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Exercising Reactive Dogs

Discussion in 'Obedience & Sports' started by BookGal13, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. BookGal13

    BookGal13 Little Dog

    Not sure if this is the correct place to post so admins please move if need be. Basically I'm wondering how people with reactive/DA dogs exercise them on a daily basis, especially if you live in a reasonably populated town/city/suburb where you know you will encounter other dogs if you go out. Within the last few months my almost 2 yo male AmStaff has become increasingly leash reactive. Luckily, one of the private trainers in my area has a pretty big fenced field and that she allows you to rent out during the week, so I can take him there to run safely off-leash about 4-5 times a week - its been a huge lifesaver. So aside from the field rental and leash walks in my neighborhood I feel a bit stuck, and I don't want to always leave him at home for fear of getting into a bad situation. Should note that I live in a hippie dippie town where a large majority of the population feel like the leash laws are a suggestion rather than a requirement. Ideas?

    On a side note, I've noticed that his leash reactivity started shortly after his neuter. Could be a coincidence as he was reaching the age of maturity, but IMO its been a huge negative side effect.
     
    Nat Ursula likes this.
  2. Mister

    Mister Little Dog

    Its not to hard living in a city and exercising a da dog. Treadmills (slat, carpet & e-mills) springpoles, flirtpoles and cycling are just some of the exercises ppl use to keep them healthy and burn off any excess energy. Most dogs from my experience seem to have a negative response to having their nuts removed. Which why I won't have mine done. Obviously if you have a da dog an owner should alway a breaking on their person when walking one in public.
     
    BookGal13 and Capt. Roxy like this.
  3. Capt. Roxy

    Capt. Roxy Good Dog

    I try to go off hours when people aren't really out. I do have a couple treadmills here although they are all human treadmills one is long enough and big enough for her to walk on. I also use a huge field off hours as well. I'll go super early usually even if I have to wake up at 5am. Then we go to the backyard and just do usual stuff like disc, ball, fetch, etc. We also started hydrotherapy so planning on building her one of those too. It looks super easy... but looking and doing are 2 different things... LOL, knowing me I'll probably mess it up. :perservingface: That really sucks about your neighbors not having their dogs leashed.
     
    Nat Ursula likes this.
  4. BookGal13

    BookGal13 Little Dog

    I've recently been trying to do the off hour thing as well and have taken to walking him later at night. He's not super into fetch or the flirt pole, but I'm thinking of trying a spring pole type setup if I can find room in our yard, which is really small. Hydrotherapy sounds really cool, keep us up to date on that! I just need to get more creative! :)
     
    Nat Ursula likes this.
  5. Mister

    Mister Little Dog

    You don't need a lot of space for a springpole. I've used a punchbag bracket fixed to the building in the past, my yard then was 10x8.
     
    Vicki, Capt. Roxy and BookGal13 like this.
  6. Beret

    Beret Bullyflop

    Are you actively working on the reactivity? It may behoove you to take advantage of the more populated areas where off-leash dogs aren't such an issue to really put in some legwork and hit the ground with a lot of counterconditioning and focus work. While not an all-out substitute for hard runs, you'd be amazed how much traction you gain and energy you both burn when you're really working the dog mentally while handwalking.
     
  7. Kit

    Kit Good Dog

    Nick was DA, but also very lazy, which helped. With him, I taught him to focus on me. When we were out on walks and saw another dog, he sat and watched me until they passed. He was lazy enough that he didn't get amped up and sitting was good with him.
    Frankie is actually more difficult. She LOVES all dogs and wants to go visit. She'll start bouncing and whining and forget I'm at the end of her leash. I have to turn her around before I can attempt to get her attention. If it happens to be a dog she knows and has played with before, there is no stopping her. At least in that case, the owner also knows her and if fine with her antics.
    Rikki pretty much hates all dogs, except ours, but is scared of people. So she'll bark and growl at another dog, then she'll see the person and want to hide behind me. Her fear of strangers is much higher than her hatred of other dogs, so I'm not too worried about her.

    We can take the dogs to a nearby school during off hours and let them run in the play field. We used to bike with them, but Rosie is getting too old for that, Marshall can't keep up with a bike and Frankie & Rikki are scared of the bike.
    They also love the beach.
     
    Madeleinemom and Capt. Roxy like this.
  8. Capt. Roxy

    Capt. Roxy Good Dog

    I think the spring pole is a great idea!! I can't wait until Spring time!! Planning on getting a spring pole built in the yard too. She really likes to tug and all that. My arm feels like it's getting ripped off! She's getting too strong for me. I will keep you posted on the hydrotherapy. She just started... and this is a dog who HATES water but she seems to really enjoy it!! It's about 30.00 for 20mins at a place in the city. I was going to buy her one but then we decided to do a allergy panel so I think I will try to build one for her. She's had on going issues... I'll make a post if I do build one whether I fail or succeed... LOL :)
     
    BookGal13 and Nat Ursula like this.
  9. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    Have you tried a gentle leader? I feel like Tonka used that for a while and learned not to pull. Now I just use a regular collar. I think we used it for about a year. If she starts to pull a lot again I will take it out and use it again. I didn't use it permanently here because it seemed too hot outside IMO.
     
    Capt. Roxy likes this.
  10. Mister

    Mister Little Dog

    It reads to me that Capt Roxy is talking about tow games and not when she's being hand walked.
     
    Capt. Roxy likes this.
  11. BookGal13

    BookGal13 Little Dog

    Yes, its just difficult and tiring (as you noted) to always be working on focus and counterconditioning. I try something in this vein at least once a day at varying degrees of difficulty and duration, i.e. low traffic, quick walks vs trip to the park, but sometimes I'm just too lazy and rushed to deal with all of the issues that go along with "working" on the reactivity. I need to do more though, thanks for the reminder!
     
    Capt. Roxy likes this.
  12. BookGal13

    BookGal13 Little Dog

    Booker sounds a bit like your Nick - he can be pretty lazy at times. Is it bad to hope that he will just get more lazy as he ages? :) It will make my life easier.
    Frankie sounds like a super fun dog!
     
  13. BookGal13

    BookGal13 Little Dog

    I feel ya! I'm exhausted after like 5 mins of tug with Booker.
     
    Capt. Roxy likes this.
  14. Kit

    Kit Good Dog

    Well, Rosie is almost 12 years old and still running agility. Luckily, she doesn't mind other dogs, and actually likes Shelties (there is no accounting for taste. LOL) So, you may have to wait a few years. LOL
    Nick was always lazy. We got him when he was 2 years old, lost him at 8 years old (damn cancer!) He's have bursts of energy, but they never lasted very long.
    Frankie is an awesome dog. Everyone just loves her. Funny thing is, a lot of dogs that don't like other dogs, get along with her. I only know of one dog that she doesn't like, and that dog snarked at her the first time they met (darn BCs!)
     
    Capt. Roxy and Madeleinemom like this.

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