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Turning a corner?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
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    Hi all, an interesting day, would like some feedback please  ;D  Both Al and I have two weeks off, Toby’s lead walking is still poor so we decided we’d start on our first day off with reading the lead walking thread and getting this put right over the next few weeks…

    So we just got back from our third walk, as expected we followed the thread’s advice and we only got to the end of the street which we expected.  I hung back and Alex took him, the on the way back we swapped over.  He definately getting it, looking for appeasement [is this the right word?]  by sitting and offering a paw, which strikes me as odd as we haven’t enforced that outside?  Do you think we are on the right path?  Any advice would be gratefully accepted.

    We also saw a wee Lhasa off lead that we see often, he is still going crackers with other dogs, really mad, barking, pulling away and snapping, very unpredictable.  So why with this dog was he calm, even sitting still letting me stroke him?  She trotted over, we got him to sit which he did and instead of going nuts he stayed still and allowed her to come right over to sniff, was interested, didn’t bark/growl but was unsure when she was sniffing.  Also he jumped forward towards her with both paws out, what does this mean, if anything?? Then started barking at the owner when she picked up her lead to put the Lhasa on, why would he do this?  We are a bit concerned that by holding him back as we did we might be reenforcing his issues with other dogs, just so wary incase he snapped at her.

    During the time the Lhasa was around he payed us far more attention than he ever had when another dog was around, perhaps because he is getting the whole pack manager thing, but surely just one day of trying to properly cue all this couldn’t have this effect?

    Sorry, we got a lot of questions!  ;D


    having him under cue all the way there will have drastically reduced his adrenalin levels – i expect he calmer to begin with and with it better able to watch/listen etc ….

    give more detail about what happened with the meet – what you did etc …

    e.g. you got him to sit – did he stay there did you reward it – did he let other dog sniff him – was he straining on lead (when his paws were up for example)

    sounds like he getting “best place to be” were you rewarding for giving you attention ?

    claire x


    Yes to all Claire, we got him to sit whilst the Lhasa was trotting over, she kept stopping and starting so he saw her from a good 250 metres away, just sat, normally he’d be pulling away, he stayed sat down whilst she sniffed and then stood up but still calm and on a loose lead, he was sniffing for treats which he got for keeping so calm.  When his paws were up he was straining but only because his paws were up, not straining to get at her but I don’t know what lifting the paws means, might search for it on here, just never seen him do that with a dog.  We were also rewarding for attention, he has recently been looking up at us when walking so we knew he was ready to start as he was actively looking to us for cues at home and on the walk.


    why are you teaching him to sit for a greet ?


    We got him to sit because normally he goes mad with any other dog, big small, boy or girl, literally pulling to get to them, flying around on the lead totally uncontrollable and pays us no attention, we just try to avoid situations where there might a lot of dogs about, so we tried to keep him sitting I suppose because he’s more calm that way, and he can be unpredictable, worried he might go for someone elses dog and finding it hard to spot body language.  He is getting there on the lead but still not reliably enough for us to lead him forward near another dog, we’d love any ideas as we have a good two weeks to make a consistent start to build on.



    lifting 1 paw can be a calming signal sort of saying “i’m friendly tone it down a bit”

    for small dogs they can lift 2 paws as an invitation to play sometimes as you were making him sit he couldnt bow 😉

    bev – i think the sit was to keep him in a cue and keep him focussed on them (am i right angela) i only know as i used to do this aswell.

    angela – at some point you need to release the sit and cue the greet if you think the dog is gonna be friendly (go-greet is the cue to seek a greeting and greet-nice is the greet cue when he gets there) watch T’s body language – make it a short greet to start and then a real confident “this way – heel-close – walk on” and walk off with him … dont wait around if he’s not wanting to come away … its on YOUR terms 🙂


    That’s right Claire, we were trying to keep him focussed, I think that we should have released the sit and we’ll need to work on the go greet and greet nice at every opportunity, will read other threads on this and get back with any questions, we need to become a bit more confident with it too, its just the fear that he might go too far out of his comfort zone and snap


    yep – remind me where you live again ?

    claire x


    the problem for me – and i see this day in day out i- as in i see the after bits

    that a dog under a sit or a liedown cue …that is focussed and following that cue is denied flight or fight – dog wants to do as cued – wants to do as pack manager says but if feels really threatened cannot then do the actually i would rather not and person is doing the stop it blahblah…

    go greets for me…should be on a par – they should be up standing go greet greetnice – then if 1 or both or either say ‘actually – would rather not’ then they up for the  instant removal – not everydog likes every other dog and it not fair to expect that they should what is fair is that if they tell the pack manager they dont want to then they are not submitted to it but if they want to then it cued to be ‘nice’


    and the result from bev’s 2nd sentance is a dog which breaks cues and “disobey’s” you because instinct stronger than cue is.

    but dont feel down about it – i certainly been there, and recently too (using wrong cue for things)

    also worth saying that if the initial greet doesnt work (e.g. Rusty / Bonnie) if can sometimes be re-done if you know both dogs well.

