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Reactive to other dogs and cars

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MandyPandy
Just Whelped
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:04 am
Tell us about yourself: Just adopted a 5y/o Dutch Shepherd named Mia :)

Reactive to other dogs and cars

Post by MandyPandy » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:25 am

Hi there,

First of all I’m new here so hello and thank you for reading!

This Saturday I adopted a 5 y/o DS called Mia.

She knows basic commands: sit, down, paw, stay

I was aware upon adoption Mia is very dog and car reactive.

I have been struggling everyday with walks and I was just wondering if this is still trainable at the age of 5? If a car comes past fast she will lunge towards it barking, twirling and lunging again, same with dogs.

She also pulls a lot on the lead and is very strong. I have been trying to manage that by stopping, giving it 10 seconds and walking again or going in the opposite way to show her pulling won’t get her there.

Some background info about Mia: She was being used by a family as an outdoor guard dog, a shelter rescued her and did not want her returned to that family. She was then rescued by dogs trust and is now with me. She is super affectionate and I feel like she perhaps has never had a proper home/loving family.

Anyway, any suggestions, tips, links would be so appreciated. Thanks for reading.

Amanda

Tim91118
Green Dog
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:34 am
Tell us about yourself: Enjoying my Dutch Shepherd female named Anja

Re: Reactive to other dogs and cars

Post by Tim91118 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:37 pm

First thing to consider is she was more or less neglected by the previous owner. All dogs adjust to new surroundings and never stop learning. Sounds like you’re getting Mia in a position where a car or another dog is right on top of her. Start by letting her see these things only from a distance and you could see results over time. She must have strong prey drive, so give her another outlet like throwing the ball or playing tug. Maybe she was never played with at all. You’ll discover a lot about her over the next month or so.

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Dutchringgirl
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 5692
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:05 pm
Tell us about yourself: I am a mom of 6 life forces - 2 kids and 3 dogs 1 hamster. I live in Ct. I have trained Ringsport and Agility and have 2 DS, one 15 and 7 and a Basset Hound Cookie who is 2
Location: Ct, USA
Contact:

Re: Reactive to other dogs and cars

Post by Dutchringgirl » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:53 pm

at 5 yes they are tranable but since she has not had a good home until 5, it will take longer to re train and some things may just stick with her. these are protection dogs too so that instinct is pretty strong .

Do not take her in public yet, or around noisy places or places where you know she may lunge, stay in quiet places for quite a while. let her get used to you and her new surroundings. You could be looking at a few years at least for her to change.

My friend adopted a chihuahua that was abused and it took years for him to be a normal dog and she is the best at dog care.

i would get a good trainer asap.

you also need to take this slow, and I mean slower than slow.
Lisa, Thalie CGC & Sadie, Cookie the Basset, CT
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ladyjubilee
Green Dog
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

Re: Reactive to other dogs and cars

Post by ladyjubilee » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:16 pm

I agree that you need a trainer. When I got Bramble (who ironically was called Mia at the shelter), I found this forum, then called around to trainers. I called 5, and 4 of the 5 told me to use the first one I called. He is a K9 trainer familiar who is very familiar with the breed.

We completed on leash and are doing off leash. But Bramble is still dog reactive. What this means is Bramble's obedience has to be "bomb" (especially since she is going to be service trained). Her response to command has to be more than just sitting when I tell her. She must sit on command, and stay sitting..for however long, whether she can see me or not. It is a level obedience that goes beyond what they would have done at the shelter or even in a fostering. Now we're moving to on leash training in public with the trainer (off leash only in controlled settings).

My point is, the breed challenging and reactivity is even more so. Get a professional.

Finally, having had shelter dogs and frankly being an adoptive parent I would add to live in today. History has an impact, but the behavior you want needs to be created today. Love, unloved, well treated, badly treated, what matter is the now.
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

ladyjubilee
Green Dog
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 4:00 am
Tell us about yourself: Apparently I just adopted a Dutch Shepherd. My experience have been with Dalmatians. The shelter listed her as a 3 year old Dutch Shepherd, which truthfully I didn't even know was a breed. I picked her because she is so sweet and energetic. But looking at the forum, I'm wondering if I might have taken on more than I will be able to handle. I did reach out to s DS rescue and they say she does appear to be a DS. But so far she's a joy and though not trained is catching on quickly.

Re: Reactive to other dogs and cars

Post by ladyjubilee » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:23 am

I don't know if you are still looking for help, but I thought I'd give an update on Bramble since we are working on dog reactivity.

A few weeks ago we had a good visit to the park followed by a complete disaster the next week. Frustrating, and embarrassing! As my mother said I'm paying all this $$ and can't take her anywhere (which is an exaggeration but felt true in the moment )

Today in training the trainer worked on the issue first. Of course after two firm corrections and 2 more gentle corrections, he had my Cujo impersonator walking calmly around an unleashed dog.

Then it was my turn. I make every mistake in the book, of course. My mistakes include (but are not limited too :). )

-Not starting as I mean to go. I need to expect her to behave all the time. On the last park trip, I failed before we even got out of the car, because I didn't demand obedience and set the wrong tone.
-I don't let the leash stay loose, and tense not only the leash but my body.
-I'm not firm enough, or loud enough with my commands. Ok, so my mother also said I squeak, instead of command. The trainer is nicer and just says I need to be louder.
-I was not using the treats quite right. Instead of being subtle and rewarding, I was conveying tension.
-I expected too much too soon. The exposure should be in shorter duration, and end before she gets tired and cranky. I overlooked how stressful it is for her and how mentally challenging it is.

But by the end of training today, we were able to walk past 3 little yappy dogs....and she didn't eat anyone! She was calm stayed in a loose walk....even while I was partially distracted with my son.

So there is hope.
Pack: Peanuts-terrier mix, 16-18 years old, Bramble-Dutch Shepherd, 3 yrs
Location: NC

Mark77
Training Dog
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:19 am
Tell us about yourself: Own two Dutchies and a Mal.

Re: Reactive to other dogs and cars

Post by Mark77 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:50 pm

I would honestly start training as if she is a puppy, build from the ground up and re-enforce that behavior at every chance. Essentially on leash, under command at all times within your home or outside of your home with the only exception being an e-collar for backyard use only after the dog associates "no" with a correction. Prong collar with leash always unless crated until she isn't correcting herself any longer- then only moving to offleash shock collar once you have that foundation in place.

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