Leading the Pack (Stopping barking or aggressive behaviour)
(progressing with this)
We were finding with Willow, that he would bark lots when he sees another dog. Not particularly nice when trying to walk
him. This didn't help us to get him near other dogs to get him more socialised.
This lead us on a bit of a trail. How to sort it.
Tried a check collar, material on one side. Not much use to us. We were intending to give him a check - sharp tug - when
he offended. But did not work.
DAP pheremone. Got a spray and diffuser. Sprayed it on a bandana, and had the diffuser working in the living room. It
did quieten them down a bit. But not in the way some other people's experiences suggested.
A lupi head harness helped quite a bit. It fits over the dogs nose and your lead attaches underneath. These would be
easier to fit on a dog with a larger snout. But our cavalier could wear it ok.
He put up some resistance to start with, and it took a few walks before he could put up with it well.
It is a great way to stop your pooch pulling. Immediately stops - quite amazing. This is because if he pulls, then his
head is pulled to the side - his doing not mine. Also, the barking was reduced as it reduced the amount he could open his
mouth - especially if he was pulling at the same time.
NOW FOR THE MAIN BIT.
This guy is a star. You really must watch him and take notes - and try to put some of this into practice.
The following is what I am doing - which has been inspired by him - and some other resources.
MUST walk the dogs ON LEAD. At least once a day. Off lead he is in control. On lead you are - and you are the leader(or
want to be). Short leads - not a flexi. Walking next to you, or a bit behind. This can be a bit tricky as they try to lead
Nope , the leader leads the walk. I use check chains now - as used by Cesar on his programmes. A quick check to get them
back in line with you. Now walk quickly, relax, be calm, head high, puff out your chest, Think I am the leader.
Our pets have finely tuned senses. They can feel if you are relaxed or not - through their connection to you - the lead.
They can tell if you are excited - they can smell the adrenaline. Wow. So keep relaxed. Millan tells us that dogs follow a
calm assertive leader - so that is your job to fill.
Don't allow your dog to go out on his walk if he is excited. Let him calm down first. Get out the house first and then
let them FOLLOW. The leader says who does what - so don't let them dictate what you do - it is your choice.
I ignore my dogs now, when I come home. Then when they calm down, I give them some lovin. Don't give them too much. Stop
before they have had enough.
Indicating that you can make your dog do things that they wouldn't necessarily do - makes the dog think that you must
be the leader. The pack leader says what is so. Ours will happily sit with me holding their chin. And will not be ruffled
if I hold a finger and thumb around their snout. i.e. stopping them opening their mouths.
Can you do this with your dog without a fight. If not then they might not be accepting you as the boss.
A few training books have indicated making your dog sit in one place without attention for 5 mins or so. If they move,
then you put them back. Soon get the message. Once a day helps reinforce this.
So now when Willow is looking like he is going to bark - a quick check. and if he barks - do it again. This is working
quite well - and can go out when other dogs are around. He still barks when off his lead or in the car.
Next - got a RAC car chair gap guard. It is a metal guard that fits between the front car seats and stops them getting
into the front. This helps Shirls legs - as 3 dogs on your lap is not much fun - especially as they fidget.
So now the dogs are confined to the rear seat. Like to give them a bit more comfort to the boot. Both of these methods
help on your leadering. Before when we got back to the car - dogs on your seat, then on your lap - They got attention and
made to feel important. Now we can get in without doing this. It's similar to not greeting your dog when you get home. They
don't feel as important a member of the pack - which is good for them. (However, we know how important they really are as
a member of our family)
I think that is it for now.
Would like to hear from other people who are reinforcing their leadership.