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I think my sweet little Redman might be afraid of other dogs. Whenever we go on walks he gets extremely agitated when he sees other dogs. He lunges at the other dogs and barks like crazy if I have him on a tight leash by my side and barks pulls hard on the leash if its loose sometimes seems like he wants us to get away fast. We had the vet take a look at some of his scars and he said the 2 big ones on his neck are probably from another dog biting him. I am worried that he might end up attacking another dog; I'm noticing more dogs around our neighborhood are unleashed. The other evening we were walking and an older black dog came trotting out from behind his house and Red just freaked out and started lunging barking and finally after what seemed like forever the owner finally came and called her dog back and I was able to drag Red away. A similar incident happened when we were running playing with Red at an empty ball field (not fenced so Red was on his leash) and a little sheltie came charging out of the trees barking like crazy and Red was lunging and barking like crazy at the lil guy luckily the lil dog was smart enough to keep his distance until the owners showed up 5 min later. He also freaks out on other dogs if they are on leash walking by or in a fenced yard and occasionally at bikers and cars. He is super friendly with people and just wants everyone and anyone to pet him. We have talked to a few people while out walking and he is always happy to say hello, everyone is interested to know what kind of dog he is. He has never shown any type of aggression toward people.

So I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on how I can help him and make our walks nicer.
I know going to a trainer will probably be our best route and I am saving up money for it. Does anyone know any trainers in the Geneva, IL Batavia, IL that have experience with our type of situation?
This place looked ok:
Clixworld Home Page
Has anyone had any experience working with them?

I was also wondering if I should be using some type of training collar, right now he just has a flat nylon one. I was worried about using a pinch, choke or shock collar because I do not want to traumatize him anymore than he already is would a gentle leader, easy walk harness, dominant dog collar or martingale collar be better for our situation?

I really love reading everyone’s stories on DT they have brought out a whole range of emotions from laughter to tears. I am so glad I got my Dobe boy and was able to find this site.

Thanks everyone for your help and advice if you need more info I will be happy to provide it I just want to help my sweet boy.
 

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One thing you can try is having friends with dogs work with you. Have them walk their dog far away, and approach them calmly with your dog on a leash. As soon as you reach the point of closeness where he is agitated, distract him. Bring a toy or treat with you. Make sure he can pay attention to you still. Eventually, after doing this for a while, he will start to associate the presence of another dog as a good thing (he gets yummy or fun things!) as opposed to scary. You should be able to get closer. Don't push him though, as SOON as you feel him getting tense when you're approaching, no matter how far away you are, immediately give him his toy/treat. That's one method I can think of.
 

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One thing you can try is having friends with dogs work with you. Have them walk their dog far away, and approach them calmly with your dog on a leash. As soon as you reach the point of closeness where he is agitated, distract him. Bring a toy or treat with you. Make sure he can pay attention to you still. Eventually, after doing this for a while, he will start to associate the presence of another dog as a good thing (he gets yummy or fun things!) as opposed to scary. You should be able to get closer. Don't push him though, as SOON as you feel him getting tense when you're approaching, no matter how far away you are, immediately give him his toy/treat. That's one method I can think of.
Thanks Von I will try to arrange this, possibly could work with my childhood dog Zak, still alive and kickin at 14 now lives with my grandparents he is really laid back.
 

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It does sound like he was tramutized and is now on the defensive. Consulting a trainer who is close and can evaluate the situation is best but the cure is always to get them to face thier issue and then correct it. There are several things you can do - first I would recommend working with a pinch collar so you do not get pulled into a dangerous situation. It will give you a little more control.

Start with one dog. Have them approach and if he becomes aggitated then immediately turn and walk the opposite direction. When he calms down start again and repeat the process until you can walk past the other dog without him freaking.

2nd method - put him in a sit and have the other dog walk back and forth with you making him sit calmly when the other dog passes. Just keep working with him in this method until he is calm. Don't get discouraged. It might take a few times for him to understand that his behavior is not acceptable.

