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Old 10-22-2018, 05:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

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Barking and lunging at dogs: Positive or negative reinforcement

Hi Everyone,
So quick update on Saphira. She's learnt the heel cue, and will now not jump or lunge at runners and bikers on walks. She however completely ignores the heel cue with dogs, and will bark, lunge and pretty much go nuts when one is nearby. This is becoming problematic on walks, and I need a fix ASAP. I have been advised to use a slip lead or prong collar because this is her nature and she needs correction, but am hesitant on using those since I feel it would reinforce her negative perception of dogs. She has been OK with dogs from about a year of age, since I got her, to about 4 months ago. She's grown intolerant of them since, and I do get that this is normal as a Pitbull matures.
I was wondering if any of you have any inputs?
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Use neither. Work on a leave it and/or focus command. Once she has that down, then you just be hyper aware of your surroundings and get her in a focus or leave it before things escalate. My guy is selective DA and leave it works 98% of the time now. I mean he's pretty old now. But leave it has given me a good 85-90% over the last 8 years.
If your dog responds better to positive training, then stick with it. Every dog is different. So when a person who is not a breed specific trainer tells you do it one way or the other without evaluating your dog first, well then smile and nod and then ignore it.
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
 

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Originally Posted by EckoMac View Post
So when a person who is not a breed specific trainer tells you do it one way or the other without evaluating your dog first, well then smile and nod and then ignore it.
This guy has trained bully breeds extensively though.
I also learnt that I was using the slip lead incorrectly and placing it too far down her neck the few times I did use it. Fortunately I only witnessed one or two chokes before I went back to regular buckle collars.

My worry is that the DA is out of fear (Saphira has been attacked by a male Pit at the foster home, and a male black labradoodle scared the crap out of her another time) rather than just her Pitbull nature. She has done well with dogs at the shelter and at the foster home before I got her.

Have any of you had success with a slip lead or prong collar for fear based DA?
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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DA is DA regardless of where you think it may have come from. Regardless of what they train, if they didn't eval your dog they can't know what training method is best suited for them.
I personally utilized a prong for the first few years with my male and my female was trained the same with her original owner, mainly just for walks around the neighborhood and to prevent pulling. It needs to be high up on the neck and a flat buckle below it. Two leashes. One to hold the dog with the flat buckle and the other to pop the leash in corrections. But a leave it and focus command should still be trained.
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