Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Loolie1106

"setting" Other Dogs And "leave It"

Recommended Posts

I am looking for advice on how to get our one year old husky (Thor) to stop "setting" other dogs.

When we are walking and we see another dog he watches them until they get closer. Then lies down and won't move. I try to get him to get back up and say "walk on" and "leave it" but it's not working. I also try pulling him but he is a dead weight on the lead. He then waits until the dog is closer and jumps up to meet them.

Has anyone else had this with their husky?

I need to work on this so that he can walk/run past other dogs. Expecially as we want to train him on a scooter.

I am also working on stopping him from stopping to smell everything, he only does this when we are walking and not running so that is not too bad. But some days he wants to stop after every few steps. I am working on this by telling him to "leave it" and "walk on" whenever he breaks concentration from walking and I know he is about to pull me towards something to smell. Any other ideas?

He is very well behaved in every other aspect, but this is just so frustrating as I want to be able to run him on a scooter and don't want to stop every time there is another dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like you're trying to teach your dog how to go on structured walks.

It's going to be a lot of work but you just have to be the more headstrong one out of the two of you.

Even if he's a deadweight, just keep walking as if he isn't there.

When you say deadweight do you mean he just allows you to drag him away? Or does he put some resistance when you attempt to pull him away?

If he's just allowing you to drag him while he's on the ground then I wouldn't suggest just dragging him lol. Force him to stand up first and start moving. (If he's really that stubborn.. just put your hand under his belly and lift him)

Otherwise just pull him until he's walking. Lure him with food or toys or whatever he likes and treat him when he's properly walking on lead with you.

If you're looking for an easier way though not 100% succesful and costs 15-25$, I'd recommend getting a head collar. I say easier because the 1st time I put it on mine, she instantly stopped pulling and doing all the bad habits

(Gentle Leader)

It goes around the top of the dog's head, looks similar to a muzzle but is NOT . It does not put the dog in pain and simply gives the handler A LOT more control than with a regular neck collar. (again, doesn't seem to work with some dogs) It also helps the teach the dog to keep its head up and not sniff the ground.

I used a head collar for about 6 months during our walks before my girl stopped sniffing everywhere, ignored other dogs, etc. Just a simple walk unless I allowed her to be a dog and sniff which is usually what I let her do at the end of our walks to give her the opportunity to be an actual dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes structured walks are exactly what we need! Hi, Thank you for replying.

When I try to drag him he does put up a bit of a fight and tries to pull back and also towards the other dog. I just end up feeling like an idiot trying to drag Thor along the floor.

We used to use a head collar when he was 2 months until he was 6 or 7 months. He still did the setting back then.

It's something I know we have ignored for far too long and we definitely need to stop. We ignored it because we didn't want to stop him from socialising with other dogs and stop him from being a normal dog... But it's just too annoying now. I think I will try treats again. As if that doesn't work use a head collar. We used to take treats on walks but he lost interest after he had learnt what we were trying to teach him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just remember that you need to be firm and never give in to what he wants.

Be the more stubborn one and heck look like a fool and try to coax him into following you.

Most of the time we need to look ridiculous in public in order for our dogs to listen :P.

When you guys walk -- I'm not sure what you're doing now, but structured walks imo are just the dog walking next to you (slightly in front or behind is ok but work on the next to you). The dog does not get to walk on the grass (unless it's really hot on the sidewalk and even then, must walk next to you in the grass) The dog does not get to sniff the ground. The dog doesn't get to enjoy itself completely.

Basically, a structured walk, to me, is the dog does not have ANY freedom to do what it wants. A structured walk = training and training = serious business.

Once your dog learns that walks are not time for him to do what he wants and instead what YOU want, then more than likely he will click that it is indeed just another training session. At the end of the walks depending on how well he did, I give some free time to walk around and sniff the fire hydrants or mailboxes and still give praise when the dog decides to still stay near me instead of running around and playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine used to be like that (except, being dominant, he'd posture whenever he sees another dog, and may lunge in aggression if the other dog doesn't submit). He would drag towards every tree, pole, etc to mark. He caused my Mom to almost break a rib and an arm when he pulled her down one time.

