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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya - Got a bit of a problem with Leo even though I've been trying to work a lot with him and have been partly successful with his greeting problems with people. He's now 8 months old and we've finally got past having to stop in the street any time someone walks on the other side of the road. He thought everyone was there to say hello to him, would lie down and not budge until they went out of sight. Anyway now we can walk past people (with the help of treats!) so big improvement. Still taking him to puppy class so he can learn to be around people and not pull or drag me towards everyone.
The same can't be said for other dogs however - he's so friendly and would love to play all day but unfortunately here in England there's no dog parks or no securely fenced areas and we don't let him off the lead out of our own garden. So I'll briefly outline how our meetings with other dogs go... He sees the dog from afar, ears go up, walking gets quicker, gets up to other dog and then he goes all submissive (he used to lie down for any dog but now he just puts his ears back and lets them do whatever they want to him!). Then after the initial greeting, about 5-10 seconds, he goes absolutely mental. He always did this, after lying down he used to spring up and do the 'zoomies' (while still on the lead :doh: ), obviously wanting to play and I was just sad he couldn't. So the other dog and owner walks off, obviously thinking we're crazy, and Leo carries on running at full pelt around me at the end of the lead. Used to be able to recover him by telling him to sit (he's very responsive to me and treats usually), and then walking off in the other direction. This was up to a few weeks ago. Now he not only goes crazy but there's no getting him to respond and often he jumps up at me with teeth bared and growling. I've tightened his lead because he's at risk of slipping out of it, and I manage to hold him down until he's calm enough to respond to the smell of a treat again - I don't give him it obviously not wanting to reward this behaviour. I know he's in a crazy state of mind...and I know he doesn't really know he's directing it towards me, he probably just trying to get me off him so he can go and play (I'm pretty sure that's all he wants to do with the other dog because he play bows before doing the zoomies). I just want to know how to stop it. He won't walk past other dogs without doing this and biting me now but he's getting a lot bigger and I don't trust anyone else to walk him now as I don't want the same to happen to them.
Is the solution not to let them greet? I'd have to drag him along and away from the other dog but I've no doubt it would stop him initiating play and going crazy. I didn't want to do this though because I want him to enjoy other dogs and not see them as a bad thing.
I feel like he's come so far with other people but not dogs. I wish I knew people with dogs or there were such places as dog parks so he can get his 'doggy-fix' as that's all he wants, but for now he needs to walk past other dogs and I'm stuck.
Sorry for the essay but if anyone has any ideas (I know there's an 'Excessive greeting disorder' thread(!) but thought this was more about dogs).
Thanks
 

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I'm sure others will have some expert advice to offer...but I wouldn't limit his access to other dogs on the street. He needs to learn how to limit his zoomies and excitement. I really don't know how to train a dog for that so I'll let others offer input. I think you'll probably need to train him in a controlled environment with a friend's or trainer's dog in the beginning, then move out to the street.

One thing you might consider is using a walking aid of some sort so you have better control and it's safer for you. You need to be able to control him while you're training him. You could use a gentle leader, one of those harnesses with a loop in the front of the chest, or a pronged collar. All work well. Many people use them all the time, and many people just use them while training the dog, then switch to a regular collar and leash.

Good luck!
 

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Jill -- Maisie's "Mom"
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Related Problem

Maisie used to go crazy on walks. She would get the "puppy crazies" -- darting to the end of the leash and back at full speed, wrapping it around me, biting the leash, and playing tug-of-war with it. None of this is related to other dogs. (She's pretty good at meeting them although she does want to stop for every one.) After switching to a Easy Walk harness which helped some, but not enough as she was getting bigger, I consulted a trainer last week.

The trainer had us switch to a nylon slip collar and has me walking her on a very short lead, moving quite briskly. She coached me to keep Maisie on my left with the leash in my left hand and my arm and hand in the same position I'd use if I were carrying a shopping bag. So far, this is working well. Maisie is moving along, even past other dogs -- not stopping, sitting or lying down waiting for them. But she's only 5+ months old and not yet 50 pounds so I'm sure she's smaller than your Golden.

Maybe the most useful message from me is that in one meeting with a good trainer, Maisie and I made a lot of progress on our loose leash walking issue.
 

