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> Bombing, Barking And Circling
ridgebacks rock
post 8th Nov 2016, 5:45 pm
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Hi. I've not posted on here for yonks, but hoped someone might be able to suggest something i've not already thought of to help my youngster calm down.

We took in Jackson two years ago. At the time he was 10 months old and we were his 3rd home already. He's full on! GSD x BC. I compete regularly in agility and wanted another dog to run (we already have 3 collies - 2 of which are rescues). Jackson is brilliant, and he's come a long way... but there is one thing i would like to stop!

When he's on a walk he will bomb up to Riley (my other youngster), barking, nipping, circling - basically doing anything he can to get Riley to chase him. He doesn't bother with the older two dogs as they wont play with him, and therefore he doesn't annoy them. Riley will ignor him for some time, and then relent and chase him - basically teaching him to be more persistent - as in the end it will work.

Jackson used to do this continually for every minute of our walks (we walk for 2 hours a day - and it drives me (and Riley) up the wall!).

I've pretty much stopped it - tried a variety of things, but the best way is to ask Riley to 'down' when Jackson comes at him. If Jackson isn't getting the response he wants then gradually he gives us. We can now walk for 2 hours with only one or two charges at Riley.

The problem is now when Jackson sees another dog he will try this tact to make them play. He's fast, and black, and although i now he's friendly, it can seem quite scary to other dog owners when he acts in this way.
He wont nip another dog (only Riley), but he circles and barks in a crazy way.

Any ideas on how i can stop this?

I think it's excitement as he doesn't do it when he's on his own....
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woofgang
post 8th Nov 2016, 6:18 pm
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QUOTE(ridgebacks rock @ 8th Nov 2016, 5:45 pm) *

Hi. I've not posted on here for yonks, but hoped someone might be able to suggest something i've not already thought of to help my youngster calm down.

We took in Jackson two years ago. At the time he was 10 months old and we were his 3rd home already. He's full on! GSD x BC. I compete regularly in agility and wanted another dog to run (we already have 3 collies - 2 of which are rescues). Jackson is brilliant, and he's come a long way... but there is one thing i would like to stop!

When he's on a walk he will bomb up to Riley (my other youngster), barking, nipping, circling - basically doing anything he can to get Riley to chase him. He doesn't bother with the older two dogs as they wont play with him, and therefore he doesn't annoy them. Riley will ignor him for some time, and then relent and chase him - basically teaching him to be more persistent - as in the end it will work.

Jackson used to do this continually for every minute of our walks (we walk for 2 hours a day - and it drives me (and Riley) up the wall!).

I've pretty much stopped it - tried a variety of things, but the best way is to ask Riley to 'down' when Jackson comes at him. If Jackson isn't getting the response he wants then gradually he gives us. We can now walk for 2 hours with only one or two charges at Riley.


The problem is now when Jackson sees another dog he will try this tact to make them play. He's fast, and black, and although i now he's friendly, it can seem quite scary to other dog owners when he acts in this way.
He wont nip another dog (only Riley), but he circles and barks in a crazy way.

Any ideas on how i can stop this?

I think it's excitement as he doesn't do it when he's on his own....

There will be people coming along to add to this but the start is not to let him practice it. If this means on lead around other dogs then so be it.
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Louwra
post 9th Nov 2016, 7:15 am
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I would replace the behaviour with one you want. Teach him a down when he sees another dog. A instant down will stop him from practising, and therefore self-reinforcing the behaviour. If the urge is too strong I would keep him onlead to start with, and from a decent distance from other dogs, so he is not over treshol, gradually moving to off lead and closer. The behaviour should become almost automatically: He sees a dog, he goes down. You could add a 'Watch me' as well, so he is not focused on another dog, but on you instead. Release and reward with a game of fetch maybe? Make sure thew reward is something he enjoys, that will make him more interested.

Never a good idea to have a dog charging up to another, no matter how friendly, so putting a replacement behaviour in there should help

Although mine dont charge up, they will wander up to others, for a sniff and a hello, I have taught them a 'watch me' command till I release them and they are quite happy now and look to me, when there is another dog
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Fever
post 9th Nov 2016, 8:17 am
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As others have said, the first step is to manage him so that the behaviour is not practised. As far as your walks are concerned, I would not walk him with Riley. It's not fair to Riley that he spends his walk being bullied by your other dog, and although I haven't seen it, that's what it sounds like to me.

There will be lots of other suggestions. I am not a fan of teaching alternative behaviour using command and control because somewhere under that big black coat, your dog knows how to behave in a socially acceptable way. I would however call into question some of the highly stimulating activities the dogs are engaging in. Dogs cannot turn their adrenaline on and off at will, so if they are being wound up by exciting games, tuggies, balls, agility etc, they may find it hard to be sensible in other situations.
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nikirushka
post 9th Nov 2016, 8:27 am
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I would be walking separately as well. I've been through similar with Willow, targeting Raine, and Rai's walks were just miserable so they didn't get walked together for 18 months. In that time I worked on visual signals to stop/send Willow away, and getting a damn strong recall so that if she ignored the stop signals I could recall her before she reached them. In that period she was still performing the behaviours but nowhere near as strongly, so I had an opportunity to work on it. Now, she can walk with Rai no problem.

This year I took on a dog with similar problems and I've had to start all over with him, and ironically, I can't walk him with Willow because he won't leave her alone and she's miserable! The result of that is that I have to walk her with Paige, and so I'm working on it a third time as Paige is now the target. This time, I can't walk them separately so it's proving harder although not as hard as before - 3 months in and she's a lot better already.

I'm lucky with her that she is very responsive to me though, as is Faolan. It's made a big difference to the training. Faolan, incidentally, is the same cross as Jackson.

All this is between my own dogs, though: if Willow was doing that to others (and she did get a bit OTT for a while when she was younger) then she would be on lead until I'd got it under control or at the very least, gotten a rock solid recall in place.
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shirls
post 9th Nov 2016, 12:24 pm
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Would he carry a toy? If he has something in his mouthy it might distract him
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