Good luck and keep us posted. He can get better. Don't give up -
 

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I just adopted a dog that has onleash agression, among other things. We are working with a reactive dog trainer to improve this. During our classes it's great because the environment is more or less controlled. I find on our walks though, it's impossible to control the environment and therefore she reacts a lot more. This is especially due to the fact that I live in a very busy area with a lot of her triggers everywhere we turn. I tried using a harness. I'm not sure what everyone's experience is with those, but with her lunging, it actually made her bleed under the armpits and on the chest. I wouldn't recommend them, unless you can find a nice padded one (which I haven't been able to find yet). I am now using a 'halti' on her and she is doing great with it. We actually enjoy our walks now and they aren't stressful at all. She doesn't lunge, bark, pull or anything like that. If she looks like she's about to do something, I try and make her look at me. If she doesn't, I start walking backwards and gently lead her towards me. From what I've read, turning away is a calming signal for dogs and actually helps calm them (seems to have worked for us). Once all her attention is on me, I make her sit/stay or down/stay until the other dog passes. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I just adopted a dog that has onleash agression, among other things. We are working with a reactive dog trainer to improve this. During our classes it's great because the environment is more or less controlled. I find on our walks though, it's impossible to control the environment and therefore she reacts a lot more. This is especially due to the fact that I live in a very busy area with a lot of her triggers everywhere we turn. I tried using a harness. I'm not sure what everyone's experience is with those, but with her lunging, it actually made her bleed under the armpits and on the chest. I wouldn't recommend them, unless you can find a nice padded one (which I haven't been able to find yet). I am now using a 'halti' on her and she is doing great with it. We actually enjoy our walks now and they aren't stressful at all. She doesn't lunge, bark, pull or anything like that. If she looks like she's about to do something, I try and make her look at me. If she doesn't, I start walking backwards and gently lead her towards me. From what I've read, turning away is a calming signal for dogs and actually helps calm them (seems to have worked for us). Once all her attention is on me, I make her sit/stay or down/stay until the other dog passes. Hope this helps.
Wish I had classes like that by me they sound like they really know their stuff. I think i'm going to try the prong collar first but if he keeps pulling on that I will give the Halti a try. Thanks for the info on calming him down by turning away it sounds like it might help.
 

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Wish I had classes like that by me they sound like they really know their stuff. I think i'm going to try the prong collar first but if he keeps pulling on that I will give the Halti a try. Thanks for the info on calming him down by turning away it sounds like it might help.
I would try the halti before trying the prong collar. Pulling is one thing, but if he is lunging, he may hurt himself (especially the first time he wears it). Also, check out books by Brenda Aloff. She's got some great books on how dogs interpret us, body language and calming signals.
 

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Ordinary Haltis can be very dangerous with a dog that lunges - violent movement pulls the head and neck sideways against the halti and can cause serious neck damage. The Halti body harness with the double-ended lead is much better - it allows you to control both the dog's body and head and it doesn't give the dog enough scope to really whip its head so there's much less chance of neck injury. And always keep the lead short to prevent lunging.
 

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Ordinary Haltis can be very dangerous with a dog that lunges - violent movement pulls the head and neck sideways against the halti and can cause serious neck damage. The Halti body harness with the double-ended lead is much better - it allows you to control both the dog's body and head and it doesn't give the dog enough scope to really whip its head so there's much less chance of neck injury. And always keep the lead short to prevent lunging.

Yes good point. We started out with a harness along with the halti... and moved on to only the halti since she was being good.
 

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Thanks Crow, the last thing I want to do is hurt my sweet guy. I will check out this Halti body harness. My boyfriend said he does not do it as much when he walks him so possibly he does not respect me or feels he needs to defend me.
 

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Just wanted to make an update on Redman.

I ended up not getting any special collars or harnesses, my boyfriend believed we could just train him to be good and he was right. Red is just on a flat collar and walks loose on the leash (no pulling yey! he is so smart!) and if we see him get agitated at another dog while walking we chant no beee gooood and he calms down. He used to freak out at every other dog whether they were fenced, tied up or walking. Now only occasionally barks at dogs and mostly at the dogs that are out walking. He also now never barks at dogs unless they bark at him first. He still behaves better with my boyfriend than me I guess i'm not the alpha huh? I'm just happy he is learning and fast, I hate to be mean to my childhood dog (a sheltie) but Red is wayy smarter than him LOL!
He is still camera shy (runs away when he sees it) but he warmed up to the dremmel right away and just lays there while I give him his pedicure.

Next step is to introduce him to other dogs, I would love for him to have a playmate I feel bad that we can't afford another Dobe to keep him company, hopefully one day! I have really fallen in love with this breed now I understand why my BF wanted one so bad :)

It also looks like we might be able to buy a house before winter and we will definitely be putting up a fence for Red I know he will love it. Right now we are always checking on the only completely fenced in baseball field in our town and taking him there when no one is using it, he really loves to run.

I want to thank everyone again this is an amazing forum and i'm so glad it is here.:mrgreen:
 

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It also helps to approach another dog from behind; following a dog around the block is less confrontational than a face to face meeting and may relieve some stress to your dog. Good luck and I hope you find an appropriate trainer so you and your pup can enjoy your walks together.
 
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