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Dogs Lunging and Barking at Cars, Trucks, bikes


Lunging and barking at all these objects is out of fear, they bark it goes, you shout = you team up, it goes. Feel good factor for the dog as it disappears off over the horizon. He made it go away.

When you take your young pup out and about...do not make it sit to try get it used to things passing by. He will disappear into his own thoughts and fears. Walk and have fun in these areas, you are relaxed and so will he be. Walk away from things he fears and as you progress you’ll have no issue to be able to walk past at a sensible distance.

This problem begins when the dog is a young puppy and introduced to things too quickly and inappropriately. It gradually escalates as he grows up. Many times we are called to cases like this when dogs reach about 9 months of age. It has been brewing since he was a puppy, and now has turned into something rather big, uncontrollable, frightening and embarrassing and above all dangerous.

When the dog has reached 9 months (he left his puppy hood behind at about 16 weeks of age) or beyond and is behaving like this there will be other issues that need to be addressed. The dog is lacking an owner who he can trust to make the right decisions.  In order for this behaviour to be corrected at worst managed, the owner needs to address how they are with him at home and invariably these dogs also pull on the lead also. If you do not have a connection and trust between you both when all is quiet and calm then you’ll be hard pressed to get attention and focus from your dog when you really need it.

Before you take your puppy out to see the big wide world, make sure he feels comfortable with you and don’t force him to confront his fears by sitting him by a busy road. Keep him moving and concentrating and focusing on you. Then these reactions will not occur.

On the walk ensure you have a dog who focuses on you
  • Stop every now and again, change the direction of your walk...simply by crossing the road.
  • Being ditsy and chopping and changing your speed, stopping and turning to walk a different way, keeps your dogs focus on you.
  • If you lose his focus, then stop and back up calling him.
  • Make sure you are looking to him so when he looks up you are there with a smiley face.
  • More on this in Blog about the walk
So what do you do when it all goes pear shaped? You know what your dog is reactive to so keep an eye out but be relaxed and concentrate on what your dog is doing and keep him interacting with you.

  • When you see his nemesis, say ”Thanks” or whatever word you choose to acknowledge his anxiety, and show you make good decisions. (See Barking at home as this needs to be practiced at home initially)
  • Before he reacts it is easier to get his attention, you then walk off in another direction away from what he sees as a threat.  Be inviting and offer lots of encouragement and praise.
  • When he is back focused on you, if you like, give him a food reward, but it’s you that really matters.
  • This is what he could do off a lead, he has the choice there. By making this choice while he is on the lead he’s going to look to you as a great decision maker.
The more you do this the better he will get.
As you move forward and understand his body language more, and he is focused on you, you will be able to simply cross the road and walk down the other side and reward with food as you pass or simply touch for reward.

This takes time you are dealing with a very anxious animal.
Start at home and move out slow but sure week by week and go out to areas where there is little going on and increase the distractions slow but sure.

More information in  Why Does My Dog Do That? By Caroline Spencer

FEBRUARY 15TH, 2015 @ 18:56:55 UTC


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