I've tried many things: head collar (gentle leader, etc), treats, harnesses, front leading harnesses, special harnesses that tighten, and other ways to distract him. The only method that worked, and that I still use today, is a half-check collar (not a prong).

I know many won't agree with me, but its what worked for myself and my dog after years of unsuccessful attempts with other things.

Here's what I did with mine (with a half-check collar):

- I constantly look out for other dogs/other animals, in the hope I'll see them before he does. Sometimes, I do, so it gives me time to prepare.

- AT FIRST, I had to be a little rough with him. The checks would be a little hard at first (though not enough to choke him, or lift him off his feet, obviously!). He's over half of my weight, and I didn't feel like almost breaking my face again. 

- Watch his body language during the walk. If all of a sudden he becomes alert and starts posturing (walking on his 'toes', stiff gait, ears erect and staring at the dog), I give him a  check with the collar (flick your wrist to the SIDE and DOWN, to get their attention back to you, and to not hurt their trachea). AT FIRST, I had to be a little rough with him. The checks would be a little hard at first (though not enough to choke him, or lift him off his feet, obviously!). The harder checks would also cause him to lose his balance, which really helped in regards to the attention problem. He's over half of my weight, and I didn't feel like almost breaking my face again. Eventually, as he learned, the checks became much lighter. Now, its at the point he just has to heard the sound of the collar tightening, and he stops. 

- I'd keep on doing checking him as long as necessary (his attention would snap back to the thing within a second or so), until we walked by the dog/animal/whatever.

- Eventually, I added in the 'leave it' command, before and during the checks, so he would associate that command with the checks. Eventually, he learned that when I say 'leave it', and he listens, he doesn't get a check.  

Its also important to note: I noticed a LOT of difference between walking him with a regular leash, and with a police leash (with a traffic handle.). I had a lot more control over him with a traffic handle - he didn't have as many chances, or couldn't get up the momentum, to pull me when I walk him with the traffic handle. 90% of his walk is with the traffic handle. If he's been good, he gets 'free time' where I give him the whole leash (6ft). He also get a specific corner, at the end of the walk, which I always allow him to mark. That's the positive reinforcement aspect of the training.

I've noticed, that if I don't allow him to mark things once in awhile (on my terms), he's more disagreeable. Being more dominant than other dogs, I'd say our relationship is more based on partnership and tolerance. If I try to be too overbearing, he 'lashes' back and doesn't listen to me at all. 

Now, I VERY RARELY check him hard. Its at the point he just has to heard the sound of the collar tightening (the clinking), and he stops. Only during extreme situations (ie: he's dragging me towards something, I'm about to fall, and he isn't listening), do I check him hard.

The trick is to be more stubborn then they are. I've learned, that if you give them an inch...they'll take a mile. And probably drag you during that mile, too!

The last couple of months, he's now completely ignoring other dogs unless they posture (in which I lightly check him and tell him to leave it. He listens 90% of the time). He still tries to mark things, especially on corners (and he's getting sneaky, he quickly squats now instead of lifting his leg), but its not nearly as bad as it was before. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds very familiar. He actually is dominant. He always tries to figure out what the other dog is going to do first. He's not aggressive but if the other dog is another dominant dog it usually ends in growling and Thor being bitten. He never acts aggressive first for some reason.

We currently use a walking belt, police lead and a harness.

Thanks for your advice. I am going to try a few things as you have both suggested including treats for good behaviour, a half check, no fun time (meeting other dogs on walks) I think it is going to end in a bad way if he continues and no sniffing until the end of the walk.

I will let you know how it goes once I have bought a half check collar. 😃

I'm sure I will be back to ask more questions soon.

