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Advice for puppy that just wants to play with other dogs(10 Posts)
I have a 6 month old border terrier. He has always been incredibly playful and eager to play with other dogs. When he meets other dogs he sniffs and does the play bow and then jumps and yaps and puts his paws around their heads. He would continue to do this forever if I didn't pull him off. If the other dog growls or barks or snaps he just continues.
When we are walking, if he sees another dog he pulls and yaps and jumps to get to it. If there are dogs in front of us or behind of us on a walk he will pull the entire way trying to get to them. He will never give up.
If he is allowed to play freely with a dog he won't ever stop. He also pulls the same to get to people.
His recall is fine if there are no dogs or people around but as soon as there are he won't come back. This means he can't be off the lead which I would love to be able to do.
Will he grow out of needing to play with other dogs? When we go on walks I see other dogs walk past, give a sniff and carry on. I would love to get to that point.
We went to puppy classes but I had to abandon them half way through. He just pulled and yapped to get to the other dogs for the whole hour and couldn't do any training as all he was doing was trying to get to the other dogs. He was the only one in the class doing this.
I had to change my mindset with my dog. A walk was just boring for him so no wonder he wanted to be playing with other dogs or hunting the wildlife.
It was only when I stopped thinking of a nice walk with my dog ambling by my side and started to work on playing and engaging with him at all times did he start to pay attention to me and not everything else.
You have to work out what motivates them. It could be a toy, hunting balls, tug play, hide and seek, scattering food randomly in the grass etc when you are out walking. If you become a fun thing to play with when out then they are less likely to look for that elsewhere.
I agree with the pp you need to make yourself more interesting than another dog , be it with a toy , chicken , ball whatever . Do you have any friends with dogs that you could practice with ( whilst social distancing) . Alternatively you can hire a private field to practice being more interesting .
My Goldie was like this, we failed puppy class, twice!
As for making yourself more interesting than another dog it just wasn’t possible for me. No treats, play item or me running in the opposite direction yelling in a high pitched voice was more fun than another dog.
He seemed to just grow out of it and now prefers people to other dogs, he will go up to dogs if allowed and have a bit of a bounce and if the other dog wants to play he will briefly but he loses interest pretty quickly
Sorry I can’t be more helpful
What pp said about making yourself fun. Also work on recall endlessly, and make that fun too with loads of praise and rewards for a return to you. Try and establish the distance where your dog can see a distraction but is still focused on you, and practice this with rewards for every success. Reduce this distance gradually and use a longline if you need to.
My younger dog was a proper bolter when young (and while 99% brilliant now, does have the odd mad moment) but I kept at it, and added to that she matured.
My advice is based in what I did, which is based on Pippa Mattinson's book Total Recall, which is well worth a read.
Mine is similar, but at 10 months she is getting better at being called away... however this does involve cheese in my pocket and numerous squeaky balls!
Where I walk her she usually meets a few dogs every time and gradually she has learned which ones she CAN play with (she has a couple of 'oooooh my play friend' dogs and those that she now realises are not up for it.. and she can now sniff and walk on.
She's not perfect but it is improving with every passing week, as is her recall (though if she sees a deer I have to grab her FAST)
I want her to still be able to play with willing dogs as , well she is SO happy but not to annoy others, but it's a work in progress. I spend a lot of time chasing her , which she loves, and it really helps distracting her!
Thank you for your help. I don't know how I can be more interesting than the dogs that are passing. I will definitely work on recall in the garden using distractions.
For those dogs that he can play with, you need to have him on a long line. Then you need to practice calling him away, with a treat or toy, and using the line if he ignores. Once he’s come to you and he gets a nice reward you then give him the command he can go back and play again. Repeat this several times so that he learns being called away doesn’t necessarily mean the end of playtime.
* I don't know how I can be more interesting than the dogs that are passing*
I had a nightmare with recall. Honestly I considered paying someone everyday to walk him because he was a pain in the arse for months which was so stressful and had me in tears.
However, I persevered and practiced recall many times on every walk and started to engage him as I mentioned above and I can now walk past deer, rabbits and other dogs and he sticks by me like glue which I would have laughed at anyone telling me that at the time. It was so hard and I honestly thought we would never get there but it does take hours of training.
That was me a year ago. I have had to work very hard with mine, high value treats and lots of work. In an empty field walk with him and then keep changing directions, it means he has to keep watching you. Hide from him. My boy is nearly 19 months and I’ve noticed he is more cautious and seems to suss the situation/other dogs out before charging in like he used to. It will get better with time, your puppy is still very young and learning.