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Kye & Coops Mom
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With Kye (still a work in progress) I keep her on a tighter lead (regular collar) and when I see another dog and Kye starts getting keyed for her burst of energy, we make a sharp right turn. I say her name to remind her I am here and must be listened to and keep walking, sometimes it takes us back the way we just came, but a few steps, turn, steps, turn until I have her attention back. By then the other dog is much closer or has passed but Kye has her mind back and refocused on me and we can usually get by the dog/owner without all the crazies. If we are lucky and on the right is open field we march out to the field, dirt, stickers and all, but the idea is to have her refocus back on me. Find we walk much faster during these times and I try to immediatly work on sits, stays & down with her watching me and not the coming dog. I don't think we will stay within reach of another passing dog until we get better control. She is 7 mo now and better each month, but still not enough for control when meeting others walking yet, nor am I sure I could control her if she puts all her weight into running. We just try to stay away from things that cause her to lose it and work on a few moments of mental work then resume our walk. Can't offer more help cause we are not near the point I would casually walk meeting another person, but want the time to happen when I have more control and she is a long way from this yet. Coop is younger and a really laid back guy. He is allowed to walk past or stop and sniff other dogs without going beserk, so is ok, but I watch him closely and we keep walking if the dog shows signs of not wanting Coops greeting. So far so good, but he is young enough he is more submissive at greeting times.

Think many times we humans try to do too much when our pups go spastic around other dogs/people, fumble, dig to get treats out..etc. Sometimes just upping your pace, making turns so the dog is removed and work a few seconds on some mental stimulation can help the pup re-focus. Kye only gets treats when we are doing training, when I turn, it is natural, quick and seems part of our usual walk..no treats.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the ideas - I've consulted a different trainer and will be going at the weekend to a new class. He's well aware of the 'laboratory effect' of training where pups are fine inside at puppy class but as soon as they are in a more usual environment (on a walk) they don't know how to react.
This new class is held outside and apparently they can have an off-lead run beforehand. I'm not sure if this will help the training or just reinforce the fact he can have a run around when he sees other dogs (and therefore more likely to do it when on a lead)?
We went to the usual puppy class yesterday on his new half-check collar and he was much better, but still wanting to go and see every dog that passes.
Thanks for the idea of just walking on when it happens - I managed to do this when a lady sent him crazy with 'oohs' and 'aahs' as I'm sure every other golden owner gets! Because he had to keep up with me he managed to snap out of it quicker. But then we reached some grass and I sped up into a trot, which sent him crazy again and started jumping up and biting. Back to square one! But it shows it's not just instigated by other people/dogs, just general excitement.
Anyway will see how we get on with the trainer on Saturday, don't want him to be too harsh with him though as he's only a puppy, not a problem-dog. On the phone he said 'we'll snap him out of it', which has got me a little concerned but I'll make sure he knows how I want to go about things.
Any other ideas on whether to let Leo play with the other dogs before hand (bearing in mind he hasn't had off lead play with other dogs since he was about 3 months old)? Will he be too rough with the other pups? Will it show him he can run and go crazy with any other dogs he meets? "Ooh, this is how we act with other pups we meet, I must run around and get excited"?? Surely I'll be sending mixed signals if we have a 20 minute run around and then 5 minutes later I'm asking him to ignore the other dogs?
Thanks, Rachel
 

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I would love to hear some comments on this too. Lucca is 11 months and is still not that good with meeting people and dogs.

1) When we're outside walking and he sees another human, if I don't get him in a sit and stay position, he will tend to pull me towards the human when we're walking. It's as if everybody is his best friend.I'll have to pull him back but it's not that easy at times as he's a 60 Ibs dog. Otherwise, i'll tell him in a stern voice to 'leave it' and he will usually do that after once or twice of 'leave it'.

2) When we meet other dogs outside, there's 2 scenarios. First, if we see the dog and it's the dog who approach Lucca, he's ok and won't pull forward. If the dog stands still, Lucca will have the tendency to pull me towards the dog. So I usually get him to sit-stay and let the other dog approach. After this initial meeting and they sniff each other, the dogs usually get into a crazy play. I can't off-leash him so half the time i'm being pulled by him.

I would like to know how to train your golden such that he can approach every dog and human outside calmly. I've seen other older goldens behaving extremely well when approached by humans or dogs. I'm just wondering if it's a puppy thingy and it gets better with age?

Oh I've asked some friends and they suggested using choke collar. Cos' that's what they used to stop the pulling etc. I've nothing against them using it but I personally am not keen to use the choke collar. I much rather do positive reinforcements.
 

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Jill -- Maisie's "Mom"
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Don't Think Messages will be Mixed

Rachel,

I don't think you're messages will be mixed when Leo is playing off-leash with other dogs freely and then meets them under control on-leash. At least, that's my experience with Maisie. She plays -- in a very rowdy, running all over the place way -- with lots of dogs in our local dog park. But walking to the park and from it, we encounter a lot of dogs coming and going. Although it's somewhat harder than on neighborhood walks, she responds to "leash prompts" (for want of a better description). She's walking by my side, but not in a heel, on my left, wearing a slip collar. I don't let her pull -- which is a bit of a tussle, but if she pulls, I just stop and we don't move forward until the leash is slack. I put her in a sit to meet people and dogs, then release her to greet the dogs. On good days, she'll even walk along with another dog.

I don't want to mislead you -- she's not always completely settled and well-behaved, but I just hang in there and insist that she sit for greetings when she's on leash.
 
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