One of my qualities is stubbornness 😛 and determination...... I was determined to get a husky, then to crate train, to raw feed, to teach tricks, to book husky camp ahhhh the boyfriend doesn't know what he's got himself into!!! And I would love another dog in the future. Let's get us training Thor properly first!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That sounds very familiar. He actually is dominant. He always tries to figure out what the other dog is going to do first. He's not aggressive but if the other dog is another dominant dog it usually ends in growling and Thor being bitten. He never acts aggressive first for some reason.

We currently use a walking belt, police lead and a harness.

Thanks for your advice. I am going to try a few things as you have both suggested including treats for good behaviour, a half check, no fun time (meeting other dogs on walks) I think it is going to end in a bad way if he continues and no sniffing until the end of the walk.

I will let you know how it goes once I have bought a half check collar.

I'm sure I will be back to ask more questions soon.

One of my qualities is stubbornness and determination...... I was determined to get a husky, then to crate train, to raw feed, to teach tricks, to book husky camp ahhhh the boyfriend doesn't know what he's got himself into!!! And I would love another dog in the future. Let's get us training Thor properly first!

If you need any other advice, please don't hesitate to ask me. :)

Good luck. Make sure the collar fits properly and that its not too loose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I stopped trying to be the enforcer on walks and changed with advice from our trainer my walks have become very enjoyable. I always wear a treat bag and walk Ronin on my left. If he pulls I stop,hold the lead below my waist against my body and walk backwards (this reduces strain on his throat). I will reward him for good loose lead walking with small treats and/or praise. I am now getting his focus when I say "gooood boy, good walking" he looks up and I either treat with food or praise. 

 

I never use the lead to steer him, my right hand stays against my tummy, and I reward with my left hand.

 

I let him have sniffs at bushes, trees etc as walk time is for both of us to enjoy. If I can't get him away from something (without using strength) I will scatter a couple of tidbits on the ground and say "find it" in a light voice. 

 

If he gets on the wrong side I will stop and use a treat to get him to line up on my left, sit and then we start again.

 

This had taken a lot of work, and was frustrating when we wouldn't get far and I was continually having to stop and walk backwards, but it is really paying off now.  Our trainer explained how most people will use the lead like a steering wheel to guide the dog. She says it shouldn't be used that way and the lead is only there as a safety belt against an accident. So now walking on the left with the occasional veer to the right for the odd sniff and then back to position works well. 

 

I use the command "lets go" when I want to start walking, we are not using "come on" or anythings like that. He gets a high value reward if he does it first time. If I have to repeat, he will only get a verbal reward once he gets going. 

 

We are now starting recall on long line using "here" as the command. This is not so we can walk him off lead, but really just more training and for an emergency should he ever slip his collar or lead breaks.

 

Anyway, after all that waffle, the main thrust of what I am saying is try not to have a battle of wills at walk time. Small controlled sessions will tire your husky out more that a long uncontrolled session or a battle of wills session, as when they have to think more they get exhausted more. They are a very smart breed so getting them working the grey matter is equally important as the physical - possibly more so.

 

My trainer who is also a behaviourist has really helped me by debunking many of the myths that people normally associate with "dominance".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I tried him on his normal collar again until we have a chance to buy something else. He remembers how to heal and walk by my side from when he did it as a pup. But when we bought our walking belt we decided to embrace husky pulling and give up.... I'm glad he remembers and walks so well by my side.

The only problem is when I stop him from setting other dogs he is growling more at them and it's difficult to brake his concentration. I'm going to try taking his favourite toy tomorrow (a quacking duck teddy) to try and get his attention. It's difficult though because there are so many dogs in the park off the lead.

I think is going to be difficult when other dogs come running over to us. Nobody seems to put leads on or shout their dogs back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I tried him on his normal collar again until we have a chance to buy something else. He remembers how to heal and walk by my side from when he did it as a pup. But when we bought our walking belt we decided to embrace husky pulling and give up.... I'm glad he remembers and walks so well by my side.

The only problem is when I stop him from setting other dogs he is growling more at them and it's difficult to brake his concentration. I'm going to try taking his favourite toy tomorrow (a quacking duck teddy) to try and get his attention. It's difficult though because there are so many dogs in the park off the lead.

