I watch a lot of Cesar Milan and me and my Family try and use his techniques to help her but so far its not worked well with the barking.
I'm not surprised it hasn't helped.
Cesar's methods are based on suppression and shutdown: basically intimidating the dog so much that it no longer chooses to behave the way it is feeling - but it still wants to behave however it feels. We have a great sticky on it, and I really encourage you to read it. It will help you understand why his methods don't really work, and why we should never use them on our pups. https://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...-fallout-4776/
The other reason not to use these very aversive methods are because you can actually make a reactive dog worse. Think about it: your dog sees another dog and gets excited. Chemicals are being released in her body, she is barking and acting crazy. Now, you start jerking her leash and yelling at her (I'm not saying you do this, just giving it as an example). You are reinforcing for her that whatever she is reacting to is worthy of excitement, further exciting her. Now when she sees other dogs, she is even more excited, maybe even aggressive because other dogs now = discomfort or pain because of the leash jerks. Over time, do you think this will modify her behavior or make her worse?
The sticky explains it much better, but basically aversives are not a safe way to train with reactive dogs.
However there is a technique we haven't yet tried, which is walking her past stationary dogs. Would this help her become more comfortable with other dogs?
If she isn't reacting, you can walk by other dogs while treating her
. Better yet, have the dogs walk past her and treat her. That's the open bar/closed bar method that the reactivity sticky touches on. With a reactive dog, you really begin to know the dog's body language the more of these games you play. You can anticipate when their trigger is too close and back off so that the dog is still learning. All of the games mentioned in the sticky will help (LAT, open bar/closed bar, etc.).
TBH, counter conditioning reactivity isn't a quick fix. There is no training that will be a true quick fix (without damaging your dog). The members here who have counter conditioned it say it generally takes about a year, but it all depends on how reactive your dog is and how dedicated you are.
Your dog sounds more excited than aggressive, which is great; it seems like she is only mildly reactive. That is much easier to train.
Recently I have walked her with my friends year old yorkshire terrier she is a girl and after a half an hour on our walk she stopped barking and chasing her and walked and played with her. By socializing her with my friends dog will this help her understand that all dogs wont hurt her?
In short, no.
Dogs don't generalize. It's like potty training. You take the dog outside often so that they build up the habit. It takes multiple repetitions for them to build this habit. The more positive you make pottying outside (food rewards), the quicker they learn. Now you go to your friend's house, and your dog may have an accident inside. The potty training in your house was a good foundation for your friend's house, but your dog may still need more training in this new house. The same may be true when you go inside a pet store, or when you move to a new house, etc.
The same principle applies to reactivity. Once your dog learns calm behavior around one other dog, they won't immediately be calm around all dogs, but it is a good foundation. She may be better with the next dog. Then the next. Eventually, after, say, 100 positive
experiences with new dogs (along side the reactivity training), her behavior will be modified. Regular play dates with safe dogs are a good way to help mildly reactive dogs.
Also, there is a point where you are no longer socializing a dog, you are desensitizing them. Socialization is for puppies, but older dogs who have reactivity can't really be "socialized" in the sense that puppies can. I'm only pointing it out so you understand that Tinkabelle needs positive experiences with other dogs to effectively modify the behavior. Exposing her to dogs where she is reacting to them (barking and acting crazy) will only increase the behavior.
This is another reason by dominance-based training won't work in her case.
Also In the link it mentions using a clicker... I haven't got opne but I was thinking of getting one... would a clicker be affective with her barking? |
Finally could we buy a training lead a 10metre to teach her not to run at other dogs across the park?
Clicker training is just marker training using the clicker to mark the behavior. If you aren't comfortable with using a clicker, you can use a marker word like "yes" or "good girl", but the idea is that this sound always = food, so the dog learns very quickly to offer behaviors that give them the mark. Some dogs learn quicker with a clicker because its sound is distinct and consistent, but it isn't necessary.
Please let us know how it goes. We've had a lot of members come on here with reactive dogs looking for help (including myself), and these methods really do work!