Quick Post

Lunging at Cars

New Topic
Lunging at Cars
  • I have a 1.8 year old Pyr who is wonderful and sweet with humans, and who has been in training since we got her which was about 4 months. She is, we though, very well socialized with other dogs. We have never let up on training. In fact I would say that she is better trained than your average dog. Some reasons I say this:

    Every Saturday, almost without fail, we have taken her to obedience school, since she was about 4 months old. We have missed maybe a handful of times.
    We train her also at home several times a day for a few minutes at a time.
    She has been clicker trained for a good portion of that training.
    She will wait some distance away from her food and not approach it until she hears the "Take It" command.
    She has a reliable In_Home 10 second Leave It, with "Take It" as a release.
    She has the same caliber "Watch"

    However, she has lately become so agitated by passing cars (especially on cobblestone) that she lunges and barks very menacingly at the car. She is a big dog and she is very strong so this is starting to become a very big concern. I have tried the techniques in a book called "Feisty Fido", that is trying Watch to divert her attention when on a walk to no avail. All I can do is tug on the leash when she does this and yell at her. I do not think that is the correct response! But I am at a loss as to what to do. She is starting to also do this with other dogs.

    What is the correct way to handle this? Please help!
  • Hello Zeeple,

    We just got a "gentle leader" for Chocula.  It has worked well as he was pulling and lunging when he found somethign he wanted to go after.  Except for the new barking that you responded to he has become a dream to walk. 

    Choculas keepers
  • I'd use a harness and if that doesn't work, add on a metal training slip collar
  • "All I can do is tug on the leash when she does this and yell at her."

    Bad move.   She is starting to associate pain in the neck with other things.  When she lunges at something, she hears you yell, which to her is encouraging,(she hears you barking) then she feels the tightening/pain in the neck area.  I was reading that this is how they train dogs to attack.

    First thing I would do is to get rid of the collar.  Maybe use a premier easy walk harness.  It is a no pull harness, but the design is fabulous whether the dog is a puller or not.

    This is eaxctly what was going on with my dog.  (he has a problem with  loose dogs invading his space, especially if they are large)

      He did a couple of lunges and I think that due to not feeling pressure on his neck, he just stopped at the lunge stage.

     Usually it was lunge, bark, frenzy.

    Now it is just barely an attempt at a lunge, then follow mom. I contribute a lot of that to the harness and the lack of pressure/pain on the neck.

    Okay.  I am probably not explaining this properly.  Long day.  I am exhausted.
  • ORIGINAL: luv2show

    I'd use a harness and if that doesn't work, add on a metal training slip collar



    How much do you weigh???  She said it's a Great Pyrenees - try dragging that around on a slip collar LOL.

    Anyway, our OP was on the right track using the Feisty Fido techniques, but you need a bit of leverage while training.  First get the dog acclimated to a Gentle Leader (your clicker trainer can teach you how), then start your training at a comfortable distance from the road, not so close this time.  If the dog can't take a treat and "watch", then you are too close to the offending stimulus.  Another trick - use a "calming cap".  Made by premier, same people who make the GL.
    www.premierpet.com

  • Thanks Chocula for the advise regarding the Gentle Leader head collar. As it happens we have one of those and she never took to it. She started to at first but now we cannot get it on her without her frantically pawing at it to get it off, and with a Pyr you can never let the paw at their face due to their dew claws. So for us a Gentle Leader is not the answer. Besides, we want to get her to the point where she doesn't care about passing cars and I think jerking on the head collar when she lunges would just convince her that cars are a cause for great concern!

    For walking her we have an Easy Walker (leash attaches at the chest) which is a much better way to control her forward movement. She also wears a Scruffy Guider collar on walks but with nothing attached to it. I might start trying to acclimate her to the Gentle Leader again. One cheese nibble at a time. Over the course of a month or two I bet I can get her to tolerate it.

    I guess what I was trying to get at with my original post is this: When we are on a walk, and she lunges/barks menacingly at a car (or anything) what should my EXACT actions be? Should I yell "NO!" and yank on her leash? Should I ignore it? What should I do???

  • ORIGINAL: JM

    "All I can do is tug on the leash when she does this and yell at her."

    Bad move. She is starting to associate pain in the neck with other things. When she lunges at something, she hears you yell, which to her is encouraging,(she hears you barking) then she feels the tightening/pain in the neck area. I was reading that this is how they train dogs to attack.


    JM, thanks for the response. I failed to mention in the original post that we do indeed have a chest attaching no pull harness and that we quickly learned that she would choke herself otherwise. When I yank on the leash, it is pulling her back from the chest not the neck. Given this do you still think it is a bad move? From what I can tell I am not causing her pain, but rather I am just sort of "moving" her.

    Also, what about the yelling of "No!" Is that also a bad move in and of itself?
  • I'd also suggest trying the "Watch" or "Leave It" *before* she notices the cars and wigs out. I know once Lucy's in the "zone" NOTHING will get her out of it. But if I can catch her before she pots the squirrel or bicycle, I can generally reduce or even stop the reaction altogether. I know that seeing that stuff BEFORE your dog does is hard! They do hav ebetter eyes, ears & noses than we do. You may also want to try using some super-duper-yummy-can't-resist treats.
  • Spirit dogs. Those are some good thoughts and will definitely consider the Calming Cap from the site you linked. It is a good idea. But from what I am gathering you basically suggest that I work with her patiently to reduce her anxiety and create an auto-watch response when cars or dogs enter her area of attention. I like this idea and I am doing it! However, I cannot stop taking her for walks while we work on this. She needs to get out of the house at least once a day for a stroll. As far as I am concerned that is in her Bill of Rights, so to speak.

    So, while the training continues, what should my behavior be while on the walks? It could be a while before she learns her new behavior and I need to know what to do and what not to do on her walks so facilitate the learning.