I think is going to be difficult when other dogs come running over to us. Nobody seems to put leads on or shout their dogs back.

 

 

Yeah, I stopped going to off leash parks for this very reason. Leashed dogs are very much a target for unleashed ones and after my puppy got bitten I decided enough was enough. 

 

Again I will say that a high value reward is the best thing to get focus, if this is the toy then great, if not, try small pieces of food, a 5mm square of roast chicken, cheese or cheesy sausage are generally super high value reward treats.

 

If you really must go to such parks, take a treat bag full of kibble or similar. If an unleashed dog charges over, throw a handful of the food between you and the oncoming dog. This will normally stop the aggressor while they find the food and give you time to then move off. If the aggressors' owner complains let them know that most laws still require unleashed dogs to be under control by their owners at all times and this is a far kinder measure than kicking their dog away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I stopped going to off leash parks for this very reason. Leashed dogs are very much a target for unleashed ones and after my puppy got bitten I decided enough was enough.

Again I will say that a high value reward is the best thing to get focus, if this is the toy then great, if not, try small pieces of food, a 5mm square of roast chicken, cheese or cheesy sausage are generally super high value reward treats.

If you really must go to such parks, take a treat bag full of kibble or similar. If an unleashed dog charges over, throw a handful of the food between you and the oncoming dog. This will normally stop the aggressor while they find the food and give you time to then move off. If the aggressors' owner complains let them know that most laws still require unleashed dogs to be under control by their owners at all times and this is a far kinder measure than kicking their dog away.

Do note that some dog parks do not allow treats.

Also note that if there are multiple dogs in the park that the "aggressor" though he may stop to take the food, could possibly be food aggressive or have an issue with resource guarding that can turn into something ugly if another dog happened to simply pass by.

Not negating anything that Jason said -- just that it is pretty risky when there are many dogs in the vicinity. (Kind of how the same for resource guarding toys)

OT:

Is he growling aggressively? Many huskies growl when they want to play (mine especially) and a lot of people mistake it for aggression ( because a lot of times it does sound rather scary to those who don't know the breed) | when she is just trying to entice other dogs to run/play with her.

Signs of your dog being aggressive would be something like hackles raised (the fur on the back), sometimes a stiff tail, mouth scrunched up with teeth baring and gums showing, etc.

Many huskies that I know play with their hackles raised and teeth baring as huskies are known to play rough (which is why many people mistake it as aggression)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do note that some dog parks do not allow treats.

Also note that if there are multiple dogs in the park that the "aggressor" though he may stop to take the food, could possibly be food aggressive or have an issue with resource guarding that can turn into something ugly if another dog happened to simply pass by.

Not negating anything that Jason said -- just that it is pretty risky when there are many dogs in the vicinity. (Kind of how the same for resource guarding toys)

OT:

Is he growling aggressively? Many huskies growl when they want to play (mine especially) and a lot of people mistake it for aggression ( because a lot of times it does sound rather scary to those who don't know the breed) | when she is just trying to entice other dogs to run/play with her.

Signs of your dog being aggressive would be something like hackles raised (the fur on the back), sometimes a stiff tail, mouth scrunched up with teeth baring and gums showing, etc.

Many huskies that I know play with their hackles raised and teeth baring as huskies are known to play rough (which is why many people mistake it as aggression)

 

I have never heard of treats not being allowed in dog parks, but I certainly can't comment about other regions' regulations. 

 

Regarding the food treats to thwart an attack. I am talking about stopping another unknown dog from attacking ones own dog. This method comes from numerous professional trainers on a dog training forum and was also recommended by the professional trainer that we use after I explained the attack on Ronin. You throw the hand full of treats away from you so they disperse in a wide area. The idea is this will disrupt and distract the aggressor for long enough so you can move away safely. 

