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 Fixation on other dogs - update

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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:35 pm

That article is really cool. I'm going to need to really look around this blog. I do this a lot with Nikolai and bought him an awesome tug toy for Christmas but I will admit that I don't always let him win. I do sometimes but that is something that I need to work on. Its weird to, it was never about the alpha thing with us just sometime he would let go before I would. I will have to find a way to separate both of the dogs and make more of a point to do this with them. I can totally understand the confidence thing because Siku use to play tug with me but since Nikolai ended up being the more dominant one Siku doesn't like to play anymore because he always loses with Nikolai. I'm really excited to try this with them tonight!
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:35 pm

Jen, the little dogs comment... SO TRUE! We live in a condo, and SO MANY of the little dogs just bark and go crazy when they see another dog, especially my "big bad husky"! Luckily, Gus is good about it and generally won't react if i give him a firm "leave it" command. If MY husky were behaving in that manner, I bet you I would have so many complaints.

But i'm really happy you have a good routine going now! This past weekend, it was kind of warm (compared to our previous -30C couple days!), so i took Gus out for a leash training walk. The first few minutes were rough. He basically forgot it all, and it's tough because it's so hard to treat him while wearing mitts, and if you don't wear mitts, your fingers freeze! But I don't him that if he wants to go shopping with me in the summer, he needs to learn to behave in public haha.

Gus LOVES tug! it is the only thing he ever wants to do. But it's really annoying because he always wants the end that I am holding on to!
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:49 pm

siku&nikolai wrote:
That article is really cool. I'm going to need to really look around this blog. I do this a lot with Nikolai and bought him an awesome tug toy for Christmas but I will admit that I don't always let him win. I do sometimes but that is something that I need to work on. Its weird to, it was never about the alpha thing with us just sometime he would let go before I would. I will have to find a way to separate both of the dogs and make more of a point to do this with them. I can totally understand the confidence thing because Siku use to play tug with me but since Nikolai ended up being the more dominant one Siku doesn't like to play anymore because he always loses with Nikolai. I'm really excited to try this with them tonight!


This training approach hit home with me on many levels and makes a lot of sense. To me the more popular approaches seem to miss something on a deeper level. Sure they like food, but there is an emotional bond happening too, and other feelings happening in the dog as well, what's the real motivation? Read his entry on how dogs feel the world. I love that one too. Smile


@TheBadGuppy wrote:
But i'm really happy you have a good routine going now! This past weekend, it was kind of warm (compared to our previous -30C couple days!), so i took Gus out for a leash training walk. The first few minutes were rough. He basically forgot it all, and it's tough because it's so hard to treat him while wearing mitts, and if you don't wear mitts, your fingers freeze! But I don't him that if he wants to go shopping with me in the summer, he needs to learn to behave in public haha.


I'm lucky its been warm here the last couple days, giving treats with gloves on is not easy! You could try easy cheese (cheese in a can) or string cheese, that makes it a little easier. Smile
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:10 am

I experimented with something else last night and this morning seems to be helping to keep the initial stalking reaction from developing or progressing.

When we see a dog coming toward us on the sidewalk it almost forces a direct head on approach. What I started to do, was to sort of arch out toward the edge of the sidewalk and back in so that it allows us to approach at a slight angle instead of a direct head on approach. Both dogs are still moving toward each other, but not straight on. Dizzy's head goes up when we tried this approach vs. his usual head down stalk approach. He also has an easier time of passing without jumping and play growling. :)I actually allowed him to greet a dog this morning on the leash for the first time in a while, because he remained relatively calm in his approach. Yay!
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:50 pm

Thats awesome. That approach kind of reminds me of being the entry on being the moose in the dogs life, and its all about how you approach it, so I'm glad that helped you. We played an awesome game of tug last night, we always do for the most part but this time I was really involved and we all had a lot of fun and it tired them out. I just wish I could get Nikolai to let Siku have some chances and its just to hard to actually seperate them in our small space.
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mufasas_stooge
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Fri May 09, 2014 9:02 am

I have been having a similar stalking issue with Shiva. In our case though, she is off lead in a dog park (which is quite large) and as soon as another dog comes to the gate she runs over and immediately goes down into stalk mode. When the dog enters, she will sprint at it and then usually jump over it. However that is obviously an issue, especially with smaller dogs. I'm usually on the other side of the park, and so have to run over, and have been trying to grab her and hold until the other dog can walk up. It seems to be becoming an issue though, as Shiv is getting more intense (especially with the smaller dogs, and even more so if the other dog runs, as she takes chase).

