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  1. dog lunges (playfully) at other dogs while on walks

    Hi,
    I am having an issue with my 2 year old 75lb pit mix. Whenever we go on walks (especially in the park with lots of other dogs) he will walk fine, but as soon as i get within maybe 10-15 feet of another dog he lunges/pulls toward the other dog, not aggressively whatsoever but rather in order to play with the dog. He doesn't care for people, only other dogs. I don't know anyone who has a dog that would be willing and able to help correct this issue, I've been looking for training regarding this but haven't found anything yet. I was wondering what could be done, and would like to hear from someone who has dealt with this before, I will take suggestions but rather a proven method. I was thinking maybe take him to a park and have him just sit as other dogs walk by possibly and reward when not getting excited?

  2. #2
    His issue is called leash reactivity. If you tell us your general area, someone may know a trainer.

    I would suggest the "Look at That" game.

  3. #3
    yea the "Look at that" REALLY helps, my boy is pretty reactive and prey driven, this technique has helped him soooooo much, I am not looking like a woman with an out of control dog 80% of the time he sees something now (before if he saw a cat/squirrel/dog he would go nuts, depending on what it was would depend on the level of how nuts, now its about equil and his worst is still half as bad as his normal was before)

  4. #4
    So, with LAT, is the reward for looking at the object or staying calm? Or both?

  5. So- my 5 month old pit mix does the same thing. she barks and yelps and pretty much flips out(only with certain dogs) But, its becasue she wants to play. If I introduce them, then she is usually very submissive to the dog.. is that leash reactivity as well? I thought It was normal puppy behavior.

  6. #6
    Basically a glance at the reward earning a click and treat means they figure out really fast that surprising/interesting/weird/etc. things in the environment earn them reinforcement if they redirect they attention onto YOU. Basically you are building value for YOU over distractions.

    As with any distraction training the key is keeping the dog sub-threshold (which the video Tif linked shows by starting in the house and slowly moving up as the dog is ready) by using distance to slowly build up the levels of distractions.

    You can also combine LAT with BAT training to add high value functional rewards to the mix. The two work very well together. This can work for any kind of reactivity.
    Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) | Official site for BAT: dog-friendly training for reactivity (aggression, fear, frustration) by Grisha Stewart, MA

    Keep in mind that good old opposition reflex (if they feel resistance they are hardwired to pull harder) is a powerful drive for a dog. If your dog pulls at all I would suggest using a head halter or Freedom harness to help prevent that while you work on leash manners and reactivity issues.
    Silky leash training:
    http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/20...2/silky-leash/
    http://ahimsadogtraining.com/blog/leash-walking/

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Missie07 View Post
    So- my 5 month old pit mix does the same thing. she barks and yelps and pretty much flips out(only with certain dogs) But, its becasue she wants to play. If I introduce them, then she is usually very submissive to the dog.. is that leash reactivity as well? I thought It was normal puppy behavior.
    Yes that is frustrated greeter reactivity. And you are paying her a HUGE functional reward by letting her get to meet and play with them. She's absolutely learned that throwing a big reactive fit = getting to go say hi and play. Not cool!

    If she is allowed to go up to a dog that maybe isn't keen on having a rude barking and lunging puppy anywhere near it... well that may get changed to fear reactivity if she gets smacked down for being a jack$#@!.... doesn't matter if she's submissive once she gets there (and odds are that body language is more insecurity than submissiveness), the stage is already set for the other dog thinking hmm that is one rude $#@! puppy from seeing her barking and lunging toward them. To say nothing of how upset the other owner might be that you allowed that...

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