Reactive to Other Dogs

  • Reactive to Other Dogs

    Posted by Daisy on January 24, 2024 at 1:06 PM

    I’m seeking advice on helping my 2-year-old female German Shepherd when she reacts to other dogs walking by or around my car. She tends to bark in these situations, and her hair may rise. I’m looking for tips on desensitizing her and redirecting her behavior, particularly when I’m at a red light, driving, or parked. She’s hypervigilant, too. Since I can’t consistently enforce negative corrections while driving, I’m unsure how to address this issue, as she blows off my verbal commands, too. Any guidance or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Katrin replied 2 months, 2 weeks ago 5 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Lynn

    January 24, 2024 at 3:43 PM

    Hi Daisy,

    I have heard Robert say that he uses a bark collar in his own dog to stop her barking in the car. That way the collar corrects the dog so you don’t have to.

    I believe there is a video on this site on how to condition the dog to the bark collar .

    Not sure if you use a crate for your dog when traveling in the car, but using one helps keep them from having the option of jumping from seat to seat and getting more worked up.

    If you search the AMA videos here…someone else has asked that question as well.

    Good luck & keep us posted.


    PS beautiful dog..😁

  • Gene

    January 24, 2024 at 4:58 PM

    Agree with what Lynn has posted. I am not aware of another way to approach this issue. It is either the crate or the use of a bark collar. Robert had an issue with Mia when she was younger and he used a bark collar.

  • Jesse

    January 26, 2024 at 7:10 AM

    You can try the bark collar, it’s a tool, and if you want to approach it that way then it’s available. I don’t believe it will work in a situation of high reactivity and lack of obedience, unless it is stimulating enough to overwhelm the issue, which seems kind of like using a hammer on a screw. Will it work? Sure if you hit it hard enough, but there are more forces at play which require a more sophisticated approach. Do what what you have to if that’s all you can do but it’s not the best method. The best method is going to be long and hard, which is to take the approach of training, using behavioral psychology to condition new behaviors. The collar just uses a punishment to discourage a behavior. To use the book 1984 as an example, shock someone enough times and they’ll tell you 2+2=5 out of fear and compliance. But what big brother wants is for you to believe that 2+2 really does equal 5. Any behavioral modification program should be shooting for the latter. Back to the basics, conditioning from a distance and redirecting/punishment towards low level stimulus like a perk of the ears, not up close under full reaction. During the training period you can never go backwards, and never put them in a situation that they aren’t mature and trained enough to handle, which will create inconsistency and failure in the training. This means that if you can’t control the situation, the pup shouldn’t be there. This will probably take many many months, developing your approach and the scenarios you use to train on a weekly basis, if not more, as you evaluate the next appropriate step during their progression. I put probably 2 hours in every day for 10 months with my Dutch Shepherd in order to get her to not be reactive, and now she’s perfectly neutral…but it was a rough time. The differences in approach will be seen in the way other behaviors manifest themselves in other situations. Every approach has it’s consequences or benefits, even if the primary issue is solved to your liking.

    If you don’t have the time to train, maybe the collar will work, for now, in the context he associates the negative experience it with. But it won’t give you the same behaviors and personality/relationship a dog will exhibit if they were trained the “right” way, which is to say with modern behavioral psychology. That is just my humble opinion. At the end of the day you have to do something, so the collar is better than inaction. Good luck

  • Katrin

    January 27, 2024 at 4:27 AM

    Hi, I Think there are always different ways to work on a problem. I would prefere using a crate and a cover up, so the dog can not see whats outside. This is not a problem that I would put effort in training on it, if there is no problem with barking and aggressiv behaviour outside the car.

    I do not 100% trust in bark collers, becaues there are dogs, that just do not understand them and than you can get trouble with her getting into the car or something else. If you use a bark coller, I would use an E-coller first and train the dog barking means stim gets on and quiet means stim gets of.

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