Reading through this post, I am going to try and use some of your methods, but I'm still not sure how to deal with her when I do let go, as she is still so full on, even if I've taken her back and made her sit and look etc. I just worry that she will hurt a smaller dog, as she loves the chase so much, and is getting more intense over time. Any further advice for this type of situation would be greatly appreciated.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Wed May 21, 2014 9:34 am

So, I want to do another update on this. I have made so much progress with him on this I had to brag and share. Smile Let's be honest, who else but my forum friends are really going to care? Ha ha. So in March, I started taking Dizzy to a basic obedience class because I really wanted to be in a situation when he could be around other dogs, but be there to work, and other owners with an understanding that we were working on this issue.

Anyway, the classes have made a huge difference in allowing me to get his attention when we are around other dogs and it translates to our everyday stuff. He no longer lunges and play growls when we pass other dogs, and is actually starting to look to me for release when we are going by. He gets a treat and a quick play session. He still begins stalk mode, head goes down, ears up, neck extended, but when I say his name in a happy fun tone, and give the command 'let's go' his body language totally changes and breaks the fixation. He also responds to my leave it command and looks away most of the time if I ask him to. He might watch the dog go by, or get a little bouncy and prancy, but he is totally relaxed. Once it passes, he makes eye contact with me for the release. We just started the second level of the class with more advanced stuff and he's doing really well. I also don't feel like he is just barely containing himself anymore, he can look at and watch other dogs without getting a huge rush of excitement.

I took him to our dog show handling class for the first time in months, and he did awesome. The last time we went was a nightmare, he just would not stop trying to play with and lunge toward every dog in the room and would have tantrums. And those show leads are tiny! I was actually afraid he would hurt himself when I had him on a chain. We were in very close proximity to the other dogs (within a foot at one point) and he did so well. I still have work to do, because I don't allow him to greet other dogs on the leash yet, but I'm very happy with our progress so far.

I also started running with him short distances a couple of days a week and he's doing well with on by, easy and whoa. I also started teaching him 'wall,' at certain spots the path has a retaining wall on one side and a railing on the other side and is very busy. I use this command to get him to hug the wall or railing depending on direction, if its busy.

All of this has really helped, but also seriously increased our bonding. Just when I think it can't get any better, it does, and when I think it can't get any worse, something gives. I have definitely become his 'moose.' Last night he was just following me everywhere around the apartment I went, just to see what I was up to. It was really cute! Smile

Yay for month 14!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Wed May 21, 2014 10:06 am

@wpskier222 wrote:
All of this has really helped, but also seriously increased our bonding. Just when I think it can't get any better, it does, and when I think it can't get any worse, something gives. I have definitely become his 'moose.' Last night he was just following me everywhere around the apartment I went, just to see what I was up to. It was really cute! Smile

Yay for month 14!

Congratulations bounce 

But...be careful what you wish for - yesterday, I had Ami in the house while I folded laundry and cleaned the kitchen. I was tripping over him everywhere because he was never more than 6 inches away. Laying like a big, ol' lumpy rug. If I moved, he moved Rolling Eyes Such problems, huh Laughing 
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Wed May 21, 2014 10:16 am

Ha ha. Yep! That was my night last night. I did laundry too, and when I was putting everything away, he followed me around. When I went to the bathroom, he followed me to the door, pushed it open and came in. When I would go to the laundromat to change stuff over, he'd lay by the door and whimper until I got back. He had the lovey gooey eyes thing going too. Such a cutie!
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: Fixation on other dogs - update   Wed May 21, 2014 10:21 am

Congrats Jen, I know how hard you guys have worked together to get him to that point!
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