Intro tips?

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
User avatar
Posts: 5451
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: MTL

Postby pitgrrl » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:58 pm

Sooooooo, the walk was.....interesting lol

Strangely, if the dogs were all sitting or laying down as close as about 10 feet apart, they were okay. Walking, across the street from each other no less, was insane. All three dogs basically spent the entire time screaming at the top of their little lungs. It was obviously pretty stressful for all of them, so it didn't last all too long.

I guess now I'm thinking we should try just hanging out with the dogs in a big open area, rather than walking them, since they seemed to do better with that. I'm totally open to suggestions though.

User avatar
Pit Bull Forum Addict
Posts: 1726
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:49 pm

Postby tiva » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:06 pm

Hi-I've always believed in the parallel leash walks idea, and it has worked for some of my dogs. But for one dog (Vanya), it just makes his scream louder, since he really really wants to get close and interact. He's what some trainers call a "woo-hooer" or a "tarzan": he's desperate to interact, but he also can get over-aroused very quickly.

A positive trainer (who works a ton with Control Unleashed) suggested that I work Vanya with a muzzle, because she thinks he's not actually aggressive, just lacking social skills. I haven't tried this yet, but it seems to make a lot of sense. Here was her advice (you can read her full blog on dog-dog reactivity at ... -or-is-it/)

I wrote: "I’ve been trying for a year to work slowly to reduce the distance where Vanya can stay calm on leash around other dogs, so we can get to the point where we can do parallel leashed walks, then do curving introductions, etc. But he seems so starved for dog-dog interaction, that we don’t seem to be getting anywhere near the point where we can actually interact with another dog. At about 30 yards away, he starts screaming. When we started the work, his screaming-distance began at 100 yards away, so this is progress, but I can’t seem to reduce the distance any more). He has learned self-control and calming in many areas of his life (we do Overall’s relaxation protocol most days, along with off switch games, look at that, etc.) But around new dogs….not yet, not close.

I’m tempted to try letting him meet a calm, somewhat smaller dog from opposite sides of a fence, so he could have some unleashed interactions without worrying about damage. (He is much less reactive to smaller dogs). Or possibly a basket muzzle might be worth trying?

How do other owners of exuberant bullies deal with their own concerns about the damage a bully might do in the process of learning proper greetings?

Thanks for any input. There is one more well-known positive trainer I can try in my area, but I’m a little exhausted by my trainer encounters to date.

Christine Hibbard Says:
April 1st, 2009 at 6:19 pm
..."There’s no doubt that the Control Unleashed exercises are amazing in helping dogs with arousal issues.

Your boy sounds like what Jean Donaldson would call a “Tarzanâ€

User avatar
Bully Lover 4 Life
Posts: 1131
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:08 am
Location: Kalispell, Montana

Postby UnconventionalLove » Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:45 am

tiva wrote:Christine Hibbard Says:
Sometimes breed can be your guide. Look for other bully breeds like Boxers or Old English Sheepdogs. Labs are pretty rough and tumble.


User avatar
Pit Bull Forum Addict
Posts: 1726
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:49 pm

Postby tiva » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:34 am

Yeah, I know--I had never thought of sheepdogs as "bully breeds." I'm guessing she meant "bully breeds such as boxers", plus big dogs such as old english sheepdogs. I will check out Jean Donaldson's "Fight" even though I hate the title.

User avatar
Pit Bull Princess Pamperer
Posts: 7651
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 4:52 pm
Location: New England

Postby Jazzy » Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:20 am

Thanks for the link Tiva...I bookmarked.

Alot of what you talked about applies to V. - craves dod-dog attention, friendly yet lacks skills, gets overly aroused and does I believe turn gamey.

I vacillate back and forth between teaching her to be calm around & ignore other dogs and trying to teach her appropriate dod-dog skills because she does so seem to crave the interaction in a positive way.

I have leaned towards the ignoring...because 1. I don't have much of a stomach for risk and 2. I don't have access to dogs that could help in her training; and "Hi, could I borrow your maltese to help train my pit bull"? just does not for some unfathomable reason go over well...

User avatar
Posts: 17463
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:10 pm

Postby Amie » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:07 pm

Jazzy wrote:"Hi, could I borrow your maltese to help train my pit bull"? just does not for some unfathomable reason go over well...

I don't see the problem.

wait... you are talking about training "tug" right?

Return to “Training and Behavior”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests