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Suggestions to prevent a dog from lunging at cars while on walks?

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Sorry, dont mean to laugh, but that reminds me of our family cocker spaniel who used to chase cars down the street. Everytime he was outside and a car would pass.


He would never learn, mind you he never got hit. For some reason it makes me think of Don Quixote and chasing the windmills.


Crazy dogs!!!

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Just curious - does your dog react to other moving things? Bicycles? Roller bladers?


If there's some signs of reactivity to all moving things, then

I'd suggest the program lined up in a book called Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt. There's an accompanying DVD which demo's some of the exercises. I have to say that Leslie is a lovely person & a talented trainer but not the best public speaker - parts of the DVD drove me nuts because of that.....


Short term - what I'd do is this:


Go to an empty parking lot with someone else who can drive. Leave the driver & the car and walk far away. Let her sniff and enjoy the walk.


Turn back towards the car. When she looks at it, click & treat.


We're clicking & rewarding for looking calmly at the stimulus.


Gradually move closer to the car, maybe zig zagging towards it. Periodically change directions, keep it interesting for her, ask for a sit, ask for eye contact.


When you can go up to the car without her lunging, THEN increase criteria by starting this again but getting the car to move. First have it drive back and forth very slowly. Then gradually have the car moving faster. Then have the car change directions. Then do it in other areas. Depending on how fast your dog is 'getting it' this will take several sessions.


What you want is the dog to look at the stimulus, remain calm & turn to look at you, as if to say 'hey ma, there's one of those things!'


The CU program was written for dogs who were kicked out of agility because they lost their heads looking at other dogs running the course. Diligently done, you end up with a calm dog who is able to look at very exciting stimuli and stay connected with the handler.


Your pug is still young though so you can only expect so much self-control.


But it's important to work on it now as lunging or chasing after cars can end up in tragedy.


In day to day situations, you need to watch her & interrupt her BEFORE she's had a chance to lunge. Watch her like a hawk, when a car comes down the street, make a smooching noise & try walking backwards a bit & call her (not using a recall but just a puppy puppy who's such a cute puppy and patting your leg etc.) The moment she's turning her shoulder to face you, click & treat. Here you're rewarding re-orienting to the handler.


Remember that you don't really want to be luring with the treat. Click & treat doesn't rely on luring though we sometimes do it a few times if we need to jump start a bhvr.


hope that gives you some ideas.

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Watch The Dog Whisperer. Watch it a LOT. It is working wonders with our puppy, and I wish I'd known about him when I was training our previous dog.



One of the first things the Dog Whisperer will say is to get rid of the harness and use a collar.

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The science of behaviour is leaving these tv personality trainers in the dust. It might make good tv but it's not good training or good science.


The American Vetererinary Society of Animal Behaviour put out this statement recently


It begins:

AVSAB is concerned with the recent

re-emergence of dominance theory and

forcing dogs and other animals into

submission as a means of preventing and



correcting behavior problems.



Every dog owner who watches the tv shows should read this document IMO. You may end up disagreeing - I will not debate it. But too many dog owners don't realize that there IS a huge debate about this. And where it says in small print on the show 'don't try this at home' - really, take their advice. Don't.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman - Professor and Head, Section of Animal Behavior

Director of Behavior Clinic, Tufts University - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

“Cesar Millan's methods are based on flooding and punishment. The results, though immediate, will be only transitory. His methods are misguided, outmoded, in some cases dangerous, and often inhumane. You would not want to be a dog under his sphere of influence. The sad thing is that the public does not recognize the error of his ways. My college thinks it is a travesty. We’ve written to National Geographic Channel and told them they have put dog training back 20 years.â€


And Dr James Ha's take on it.


Dr Ha is a CAAB & if you check out their website it's dead boring. Even to dog training fanatics like me. These people do serious science - much more boring than things I like to do (tracking, agility, obedience & training dogs to push a 'that was easy' button from Staples). But these folks study behaviour & they know their stuff.


Happy training!

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we find a spray bottle of water squirted at our bicycle chasing, lunging and "screaming" basengi is the ONLY thing that distracts her from her chase instinct.


It's just water, but the squirt a stream at her nose and she stops. Now days all we have to do is raise the bottle up as if we were going to use it and she knows to stop.


I'm not sure what she'd do if she caught a bicycle, motorcycle, or the UPS truck. . . . . but she'd dearly love to keep on trying. Funny though she doesn't chase our kids when they ride their bikes around.

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Michelle, I'm sorry for the O/T. I'll take it to another thread after this, if necessary, but I didn't want to leave this be on this thread for fear people wouldn't explore the topic further:


hornblower, I am blown away by that assessment.


I have never, ever (and I've watched all three seasons, read his books, etc..) seen Cesar Millan do anything to a dog that could be construed as hazing or violence. Rather, he teaches owners to stop anthropomorphizing their pets, and calling them their babies/children. He teaches them to pay close attention to behaviors, catch them before they start (when you notice the change in the dog's demeanor), and remove the dog from that state of mind with quick verbal and leash corrections, or touches. He frequently walks dogs on 35 cent leashes made from thin nylon rope just to make it clear that it's leadership that matters, not necessarily the tool.


He talks about the importance of being calm but confident, and that when we offer reassurance to a frightened or aggressive dog in the form of cuddling or baby talk, we're often justifying the dog's fear. Had I known that before, our Chloe could have gone so many more places with us. I didn't know what to do, and all that time, while I thought I was reassuring her, I could have been showing her through my own actions/demeanor that I was confident and things were fine. Her death was caused by seperation anxiety which caused her to escape a garage and run into the road, and I firmly believe that had I known about Cesar before she died, I could have remediated her behavior.


Of course there's a disclaimer at the start of the show. He sometimes works with aggressive dogs. We live in a lawsuit happy society.


He does NOT claim instant results, although the dogs frequently respond quickly to training (most of them are more spoiled than anything). He makes it clear that consistency is paramount. He says that dogs do not live in the past, and that our tendency to excuse bad behavior in dogs with troubled pasts is not helpful to the dog. The dog requires confident leadership and boundaries to feel secure. If you ever see him actually take a dog too aggressive to leave with the owner, they are frequently at his center being worked with for months before they are returned home.


Cesar will occasionally lay a dog down on its side, or simulate adult dog correction by using his fingertips to grip the back of the dog's neck, where the loose skin is that your vet manipulates when giving a shot. I have never, ever seen him hurt a dog. However, he's a huge advocate for giving our dogs much more exercise than we do, and for grasping that many breeds have genetically encoded jobs to do, so we can't just stick them in a backyard and expect them to chill.


Because of Cesar's advice, I have a puppy who gets a one-hour walk a day, who leash trained in days and heels beautifully on an average collar though she'd never worn a collar before we got her, who's adapting beautifully to riding in the car, to our chickens, and so on, and I've certainly never been rough with her in any way. I've also been able to cut vacuum cleaner anxiety off at the pass, so she won't bark at that/the phone/etc. over and over, like my ILs' dog.


I guess what I'm saying is, please look into him further before you blow him off.

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