and wait for her feeds etc. Glad I am on the right track but I wouldn't have thought of doing what you have describe re: greeting other dogs.

So it is really useful.

Is the frustrated greeter think linked to lack of very early socialisation?

I had my pup at 8 weeks MrsD and made huge efforts to socialize him. He was far and away the most over the top puppy at training and I did ask if I had made him this way. Trainer said not and that it was just his personality (he is a typical gung ho terrier). I worried I had oversocialised him and made him overconfident.

The advice from idirdog is the same as what she gave me so I guess (as always smile) it is a case of keeping plugging away. He doesn't bark at other dogs but either tries to hurl himself at them or just lays down and refuses to move. He also does that terrier thing if standing on hind legs straining which always looks like he is likely to rip someones head off. I shall stick at it!

mrslaughan Thu 28-Mar-13 22:21:21

Our 9 month old (giant so huge) loves meeting other dogs, and the one thing he can't stand is not being able to say hello. What has helped him is being off lead.... We walk a lot bridle trails.... When we see other dogs I ask him to "wait" (we use this instead of stay) - so that he walks up to other dogs slowly, or waits for me, not charge up to them ( all 50 kilo's) ..... What has also helped is all the diff responses - if he is too pushy , he gets "told off", being told off has made him more careful in his approach shall we say.
Of course this all goes out the window when he see's one of his friends/regular playmates as then they just start charging around.
So maybe she needs to be able to meet and greet a few more dogs?

Idirdog - your posts are very informative and useful in this section, thankyou.

Sorry, didn't mean to intrude, I lurk a lot here!

So much to learn re dogs!

Ps - phone nearly predictive text idiot dog for your name. Apols in advance if I ever don't correct that lol!!!

Here's a one for you all ( I might post it separately) 15 week wheaten puppy wags her tail and appears happy to see dogs, will want to sniff but then the min they react, want to sniff play etc she's really scared she wet herself at vets puppy party and and puppy class she did the same and went and hid, this is while the rest of the class are playing in pairs in the hall.

I make sure she sees dogs everyday and if the owners happy I let her sniff, but I try not to let her bite off more than she can chew and approach every dog we see, just in case.

She hasn't been out and about 3 weeks yet, please tell me there's a good chance her confidence will grow. The trainer let slip last night that perhaps this is how she'll be and maybe she's right and ill have to accept it but it'll make me sad to think she'll never enjoy playing with other dogs.

gymmummy64 Fri 29-Mar-13 08:34:26

Iridog I lurk a lot too! If you're still reading could you expand on your statement ' not really know how to finish interactions with other dogs..'? That phrase has a huge amount of resonance for me, though with a recovering reactive dog rather than a frustrated greeter. It always puzzles me that things seem to go well but then suddenly don't! I try to get away before this point, but it's not always possible. Rather as if as your phrase suggests, he simply doesn't know what comes next/how to finish.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack, but I think it's all related hopefully smile

idirdog Fri 29-Mar-13 09:34:45

Idiot dog grin auto correct has never been so right I may name change

Expanding on finishing interactions with dogs. Generally a dog is in an emotional state when greeting other dogs, either through reactivity or just as a frustrated greeter. So all that emotion is really hard to manage.

I would make sure that close interactions (when the dog is ready for them) are as follows:-

Keep moving and only allow very short greetings quarter of a second.
Keep walking in the same direction as the other dog
Call the dog away and reward away from the other dog.

Do not start with face to face greetings so if a dog is walking towards you do not greet that dog just turn away or walk past depending on what will keep your dog below threshold

Try approaching a dog that is in front of you and walk up to it, then parallel have a quarter second greeting then move away.

An excellent and essential command for reactive or frustrated greeters is the "Lets Go Command. Practice this at home, have the dog on a lead throw a treat behind you and say lets go and charge to the treat. This can become a real game and then when you say lets go to move away from other dogs the command is also a relaxer to the dog

What also works really well for these dogs is teaching them a touch command. Get them to touch your hand click and treat, you can then get them to touch a dogs behind. Train this with one of your dogs if you have more than one, or even a toy dog or a friends calm placid dog. This gives your dog something to do when greeting. They will "touch" the dogs bum with their nose, the other dog sees this as a polite greeting and does not do anything your dog turns back to you for a treat. The greeting is positive and the dogs part happily. The more positive encounters the dogs have the less emotion etc and all is calm and peaceful!

gymmummy64 Fri 29-Mar-13 10:10:02

thank you Idirdog (finally got it right!). Lots of very useful stuff in there to try, much appreciated.

Idirdig. Interesting posts thanks again. Lord I am so lucky with our puppy who is five months old and just a little soft dream. Good manners and so far, his little life has been pleasant encounters and happy playful days.

Poor dog gets clicker trained to death thought. Have taught him to touch my hand at 'touch' command for no reason other than we love training and he likes learning stuff. How can I incorporate this in daily life in our puppies context? We 'wait' or 'watch me' if I need him to stop for say, a cyclist, horse, runner, danger.

Hardly an issue and I admire the other guys taking on harder cases than our puppy but good to use anyway!!

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