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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello

I live with my family and we have 2 yorkshire terriers. One is 11 years old and the other is 4.
We didn't know how to educate dogs when we got the first one so mistakes were done, but I personally learned with the time how to educate them a little, but my family doesn't, or ignore it most of the time, so it's simply impossible for me alone to educate them when the rest of the family does it wrong by spoiling them and doing other actions that dogs see as submissive.

The main problem is that they can't go outside, they go completely nuts when they see another animal and they will bark their lungs out and make other dogs bark too and its hell every time I try to take them outside, people watch from their windows or open their doors to see whats happening, because it really sounds like my dogs were trying to brutally murder someone when they see another dog (even though they are harmless but that's not the point). It's just so annoying and bad having to deal with the two little beasts while hearing barks from all over the place because of them. I tried everything, I read guides on how to solve this, but it not only is very hard but also my family is still submissive with them so it's me against the rest of the family (I talked to them about this but they don't really care).
It took a long time for the old one to stop trying to go savage over the other when they brought it, and they are still in dominance between themselves today because of my family being submissive with them.

I feel bad for the dogs, specially the 11 year old one since he barely went outside and enjoyed a dog life because of this, he is still relatively young, I mean, he still can run and all and I want him to enjoy the time he has left, but I don't know how.

I tried making them run on a running machine we have so they can at least get tired and sleep normally, but the min speed is too fast for them to not fear it at first. I really don't know what to do.

Any idea is welcome. Thank you.
 

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Solution involves more going outside not less. More exercise not less.

More training is probably not a bad thing, even old dogs can learn new tricks. You probably won't make your 11yo love other dogs but you can definitely teach him not to go nuts when he sees them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Solution involves more going outside not less. More exercise not less.

More training is probably not a bad thing, even old dogs can learn new tricks. You probably won't make your 11yo love other dogs but you can definitely teach him not to go nuts when he sees them.
I know this, I never denied this. In my post I talk about how hard (or impossible) this is to do with my family being submissive with them and spoiling them.
 

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I know this, I never denied this. In my post I talk about how hard (or impossible) this is to do with my family being submissive with them and spoiling them.
I won't comment on the family issue but socialization is something you can do without anyone else help. Take them for more walks for longer time. Take them to the park with some noise canceling headphones and let them bark for hours while you read a book. Rinse and repeat.

If you care about this issue you have the power to do something and while your family doesn't help, they're not hindering it.
 

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What guides have you read? I'm curious why you think that your family spoiling them is causing their reactivity outside? This forum doesn't really subscribe to the "dominant-submissive" or "pack leader" mindset or training methods.

Right now it seems as if your dogs fear of the outside is being reinforced by your obvious frustration. I would try to carry some really nice, smelly, distracting treats when you go for a walk with them. Try to go at a quieter time and everytime you see them start to get upset back away from the trigger and feed treats and talk to them calmly so they start to associate it with something good instead of something scary and your frustration. It would also make it much easier if you walked them separately so they can get one-on-one attention when they see a trigger.
 
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Take them to the park with some noise canceling headphones and let them bark for hours while you read a book. Rinse and repeat.
I am not a trainer by any means but that sounds a lot like flooding and I would not recommend that. If this is fear based (which it absolutely sounds like it is) it will only make it worse and make them shut down.
 

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I am not a trainer by any means but that sounds a lot like flooding and I would not recommend that. If this is fear based (which it absolutely sounds like it is) it will only make it worse and make them shut down.
Why do you think its fear based? It sounds like its based in total unfamiliarity with being outside. The OP even said "the 11 year old one since he barely went outside".

I guess you could say that that would be fear of the unknown but in that case flooding or in other words (exposure) is a totally valid option.
 

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Why do you think its fear based? It sounds like its based in total unfamiliarity with being outside. The OP even said "the 11 year old one since he barely went outside".
That's exactly why. If I've never been outside, and all of a sudden I have to be I'd be pretty freaked out, especially if I had a nose as strong as a dog's. That plus someone getting upset over the barking sounds like a recipe for a scared and reactive dog. Unfamiliar can absolutely equal scary.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I won't comment on the family issue but socialization is something you can do without anyone else help. Take them for more walks for longer time. Take them to the park with some noise canceling headphones and let them bark for hours while you read a book. Rinse and repeat.

