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Van-hating dog - what to do?

(9 Posts)
Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 06-Dec-15 08:18:10

Ddog is 2 and a bit. He's normally very chilled (he's a Pets as Therapy dog) but over the last few weeks he's developed a hatred for vans driving past. He'll bark and lunge and if he wasn't on the lead would chase them. The worst trigger is white vans, but if a lot have gone past then he'll react to other colours too. Cars, big lorries, bikes etc he's all fine with.

Up until the summer he was bombproof around all kinds of traffic and I can't think of any particular incident which sparked this change in behaviour.

I don't think he's scared - when he's scared he does a sort of baying bark and his body language is much more tentative. He reacts to vans in much the same way as when he sees a fox in the garden - it's a sharp, excited bark and desire to chase.

I've changed our regular route to the park so that were walking down quieter roads and if I see a van coming towards us I get him to sit and treat him until it's gone by but I can't avoid all vans all the time.

How do I get him to stop this and realise that vans are not the enemy?

Cheerfulmarybrown Sun 06-Dec-15 09:37:12

What breed of dog is he?

Off out now but will come back with a plan that can help some dogs

Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 06-Dec-15 09:38:52

He's a Toller mary

Thanks smile

PseudoBadger Sun 06-Dec-15 09:48:22

I used to sit by the road for ages and click/treat for attention on me instead of the vehicles. Then would progress to walking.

Cheerfulmarybrown Sun 06-Dec-15 12:05:22

Agree with Badger. Ironically sometimes a busy road is easy for the dog to deal with. But you will have to check this out with your dog.

Click and treat everytime a vehicle goes past. Whatever the dog does even if it lunges barks. If it does lunge I would go further back from the road.

You are not rewarding the lunging behaviour you are showing the dog great things happen if they turn to you when a car goes past.

I would be static to start with then you will see the dog begins to turn to you when they hear a car approaching you could start to add movement eg you walking towards the car.

Re breed I was just checking it wasn't a tyre chasing herdy type! Tollers are fantastic lucky you smile

Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 06-Dec-15 13:05:04

Thanks badger and Mary - I've been trying to distract him but obviously need to be a lot more systematic about it.

Can I just clarify- should I click and treat every time a vehicle goes past or just ones when he's likely to react - he's fine with cars, it's just vans he hates

And any ideas why he's suddenly started doing this? Was it because I was getting smug about having such a well-behaved dog confusedgrin

PseudoBadger Sun 06-Dec-15 20:52:09

I would forget about the vehicles at first - the click is the marker for giving you attention - eye contact, hand/nose touch etc, whatever is going past. Have you done any clicker training?

Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 07-Dec-15 06:20:16

Yes we've done quite a bit of clicker training so he's well aware that click means reward

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 07-Dec-15 16:00:11

I have a traffic hating collie and we had to start at quite a distance from the offending vehicles, a distance at which she was aware of them but distractable with treats and a clicker. Once she was OK at that distance we moved forward, we kept this going until we can now walk along the road it took bloody weeks, she will occasionally react to a very noisy motorbike but I can settle her easily these days.

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