Trouble with Doggie Introductions

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Postby alaskapit » February 10th, 2009, 4:02 pm

Alright smart people, i need some advice...

I'm having trouble with Zyda when she meets other dogs. She's in no way da, but every time she meets another dog, fighting breaks out. Before I adopted her, from what i can tell, she was socialized with the other dogs in the house and that was it. never went out of her yard.

i've been doing my best to get her socialized and comfortable in different situations. It's hard when my town becomes a ghost town in the winter, but when the tourists come it's the perfect situation. She's gotten loads better at not trying to meet and lick every single person we meet. However, if she even sees a dog a few blocks away, she starts whining and crying and doing some pretty amazing Eagle impersonations. I'm not sure how to go about reinforcing good behaviors in this situation. I've tried turning around and walking the other direction so she can't see the dog, reward and praise when she sits and silently stares. nothing seems to be working.

Also, when we do get close enough for some butt sniffing, everything is fine for about 5 seconds before the barking and fighting. My theory is, she just wants to be friends but doesn't know the polite way to introduce herself and comes across as aggressive. The pocketbook is a little tight these days, but in the next month or so i plan to get her into obedience classes, not so much for the obedience but more for the supervised socialization. I guess my question is, is there a way i can help her, in the meantime, learn the polite way to meet dogs?
Sarah
and Zyda Mae Lion-berry
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » February 10th, 2009, 4:47 pm

In the meantime, don't let her meet other dogs. It's not worth a fight breaking out over.
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Postby alaskapit » February 10th, 2009, 5:43 pm

i don't, i avoid them.
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Postby mnp13 » February 10th, 2009, 6:46 pm

Just curious as to why you want her to make "friends"? Or is it that you would just like her to listen to you when there is another dog in the vicinity?
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Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 10th, 2009, 6:52 pm

A cheap alternative to classes (which may or may not be good at helping with this issue)...go buy a copy of Leslie McDivitt's "Control Unleashed" book. Fabulous stuff. Lots of help for reactive dogs. Exercises for working on reactivity...so if you can find someone with a bomb-proof dog, you can work on it at home. (there are also DVDs out now...but I haven't bought them yet...I'm hoping to borrow from a friend soon!)

http://www.controlunleashed.net/

Read up on the "Look At That" game...and start putting it into practice. :) I have to run, so maybe someone else can describe it...there also might be another thread on it somewhere here. It's helped my HA girl immensely. :D

There is also a yahoo groups list just for CU (Control Unleashed) that is run by Leslie herself, and some other great trainers...lots of questions on the exercises and such...but you have to have read the book to join and participate! But it's worth it!

And I'm with Michelle...there is no reason for her to be "friends" with anyone. ;) I don't have pit bulls, and they don't make friends with everyone they meet...they're actually rather un-interested in making friends anymore. :|
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

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Postby alaskapit » February 10th, 2009, 7:07 pm

i think i worded things wrong... i don't want her to make "friends". i'm not looking for doggie play dates or anything. just wondering if there was a training method to use so when we randomly meet a dog during a walk or an errand, she uses her manners. If she is DA, that's fine she doesn't need buddies, but she's not mean and aggresive and trying to get at dogs to kill them, she appears to genuinley (sp?) want to be friendly and doesn't know how.

bottome line: i could care less if she has "friends" that's not what i'm getting at. Just, i guess, curious how to reinforce good behavior in these situations to incourage them and not the whining without pulling out a treat around a stranger dog.

does that make more sense? i'm sorry, my brain is fried and having trouble spitting the words out today :crazy2:
Sarah
and Zyda Mae Lion-berry
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Postby alaskapit » February 10th, 2009, 7:08 pm

oh, and thanks redqueen, i just bought the book! :D
Sarah
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 10th, 2009, 7:14 pm

alaskapit wrote:i think i worded things wrong... i don't want her to make "friends". i'm not looking for doggie play dates or anything. just wondering if there was a training method to use so when we randomly meet a dog during a walk or an errand, she uses her manners. If she is DA, that's fine she doesn't need buddies, but she's not mean and aggresive and trying to get at dogs to kill them, she appears to genuinley (sp?) want to be friendly and doesn't know how.

bottome line: i could care less if she has "friends" that's not what i'm getting at. Just, i guess, curious how to reinforce good behavior in these situations to incourage them and not the whining without pulling out a treat around a stranger dog.

does that make more sense? i'm sorry, my brain is fried and having trouble spitting the words out today :crazy2:


That's what I figured! The CU book will definitely help! :) My Inara is HA, and with help from the book, she's become less so, and has some friends now...but I don't presume that she wants to be friends with all people. lol

I'll PM you with the yahoo groups list address too!
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby alaskapit » February 10th, 2009, 7:23 pm

awesome! thank you so much!
Sarah
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