anxious dog

mimi

Basic Member
my dog is constantly pulling on the leash and gets very anxious/excited when goes outside. When encounters other animals especially dogs starts barking non stop gets nervous sometimes he evens stars chacking and theres nothing that i feel i can do to stop it. Any estimulation results in agitated behaviour. Any advice?
 

Vinny

Staff member
Hello and welcome to DR forums. I would be curious on the tools your using to walk your dog? Eg. No pull harness...

How old is your dog? Little history...

Most dogs lunge and bark on leash for a few reasons like fear, aggression or fustration (frustrated greeter). Most cases are related to anxiety and fear and usually can tie back to poor socialization during puppyhood.

We always suggest every dog have a foundation of basic obedience to help with confidence. Adding in lots of impulse control also helps a dog control the anxiety/fear in new situations such as our changing environment. This alone can help when we keep distance when outside which we refer to threshold.

Adding in some behavior modification also gives us another layer to help which is changing emotional responses (conditional Emotional Responses) to known triggers. Therefore a dog on your walk would turn from a scary trigger to something that predicts something good. (Behavior modification).

There are many other things we can do to help our furry friends but I’ll stop now to hear your replies. Also please add if you have been trying any training along with some history on your dog. Eg.. age? how long you have your dog? Have you seen him off leash with unfamiliar dogs? Any fear issues or known triggers?

TY
 

mimi

Basic Member
For starters thanks for the reply. My dog is 4 years old I have had him since he was 9 months old so i wasnt very envolved in the puppy training but i gave some basic training when i got him. Indoors he behaves in general very good doesnt destroy anything in the house( expect the ocasional visit to the trash especially when he stays alone in the house for an extended period), plays well with his toys and responds good to comands. Outside is the complete opposite very overwealmed by everything surrounding him. When aproaching others dogs his behaviour its not always the same, some dogs he gets very playful others can start some fight. But he always barks and pulls towards the dog gets very loud and agitated. Sometimes I dogsit for a a friend and they get along good very playful. He has had previews experiences playing (off leash) with dogs of my family and works out good. I believe that when he meets other dogs while his on the leash thats when his behaviour is bad. When im outside i try to keep from pulling like stopping and trying for him to give a step back or stop pulling. But i feel like that it only escalates his anxiety, i feel that he starts to get frustrated for not being abble to go at his pace and becames harder for him to calm down and pay attention to me.
 

Vinny

Staff member
It definitely can be frustration and related to a frustrated greeter. Remember dogs do not generalize to good therefore if we teach a sit in the house it means something different to your dog outside. For example if we teach a sit in the kitchen it would mean something different to the dog in the living room. When we add distance, duration or distractions again it means something different to your dog. This is why we teach each behavior in all different environmental context.

Adding some impulse control training will definitely help your dog learn to control the anxiety when he is anticipating something. I would also maybe keep distance on your walks (threshold) and work on your basic obedience and possibly a cue for a u-turn to walk the other way. Some dogs also learn they meet all dogs on walks and when they cannot they can get frustrated. You can also do some setups with a dog that is familiar and teach a calm meet and greet and raise the criteria as you both progress. This will be what we call good meet and greet training for dogs.

We have to find the balance between frustration, fear or anxiety. In my experience a high percentage is related to fear and anxiety which will need some behavior modification along with what I mentioned above. What I learned over the years is do your research listen to all the science and techniques and we take what we can use. We implement the training and we collect data and adjust as needed.

Much more we can do to help you along but I'll stop here so you can catch up :)
 
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