    Claire x


    He has never ever greeted a dog nicely before, situation is that if he can see any dog from 250 m away he will bark, snap and is totally uncontrollable, in that situation what should we be doing as it happens everyday, he has no recall so can’t be off the lead, I suppose this comes back to the fact that we have a lot of work to do and haven’t exactly started out with him on the right foot.  If we can get him walking well on the lead and keep working on recall in the house and back yard I suppose we are making a good start, thing is he seems agressive towards other dogs to me but how will we even know if he doesn’t get to be with other dogs, he has escaped once and we were very lucky my mam found him I guess worse case scenario, he off lead and goes for another dog or runs away for good  🙁 just can’t shift the thought of that happening out of my mind. 


    i am not much use for what you want to know – but what i do know is that a lot of dogs are less aggressive off lead than on – lead denies flight, and off lead they know they can run and are less likely to be ‘aggressive’ if you see what i mean. i’m no expert but it doesn’t sound to me like he’s the sort of dog that would try to savage other dogs, he sounds more likely to run away. biggest risk would probably be if they are round you – protecting his ‘resource’.

    i seem to have managed to live in lots of areas with pratts with uncontrolled off lead dogs – and virtually all of the dogs have been fine as long as the owner isn’t nearby. 😉

    not that i’m suggesting toby is uncontrolled – just trying to reassure you if he did get away probably wouldn’t be a problem. 🙂


    Sounds a bit like my family’s old sheltie, with him it was nervous aggression, he was telling them to back off as he was scared, not good at talking dog.
    Keep working on building his trust in you and see at what distance he can see another dog and not react.
    You will find that as he learns to trust you and learn the best place to be etc the distance between him and other dogs may get shorter before he reacts.
    Remy(the sheltie) was better with bitches than male dogs – he was male. He felt less threatened by the bitches.
    It took time but Remy did get better with other dogs as he settled in, he had had 3 homes before my parents took him in. We had to stay calm, if he knew we were worried he would kick off, also we had to watch him closely and if his body stiffened move him away from the other dog. A sort of OK you have said hello and it’s time to go now.
    Hope that’s of some help but Kiz is the expert 😉



    the main thing that comes across to me in alot of your posts is that you dont seem confident about ‘reading’ Toby.  i really really cannot stress enough how much it would help you personally (and T) to have Bev come and assess him and do some work with you guys.

    “to greet or not to greet” (as it were!!) for me comes from the confidence to ‘read’ my dogs and that in turn comes from working with Bev 🙂

    I also wanted to say that your dog does not have to enjoy other dogs company to have a nice life.  He enjoys you guys – isnt that enough for now ??  Atleast let youself crack the heelwork before you heap more pressure on – give yeself a break ok 🙂

    so you aint started on “the right foot” – you and me both love !!  dont feel guilty, you’re going great guns with him now – little by little OK you are new to training and he is new to being trained yes ? 

    OK – you need to deal with your catastrophising my dear 🙂

    1. is your garden/house secure – if not what can you do to prevent him escaping (dog gates / padlocks on side gates so not left open …) – not letting him in garden unattended ?

    2. he’s only going to bite if you get him close enough to another dog to do so.  you can cross roads, turn around, be strategic with your walk times and places and avoid alot of meeting other dogs – dont stress that he aint meeting them love, just you concentrate on your immediate goal otherwise you’ll never feel you’ve achieved owt.

    I feel a bit like this with mist – i asked bev if she would cope with another dog in her new home and she said ‘if they prepared to work hard like you did’ and i found myself thinking that it didnt feel like i was working with her and i wasnt sure what i did … it just kinda “happened” before she was a biteybiteysnappymare now she a littlesweetiepiekins 🙂

    Claire x

    p.s. where are you guys ?  perhaps we have a board member close with a nice dog to practice little greets when the time comes ?


    Hi all,

    Thanks for taking the time to post, it really helps to hear about other dogs!  Been chatting with Alex tonight, we have agreed to concentrate on heelwork for now and do so on the otherside of the field near our home as there are much fewer distractions, dogs, smells etc.  We were getting carried away yesterday, the aim for these two weeks is to get Toby to realise the best place to be, is a really good mantra actually, has helped when we’ve been out today and he has been responding really well.  When you said about him stiffening Lassie that struck a chord, we not so good at reading body language but we can feel how he is feeling through the lead, for instance he doesn’t like men in hats, I can feel him tense up when we see one come past, so that’s something to look out for. 

    Incidentally, re a nice dog to practice greets, there’s a wee jack russell up the street, we thought they hated each other but Toby has started to respond differently to him and if he is in the lane with me and the jack is in his yard he is definately excitable but not aggressive.  The owner and I were talking and he said he is happy to give it a go under careful watch so once we get the heelwork cracked then we will take him up on this, he has been very understanding which is what we need and the jack has a lovely greet and calm manner which I think is what we need.

    And re Bev, we in Newcastle, did talk about this with Bev and others on here too as a few of us are interested, I do want to go ahead but we are still heavily busy with work at our flat, am hoping for autumn time but TBH thinking about it was definately putting us off trying for ourselves, we realised these two weeks are a good opportunity, plus as I said he is definately looking for cues if that makes sense so will review again in Autumn when we get on track and hopefully will have leadwork down pat and be a bit more confident to approach further training.  Reading about your dogs and Cass and the work Bev has done with others gives me hope and just having spent two days doing things properly is making things fall into place re WHY he pulls, Alex and I a much more united front on this which is what we needed for all of us.  Thanks again everyone  :-* will keep you posted on how we get on tomorrow

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