Over stimulation on walks

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Nimo, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Nimo

    Nimo New Member

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    Hi,
    I have 1 yr old mixed breed rescue dog. Not sure what all is in the mix but there is definitely beagle and I'd say jack russel. He's smart and pretty eager to please, but I'm having a serious issue with overstimulation on walks.

    Basically, he gets over threshold really quickly, the primary triggers being other dogs and squirrels, but actually cats, birds or even an interesting smell can set him off. At home we train him a lot, are very clicker savy and can get him to do all sorts of obedience training and tricks etc. But all of that goes out the window after a few minutes outside. There are several other dogs on our street and even if they are not visible or audible, I can see him thinking "This is mindy's house...time to go MENTAL!".

    So I'm looking for handy tips on what to do. I don't punish him and don't use any corrective stuff like shock or prong collars. Here's what I'm trying at the moment:
    I walk him at night, just because he's calmer and so is our neighbourhood. So I tend to get further than I would in the day. Basically there are fewer distractions. Then I give him treats when he focusses on me and I try to avoid encounters or proximity with other dogs for now. IF I do see a dog, I try to associate it with something positive (treats, calm but happy voice tone) but also take him in the other direction. I also bring the leash out at random times in the day and then put it back again, just so that he stops associating it with "walkies" and (will hopefully) not get really pumped up each time he sees it.

    These are the things I'm trying, but progress is VERY slow. He pulls a little bit less on the leash now but I'd say about 50% of the walk he is above threshold owing to one distraction or another. Am I wasting my time? Should I be easing him in more slowly? I'm not even sure how I'd do that.

    FYI, he does have issues with other dogs. He will not attack them but if let off the leash will try to nip them relentlessly which obviously does not end well. If a dog goes past our fence he goes to full-blown crazy like I've never seen in another dog. Wild yelping, hackles up, hoarse breathing. It's insane. So we tend to keep him round the back now to avoid him making that a habit.

    If anyone has suggestions, thanks.
     
  2. ThreePs

    ThreePs Member

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    Zen & LAT

    Teach Zen at home and then take it on the road and generalize it so smells he wants to reach. Put "go sniff" on cue.

    Teach "Look At That."

    Have you read Control Unleashed by Lelsie McDevitt?
     
  3. Luna-Boxer

    Luna-Boxer New Member

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    I had a similar situation with my mixed boxer, she kept pulling me to run. I tried the martingale collar and the no pull harness but nothing seemed to worked. My temporary solution was to exercise her in our yard before going on a walk, that helped a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  4. lovingloki

    lovingloki New Member

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    One of my dogs is similar! I've tried Rescue Remedy, Thundershirts, even the equivalent of prozac to reduce his anxiety and nothing has helped
     

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