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Anyone know much about dog behaviour?(8 Posts)
My dog was in puppy socialisation classes from 10 weeks old and it ended in disaster as she thought she could rough and tumble with every dog she saw ... when she realised she couldn’t, she became lead reactive. We are in training with this now. She cannot greet another dog on lead without going crazy and turning into Cujo.
Off lead she’s ok, but she does play rough and is overly excitable which can lead to her going too far during play and getting nasty. It’s a minefield. I’ve found the trick is to make sure she’s exercised before greeting another dog (but still can’t greet nicely on lead, only off lead).
Anyway! She’s developed this new habit. If she sees a dog walking towards her she lowers her head and starts “stalking”. Then when the other dog is near she will lay down. The other dog greets her while she’s laid down and then she’ll stand up and play (or if the other dog doesn’t want to play she will leave it and follow me.
But why the stalking?? It looks so intimidating and aggressive and it worries me everytime she does it! You can also see the fear of god on the other peoples face as they walk towards her in that state. This is a new behaviour.
When she has been put in her place by more dominant dogs she'll learn
Our dog has been known to stalk sometimes on walks, but only with a few certain breeds as he’s been bitten and attacked and now he’s not sure if it’s going to happen again. If the dog moves on happily or even comes to say hello nicely he relaxes, but if it shows aggression or scares him he instantly runs away!
As for being reactive on the lead we’ve had this many times when our boy was a pup, he always wanted to play so so badly with other dogs that he’d try and pull you over to him, but he’s 50kg so it looks pretty terrifying if you don’t know him 😂 we adopted a sit and watch technique, we would ask him to sit while the other dog passed, and we taught him the watch command so he would focus on us rather than outside stimulus. It worked really great! If you don’t already have a halti then I’d recommend one, harnesses are great but often allow the dog to pool all of its power in the front and pull harder! And with our boys halti I found a simple finger behind the back of his head under the halti with the teeniest amount of pressure on the halti would instantly correct his behaviour!
Good luck OP! Reactive behaviour can be so stressful and training is such a long process (our boys almost 5 and has had to be ‘retrained’ on occasion where he has completely regressed for a few weeks!
It’s not really stalking. If she sees another dog and lowers her head and gets smaller the lies down she is exhibiting submissive behaviour.
If she is lowering her front legs she is doing a 'play bow'. It's what dogs do to other animals when they want to play- a sort of bow out of respect. Sometimes it can be very subtle- a nod of her head, or sometimes a full on lie down.
Our dog play bows to our cat when she wants him to play, usually the cat will just ignore her and walk away, but sometimes he will lie on his back and pat her with his paws.
Sounds like my dog. Shes started doing the same, shes trying to be good but is a bit anxious. Dont tell her off, dont push her.
We're hoping to introduce ours to a playgroup soon run by trainers.
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