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Cobber seems to have developed an extremely low threshold for when he reacts to other people and/or dogs. For example, the split second we walk out my front door, if there is a person and/or dog within eyesight in any direction no matter how far away, Cobber is immediately lunging, growling and barking. So while I understand the concept of doing the counter-conditioning BEFORE he hits his threshold so that I can still get and keep his attention and become a treat fountain when other creatures are within sight, I don't seem to ever get that opportunity.

If I actually see someone (esp someone walking a dog) before Cobber does -- and that's very rare -- I turn and go in another direction. If I wait another second until he spots them, it's already too late. If I stand still or walk the other way until they're out of sight, he will still try to pull toward them, even if that's behind us. If we walk away and he becomes good and loose-leash again but then we turn back -- even if the person/dog is now totally out of sight -- he will run and lunge again as though they're still within sight.

In other words, his drive is really strong, and I think he's also in a fear period because he used to seem a lot happier about seeing people and now the reaction is more of a "get off my territory or else!" anger, even with people and dogs he's enjoyed meeting in the past.

Beyond trying to find a behavorist, I'm just wondering if there's anything that I can do to lengthen the window of opportunity before he hits that seemingly immediate threshold at the sight of anyone anywhere.

This doesn't happen when he goes to day care. He loves those people and he loves those dogs, behaves beautifully when we get there and greets everyone happily. So he's not just an angry, fearful little dog. But when I read about doing the LAT training, for example, while far enough away so that he hasn't gone too far or over the threshold, I'm not sure what to do since there isn't any distance that seems to qualify for that. :ponder:
 

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With LeRoy I spent a lot of time teaching door manners fora seminar. The trainer is really big on this for reactivity. So glad I did the work! Super helpful!
Goes further than a dog just sitting while the owner opens the door.
You want to teach the dog to sit beside you (need to teach on left and right so as to position the dog out of the way of the opening door). Wait/stay while you step out to make sure the coast is clear. Come to you when called or released and immediately make/maintain eye contact.

Its nice to also teach the dog to come to heel or front, sit, and maintain attention for times you need to close or lock a door.

The big things are the immediate Attention on you as Cobber goes through the door (he can't be lunging barking or growling if he is sitting and looking at you and no more surprises because he doesn't even get to go through the door until you've looked for triggers.

I'll try to find some training vids when I get home unless someone beats me to it.:)
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What you are seeing could be territoriality, and perhaps some leash reactivity. The behaviorist I consulted suggested NOT walking my dog in my own neighborhood, as his reactions could be much stronger there due to territorial behavior. Can you load Cobber in the car (maybe in a covered crate) and take him to a large park? Try sitting on a bench and just watching him watch people and dogs from a distance.

Is he feeling threatened in the house? Does he constantly look out the window for passing people and dogs? If so you could try blocking his view of passing people.

But I have to admit that my dog is still quite reactive, it is hard to work on it and not see much progress, or even see things slide backwards.
 

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I plan on seeing a behaviorist soon for similar problems, so I'll let you know what they say. But for manners inside working with LAT with a toy worked really well. Also the 'stop puppy mouthing' video from kikopup has a good game that helped Koda-moving hands in her face then clicking and treating for no reaction. Then upping the excitement level. This way people moving to pet her doesn't mean play time every time-I found it helped with how excited she got in general. I do this a lot...maybe every day almost, for about 5 minutes. I started when she's calm and we're now at the point where I can put my hands in her face and wave them around when she's not hyper and get no reaction, most of the time. Goes back and forth a little bit if I'm not careful enough but the other day we were at thanksgiving dinner with a kid waving his hands in her face and I didn't even have to worry about it because she was fantastic :)

As much as it's not typical of me to have steak, I found having it sometimes really helps. It's an expensive treat but cut small enough it's actually way cheaper than zukes and she LOVES it so it keeps her attention significantly more than other treats. It was a good starting point to work with on some days to help her figure out that focus is a good thing. I also carry a ball on me in case I ever run out (not that I do) but if I can initial play and sh's only hyper rather than stressed it can pull her away from something she's super focused on.

I think it just takes a bit longer and is more frustrating, but you can do it! It's hard to find what works for you but once you do things get a lot better :)
 

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There are a lot of us with reactive dogs of one kind or another! Working with a behaviorist is helpful because they can help determine what is right for your particular dog's problem. Look through the posts though. I know I have read and written on some that talk about different things that worked for us.

First you probably need to figure out what the triggers are and when they are the worst. I agree with one of the previous posters, Tesla is better outside our neighborhood when she sees another dog. I did BAT for the past 4-5 months. I also recently started walking tesla on her 30ft training lead (holding it when I need to, sometimes dropping it and working on getting her to stay with me and recall). This gives her the ability to create space if she wants or greet on a loose leash if she wants. This has been VERY successful for us, although it came after doing BAT for a while. You may find weird things like she chases squirrels that are in our yard, but not on walks. She still doesn't like dogs/people going by the house, but is better on the street now. Incidentally, she did become calmer when I covered the lower part of our front windows. I used parchment paper first to see if it would work, then contact paper. It's high enough that she doesn't notice every single thing going by, but low enough for her to lean up and look out. This helped a lot. Now she's not already worked up when I take her out like she used to be.

My point is, reading through, you can find lots of helpful tips to help you figure out the issue and ideas for working on it! Good luck!
 

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maybe our dogs are somehow related..i just posted about this as well! we are trying LAT, as well as keeping Theo in the backyard for now while we address triggers. So far....eh. I"m working on the "It's Yer Choice" impulse games for now to see if that helps with impulse control.
 

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Hey cobbersmom, tried to PM you but couldn't.
IDK if you are interested in taking Cobber to any reactive dog seminars, but I'm taking my reactive guy to one very soon and just heard that a working spot opened up. I've gone in the past and really enjoyed it. It would be very last minute, but it's a super easy trip (about 3-4 hours from our part of PA) and a really great weekend! I don't want to pester you but thought I would let you know just in case. If you want more info just let me know.:)
 

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Hey cobbersmom, tried to PM you but couldn't.
IDK if you are interested in taking Cobber to any reactive dog seminars, but I'm taking my reactive guy to one very soon and just heard that a working spot opened up. I've gone in the past and really enjoyed it. It would be very last minute, but it's a super easy trip (about 3-4 hours from our part of PA) and a really great weekend! I don't want to pester you but thought I would let you know just in case. If you want more info just let me know.:)
I'd sooooo go with you if I was anywhere remotely near you. XD Maybe there's seminars here too...
 
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