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Help Walking Belle past other dogs

May 5th, 2005, 12:42 PM
We use the choke collars on our dogs and we have had an excellent trainer come to our place to teach us to use it properly and how to train our dogs. My problem is Belle.

Both my dogs are great until we see another dog. Shadow is getting better everyday but Belle couldn't care less how many times she gets corrected.She barks and lunges and basically freaks out. She chokes herself trying to get at them, through fences on the road whatever. I've tried correcting her with a snap and a "no" but that doesn't work at all and end up doing it constantly until we pass the dog, she continues to throw herself at the fence and choke herself. Ive also tried to turn around and go the other way and if she doesn't pay attention a quick snap and say "no...lets go!) I end up dragging her a distance before she will walk again.

At the moment I keep walking and give a quick snap correction while saying "no" and praise if she does it which is hardly ever until we are way past the dog. Afterwards she is very shaky, Im thinking nerves but I dont know.

Should I keep at it this way or try a different method?

Also yesterday for the first time she went after 2 older men while on the leash, barking and lunging at them but we passed a guy in his early 20's and she was fine, wagging her tail and such.

Any suggestions???
Thanks Sarah

May 5th, 2005, 01:12 PM
I'm working on Justice, off lead, with distractions right now.
When in obedience, she went nuts trying to get to the other dogs, she just wanted to play.
So, I worked with the trainer one on one. What he had me do was keep talking to Justice ... have Belle walking beside you, as soon as you see another dog, talk to her, 'head up, up here' get her to pay attention to YOU, and ONLY YOU, and have the dog walk by her, give her tons of praise. keep doing it. always talk to her in a voice that gets her attention, playful voice.

Thats how we got Justice to ignore other dogs, i was using the word 'ignore' when telling her to watch me, so now i see another dog, i tell her 'ignore!" and she does just that.

Probably better, maybe easier ways, hopefully others will respond

May 5th, 2005, 02:23 PM
Belle is showing signs of insecurity and lack of confidence on your leadership. While your other dog is doing great you need to work on your relationship with Belle. It should be that when she sees another dog/man that she looks to you for guidance and you are ready with a response. Right now she doesn't believe that you can keep her, or yourself safe from these intruders - so she steps in with full force and tries to scare them away.
Where to begin?
1) I would attach Belle to me in the house as much as I can. Ask her to do tons of things through out your time together. Make her work for food, love and toys. She has to look into your eyes for anything she wants including going through doors, in and out of the car, out to potty, etc.. give a name to everything she can do, every toy she has and every room in the house.
2) Take her for walks alone - just the two of you. Work her in the house with drills before you go out (calming chemicals released in her brain make her more cooperative). Work her in your yard or driveway until you see her giving you her attention. Then go down the road a few houses still working on her attention and giving her lots of things to do. As you make progress down the road and you see something that could set her off - tell her to 'leave it' and give her jobs to do . If she gets nutsy then quickly move away from the distraction and get her attention on you. It might take 5 steps back or 30 - depending on her. Get to the place where she shows some self control and then work towards the object. At first you might go back more than forward until she starts to figure it out. If it is a loose dog heading towards you - don't hesitate to tell the other dog to go away. Belle will look up to you and think 'wow, she wants to take over - cool! have at it.' Try to be clear that you are shooing the other dog away not that you are joining in to support Belle in shooing it away.
3) Everytime Belle checks in with you (looks in your eyes) you need to reward that look with soft praise to encourage her to do it more.
The key is that you need to gain her trust and respect in these scary situations. You do this by improving your leadership before anything scary ever happens. You connect with her by asking her to do lots of things throughout the day. You correct her bad choices and reward the good ones. You learn to read her thoughts and interrupt them before she acts on them or reward them as she is being good.

May 5th, 2005, 02:26 PM
Good advice Safyre - I would just caution everyone to 'not become human static'. Use your words but be clear about your tones like Safyre said. Even someone who talks in high pitched tones all of the time can be tuned out. So very your tones - firm for 'leave it' or 'ignore it', and light and praising for the positive.

May 5th, 2005, 03:03 PM
Thanks Tenderfoot and Safre I will work on it with her. When I take Belle for a walk alone, should my bf take Shadow for a walk once were gone and go different places? Shadow would be devastated if I took Belle and left her behind.

Dog Dancer
May 5th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Hi, I posted on the general thread about lazer lights and it was suggested I tell you about this idea for Belle. My lab X Halo is bad on leash - also likes to pull like crazy (she's 4) and was terrible when passing dogs. She does however love, make that LOVE to play with her lazer pointer. I found that by telling her "here" when passing a dog and shining the lazer for her it distracted her so she would no longer pay attention to the dogs and would look for the lazer. (Of course the dog has to want to play with the light beam or it won't help at all, and it's much harder when it's light outside like now to train this.) But Halo will look for the light when I tell her here or look now whether it is dark or light out. When she behaves well for me she gets a flash! In fact, when we pass dogs now she automatically looks for the light even on days when I don't have it. It's funny because when my BF walks her with me he'll take her (she listens better to men) and I take our other dog, when Halo see's a dog coming even if she's a block ahead of me she'll stop and look back at me to see if I'm going to give her the flash or not. I am now also trying to work with a small food reward so that I don't feel guilty when she looks for the light in the middle of the day and can't find it, I feel she should get some reward - although a pet on the head is often enough. Just a thought that may help.

May 5th, 2005, 03:59 PM
It would be great for your BF to take Shadow on a different walk and work on their relationship. Everyone needs some 'one on one' to feel special!

May 5th, 2005, 04:27 PM
We will take them on separate walks then and get this figured out!

Thanks Dog Dancer, I never thought of using distractions!

Dog Dancer
May 5th, 2005, 05:33 PM
Hi SarahLynn, Good luck with Belle - my other dog's name is Shadow too! Common name it seems :) I do believe respect is a major issue with our pullers and is definitely worth striving for - the eye contact thing and all - but if distractions work I'm going with it! If you can get Belle into a good game of lazer tag and give it a name she'll go for that instead of the other dogs. Like I said Halo is so crazy for it a set of keys is enough to get her searching... If you're like me you'll try anything to settle them down. Now if I could get her to look for the lazer instead of looking for cats...