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Discussion Starter #1
Poppy seems to *generally* being doing well with her training. She has been very well socialised with lots of dogs. Her recall is now very good even with distractions (although I will say her interest in other dogs has faded dramatically which has helped), her sit/stays are good (although they need more proofing), her heeling on a lead needs more work, but I can see progress, she has stopped jumping up on people and she is now very calm when we have visitors.

BUT

Very rarely and randomly, if she is on lead and another dog is close by she will lunge and bark (this happens maybe once every couple of months or so, so we will have met plenty of other on lead dogs where this doesn*t happen). For example, yesterday we went to a local beach. It is very exciting here for Poppy because we don*t go very often. It*s a very small shingle beach (but still £4.50 to park!) which is well used by dogs and children. However, we found a quiet spot where the children investigated rock pools. Poppy was both on and off the lead at times, came when she was called and greeted other dogs very well.

However, when we went back to the car, an Airdale type dog was a couple of cars down and Poppy immediately started barking at it. They eventually went and Poppy calmed down. This has also happened once on a night time walk, when Poppy is more *alert*, we rounded a corner where three labs were quietly sitting outside a shop, and Poppy lunged and barked. I definitely get the impression it*s a defensive thing and she*s trying to get the first word in (this seemed to start after she was barked at on several occasions by small dogs - Yorkies and a Scotty).

So my plan originally was to use a dogmatic headcollar to keep her under control when we go to new places, or walk in the dark, where she is likely to be reactive, and reward her when she focused on me and doesn*t react. I also thought perhaps training classes would help. Unfortunately, we don*t seem to have highly recommended ones around me, but I thought I remembered someone mentioned in another forum, so I checked out her website and contacted her. The thing is, she wants one to one sessions first, which is fine, except it*s £90 for two sessions. I realise she*s an expert, this is probably the going rate and she will be focused on us all this time, but I*m not sure Poppy*s issue is so extreme that we need one to one? Especially when it*s not much more money for 6 weeks worth of classes? I*ll be honest, that I have a niggle in the back of my mind that a fellow dog walker may have used this particular trainer on a one to one to help with a jumping/pulling lab and she didn*t find her that helpful, so, although I realise that*s subjective, I*m reluctant to spend so much straight off if it*s not warranted.

Sorry about the long post - I just wondered what other people*s thoughts were? Thanks for reading :D

Just taken me six attempts to post this!!! :evil:
 

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Personally if the problem is with some other dogs and it sounds like it mostly happens when she is surprised or not expecting them I dont see how one to one sessions will help. I see you are in Plymouth - when I am not up here at uni I am in Tavistock. There is a lady I can recommend who does weekly classes on Tues and Sat I think (you may need to ring her to check) and does offer one to ones (for a lot less than £90) but she is based at Chillaton which is just the other side of Tavistock but if you pm me I can give you her details and you could ring and have a chat. I do know of one trainer circulating tavi/Plymouth who personally I dont think is very good but is well advertised among vets etc so I would be interested in who you have been recommended.
 
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How do you react when she goes off on one?

I know with my girls, when they start taking matters into their own paws, I tend to tell them off ("WHAT do you think you*re doing???") and put myself between them and whatever*s upsetting them, so they can see I*m dealing with it and in control. Have you tried anything like that?
 

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Damn. The forum bugs have spoken and I cant open the PM. Im reluctant to spread details over a public forum so my suggestion would be to add me on FB, and maybe message me there and I can delete the link to my profile once I have it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Jules - I think how I react isn*t helping, possibly because in the back of my mind I*m worried about making her behaviour worse. Also, because it happens so randomly, it takes me by surprise. I do generally tell her to stop being so silly and encourage her to carry on walking, but I don*t think I sound that confident or forceful. I will definitely make sure in the future I put myself between her and whatever she*s shouting at. I have told her off before when she starts leaping around after cats (nothing too over the top , just a Don*t you DARE!) and we managed to walk past two last week with a bit of a lunge, but no barking, so maybe you*re right Jules, she just needs to be reassured that I*m in control.

(I have pm*d you Lauren)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
goldiesgirl said:
Damn. The forum bugs have spoken and I cant open the PM. Im reluctant to spread details over a public forum so my suggestion would be to add me on FB.
Request sent :D
 
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maybe you*re right Jules, she just needs to be reassured that I*m in control.
I*ve found the more unconfident the dog, the more likely it is to react and it*s these dogs who need to believe they can totally rely on you to look after them and sort out any dangerous situations. It*s a bit like riding a spooky horse, you have to exude confidence and take charge even when really you*re quaking in your boots :wink: .
 

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My 2 yr old lab lunges at people(mainly men) he just has to almost get one in on them, I now walk him where I think we wont meet anyone,luckily we live in a village very rural open fields ,but I feel im not helping him its almost like we live in a bubble, has any one else felt like this?.Ihave had many dogs in my life,but never felt the need to worry like this.At home with are family he is the most loving,well behaved dog allways wants to please.Any suggestions xx
 

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batcombe said:
My 2 yr old lab lunges at people(mainly men) he just has to almost get one in on them, I now walk him where I think we wont meet anyone,luckily we live in a village very rural open fields ,but I feel im not helping him its almost like we live in a bubble, has any one else felt like this?.Ihave had many dogs in my life,but never felt the need to worry like this.At home with are family he is the most loving,well behaved dog allways wants to please.Any suggestions xx

Is this something Fred has always done or can you pinpoint an incident that started this behaviour? I assume he's barking or fearful rather than wanting a fuss? I decided with Poppy that I would not avoid situations where she's likely to bark, in order to get her used to it and hopefully remove the behaviour by training (I'll be using the previously mentioned techniques of standing between her and what she's barking at and also being very firm). That said, I do have a head collar as back-up when I know the adrenaline will be flowing (at night for example), to make sure she's under control and I don't end up under a car.

Hopefully someone more experienced will offer advice. x
 

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Fred has shown this behaviour since owning him(we have had him 1 year),at first I thought it was just over excitement,as he has not seen much im sure in his previous home,and not been socialized.I am sure it is fear that makes him react the way he does,he dosent always bark or growl,just lunges.If out on a walk, and Fred was off the lead and we met a lady walking a dog hes fine,very playfull.If we met a man walking a dog I would put him on his lead,but the other dog would be a distraction.If we met just walkers he would react.We have done traning classes, once Fred is in and settled he is brilliant,as long as the instructor dosent invade our space( he is a man).He thinks its me,he is protecting me,the last result would be to muzzle him,then perhaps I would relax andFred will too.He is the most loving dog,i just wish I could get inside his head
 
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