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My dog is a git

(5 Posts)
CommunistLegoBloc Sun 26-Jun-16 23:31:50

I love him dearly, but arghhhh. He's a rescue lurcher, probably ex-courser, found as a stray. Very nervous at first but now absolutely in love with me and bonded well with DP. Interested in new people rather than scared of them. He's not a boundy waggy-tailed loves-everyone hound, but he's a sweetheart. Lovely recall, has learned to play with toys for the first time. So far, so good.

He is SUCH A TWAT to other dogs. He's badly socialised, that's clear. He's also protective of me. He lunges, snaps, barks, growls etc if we walk past another dog. Not if it's in the distance, just if it's in his spade. Oh and if it gets in his face...argh.

I'm walking him twice a week with stooge dogs, starting this week. Has anyone had any luck training their dog to be less of a twat? I'd like another one, or to foster, but failing that I'd just like to let him play off-lead without checking every ten seconds to see if another dog / his supper has appeared.

Give me hope!

MagpieCursedTea Mon 27-Jun-16 00:05:12

We had a Jack Russell who was a twat to other dogs. She was lovely with people and my very best friend. However, if she saw another dog she just lost it. She'd try to start on dogs who were much, much bigger than her (and small ones too, she particularly hated Westies for some reason). She was also a stray who hasn't been socialised. We tried taking her to classes but were basically asked not to bring her back blush
We got her when she was about one and she lived until she was eighteen. She certainly couldn't have lived with another dog and we never thought she'd be able to go off the lead. She mellowed as she got a bit older though and started to feel more confident. She never loved other dogs, and some still annoyed her for no apparent reason. She did end up having a couple of friends though who she would be happy to see out on walks. Her recall also became good enough that she could be off the lead in certain areas. We always put her back on though if we saw another dog she didn't know.
It took a while and we figured out some of her triggers e.g. If another dog tried to sniff her bum all hell broke loose. It was mostly a case of giving it time and building her confidence.
Best of luck!

Greyhorses Mon 27-Jun-16 08:26:21

I have one that sounds like yours but worse blushgrin

I have had loads of success with bat training. Basically the dog looks at scary thing, looks back at you and gets a treat for not reacting. You will have to start a fair diatance away until the dog gets it and gradually move the other dog closer. If your dog reacts your too close and need to go back a step.

It's really important not to allow any negative experiences so keep the dog from feeling stressed in the presence of other dogs and preferably stop other dogs approaching at all (good luck with that though as half the owners in my town can't call the dogs back!)

CommunistLegoBloc Mon 27-Jun-16 10:43:23

Thanks guys.

Grey that sounds interesting. He won't take treats outside though, contrary bugger. I've been thinking of some intense clicker training and then I could click rather than treat?

Also it's been recommended that I let him play with these very very tolerant dogs, so that he learns dogs are nice and not worth fighting. Do you think that's a bad idea?

Greyhorses Mon 27-Jun-16 11:30:00

With mine I stopped her interacting with other dogs because sometimes they got too rough and scared her and set her back. I do let her interact with quiet calm ones that walk nicely but never let her play rough as I find the next few days she is much worse. All it takes is one growl or snap and it can make your dog worse. I do have another dog though so she isn't without socialisation...she is in love with him but hates strange dogs and people!

I saw a behaviouralist who worked wondered and started us on the training but it was expensive, £150 for 3 hours.

The key principle I think is that the dog needs to see the scary thing as a positive. So whenever your dog sees the negative thing something great happens, for my dog it was food but I suppose you could use any reward your dog likes. The other dog needs to be far away for your dog to feel happy, so it sees the other dog and gets something great in the presence of another dog and you can gradually bring the other dog closer over time as long as your dog stays happy. I taught mine to sit and look at me until the other dog had passed. It's like desensitisation but teaches your dog to trust that you will protect him from other dogs and that they will stay away and he does not need to defend himself if that makes sense? So as he dosent need to get rid of the other dog he won't bark. If your dog is barking then you are too close and need to give your dog more space.

It isn't important to me that my dog plays with others so I just keep her away, if another dog frightens her in any way she tends to go back to barking and growling for a few weeks as its undone my work in teaching her other dogs are good and we start the whole process again hmm

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