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Seeking dog obedience suggestions

One of my dogs passed a puppy course and a level 1 obedience training. He was a top-notch student. Outside of the confines of class he is a lunatic. On walks, if he sees another dog he barks and lunges insanely. He is not aggressive, but he's a terrier and his desire to meet and play with other dogs looks almost scary. I was just talking to a trainer who said I could start Level 2 classes since he has all the basic skills. However, do you think I'd be better off paying the big bucks and going for private consultation, seeing as how he's never shown his true issues in a classroom setting?

Answer Question

Asked by Whimsee at 2:23 PM on May. 7, 2011 in Pets

Level 13 (1,029 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • if you have cable TV, go to Animal Planet (I think). There is a great program called "It's Me or the Dog". Victoria Stillwell is a great trainer!

    Answer by Suzi at 2:42 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • Suzi-I watch that show very helpful!!!

    Answer by dancer at 2:50 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • No, i would say level 2 because he'll be in a class with other dogs and that will give him more socialisation and teach him how to behave around other dogs. Also, the trainer will be able to give you advice.

    In the meantime however, you could take him out as much as you can..the more dogs he meets the better! If he pulls/barks/whatever, turn around and walk away. He'll learn that that sort of behaviour means he doesn't get to meet the dog. Our cocker pup (now 10 months) was always SO excited to be around other dogs...would bark until we got close (like yours, he was being friendly, just excited and wanting to play) we did this and it worked. He stopped that maybe around 5 months...can't remember! If you have any friends with dogs, i suspect they will be happy to meet up and help you with the training also!

    Answer by little.knickers at 3:04 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • I agree, Victoria stillwell is fabulous!! She has a book..I haven't bought it but have heard great things. I wish she would come back and do more UK shows but I think she's enjoying America too much!

    Answer by little.knickers at 3:05 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • What do you do when he barks at other dogs on his walk?  With my Mastiff's, it's about getting them their attention, taking thier focus off the other dog.  Sometimes that means I stand in front of them and block their view until they calm down.  But I always make them sit until they regain themselves, however long that takes.

    Now when we walk, if they see another dog and start to 'mumble' as I call it, I just tell them "No"and they don't give it another thought.  However, it tooks a couple of months in the beginning to get them to do this.


    Answer by SouthernSmyle at 3:09 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • He is around other dogs a lot. This problem only surfaces with new dogs. For example, if I was out on a trail with my three dogs, and we encountered walkers with other dogs but rather than passing we join them and walk together, he would bark and pull and then settles right down to walk with them. But if our enlarged group runs into another dog, he goes crazy again. It's something about the first encounter. I have tried the blocking him by standing in front of him, requiring him to sit, using treats as a distraction - none of these techniques have worked. He jumps to the side, strains and pulls, and doesn't care about the treats.

    Comment by Whimsee (original poster) at 4:12 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • blocking didn't work with our puppy either as he would just peek around, but the turning around did wonders, so it may be worth a try for you!

    Answer by little.knickers at 4:33 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • try one on one training and i watch the dog wisperer

    Answer by rinamomof2 at 4:47 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • First, Victoria drives me batty...can't stand her show. Glad it works for the rest of you, but I see poor results.

    Second, not all obedience schools are created equal. Some schools will pass a dog say it is*trained* when another school will say it is not. So, levels and graduations don't mean much if the dog isn't responding when you need him to, or taking directions.

    Your dog has issues with distractions. In class there must be some distractions, but your dog is comfortable there and apparently knows the drill. So, if the foundation and behaviors are solid, then you need to take that and apply it outdoors where you encounter the big distractions. Over and over and over.

    You need a good training collar and effective down stays in my humble opinion. Forget the food for now.

    I would not take another class, and instead have the trainer take a walk with you and the dog and show you how to manage these types of distractions.

    Answer by spottedpony at 6:53 PM on May. 7, 2011

  • Wait, hold on here...just read again..3 dogs?

    I imagine dog school he is going solo?

    That can be the difference right there. Dogs will pack together and be much more reactive together than individually. Plus they do tag team you. I could be wrong, but this might be part of the issue.

    I imagine you have tried this, but I would definitely walk him alone and make him behave himself, in a firm heel position with frequent sits and downs for quite awhile before adding the other dogs to the mix.

    Just another thought...sorry, should have read that the first time around!

    Answer by spottedpony at 6:57 PM on May. 7, 2011

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