Hamilton's behavior is scaring other dog owners - please advise!
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Thread: Hamilton's behavior is scaring other dog owners - please advise!

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    judiz's Avatar
    judiz is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultHamilton's behavior is scaring other dog owners - please advise!

    When Hamilton sees another dog being walked, he will pull on his leash, jump and cry. This scares other dog owners and they pull their dogs away. We are new to the neighborhood and meeting other pet owners would benefit us as well as Hamilton, who needs other dogs to play with.

    How do we train Hamilton not to get so excited when he sees another dog? Hamilton did attend training at PetSmart and did well with the other dogs there so he is capable of being calm with other dogs. Unfortunately at this time we cannot afford doggy daycare and the dog park is not an option at this time. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    It is important to remember that Hamilton spent at least two years of his life in shelters before we adopted him and we have no information on his background except he was put into the shelter system at the age of two.
    Last edited by judiz; 06-20-2012 at 10:15 PM.
    Hamilton, Rescued October 4, 2011 at the age of four, background unknown. Hamilton is extremely lovable!!!!

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    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    Diesel used to do the sphynx statue with the eventual pounce up to say hi (VERY annoying!), dog owners were concerned with how he seemed to be stalking prey, worried he was vicious, lol. What I did was keep my eyes peeled for approaching dogs - put Diesel in a sit/stay as soon as I saw one (before he noticed) & make sure I am standing between his view of the other dog, get his attention - direct eye contact, wait & then just as the other dog was a few feet away I say "Diesel, heel" give him a treat, gentle tug on the lead & then resume walking. 95% of the time it worked, a lot also depends on the other dog some will cause more reaction with yours. We had a dog in our old hood that set Diesel off no matter what I tried.

    It may work for you or it may be too many steps/some not necessary. You do need to get control of Hamilton before he has the chance to jump up/cry etc. Definitely a sit/stay, for jumping stand on his leash & he won't be able to jump. For crying/barking you should have a command "no bark" or "be quiet" whatever works for you. Make sure you have treats for when he does what you want you need to reward - verbal praise as well.

    How much exercise is he getting? Do you have an off leash park you can take him to?

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    judiz's Avatar
    judiz is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the suggestion, we are definitely going to start the sit/stay. Hamilton is not getting enough exercise, we are still in the process of fencing in the yard and then he will have a nice yard to run around in, unfortunately we ran into financial and zoning problems that delayed the fence. My husband works at home so he takes Hammie out for long walks many times but off leash is not an option at this time.
    Hamilton, Rescued October 4, 2011 at the age of four, background unknown. Hamilton is extremely lovable!!!!

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    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by judiz View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, we are definitely going to start the sit/stay. Hamilton is not getting enough exercise, we are still in the process of fencing in the yard and then he will have a nice yard to run around in, unfortunately we ran into financial and zoning problems that delayed the fence. My husband works at home so he takes Hammie out for long walks many times but off leash is not an option at this time.
    How about running with him on leash? Or do you have a dog park near by? Or even just a regular park if you get him a long line (like 30ft) you can do fetch to give him some variety of exercise. Do you do any training - reiterating commands he knows & teaching new ones? Mental exercise tires out a Lab too. He is likely acting up with the other dogs due to pent up energy, varying his current exercise now while you are still waiting on the fence will not only help with this problem, it also brings him a little more of a release now which he really needs.

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    Erns used to do this and from time to time will catch me off guard and do it. As he did tonight with Tessa attached to the lead.

    I do as Sharon suggested and make him sit. I used to take him out 2-3 times a day when I knew there were lots of dogs and make him sit and treat as they walked past. I would usually stand just inside a drive so the other dog had plenty of room to get past. Erns got used to seeing other dogs and didn't get excited. I was told some do it because they haven't been socialised as pups.

    Even with a fenced yard this often isn't enough excersise for them. It is winter here and I don't walk them as long and often have a day or 2 not walking. To get rid of the pent up energy I go on a hike or a long play at the dog park or beach a couple of times a week. Other shorter walk days I play find games at home.

    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
    Ernie 25/11/01 adopted May 05
    Sam 11? adopted Nov 06 - 18/12/07 Lyphoma
    Tessa. Rescued June 2011.
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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    There are other exercise options. Maybe a ball or soccer field where he can run around or fetch. Or use a long line and have him play fetch. Use lots of brain games to keep his brain busy and do daily training sessions (again to help keep him brain tired - which is important too).

    Are you able to swing another obedience class? I'd highly recommend one.

    You can take a look at the book "controlled unleashed". While it talks about reactive dogs (in the more aggressive sense) much of what they can you can apply at home.

    At the end of the day it is about working on getting his attention. Start small and work up. Lots of training. You need to be able to talk and get thru to him even when he is arroused. Again, you have to take baby steps.

    Scan your environment when on a walk, spot the dogs before he does. Start talking THERE and THEN. BEFORE he looses him mind. asking for a sit stay is likely going to be too much. Use treats and toys whatever works for him. work at a distance first.

    Lots of training at home will help the above. NILF can help in all aspects.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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