Mixing On- and Off-Leash Dogs - Direct Health Life

When a dog spies another dog, unless he is fearful or dislikes other dogs, he
will feel an overwhelming need to investigate. Dogs with normal social skills
have important greeting rituals, which involve delivering appropriate body
language to the other dog and sniffing the rear quarters. Leashes really
throw a monkey wrench into this system by hampering the dog’s ability both
to investigate and to deliver the right body language. This is why so many
dogs who are very friendly and social with dogs when off leash may put on
ferocious-looking displays when on leash. A basic biological urge has been
artificially frustrated, which is why trainers usually call this barrier frustration
or leash frustration. Barrier frustration is greatly worsened when nearby
dogs are off leash, prancing around and possibly teasing the leashed dog.

Locations VII
Do this exercise only if your dog likes other dogs. If he is feisty or fearful with
other dogs, skip it. You can also hire a competent professional to improve his
feistiness or fearfulness, in which case you can try this exercise later.
1. Go someplace where there are dogs. Some good options include the
following:
● The house of a friend who has a friendly dog(s)
● A dog park or designated off-leash area
● The same pet store you used earlier, but now go at a peak time when
there will be other dogs inside with shoppers
● Near a place where dog training classes are held, so that leashed dogs
are coming and going nearby.
● To an outdoor café where you have noticed that people bring dogs.
2. If the dog(s) at this place are leashed, keep your dog leashed too. If it is
an off-leash area, let your dog off leash as well. Leashed and unleashed
dogs together in the same place are a volatile mix.
3. If you are at an off-leash area, give your dog six minutes to socialize, run
around, and do whatever he wants. Do not try calling him during this
time.
4. If your dog and the dog(s) nearby is on leash, commence training
immediately.
Protecting Your Come Cue
One of the most common errors I see dog owners making is wearing out
their cues, especially the cue for Come (Recall). They chant it over and over
and over. This repetition is, in fact, what you would do if you wanted to get
rid of response to this cue! So, rule one is not to give the cue unless you are
willing to bet fifty bucks that the dog will come when you issue it the first
time. Rule two is to be careful about inadvertently punishing the dog for
coming. While most people know not to call the dog over and then get
violent or yell at him, many people slip up at places like dog parks, where
they call the dog over to end his off-leash playtime. While eventually his
coming when called will be strong enough to withstand such everyday use,
when you’re in the training stage, avoid calling him over to end fun.

Locations VIII: Off-Leash Option
1. After the six-minute saturation effort, try calling your dog over to you.
If he comes, praise and reward really, really heavily, then just send him
back to play. Remember, it’s not a good idea to do a lot of obedience
for valuable rewards in this kind of context as it can prompt squabbles
among the dogs.
2. If your dog doesn’t come, don’t keep calling—this is very bad for the
integrity of your Come cue. Ignore him for another five or six minutes,
then try one more time.
3. If during the saturation time he happens to come over and check in
with you, praise and reward him, but don’t give your recall cue and
don’t ask for anything else. Just “Hi there! So good!” (smoochie
smoochie smoochie—big food reward, then ignore him).
4. If he hasn’t checked in and doesn’t come after the second saturation
period, ignore him the rest of the time. This is still a fabulous proofing
opportunity because it is such a major distraction, but it’s not going to
come cheaply. You’ll need to go to this location at least a couple more
times. But it will be worth it in the end. Let your dog play and explore
as long as you can conveniently stay, then collect him and head home.
Don’t try using your Come cue.
Return to this location and retry the exercise. Do two five- to six-minute
saturation periods preceding each attempt. If you come up empty again, here
are a few things you can do to tip the balance a bit for your third attempt:
● Bring higher-value or novel rewards. If you’re using food, bring your dog
when he’s hungry.
● See if you can go to the same place but at a time when it’s less busy. If
you’re using a dog park, there will be peak hours and times when there
are just a couple of dogs. You can even do the location without dogs.
These are all good splits.
● If you’re training at a friend’s house where there are dogs, after the saturation period, put the dogs in a room with the door closed and give
your dog a minute or so to see that they’re not coming back out. Then
try training. If it goes well, let the dogs out, allow for another five-minute
saturation, then have a go with the dogs present.
Once your dog is five for five, Push. Here are the steps and possible splits
you will need (fill in the last three steps below):

Coming in Off-Leash Area: Steps and Splits
Off-leash area but without other dogs present, after fi ve- to six-minute
saturation
Off-leash area but without other dogs present, no saturation period
Off-leash area with one or two other dogs present, after fi ve- to six-minute
saturation
Off-leash area with one or two other dogs present, no saturation period
Off-leash area with at least three other dogs present, after fi ve- to six-minute
saturation, dog hungry and novel, interesting food rewards
Off-leash area with at least three other dogs present, after fi ve- to six-minute
saturation, regular rewards
Off-leash area with at least three other dogs present, no saturation period
New off-leash area with one or two other dogs present, after fi ve- to six-minute
saturation
Did you have any difficulty coming up with the final three steps in this
exercise? If you haven’t tried to, study the sequence and then take a stab at it.
The answer is:
New off-leash area with one or two other dogs present, no saturation
New off-leash area with at least three other dogs present, fi ve- to six-minute
saturation
New off-leash area with at least three other dogs present, no saturation
It’s also reasonable to include the dog especially hungry/novel rewards split,
even though it’s the second off-leash area. Recalls in the presence of other dogs
are pretty difficult if your dog is social.

Doctor

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