Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

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Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by Mistys Mum on Wed Jul 27 2016, 11:28

Hi All,

Just wondered how your dogs are when meeting new dogs. Misty loves all dogs but the trouble is she gets so excited that when she meets a dog who is willing to play she will just go all in straight away into full play mode and very rarely takes time to say hello politely. She will just launch into a bit of bundles etc. This isnt everytime she meets a new dog but it seems she does it with very nice polite dogs.

For example hubby took her to the local park the other day and a lovely retriever came up to her. Shes on lead and he was off- hubby said the other dog was very polite- he didnt rush up to her but stopped a distance away and then came up sideways. She the tried to jump on him straight away to have bundles which he didnt really like. He did come back again and she just wanted to run but she couldnt as she was on lead. This can happen when she is on both the short lead and the long line. Obviously this can be a problem when small fluffies come up to her. When we are on the lead on street walks I do tell people she is very bouncy and can bark a lot so this gives them warning- we met a wonderful Tibetian Terrier the other day and she was quite calm. She did tell him off a bit when he got in her face but the owner saids thats what her pup needs and she was lovely. We do have a lot of doggy friends she plays with in various places but I know hubby especially is wary of letting her meet new dogs because of her full force behavior. It can be very hard to not let her meet dogs though as sometimes she just lays down and will not move until the dog comes up (Im not going to drag her away as I dont want to hurt her). She has laid down numerous times then when the dog approaches she then jumps on them. I would love to teach her to calm down and either ignore or play gently with other dogs. She does play gently with puppies and certain dogs but its this lack of a polite hello which can be very nerve wracking for us as the last thing we want is a load of abuse from owners who think she is going to be nasty!

Has anyone else had this issue and if so how did you work on it? She will ignore whatever treats we have if she wants to meet a certain dog and will completely ignore us.


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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by simoninwales on Wed Jul 27 2016, 20:13

I have struggled with this from day one.

It's hardly suprizing knowing that before he came into rescue my poor boy had been used as a bait dog. No wonder he has a mistrust of other dogs.

His hackles go up straight away, he just doesn't seem to understand the communication that goes on with tails, ears etc and doesn't even give the other party a chance.

It's such a shame because I know he can trust and play with other dogs because I have seen him do it and he has been on group staffie walks and been fine.

I just have to be on constant lookout at the park.

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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by LizP on Wed Jul 27 2016, 20:21

I personally think the key is in judging how close (or not) your dog can cope with and making sure that you don't get within the distance that they need to react. Both in the case of over-enthusiasm or worry, you should be able to find that point where adrenalin is low enough that eating and relaxation are possible, then reward that behaviour by either going forwards to interact or leaving to take the stress off completely.

For Misty, I would try and teach her that she only gets to say hello if she keeps calm, otherwise you go away. Use what she wants most as her reinforcer.

Teaching 'this way' away from any stress situations that you can use it to increase distance and so reduce stress is probably one of the best things I did with Chaos - it's worth looking at, Simon.


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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by smudge95 on Tue Aug 02 2016, 14:21

I agree with Liz- Buddy used to be awful for this he would lay down when he saw a dog and as soon as they got close jumped on them...I started by teaching "lets go" as a command using a clicker, and when I saw a dog coming towards us I would say lets go and turn him, and walk to a safe distance and make him sit and wait and watch me . I used a clicker too if he sat and waited he would get a treat if he got up to get to the dog I would again say lets go and turn him and make him sit further away - and treat if he was good etc .- I also joined a small training class outside so that Buddy got used to other dogs being around at the same time as being told to do something again treating for ignoring the dogs ... I only did it for a few weeks but it was enough to also see that by tensing up when a dog approached I was half to blame for his behavior - now he will sit and watch a dog go by and if he starts getting agitated I say watch me followed by lets go if its to intense , he then gets a cuddle as his treat once calm and walking - and if he does lay down a quick tug on his lead and a lets go gets him up and moving .. when he meets a new doggy friend I make him sit and tell him nice he then allows them to greet - if I can see he isn't keen I just say lets go and we turn and walk away - the clicker and the lets go or turn away in Liz's case really helped him learn acceptable behavior - he isn't perfect but I am not so worried when I see a dog coming towards now as I was - worth a try - see if you can enlist someone with a doggy that can help you to find that safe distance so you can judge better on a walk
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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by Mia05 on Tue Aug 02 2016, 21:21

great news carol well done buddy dance

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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by Niffer on Thu Aug 04 2016, 18:53

I get this with Milo - lays down, pounces, plays really rough even nips their tails etc to make them run but the last few weeks he's getting a bit more aggressive & silly on his lead. If he's off his lead he just goes and won't come back. Thats when I think he's going to get into real trouble one day hence he's now on a long line.

