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This has been a tough winter for Murphy and I. The weather where we live has been terrible. Up until the middle of Jan. we were able to make daily or twice daily trips to the local pavilion for lots of off leash fun, after that the ice and hockey players took over and we lost our play place.

 

The closest dog run about20 miles away so we don't make those trips to often. This week the weather finally broke so we have been able to venture out without me breaking my neck on the ice.

 

I have recently quit smoking and have actually been able to run with Murphy and he loves it!

 

We start out with a little pulling, which I think is just total excitement, and he settles down in about a half a block. My problem is what I think my be part fear aggression and part being a brat. We have had walks lately where on the way back, which I vary each time, he becomes very mean towards me. He will turn and lunge at me with teeth and growls and the whole works. It take a lot of down stay and trying to calm him before we can make it back home. Sometimes I have had to literally take him by the collar and almost drag him, fighting teeth all the way home.

 

Yesterday we had only walked about 6 blocks when he saw a small child. He layed down all smiles with tail wagging ready to meet and greet, but I kept walking because I didn't know the child. We got maybe 20 feet away when Murphy turned and lunged. The mother happened to come outside just then and I can just imagine what she was thinking! I could not calm him down and ended up fighting him all the way home.

 

I'm at a loss as what to do next. He is 13 months old and still quite a puppy. Thanks ahead of time for your time and advice.

 

I want to add that he has done this in the past and I thought it could be a fear thing. When we were walking and he heard certain dogs barking or saw people walking down the street. He has been socialized with many people, not so much with other dogs. When in close contact with either people or dogs he is just fine, it's only when he is on a leash.

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I hope you don't think i'm out of line here, but if he was my dog i would muzzle him and use a training/choke chain on him until such time as he learnt how to behave in a public place.

 

Firstly, i would hate the thought of my dog harming somebody elses child. But equally as worrying would be the thought of my lovely dog being put to sleep becuase of hurting somebody and i 'could' have prevented.

 

Also, i wouldn't have my dog displaying itself like that at me. My puppy, only 9 weeks, but i have owned other dogs throughout my life, one of which was a Labrador Retriever X and he went through a stage of trying to dominate and kept turning on me and showing me his teeth. I growled back at him really loudly with my teeth showing and swopped low to the floor with my arms out straight. They retreat from you and look frightened, but its better than hitting them and they learn quickly. They soon learn that you are 'the pack leader' and they are not to act like that to you.

 

But i would seriously consider some preventative means until such time as he learns how to conduct himself in public. He needs to be taught to respect you.

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I am wondering, since this is only happening on the way back from play, if he isn't just still really excited and he is trying to engage more play? (Obivously since I am not there I can not see him doing this to you and I may be way off base...) If you just point blank stop in your tracks and turn your back to him, what does he do? Daisy (11 months) hasn't figured out quite yet that I get to end the play time at the park. On the way back she will often jump/bark/grab at me trying to get her romp'n'roll out of my hands. And that point I just stop and turn away from her until she settles down.

 

Daisy is also apprehensive around small kids. I don't let them near her at this point. I put her in a sit stay (at a safe distance) and wait until the child moves to where they need to go. As she becomes more comfortable I will move the sit stays closer. This is also a new development for her - she never payed much attention to kids before.

 

I hope maybe some of this helps and if not I am sure that someone will have an idea that works for you!

 

Good Luck!

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Don't worry, no one is out of line here. I too have thought about using a muzzle to see if that would calm things down. I realize when he gets out of control, I get upset and he senses that.

 

We have battled with dominance since he was tiny. We have and do practice NILIF, but he has been very stubborn.

 

It does seem to happen when he wants his way. When we are on our way back home or he sees a friend to play with and I have the leash so he can't go where he wants.

 

The rest of the time things go pretty smoothly, just not when a leash is involved.

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Don't worry, no one is out of line here. I too have thought about using a muzzle to see if that would calm things down. I realize when he gets out of control, I get upset and he senses that.

 

We have battled with dominance since he was tiny. We have and do practice NILIF, but he has been very stubborn.

 

It does seem to happen when he wants his way. When we are on our way back home or he sees a friend to play with and I have the leash so he can't go where he wants.

 

The rest of the time things go pretty smoothly, just not when a leash is involved.

 

You might want to read "Control Unleashed". I think it could prove very helpful to you with Murhpy.

 

If I were to make suggestions on this, I would pretty much just be summing up what I have learned through CU! If you can get hold of the book, you might find it very, very helpful.

 

It's not a "how to walk a dog on a loose leash" book, but it deals with triggers and dog behavior in general. If you can get a handle on what is triggering the behavior you don't want and systematically condition new responses to those triggers for Murphy, chances are, you would be able to come up with a work-able game plan for working Murphy through this.

 

Also, CU would offer you some alternative perspectives on this type of behavior. For instance, "dominance" and "brat" are not the only possible reasons for bark lunging. You might want to check it out!

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You might also try the library. They have lots of training books in their catalog. Ours is a rather small county but you can put books and videos on hold for delivery to your library. Books do get expensive. We ordered lots of stock dog training books recently for winter. Love reading them. They do provide training on basic manners too. N

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Thanks, I have seen reference to that book a couple of times, I think it's time to get it. I did look at the dvd set but it's $68 :rolleyes:

 

In your case, I recommend starting with the book, anyway. Most of her discussion on the whys and wherefores of reactivity are in the book and not the DVD.

 

Once you've read the book and tried out some of the techniques, you might find the $68.00 worth your while. There is a lot to be learned from listening to her work with the dogs on the DVD.

 

But I think you would benefit more from reading the book first.

