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how to help dog that bolts in panic when chased by other dogs?

(7 Posts)
talkingrabbit Tue 07-May-13 15:40:31

Any advice gratefully received:
RabbitDog is a newly adoptetd (Easter) rescue black lab x collie. When off lead and chased by other dogs not under good owner control he bolts. Once for home, crosing busy roads on his own so a real danger, and once on an unfamiliar walk off to the nearest village.

Other than this he is lovely - he can take or leave unknown dogs, doesn't tend to go near them, is a ball freak so stays on lead when children are playing in the park.

Has reliable sit, stay, come, down and drop at home and in the park.

What should we be working on to help him overcome his extreme panic and keep him and others safe?

mrslaughan Tue 07-May-13 17:14:30

When you say chased - is it other dogs (off lead) walking up to him , when he is off lead, that sets him off..... Or is it more of an aggressive chase?

talkingrabbit Tue 07-May-13 19:18:15

Thanks for replying smile.
I would say that it starts as play chasing but RabbitDog doesn't seem to know how to stand his ground so other dogs then go for the aggressive chase. In an open space he is ok as he can keep circling. But on a path where he can't get back to us bevause of other dogs he panics and runs for his life sad.

mrslaughan Tue 07-May-13 21:53:53

I am no specialist......but what I would do, is keep him on the lead in area's like paths.

I just had a incident tonight, where my 10 month old bombed off to see some dogs, I hadn't actually seen. They were on the lead and thank goodness he stopped for me, as the other owners said that there dogs aren't reliable.

Then I would work at getting him confident with other dogs. Do you do obdience classes - lots of other dogs, all on the lead and contained.

Or do you have friends with reliable dogs? that will stop when commanded? that you could take with your dog, to somewhere contained, and if he starts running and getting chased, the other dog will stop when commanded, or will show no interest in him, and do things om cammand - so its attention is not on him?....or you just need a big lump of a dog like mine, who knows when he is out manoevered and will just sit down and watch the other dog run in circles around him.

talkingrabbit Tue 07-May-13 23:22:41

Your 10 month old sounds fab to come when called so well smile.
Thanks v much for the ideas, we could certainly try with a friend's reliable dog, that would be a great start.I have a friend with a 'bombproof' assistance dog who might be able to help. I think at the moment RabbitDog might find obedience clases overwhelming, and I wonder whether at 4.5 we will be able to desensitise him enough to make it a possibility at any point; I would love to though if he ever does get less wary of other dogs. From what you say I could maybe work on a totally reliable sit from a distance too so that he can't be chased? Just wonder if instinct woukd take over and he'd still take off in an emergency?

mrslaughan Wed 08-May-13 17:32:14

In giant puppies class there is a 7 year old retriever grin
I think as long as you find something they are motivated by, they. An keep on learning - whether that's food (giant puppies case) or a ball

topbannana Wed 08-May-13 18:52:17

I have frequently taken anxious older dogs to just sit in on obedience classes. Generally the more advanced theyvare the the better behaved they will be so steer clear of puppy and the graduating class from there!
I have sat for ages on the sidelines, moving closer to the action every week. Several dogs have even eventually joined in with the quite frankly rather dull walking in circles without actually taking part in the exercises. Any anxiety is not rewarded but I carefully monitor so I have some idea what is "too much"
Speak to the trainer beforehand and explain your situation. I have always paid the course fee so I can justify my presence there. You will often find that there will be a variety of extra people milling about who will be more than happy to come and speak to you and rabbitdog, sometimes with well behaved dogs of their own smile

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