If you care about this issue you have the power to do something and while your family doesn't help, they're not hindering it.
I can't do this because my dogs make other dogs come and fight, I always have to grab them and either kick the street dogs or get away. Definitely can't let them bark as they please.

Right now it seems as if your dogs fear of the outside is being reinforced by your obvious frustration. I would try to carry some really nice, smelly, distracting treats when you go for a walk with them. Try to go at a quieter time and everytime you see them start to get upset back away from the trigger and feed treats and talk to them calmly so they start to associate it with something good instead of something scary and your frustration. It would also make it much easier if you walked them separately so they can get one-on-one attention when they see a trigger.
This doesn't work either. They wont even realize I have treats for them when they are outside, they go really nuts, they literally lose their minds and bark and want to run like it was the end of the world, it doesn't matter what I do, I don't exist for them when this happens.
It really doesn't matter at all if I talk to them calmly or screaming, or if I pull from the strap in any way. I am serious, I'm not exaggerating at all, they are impossible to manage, alone or together.


Why do you think its fear based? It sounds like its based in total unfamiliarity with being outside. The OP even said "the 11 year old one since he barely went outside".
He has been outside for an important overall time, since he was a baby I tried to take him outside many times but since he always went nuts, I didnt do it as much as a normal person would do with their dogs. It's not because I don't want to, it's because he always went crazy and it never ever seemed to improve.
 

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@Ando if there are dogs loose in your street that are able to walk up to your dogs, then you will need to take them somewhere else. Strange dogs running up to them is going to terrify them. Is there a quiet outdoor space you can use, like a fenced in yard, or a seldom used hiking trail that you can take them to and sit with them and speak soothingly and feed them treats until they get more comfortable? You have to introduce them to new triggers slowly or you'll lose the progress you've made.

I'm not saying it'll be a quick fix, but it's the only one I can recommend.
 

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I wish. I live in a very big city
Is the problem just with other dogs or do you have problems when you walk them and no other dogs are present.

Also there has to be a time and place where you can go and not be around other dogs, I live in a big city as well and even so I'm not always surrounded by other dogs.
 

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I wish. I live in a very big city
Okay..... What about a rooftop? Is there any of those you can get too? Keep them on a very short leash very close to you so that way you can get them at least acclimated to the smells of being outside?

Can you drive out of the city at all? It's really not safe to be walking them anywhere that street dogs are able to get in their face, even if they weren't reactive you run the risk of them getting hurt if the street dog or your dog decided they wanted to get aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@Ando if there are dogs loose in your street that are able to walk up to your dogs, then you will need to take them somewhere else. Strange dogs running up to them is going to terrify them. Is there a quiet outdoor space you can use, like a fenced in yard, or a seldom used hiking trail that you can take them to and sit with them and speak soothingly and feed them treats until they get more comfortable? You have to introduce them to new triggers slowly or you'll lose the progress you've made.

I'm not saying it'll be a quick fix, but it's the only one I can recommend.
Street dogs are calm and don't attack persons or other dogs, but my dogs want to attack them so they will respond by comming to them and barking and trying to fight. It's my dog's fault but I can't do anything about it.

Sadly no, there's no fenced in yard or anything similar where street dogs aren't. I live in a very quiet part of the city, but dogs are in many houses and my dogs bark at them, and street dogs too, dogs are just everywhere.

They stop running a lot when they are tired, but they don't get tired of barking to other dogs. They are really annoying since I can't do anything to stop it. I've been trying for 11 years and there's really nothing I can do alone to calm them down.


Is the problem just with other dogs or do you have problems when you walk them and no other dogs are present.

Also there has to be a time and place where you can go and not be around other dogs, I live in a big city as well and even so I'm not always surrounded by other dogs.
The problem is only with other dogs, but as I said above, there's always dogs here. If it's not street dogs, then it's dogs in houses, my dogs barking at them to death and they responding and making all the dogs of near squares bark ending in chaos, and there's always at least one or two street dogs on the way.

Okay..... What about a rooftop? Is there any of those you can get too? Keep them on a very short leash very close to you so that way you can get them at least acclimated to the smells of being outside?
I live in a house. A rooftop wouldn't be very good either, they need to walk, that's a little space for a dog.

