Our walk this evening....not fun! - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Our walk this evening....not fun!

lately I have been walking Finlay in our cul-de-sac, because I am still having such a hard time with the loose leash walking, and his behavior around strangers. It is usually very quiet in the evenings, and Finlay has been doing alright. It is also easier to use some commands, when there are no distractions. So I usually walk for a while, and then DH joins us. There is a family who lives right up the street from us with a little boy. Several times they have been out, but I have always avoided contact, because Finaly just goes nuts when people try to pet him. This is one of the reasons why I have not been taking him to the park much.

Anyhow, tonight the little boy was out with his mom, and DH overheard him say that he wanted to pet the puppy. I am just moving along because I did not want to stop, and DH stops to let the boy and his mom pet Finlay.

Finlay went nuts. Hubby was trying to hold him in a stay position, but Finlay ran through the ladies legs, and in the process managed his way out of his collar. Hubby is trying to keep the lady from falling over, and I am picking up the little boy so Finlay would not knock him over. Meanwhile, Finlay is just running in circles, just going nuts. The lady was finally steady, and DH was able to put the collar back on Finlay. He finally calmed down, and the little guy had a minute to pet Finlay. So we get home, and Finlay was covered in little stickers he had picked up from their yard. We picked off about 100 or so of those things, with Finlay still going in overdrive. I was quite irritated ith DH, and explained to him that this is the reason I do not encourage people to stop and pet him. I know there will come a time when this will be possible, but it isn't yet.

I need your opinions please. Is it wrong of me to try and keep people from petting Finlay? I know it is hard to resist with all this fluffyness and cuteness, but he just gets out of control. Walking him with people around is very stressful to Finlay and I both. As far as loose leash walking, we are not very successful. I have tried, flat collar, chain collar, harness and gentle leader, many treats-to no avail. We have been to puppy and beginner obedience. Waiting for advanced obedience to be offered. DH and I work with him quite a bit, and he does well with commands, even recall. But that obviiousely did not work tonight

Finlay is the sweetest dog, and such a good boy. The only issue I have with him is the walking, and his behavior around strangers, who can not be avoided on our walks.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 10:51 PM
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Keeping him separate from people isn't going to solve the problem. Are you taking him to obedience classes? Can you have a friend come over and help work with him. Making him sit and stay while he gets attention. If he is up and moving, then no attention.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 10:52 PM
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I doubt that you could get much cooperation from a little boy to help you train but IMHO the more gradual exposure the better. How about inviting the neighbor in the house first and practice meeting the boy inside first. Same with the walking - start indoors with the leash on where you can have his attention. Move to empty parking lots, and then gradually start walking closer to where people are.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 10:54 PM
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Well first of all you don't want to suppress socialization for him, a good way to get him to learn how to act is at a dog park he will also be able to burn off steam, if you get him to socialize with more people he will learn to chill, as for loose leash walking get a very short leash like 3 feet and whenever he starts tugging just stop in spot until he chills out


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 10:57 PM
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I agree with Rainheart. Since he loves attention so much, you can use that as a reward. Enlist some of these neighbors and have them approach Finlay while he is on leash. If he gets up, then they back up. He only gets pets while sitting.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 10:57 PM
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I'm surprised you haven't had any luck with the gentle leader or harness. A lot of people find the gentle leader to be really helpful to deal with pulling etc. If you're pretty sure your dog won't be able to deal with a situation it is better to cross the street, keep moving, turn around or whatever to avoid it. But your dog needs to learn how to greet people. Things I would try are putting him into a sit before the people get too close and put your hand into his collar so you have firm control. Depending on how it's going you can either let them approach and show them where and how he likes to be petted or ask them not to get too close explaining that he's still being trained to greet people.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 11:01 PM
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Ah, we've had walks like that. Arg. I think it's important that Finlay gets some training practice with polite greetings. I'm not sure they will just outgrow it. It helps to have a plan, something simple you can tell the boy and his family. I tell people, "Yes, you can pet him, but he's really wiggly. He has to sit before he get pets." That gives them an out (the wiggly part). Also, people are really good at yelling "sit, sit, sit" at a dog. And they'll even stop petting him until he does sit. Who knew?

We actually had this as a lesson in dog class last week. The instructor said we needed to have a clear plan in our mind about what we wanted the dog to do in polite greetings. Do you want your dog to Sit until you release him? Is all-four-on-the-floor OK, or do you want them to sit? Things like that. For Casper, he has to sit until I tell him to "Go Visit" and he has to Sit while being petted. Fortunately, the instructor and the assistant are really good willing victims. Casper is getting lots of practice.


But - I do have a friend that has raised a dozen service dog puppies, mostly golden retrievers. She says it is OK to say, "No, he can't visit. He's learning how to not visit." Because sometimes that's where your dog is. For a long time, I had Casper sit while people walked by. Now we are working on keeping moving while people walk by. Slowly, but surely, he's doing better. Some people he ignores, some he's very calm around, and some he's just nuts. I can't predict.

It took a year for Casper to get decent at loose-lead walking, and that's with the gentle leader. I have fed him pounds of treats over the last year. Sometimes as many as a treat every 3 steps. (The goal in our dog class is a treat every 5 steps.) He is really good on walks now. I still give him a treat every house or two, if he's at my side, and at all the corners. He works; I feed. He is 1.5 years old.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 11:02 PM
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I'm sorry you're going through this and I agree with the others, he needs practice..however a dog park is the absolute last place on earth I would take your dog! If he won't behave while meeting people with you you're asking for trouble at a dog park.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claudia M View Post
I doubt that you could get much cooperation from a little boy to help you train but IMHO the more gradual exposure the better. How about inviting the neighbor in the house first and practice meeting the boy inside first. Same with the walking - start indoors with the leash on where you can have his attention. Move to empty parking lots, and then gradually start walking closer to where people are.
The 7-9 year-olds in my neighborhood are really good at helping. I told them to back up and turn around every time Casper got up. They thought it was a huge game. Worked great.

Younger ones are tough. They tend to just reach right for his head up over his eyeballs and that the sets him off.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Rainheart, I don't want to keep him from people, but I thought walking him on our quiet street to for a while, and then moving on and going to the park again. We have been to puppy and beginner obedience. I am waiting for the advanced obedience class to be offered, and will take him to that. When we are at home, he does not get any attention unless he is calm or sits. As soon as he jumps, we turn away.

Tuco, on my days off I have been taking him to the dog park, and he loves it. Funny thing is, he is more interested in people than the dogs at the park. One thing I have noticed is that some of the people at the park will not pay attention if he jumps up on them. They turn and ignore him; I like that. It is a full-time job for me to chase him around the park to make sure he doesn't jump on people. the dog park is a great activity for him, and I have met some really nice people.....and dogs too

Finlay has been around lots of people and other dogs. It has just been more recent that I have gone to the park fewer times, and spent more time in our neighborhood.



Claudia, I think you have made a good point in having people come over, maybe even the boy and his mom. We do not have much company, and when people have come over I have held him by his collar until he calmed down, and asked people to only pay attention when he is calm.
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