Intro tips?

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
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pitgrrl
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Intro tips?

Postby pitgrrl » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:54 pm

Can I ask how people, with not totally dog social dogs, go about introducing them to other dogs?

I'm trying to figure out the calmest, least stressful, most likely to work out way to introduce Basil and Streets to a friend's blind, male pit bull x mastiff cross. All three dogs are reactive to some other dogs, but not entirely unable to hang out calmly with others either.

The goal is not to have them running around a yard wrestling, just to be able to have them in the same space.

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Leslie H
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Postby Leslie H » Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:48 pm

Much as I am not a Cesar Milan fan, I like walking dogs together on neutral turf. Pick someplace quiet, so they don't get fired up about something else. Of course, avoid hard stares. OK, I guess that may not be an issue w/a blind dog.

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Postby pitgrrl » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:15 pm

That was plan, and I'm pretty sure that will go okay as they're all familiar with the smell of each other and have been about 20 feet apart and been obviously interested/alert, but able to stay calm and focused on following commands.

I'm just not sure if I should let them do the whole sniff-circle-meet routine right away as they're all prone to just getting far too excited, which then tips over into aggression, or just work on having them around each other, but keeping a down or sit or whatever, and not actually come with in touching distance. :dunno:

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Postby KadillacGrrl » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:29 pm

I like the walking thing... you just slowly decrease the space between dogs. I don't think you even need to let the sniff thing happen on the first walk, or two.. or three. I can pretty much tell if my dogs are going to be snarky, and if I think so I'll wait longer.

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natebritchcock
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Postby natebritchcock » Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:29 pm

what if the dog refuses to NOT do hard stares....wyatt will still take treats when other dogs are around, but im unable to get him to pay any attention to me....he gets crazy focused and really seems to wanna rip the other dog apart (but he lives with a yellow lab and does absolutely wonderful.)?

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Postby Amie » Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:59 am

One thing I do that I've not seen suggested elsewhere and may or may not work at all but it makes me feel better (how's that for a build up?) is to play with the other dog separately - just me and the dog, not in sight or anything - then go back to my dog. That way his first association with the new dog's scent is linked to me.

Like I said, I have no idea if this is even a little bit valid, but it makes sense to me and it can't hurt the situation.

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Postby Jazzy » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:06 am

natebritchcock wrote:what if the dog refuses to NOT do hard stares....wyatt will still take treats when other dogs are around, but im unable to get him to pay any attention to me....he gets crazy focused and really seems to wanna rip the other dog apart (but he lives with a yellow lab and does absolutely wonderful.)?


According to the philosophy of "Control Unleashed" which I am working with...Wyatt is over threshold...meaning you are working too close to the other dog and he cannot yet tolerate that distance.

Back up to where he can focus on you, work there and slowly get closer over time.

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Postby KadillacGrrl » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:44 am

Jazzy, yes!

Nate: He needs more focus work pre-dog walk. You have to anticipate his reactivity and take action *before* he gets keyed up. I know in some classes I've had, dogs like him may not even be able to join the class for weeks. They work the dog outside the fence and the dog eventually learns to stop being defensive and/or trying to get at the other dogs. They figure out nothing exciting is going to happen. It's a desensitization process.

(Pls ignore typos etc on blackberry)

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Postby pitgrrl » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:30 am

KadillacGrrl wrote:Jazzy, yes!

Nate: He needs more focus work pre-dog walk. You have to anticipate his reactivity and take action *before* he gets keyed up. I know in some classes I've had, dogs like him may not even be able to join the class for weeks. They work the dog outside the fence and the dog eventually learns to stop being defensive and/or trying to get at the other dogs. They figure out nothing exciting is going to happen. It's a desensitization process.

(Pls ignore typos etc on blackberry)


I totally agree with this, but something worth adding, in my experience at least, is keeping yourself in check. Anticipating that your dog is going to get all amped, and then getting stressed can make a big difference in your dog's ability to stay calm.

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Postby KadillacGrrl » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:32 am

pitgrrl, totally agree and should have added that in my post. What we do as handlers is of the utmost importance.

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natebritchcock
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Postby natebritchcock » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:41 am

thanks for the suggestions, i had been doing the distance method that jazzy mentioned....i guess im just going to have to go to a football field or something where we can have more room. Another question, i have a feeling that IF he could get at another dog, he would do damage....but im not entirely sure. There have been times where he gets worked up, but once he gets to whatever he wants to sniff, he cools down and everythings fine...its like the inbetween phase the 'not knowing' is whats causing all the problems (im assuming it stems from a lack of confidence, we're looking into individual training from a trainer here in town who holds a "bully and the beautiful" class) What if i put a muzzle on him and let him actually go to the dog, or would that just be reinforcing the wild behavior?

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Leslie H
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Postby Leslie H » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:53 am

nate, I think the muzzle idea is likely to backfire. The dog will be overstimulated from the close proximity, and likely frustrated and/or anxious defensive from the muzzle.

I second the no need to sniff idea, maybe eventually, maybe never. I've been walking Xanny and Soleil together w/some of my friend's dogs (labs and apbt's). It's been going very well, they get into the walk, and tend to ignore the other dogs. It makes the focus of the activity "let's go for a walk" instead of "let's meet a dog".

Walking was how I first introduced Xanny, then 7, to Soleil, then 8 weeks. Xanny didn't like other dogs, including puppies.

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Postby MikeZev » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:09 am

i've used the walk with good results too. when aurora and i first started dating wednesday couldnt even see sicily without flipping out. we had to start out walking them like 50 feet away from each other and have no interaction the first couple times. keeping the future interactions short and sweet also helped. as soon as anybody stiffened up or got too excited theyd get seperated.

it helps to know if the dogs in question have and triggers like barrier aggression or on lead aggression.

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Postby Finnigan » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:13 am

With Jake the Snake (rip ole man)...ALL introes always took place on neutral ground, on leash, going for a walk.

If his immediate reaction was one of "I think I want to kick your ass badly" then I knew he could never be friends or tolerate their presence.

Or, his reaction would be neutral but guarded

Or, hey, you're ok!

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Finnigan
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Postby Finnigan » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:16 am

Finnigan wrote:With Jake the Snake (rip ole man)...ALL introes always took place on neutral ground, on leash, going for a walk.

If his immediate reaction was one of "I think I want to kick your ass badly" then I knew he could never be friends or tolerate their presence.

Or, his reaction would be neutral but guarded

Or, hey, you're ok!


wanted to add: with puppies less than 8 months. Always tolerance such as "hey, there's a puppy hanging off my cheek by his teeth. How...cute.

Sigh...I miss him.


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