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Dog too enthusiastic in greeting other dogs

(10 Posts)
SettlersofKezan Mon 20-May-13 14:45:18

About nine months ago, we adopted a lovely chocolate lab boy. He was three in February and is pretty laid back most of the time, except when he sees other dogs.

I often walk him with the pram with my DD in, and he has good recall when off the lead, except if he sees another dog. For this reason, and because he finds all other dogs the most exciting thing in the world, I always put him back on the lead if I see another dog approaching.

The problem is, I often come across other dog owners who, despite seeing that I am walking a rather excited dog on a lead with a pushchair, either let their dogs come bounding over to him or their recall fails. I have no issues controlling my dog if people leave him alone, but when other dogs come haring up to him, he wants to play.

What can I do to help him be calmer when other dogs do this? Although I feel other owners should be more considerate, I know that won't happen, so would like to help my dog to be a bit less boisterous and excited when he sees other dogs.


blue2 Mon 20-May-13 17:07:20

My dog training is a bit rusty, but what I would do is to take some small doggy treats with you.

Once you see another dog approaching, get the undivided attention of your lab (whom I presume will do anything for food). Get him to sit and look (deep!) into your eyes while you hold the treat. Once strange dog has passed, you can give the treat to your dog for not running off with the other dog.

Its worth a go - but you may get some better advice!

fanoftheinvisibleman Mon 20-May-13 17:18:16

At puppy class I was told to get him to do a watch me and sit before a polite greeting. If not polite then circle away and repeat. 10 months on it still isn't sinking in and I manage like you by leading him in unfamiliar company.

thegriffon Mon 20-May-13 17:39:51

Agree with blue2, but you need to find a treat that the dog really loves. My lab eats anything but it took a while to find something even more exciting than other dogs - small bits of cocktail sausage sprinkled with minced garlic finally did the trick grin.
It sounds like your dog really needs to play and interact with as many dogs as possible, eventually he'll be so used to other dogs he won't get excited when you're out and about with the pushchair. We used to drive to a fantastic place a couple of times a week, huge open space and loads of mostly friendly dogs off lead, perfect for learning the rules of doggy etiquette. It really did the trick for our lab.

SettlersofKezan Mon 20-May-13 19:25:10

Thanks all. I will give the treat a try - just need to find what he likes most, as you say. And watch his waistline! Baby-led weaning is already proving a big hit with him.

We have been putting him into doggy day care occasionally as we thought the socialisation might help, so we'll continue with that. I'll also try to find some places where it's easier to have him off the lead around like-minded dogs.

We suspect he just hasn't been socialised much - we know he wasn't walked a huge amount in his previous home. I always feel a bit sorry for him - he's so enthusiastic and just wants to play but obviously that isn't always gratefully recieved by other dogs and he just doesn't seem to be able to read the signs. He's so happy when he finds a like-minded dog to run around with!

blue2 Tue 21-May-13 09:07:35

Do you have a friend with a dog that you could go out with? That may help

moosemama Tue 21-May-13 12:43:57

Is there a local dog training club near you?

I would recommend joining one to help with the training, but also to help increase his socialisation and for you to meet some other people you could go dog-walking with.

idirdog Tue 21-May-13 13:14:06

3 sec meet and greet rule only until he is calmer.

Put him on a lead when you see a dog coming, allow just 3 secs of sniffing interaction and then remove dog from the situation.

If he stays calm add 1 sec (no more!) gradually the interactions will be calmer.

No amount of treats, watch me commands will be as good as it is to meet the dog so you need to teach him he can have a longer greeting IF he stays calm.

SettlersofKezan Wed 22-May-13 04:51:41

Thank you, again.

There are some local dog training clubs and I think that sounds like a good idea. It was always the plan but then got a bit forgotten in the haze of having a baby!

I'll try the three second rule too.

Unfortunately none of our friends have dogs, so walking with other dog owners isn't really an option.

moosemama Wed 22-May-13 09:51:00

We are the same. Moved from one end of the country to the other and left all my dog walking pals behind. Then the dcs arrived and I never managed to get to any clubs around her, but having 3 dogs at home it was never an issue - until now.

We only have lurcherboy left, after losing our two old girls to cancer over the past couple of years and he's bored and lonely. Plan is to join the local dog-club and then get another pup when lurcherboy has had a decent brush up on all his basic skills and won't be setting any bad examples! grin

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