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Bess does this frequently. I don't believe your dog was being aggressive to the child, she wanted to greet the child, your dog just isn't ready to quit and is telling you so. (Not that it matters, your quit time is the one that should count).

I went through the down stays and she did that etc. but as soon as I thought enough time went on and we were gonna go again, she would come around in front of me and lunge and nip and if I turned my back on her, I best watch my butt or it would get nipped.

I'm no trainer, and fairly new to collies and had a rather non intelligent dog for our family's last dog...but here is what I am doing and it is seeming to work some.

I am taking treats and a tennis ball along. When I am ready to head for home and Bess decides she isn't ready, I make her sit, then treat her. then down her and treat, and then toss a treat in the direction I need to go a couple of times and then she gets over it realizing I am going to do what I want to do not what she wants to do within 10 feet or so.It pretty much stops once we get past a certain spot and she starts anticipating getting close to the ducks for a little bit.(we have to walk by their pen) I have also found the neighbors dog running loose is a nice distraction, and she forgets to have her little fit if Bruce the chocolate lab is running around. I haven't had to pull out the tennis ball 'cause the treat thing has worked well enough so far.

When I go for longer walks with her, I decided to use the prong style martingale collar so she would quit pulling so hard and it works well without a lot of hassle for both of us. I have put her in a lenghty down and just stood on the chain so she had to stay in a down until I was ready to move, but kind of felt mean when I did that and don't do it too much any more. It is frustrating and I also would like to read the control unleashed book if I can find it. You did such a better job of describing this behavior than I did when it started to happen here. Bess is not a year until mid april, and I hope I can turn it around before then because I hear I get a new set of fun then with adolescence setting in. Good luck to ya and I'm really gonna keep my eye on this thread.

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I just ordered the control unleashed book online! My local library didn't have it and I thought maybe I would need it awhile :rolleyes: so I wanted my own copy. I have always used treats because he is totally treat motivated, but I need to try tossing them as you have done. Thanks!

 

I went through the down stays and she did that etc. but as soon as I thought enough time went on and we were gonna go again, she would come around in front of me and lunge and nip and if I turned my back on her, I best watch my butt or it would get nipped

 

Yea, it won't help me either to turn my back! :D

 

I also ordered a muzzle. I'm still not liking this but I'm hoping if I can take away his opportunity to nip the whole episode of fighting me will calm to a point where I can physically and emotionally deal with it.

 

He definitely likes to be boss and in most situations we are doing quite well, I'll let you know how it goes. :D

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Joy had this issue for a little while, but it wasn't that serious. It only happened after I let her run around in the park, so I chalked it up to her being excited. If she started being "mean" I just stood there and waited it out. I wouldn't let her bite me, obviously, but I didn't want her learning that her antics would get her any where- home or the park. I used a gentle leader on her. I found more success with that than a muzzle. You might want to check into that?... That way I was able to physically close her mouth to prevent the biting, and it was easier for me to control the lunging. It also prevents pulling, which could help for you.

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Kristine said it well. You are going to love Control Unleashed, it's a great book.

 

One of my dogs used to nip at my ankles on walks. It was not fun and the behavior was very difficult to stop. Finally, I figured out that if I let her carry a toy (kong squeaker ball worked the best) the whole way, she would transfer her excitement to the ball and leave my ankles alone. The nipping stopped just after few weeks and she did not need the toy afterwards.

 

Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Murphy's Mom,

 

First of all, congrats on quitting smoking!

 

My Polly has always done this, and is now three and can still be snarky like this when on leash. She does it when she wants to be off leash to continue playing, or when, like in your case, she sees kids playing and wants to join in. She lo--ve--s children.

 

It is almost exactly like you have described, she is fine on the way there, but bites at the leash and play growls to let me know she has her own agenda on the way back. Sometimes its just when we pop out the back door for her to pee and she sees some kids in the street playing, or a squirrel that needs further investigation. :rolleyes:

 

It's easy to bring her back in the house, but I have experienced the feeling you have when play or walks are over as far as you are concerned, but the brat is taking a tantrum in the middle of a park when play or walks are coming to an end.

 

So. When we are "stranded" like you describe, I try a few things, usually involving "distract and re-direct" type things. She knows "stick" so I might try to engage her in a super-duper stick hunt. I sometimes walk her 15-20 feet while I have dropped a glove or hat without her noticing, and ask her to go back and find it. She takes glove hunting Very Seriously, and is endearingly proud when she is able to look back and spot it on the path.

 

When she was younger and did this more often, I would keep a high-value toy hidden and then give it to her to hold in her mouth to carry back home/to the car. A busy mouth is one that can't bite leashes. :D

 

I may be wrong, but I'm not seeing a dog in your Murphy that has aggression issues, or needs a muzzle. Certainly, as Polly has matured, if I'm not in the mood for such nonsense, I can tell her "Eh-eh!" to let her know that I'm not feeling indulgent of such antics and she is fine.

 

Good luck and keep running!

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Thanks for checking on us! I have started doing some reading, Control Unleashed, For the Love of Dog, and Scaredy Dog. I think the books and your advice will really help.

I need to try to take him out of the neighborhood for a bit and see how that works. I'm going to get him away from the same barking dogs, cars and the close proximity of everything.

I hope it will be easier to work on the issues without tossing in such major distractions that get him going and make me anxious. I know I have to stay calm and that has been hard to do when I'm expecting him to act out. I know my tension goes right down the leash! :rolleyes:

Otherwise he is finally starting to settle down, he still eats random things, but leaves the major stuff alone.. furniture, pillows, blankets, shoes. :D

I even marked on the calendar, Feb 13,2009 at 13 months old Murphy laid at my feet for the first time and just laid there! not chewing on anything, not being petted ...he just laid there! It felt sooo good.

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