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  • Results 1 to 8 of 8
    1. #1
      Puppy
      mwmccann99's Avatar
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      Dog lies down on a walk when seeing another dog and sometimes starts barking at them!

      Hi,
      Woody is nearly 12 months old and since being little he has always laid down when approaching another dog. He literally lies flat to the ground with his head pressed against the floor. We have been told this is just a typical Labrador thing however recently he has started barking and acting quite vicious towards some certain other dogs as they get closer. He is a very friendly and loving dog and we don't want people to think he's vicious/aggressive because he never actually has been, just acting a little bit.

      He is normally on his leash when this happens and he lies down as usual when he sees another dog, and when it gets closer he sometimes leaps up on his hind legs and starts barking quite aggressively and sometimes shows his teeth! However other times he just rises up slowly and says hello to the other dog very nicely and politely but other times he bounces up out of his position of lying down on the ground and wants to play but we assume this is because he is a playful puppy!

      This is very strange as he has never done it before and it is only certain dogs he barks at, we've noticed he barks at some dark colored dogs, large dogs and small + yappy/noisy dogs.

      We don't understand how he's lovely and dead friendly and playful to some dogs but then changes with other dogs. We have started walking him with a headcollar and using this to help us train him the "close"/"heel" command which is working great. Possibly he's frustrated at the headcollar and that has something to do with it?

      Thanks!

      Any help and advice greatly appreciated.

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      doubledip1's Avatar
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      All I can say is that Luna does the laying down on the ground and waiting, then rising slowly when other dogs approach.

      I would hire a professional trainer to come work with you on this issue. I think there's lots of training you can do yourself, but when it comes to aggression, apparent aggression, or anything that could look like aggression, it's time to call in a pro.
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    3. #3
      Best Friend Retriever
      Sue's Avatar
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      Your dog is leash reactive. And most likely you are enabling it, without even knowing it. You may be interested in reading this book:

      The Feisty Fido book | Dog Training Book | Patricia McConnell

      I'd also want to add a quote from a trainer in Canada, hope she doesn't mind. But then, she posted it to her facebook page.
      Domestic Leash Skills:


      I often think dog training has gone away from actual dog training. Dogmanship and good handling are becoming a thing of the past; and are not something frequently taught, or even pondered. Many people have no clue how to use a leash, and use it more as a tow rope than an aide for communication.


      Leash handling is reward based and punishment based; but our rewards and punishments are not something that many think of. Or are even aware of.


      Your reward for a job well done should be muscle release, and a consequence, tension. When they have done good, we need to have an absolute softness about us. Or if we plan on them doing good, we need to have that softness in advance. Tightness will trigger badness, be it reactivity, or pulling.


      Yet many people who have not yet conquered their fears are feeding and rewarding 'good behaviour' while their muscles are tense. No one wants to be held rigidly and controlled. Save the hot dog, and instead be respectful with your hands and muscles.


      We cannot lie to a dog. They know that if they did good that we will relax. So if they tried, and you did not relax - in their hearts they will know they failed...


      When you walk your dog their leash should sit in your open, relaxed hand while both of your arms swing. If you can look 'normal' they will start to act normal too.


      Ponder this!


      Monique Anstee
      Victoria, BC
      The gist of this is that you are most likely tensing up, perhaps unknowingly, when a dog approaches. The laying down was a normal response, if the dog approaching was sending off signals your dog perceived as threatening. By lying down, your dog is saying, "hey, I'm not a threat to you." Unless you watch very closely, and know what to look for, you wouldn't even realize the "threat." But now you're anticipating this, probably tensing up and tightening the leash, and so it has progressed to your dog thinking, well, maybe there really *is* something to worry about, and I will forestall it by acting threatening myself.

      Another good read is another by Trish McConnell, The Other End of the Leash | Dog Training Book | Patricia McConnell is considered a classic. Worth every penny.
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      Cheryl Zuccaro

    4. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Sue For This Useful Post:

      MikeLynn (09-01-2014), sheltieluver (09-02-2014), Woodrow_Woodchuck (09-03-2014)

    5. #4
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Polly Pipkin's Avatar
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      I would turn around when you see another dog approach and not let Woody be in that situation. When you think about it, he is being submissive and as the dog approaches, it is larger and becoming more of a perceived threat. He doesn't have many options left to him in that position. You can change your direction and take a round about route so you aren't meeting head on.

      An obedience class where you can practice walking past other dogs without a reaction would be good. The Feisty Fido book that Sue has given you the link to has excellent ideas - practice distraction, "look at me" cues and always go out with treats or a toy to reward Woody!
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    6. #5
      Real Retriever
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      KenZ71's Avatar
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      Sounds like fear. He lays down to hide, then decides he has to defend himself.

      Any friends with dogs that he likes? My yellow girl had some fear aggression that we got around by playing with dogs she knows and trusts. As that got better we expanded to more and more. It took us almost a year.

      Slow, small steps!
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    7. #6
      Senior Dog
      Snowshoe's Avatar
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      I agree this is likely a passive aggressive move on his part. First he lies down to show he is not a threat, that's the passive part. But the other dog keeps coming and Woody is trapped by the leash. Then he is stuck and feels he might need to defend himself so puts out the big bluff, the aggressive part. My male does this too, lies down, but it's always off leash and the approaching dog is off leash too and ususally the approaching dog slows his own advance on my dog, then mine stands up and they sniff. In your case the leash is impeding the natural progression of this.

      Along with all the good ideas above you might look into "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt. It works on leash as well as off and is meant for fearful, reactive or hard to focus dogs and might just really help Woody and you get by this.

    8. #7
      Puppy
      mwmccann99's Avatar
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      Thanks for all your replies! Only yesterday I thought of trying to walk Woody without his headcollar or harness etc. to see how he now walks without them (he used to pull lots and lots!) and I was amazed at how much better he's got at walking at my side. He still pulls occasionally to get to a tree or a bush to wee against but that's understandable, I've taught him the "close" trick which others call "heel" which he has taken very well too.
      When walking Woody just with his collar he hasn't barked once at another dog and has just said hello and had a sniff like he always has done! I have a feeling it was perhaps the head collar restraining him so he felt the need to bark? Anyways thanks again and Woody has got back to his lovely friendly self!! Not long to his 1st Birthday September 8th!!

    9. #8
      Best Friend Retriever
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      Polly Pipkin's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by mwmccann99 View Post
      Thanks for all your replies! Only yesterday I thought of trying to walk Woody without his headcollar or harness etc. to see how he now walks without them (he used to pull lots and lots!) and I was amazed at how much better he's got at walking at my side.
      When walking Woody just with his collar he hasn't barked once at another dog and has just said hello and had a sniff like he always has done! I have a feeling it was perhaps the head collar restraining him so he felt the need to bark? Anyways thanks again and Woody has got back to his lovely friendly self!! Not long to his 1st Birthday September 8th!!
      This sounds as if you were unconsciously causing tension on his lead when he was wearing his gentle leader and then you relaxed when he wasn't, so he was able to relax too. I would still try the other strategies - always good to have back up plans!

      Happy Birthday for Monday, Woody! Keep us posted!

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