Dog has growled at people on walks, advice?
My pit bull Abilene has been with us for about two months. The majority of the time she has actually been an angel and has been great in and out of the house with strangers. However, around the 4-5 week mark she had two incidents where she growled at and lunged towards people on her walks. She never did this before or after this week. She spent the past month totally fine meeting all strangers. We are seeking a professional trainer's help for this but want to make sure we're on the right track!
The first time she did this she was with my younger sister, who really doesn't have a great idea of how to handle a dog. Abilene saw a woman waving her arms at her excitedly from across the street and growled and lunged. My sister got nervous and yelled at her and pulled the leash, which I don't think was the proper way to handle the situation. Abilene repeated this behavior with my dad when a jogger was coming directly at them on the sidewalk. She was corrected and let the jogger pass with no problem. She has NEVER shown any sign of this type of behavior with me. I always make her sit and let people pass, and give her treats when she sits and looks at me instead of joggers or bikers.
The trainer wants us to teach her "leave it". For example, when she is distracted by a jogger she is told "leave it" and she'll know to look away because she isn't going to be going over to that stimulus. We're starting by dropping a toy a yard or two away from her, telling her "leave it", and praising her when she looks away. The trainer also wants us to start with "look" so she will look at whoever she is walking with instead of whatever she interested in on the street. Does she have the right type of idea?
Last edited by Eeny; 08-22-2013 at 06:00 AM.