Can you drive out of the city at all? It's really not safe to be walking them anywhere that street dogs are able to get in their face, even if they weren't reactive you run the risk of them getting hurt if the street dog or your dog decided they wanted to get aggressive.
I can't drive out of the city. I don't have a car but even if I did, I would have to travel several kilometers and street dogs are still everywhere.
And yes, I know, as I said above, my dogs trigger street dogs to bark and fight, it's not that they are naturally aggressive, it's my dogs that make them angry and nervous.
 

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I'm not saying it's not your dogs being the aggressor, however having dogs loose on the streets is dangerous and not a good place to be walking your dogs, trust me I know from experience what can happen when a loose dog gets ahold of a dog on a leash. Honestly I'm out of my ballpark now, but I'm gonna tag a few people who I think might be able to help; @Rain , @Moonstream , @kmes ... any ideas?
 

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The first thing I would do would be to talk to your vet about some sort of calming aid. It doesn't have to be medication really, there are a lot of products you can try to take the edge off.

I would try a couple of things:

1) Counter conditioning. Start inside if you have to. Your dog sees a strange dog and the really, really, REALLY good treats start flowing. You want something nice and smelly - I use Fresh Pet bites that I cut up and mix in chopped up hot dogs. When the strange dog is gone, the treats stop. Eventually, work towards getting outside and just sitting on the front step.

2) IF you can get access to somewhere where you can put a bit of distance between you and the strange dog, check out the BAT 2.0 book by Grisha Stewart. She's got some really great advice in there and she explains the concepts of thresholds really well too.
 

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They are really annoying since I can't do anything to stop it. I've been trying for 11 years and there's really nothing I can do alone to calm them down.
The first thing you need to do is get rid of your own fatalistic attitude. You CAN change your dogs, it just requires planning and thinking.

Here are some ideas for you:

If there are as you say dogs everywhere, chances are that one of your friends has one. Invite him/her over for pizza with the dog. Your dogs will no doubt start barking, every time they are quiet, treat them.
Do this a couple times a week.

Buy a front pack and take one dog out at a time early when there are few other dogs around. Other dogs may be less likely to start barking if your dog is in its pack on your chest.

If you are in a house you can still exercise them plenty, and maybe you should do that and tire them out prior to training attempts. Many rooms are at least 10 feet in one direction, find two rooms and a hall and you have 26 feet. It might not be scenic but if you walk 26 feet back and forth 20 times that is a fair amount of walking for a little dog.
 

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Hmm, what's your goal? Are you just looking to exercise your dogs in the house, or are you looking to start taking them outside on walks?

The first is relatively easy, you just need to get creative. Training, feeding in food puzzles, nose games, and play, will all go a long way towards tiring them out. When I can't take my 10lb dog out for a walk we play, games like chase, fetch, wrestling a toy I hold, and tug, help tire him out. We'll also play search, find the kibble or treats I hide; and the shell game, which cup is the treat under. I train him and teach him new tricks which further tires him out.

If you wish to start taking them out and not have them go crazy at every new sight then that's a bit more work. You ever had someone ask, "How do you eat an elephant?" the answer is one bite at a time. To me it sounds as if you are trying to swallow the whole elephant at once. You need to take baby steps, with your dogs. If they are to worked up to take treats then they are too worked up to learn anything and are going on adrenaline and instinct, flight or fight has kicked in and they are opting to fight.

My own boy is a bit like yours. He is fear aggressive towards people and opts to try and scare them off. To work with him I have to try and catch him right when he spots the person and start feeding him the treats, and only stop when the person is gone. Doing that he's learning that people are good to have around because they cause me to feed him treats.

With your boys you're going to have to work with them one at a time, and only when they are doing a LOT better should you try to walk them together. You need to start right in front of your house, no walking him yet, just sit there and every time a dog appears feed him treats, if the dog starts approaching go inside. This site Care for Reactive Dogs has instructions on how to work with fearful, reactive, dogs.

Just because your family does not follow through with training does not mean that you can't or shouldn't.
 

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Hmmm...
Ditto, what are your goals? Or what advice are you looking for?
If looking for indoor exercise ideas, there are a ton of options available that we can share.

If wanting training suggestions...
Can you tell us what you have been doing for training?
Have you considered/willing to work with a professional trainer?

And just a resource should you be willing to buy a book.
Civilizing the City Dog
https://www.amazon.com/Civilizing-C...=t&hvqmt=e&ref=pd_sl_7gwniy1s67_e&tag=mh0b-20
 
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