He seemed so unaffected the first week & a half after we left Bo, but in the last week or so he has been acting like a complete brat. Poor boy, clearly frustrated and expressing himself the only way he knows how... acting out.
He has become extremely reactive on leash. First few days of it was BRUTAL!! He did this before when he was younger, but grew out of it - when another dog approaches he drops to the ground in a Sphynx position & anchors himself to the ground so tight I cannot budge him AT ALL. Then as the other dog gets closer, he leaps to his feet and depending on how the other dog reacts he will lunge (on hind legs, front legs up, me holding him back for dear life) and BARK.HIS.FACE.OFF., or just get super hyper-puppy-playmode & get the other dog all riled up and then when we part ways the leash attacking starts and he looks like a completely uncontrollable dog.
I get looks, he gets looks, I get comments.. what's wrong with your dog?!?!? Embarassing, frustrating, exhausting.
I know what's wrong, he is upset about all the changes of late, he misses his buddy Bo, the park has been busy with kids sports teams so he hasn't had a decent romp off leash in the last 2 weeks. I know that when he barks his face off, even when lunging that it is NOT an act of aggression, he is simply reactive & has a ton of pent up energy to expend. But try telling that to a complete stranger who thinks I am an irresponsible owner and Diesel is an aggressive dog.
I upped his indoor training to work out his brain. We played inside a bit despite the limited space. I took him for longer walks, I even started to walk/jog with him which was starting to help give him more exercise but the issue continued. I tried different leashes, different collars, some days if I saw the dog before he did I just said F it & turned to walk in another direction even if it meant going way out of our way because I just didn't have the energy for it. I tried putting him in a sit way up on someone's driveway to allow the other dog to pass, but that seemed to make it worse and he would practically drag me down the driveway to get to the other dog. Treats. Redirect with a toy. NO!! STOP!! LEAVE IT!! Nothing worked.
The only thing that has worked so far... please God, let it keep working!... is a combo of things:
As soon as I see the other dog, I put his collar (Martingale) up closer to his ears to get more control (he cannot be on a Halti/Gentle Leader/Muzzle as he shuts down completely) & give it a quick but gentle tug & a "leave it" I pull out a high quality treat, wave it past his nose & then as we get closer & he starts to pull down in order to do his Sphynx I say "ready?!" in a really happy puppy voice & we start to jog. I keep jogging until we pass the other dog, have to do quick little jerks once or twice & "leave it" but so far this is the ONLY thing that works. As soon as we have completely passed the other dog, we stop and he gets a treat & a barrage of "good boy!!!!"
*Fingers crossed* this passes soon, my shins are starting to hurt!!!
I can imagine how exhausting that is, mentally as well as physically. I think I'd be dreading those walks.
Seamus and Flynn
I wish we lived closer to each other because I would walk Mardi with you two. It might be good for both of them. She is just a little oaf who loves everyone and everything and has tons of energy to burn. Yesterday, at the Good Dog Park in Syracuse, she played really rough with a huge Chocolate Lab. He was careful not to hurt her and they really had fun. Could you take him for further obedience or agility so he could be near other dogs and have something challenging to do? Does Canada have anything like Craig's or Angie's list? Maybe you could find a dog walking partner and both dogs would benefit. One last thought--Might Diesel be reacting to your level of stress? I had a half Lab who was extremely in tune with my moods. Good luck.
Awww girl. Hang in there. You've been given more then your share of trails & challenges lately. You can do it. Over used , but still true "this too will pass" Wish I had some words of wisdom for you but all l got is vent here whenever you need too. Your JL friends are pulling for you.
Roxy could he be reacting as he feels your stress. Or you have so much on your mind and busy you haven't noticed he has gotten away with a couple of things and taking advantage of it now.
I once read if you are busy and tell the annoying dog to sit or other command and the dog leaves the room we leave it as the problem isn't there. But to the dog it Ah...1 up for me. Just a couple of one ups for me and they are horrible. I see it often when I am away and Garry can't control Ernie. It used to take me a few days to get him to stop pulling and behave. Now 5 mins up the road and they are good.
If I have done it a few days NILF and it sorts him.
Just putting my 2 cents in. lol
Hope he is good soon.
IDK. I hate the fact he had a seemingly perfect life for a dog... house, yard, brother & suddenly it was ripped away from him, I really think that & the fact he hasn't romped with any dog lately is the issue. Even though they say dogs live in the moment (I never believed that). I am trying to be more firm than coddly, NILIF more than letting him get away with stuff because I feel for him.
Keep working with him Roxy, you will both get back to "normal". That is a lot of changes in a really short period of time and I am not sure how he would not have some residual effects from all that happened. It would be awesome if you could find someone to have playdates with and an obedience class to take together. Hang in there.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
It's a good thing you get the warning with the Sphynx move. I think you're on the right track putting him in sit on a side driveway until the distracting dog passes. You may try a treat of higher value: Braunschweiger. That always takes my dogs' minds off of anything else. I'm sure that in time he will be back to being your old Diesel.
High value treats, space and get his focus on you. Using a high pitched happy voice and rewarding him for keeping eye contact with you. When he gets to the point where he is focussing on you then move slightly closer and start over. If the driveway is not enough distance move across the street.
Deep Run Traveling "Takoda" (12/05/12)
Deep Run Easygoing Ezekial "Zeke" (04/13/17)
I'm glad that we do have at least one route to go on for potty walks where we rarely bump into another dog because the whole process, constant training session can be so exhausting when I just want to walk my dog! I have never had the luxury of walking him with a coffee in hand or text/talk while walking because I always have to have both hands ready in case I need to hold him back. Once finances are back in order we will be going back to some basic training/obedience class, it will be a good environment for both of us, and some doggy daycare maybe once a week for a really good all dogs all day kind of romp for him.
We did meet up with a lady & her Golden really early yesterday morning in the arena park, we'll try to meet up with her again next week. Same time, same place kind of thing as our dogs played very well together & tired each other out!