Maybe it's cos he's nearly three now? Such a shame. What I have noticed tho is when he's been for a run with his ball and is puffed out he's much better with dogs so maybe thats the key ?
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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by ClareGilby on Thu Aug 04 2016, 20:41

That is so funny Emma, you sound like you are describing my Daisy. She is exactly the same and her over exuberance causes a punch up, she causes chaos. She has no manners when greeting dogs, just barges in and quite often gets a nip, and sometimes runs off. She loves other dogs but unfortunately they don't feel the same when she hurtles in like a tank.

I just keep her on a springy lead now and enjoy my walks so much more. I think it is a staffy thing. I took her training for two years, twice a week and she was fantastic but she still does it, she's crazy.
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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by Mistys Mum on Thu Aug 04 2016, 21:27

Thanks All for the advice- its nice to know its not just Misty!!

Well in the last week or so she has got a lot better. I always have her on a long line in the park ( Don't get me started on her recall!!) So now its other dogs that come to her and I have time to shout to the owners that she is very noisy and can jump on their dog. For some reason everyone Ive told has been fine with this. Last week we met on the road a wonderful Tibetian Terrier - she told him off a few times but he was trying to get in her face and his owner said its good she told him as he needs to learn. She was quite calm when we were standing having a chat and when we walked off he actually started to cry.

So in the park in the last week we met a lovely 7 month Schauzner and his owner, seeing Misty on the long line the owner asked if she was friendly. Misty of course was laying down by then- I told her about the jumping and noise and she said ok so let her dog come over. Misty was very calm and they tried to have a chase but they couldn't as he was also on a lead by then but I was so proud. We then met the most submissive dog Ive ever met - a two year old Border Terrier. Now normally Misty loves Borders as they like a bit of bundles but this little girl was so submissive and just completely laid on her back. Now at this point I was nervous as when dogs are too submissive she can try to pin them, but no, she was a star. She sniffed her but not for too long and then she walked away to give her space. The Border would follow and again lie down for Misty to sniff. Misty was very good- she didn't sniff her for too long and gave her plenty or breathers. You could actually see this Border gaining in confidence. I gave them both a treat and then she had a little run and Misty loved it- Misty was far too fast for her so the Border then sat down and Misty looked at her and just gave a single bark to say come on lets go. Her owner and I were just laughing.

At the lakes on Friday we met a lovely wire hair type of terrier- they were both on short leads and he tried to come over to Misty who just stood and watched. I told his owner about Misty but she made a complete liar of me- they met face to face and you could see Misty getting more confident- for the first time ever she actually wagged her tail when she met a dog. She only normally wags her tail when at home or only with family etc, she had a nice relaxed wag and it was great.

Two days ago we met a Beagle in the park, Misty lay down and he came over after I spoke to the owner. He was on an extendable lead and Misty had laid down they met and then it was chaos- both barking and trying to jump on each other. They were going wild- they did show teeth to each other which I know can be a very bad sign however the rest of the body language was good and when the ladies kids came over they both calmed down and the kids spent ages stroking Misty. Then they started again but calmed down when I asked for a sit from both and gave them a treat.

She was excellent on Sunday as at the local lakes they have a weekly pack walk for dogs who have socialistion issues or just dogs that need to walk nicely on the lead etc. When we walked past the pack months ago she pulled like anything to go over to them and some of the dogs did the same. This time however she just looked at everyone and they looked at her. It was amazing- all the dogs were wonderful!!!

I do try to get her attention early enough when we see dogs and I can usually get it- until the dog comes nearer and then they are just irrestable to her.

I find warning the other owners seems to put their minds at ease as they know what to expect and in the last week apart from the Beagle she has met other dogs very very nicely. Im hoping that maybe its just an age thing and now shes getting older she may be getting a bit calmer. Fingers crossed!!


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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by Mia05 on Thu Aug 04 2016, 21:51

aww misty you clever girl its all.down to your hard work emma that misty has came on so far Love Struck.Love Struck.well.done to you both

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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by TwoSocks on Fri Aug 05 2016, 22:20

I'd love Misty to mentor Una, Misty sounds like she's getting a good grasp on doggie meetings!
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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by Mistys Mum on Tue Aug 09 2016, 17:09

ah thanks all- she is growing up- our trainer said her getting older can definitely be a reason that she is getting better. She is no way perfect though and she still needs to learn calm. We met a lovely 7 month old retriever last night and she was excellent. We were walking with my friends 4 year old retriever and when he met the pup they went crazy. I kept Misty back as I thought they were so excited that she could go overboard. She was excellent when the pup came over twice to say hello. She just sniffed him and she was rewarded with lots of treats. I cant say Im not nervous when she meets dogs but Im getting better and each good meeting is fantastic.


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Re: Teaching Calm When Meeting Dogs

Post by smudge95 on Thu Aug 11 2016, 15:16

well that's great news - once they get the idea of meeting and greeting , it makes things a lot easier - Buddy still has his mad moments -especially if he sees more than one dog he gets really excited but once we off walking again he soon calms down. You are doing brilliantly with Misty..keep up the good work - age will make a difference but they are not the calmest of dogs whatever the age they will always think they are a pup LOL !
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