 

If there are multiple dogs off lead, then it will make no difference to you if they try and guard little pieces of food scattered over a large area (not really sure how it would be possible anyway). The idea is to disrupt, distract and leave the area of danger. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't have leash laws in the UK. There are many signs that say dogs should be kept on leads and under control but we are the strange ones for walking Thor on the lead. Most people don't understand why we don't allow Thor off the lead and think we are stupid for saying the majority of Husky's can never be trusted off lead.

It's not that Thor is very aggressive it's the fact that he acts in a way that makes other dogs aggressive towards him. I think part of that behaviour is because he is intact and trying to prove himself as a dominant male.

The setting and jumping up at dogs is the problem but we seem to be getting through this. We are managing to get him to walk past and stop lying down. The next step is to get him to socialise in a productive way. He is good with dogs after the initial setting and it is only a small percentage that doesn't like the way he approaches. Most dogs he will play nicely with so we don't want to stop socialising him all together.

The advice so far is really helping and we do feel that we are getting somewhere. So thank you all very much 😃

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

I have never heard of treats not being allowed in dog parks, but I certainly can't comment about other regions' regulations. 

 

Regarding the food treats to thwart an attack. I am talking about stopping another unknown dog from attacking ones own dog. This method comes from numerous professional trainers on a dog training forum and was also recommended by the professional trainer that we use after I explained the attack on Ronin. You throw the hand full of treats away from you so they disperse in a wide area. The idea is this will disrupt and distract the aggressor for long enough so you can move away safely. 

 

If there are multiple dogs off lead, then it will make no difference to you if they try and guard little pieces of food scattered over a large area (not really sure how it would be possible anyway). The idea is to disrupt, distract and leave the area of danger. 

Did not mean to offend if I did :P.

 

I was talking about if the situation were in a dog park (which this case actually isn't | seems to be a normal park).  It makes sense to disperse food in a large area but I was thinking that you threw them all in one place (my bad for the misunderstanding) to get the dog away from you.  

 

At least in My city, treats are not allowed because (maybe it's just here) many dogs are food aggressive/protective around food.  Which is why many signs at parks do not allow food or treats or even toys inside a dog park as some dogs will even fight over food if they see it in someone's hands and they happen to both go for it at the same time (seen this happen a few times) or if both go after the same ball. 

 

Maybe fights just happen here a lot more often than AU.

 

We don't have leash laws in the UK. There are many signs that say dogs should be kept on leads and under control but we are the strange ones for walking Thor on the lead. Most people don't understand why we don't allow Thor off the lead and think we are stupid for saying the majority of Husky's can never be trusted off lead.

It's not that Thor is very aggressive it's the fact that he acts in a way that makes other dogs aggressive towards him. I think part of that behaviour is because he is intact and trying to prove himself as a dominant male.

The setting and jumping up at dogs is the problem but we seem to be getting through this. We are managing to get him to walk past and stop lying down. The next step is to get him to socialise in a productive way. He is good with dogs after the initial setting and it is only a small percentage that doesn't like the way he approaches. Most dogs he will play nicely with so we don't want to stop socialising him all together.

The advice so far is really helping and we do feel that we are getting somewhere. So thank you all very much

Yeah i understand that he's just trying to exert dominance.  Mine doesn't exert dominance but growls to play which sets off many small dogs and occasionally annoys a large breed dog.  

 

Find a dog in your area that he plays well with and begin setting up play dates.  Hopefully you find a pal that has better manners that way Thor could possibly learn from the other :) .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IF IT IS dominance (and I can't say it is, seeing as I'm not there and seeing the problem), then I can almost guarantee you cannot train it out of them. Just like how I did, you have to learn how to deal with it. Because mine is so dominant, and he acts up sometimes when he doesn't get his way, I have to 'make deals' with him. Not verbally of course, its hard to explain...but we have an understanding during walks. 

Of course, your boy could just be leash aggressive or wasn't socialized well enough as a pup (?). I always thought mine was leash aggressive until I saw him at the dog park - he trots around as if he owns the place! 

Regardless, if you are dealing with aggression, I would go seek the help of a professional trainer. It is very hard to give advice over the internet, and I'm certainly not a dog trainer myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.