How do I help my dog have better dog-to-dog greetings?

asked 2018-09-17 14:54:04 -0500

I recently got my 7-month beagle-lab mix from a dog rescue. She is very sweet, especially with all the humans in the house. With other dogs, however, she is sometimes too sweet! When we go for walks she is SO excited when she sees another dog that she literally LAUNCHES herself off the ground. I would really like to socialize her with dogs more (her foster mom fostered more than one dog at once and said that my dog was good with other dogs) as I think this behavior is just a puppy really, really wanting to play.

I have met a few calm dogs that were very patient with her and let her run around excitedly, but not all dogs are this way. When an owner declines our approach (I make sure to hold her and ask them, informing them she is very jumpy) she whines, yips (not usually full on barking), and jumps because she wants to see the other dog. This has turned into more aggressive barking on one occasion. When I see another dog coming, I get her to sit and try to have her watch them. Sometimes this works, but sometimes it devolves into the whining and jumping, which has scared other dogs (and their owners). When that behavior begins it is very hard to get her to stop. I have walked away with her, usually in the opposite direction of the dog, but I am not sure if there is something else I could be doing better? I do not pick her up in these moments. I am working on getting her private obedience lessons to refine her basic skills, but would really appreciate some guidance in the meantime as I would hate to avoid other dogs when out walking with her. What advice would you have?

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4 Answers

answered 2018-09-18 05:13:50 -0500

It sounds like you are doing a good job so far at getting her trained. (And so glad to hear that you do not pick her up! (So many pet owners make this terrible mistake). On thing you can try doing differently is work on your " watch me" command. I think when you do see the other dogs, getting your little one to watch you vs watching the other dog. This also may work with your, "leave it" command. When the dogs truly know the leave it command they will normally look away from what ever they were told to leave it. (the whole out of sight out of mind concept) And yes I know easier said that done.... You can also try taking yummy treats with you (something that she only gets during this time. ie chicken? something very yummy.) And my last suggestion would be to taking a squeaky toy with you. Donn't let her see you have it, so when you squeaky it breaks her attention off the other dogs and back to you.
Best of Luck!

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answered 2018-09-20 00:39:22 -0500

I would agree with everything Erica M. said above and add that it's going to take a lot of time, patience, and consistence. My dog was extremely reactive (and borderline aggressive) towards other dogs when I got her, and it took almost a year for her to be able to calmly pass any other dog. With your pup it may not take as long because she is younger and probably doesn't have a bad history with other dogs. Another thing I'd recommend is checking out the dog trainer Zak George's YouTube videos about leash reactivity. I've found his stuff very helpful.

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answered 2019-04-04 10:49:25 -0500

Teach your dog an alternative behavior from lunging by giving her something else to focus on. Encourage her to think instead of react by teaching her the game “find it.” ... If your dog is not motivated by food, try using a toy to play a game of tug or encourage her to hold the toy in her mouth

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answered 2018-10-03 21:33:36 -0500

The previous responses are both good advice. We have a 9 month old puppy that is dealing with the same issue. One thing that is helping us is tandem walking. If you’re not familiar with the concept, check U-tube. Basically you are walking your dog behind, along side of, and ahead of another dog. Reward when their behavior is appropriate. Increase distance if you can’t hold their attention. If you can’t recruit a friend, pirate other dog walkers at nearby parks, by following close and passing wide when you can.

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