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Pulling towards other dogs


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Hello!

I posted on here previously and got incredible advice - so i'm back for more!

We have recently adopted a stunning greyhound boy. He is the sweetest thing and has absolutely charmed us. 

He's only been with us a week so it is incredibly early days, but i'd like some advice on socialising with other dogs so that we start on the right foot. 

When he sees most dogs, he is *very* keen to get over to them. No barking, just pulling (he is usually a loose leash walker!).  I'm not sure if this counts as reactive as I honestly can't tell if he's just intrigued and interested. 

When he sees very small dogs, his prey drive definitely gets triggered and it's a different, more intense, reaction. All but once he has been under threshold and has still been able to be distracted with a treat (although he instantly refocuses on them!). He is obviously also on leash, muzzled, with a harness - so no worries from that perspective. 

I'd really like to hear some thoughts on what we should do to get him used to other dogs.We see other dogs daily on our walk - will seeing them at a distance help him, or does he need to have some introductions? I don't think he knows they're dogs so i wasn't sure if he needed to get up and smell a few for it to click? 

Currently we are in lockdown so all training classes are closed and i don't feel comfortable letting him get close to other dogs if I don't know the owner when i can't vouch for him. I have a few friends who have offered up their dogs but none of their dogs are what you'd call calm - I'm not sure if that will do more harm than good? ;-)

Are there any other ways to get them used to dogs? I don't want to flood him and overwhelm him! 

Any advice is so appreciated!

 

 

 

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Hey! Congratulations on your new boy :D

As you have already identified - he has different reactions to small dogs compared to other dogs so thats a great start. It's hard to say without seeing, but it sounds as though with bigger non-prey drive stimulating dogs he's just wanting to go and say hello. Ignoring the whole small dog reactions (that's going to take time, patience and a lot of training) how is he when you do encounter other breeds in close contact?

Personally I would suggest, if he's not nervous, agitated or trying to get away, following his lead (ha - sorry!) and letting him dictate the greetings. As you have said, he's on lead and muzzled so can't do any damage. And, whilst doing that, working on some good lead etiquette training to teach him not to pull would help over time. 

As someone who initially had a very nervous dog who wouldn't go anywhere near other breeds (now he's the same as yours - gets excited and wants to go say hello) I would definitely recommend letting him get close and socialise if he wants to. I would start with other on-lead dogs so there's no chance of him being overwhelmed or crowded, and see how he gets on. I'm sure other owners you encounter wouldn't mind as you're clearly a sensible owner. And if he gets antsy or reactive, you've got him close and safely muzzled and can re-evaluate/go back to basics (work up from a distance).

Obviously that's just my opinion, and I reckoned some of the more seasoned pros will have some better advice. Good luck!

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You might find this video useful from Battersea Dogs Home. Use the technique shown when yours starts to pull towards other dogs, cats, squirrels etc.

 

Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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