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Discussion on shiba reactivity
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 10:23:39
  • atlasatlas
    Posts: 360
    Mitsu was socialized to an insane degree. Doggy daycare for almost a year, sporadic play days with other dogs, etc. Everything positive! She never had to be put in time out and passed other-dog assessments with flying colors. It was so important to me that she be socialized with other dogs so I worked hard and spent good money for it. And in fact, she even helped a scared dog learn to come out of her shell a little, during our advanced obedience classes (we practiced before the rest of the group showed up). Despite that, she has become less tolerant, but it isn't extreme. Usually it's just if she's hot or swamped by a lot of dogs at once, or in overwhelming circumstances (about to get her nails cut), she's a lot less likely to enjoy other dogs. She's much better with proper introductions and dogs she decides she likes. It does seem like there have been a couple of dogs that she has decided she's not fond of for seemingly no reason, but who knows.

    I think all the socialization is what taught her not to bite if she IS annoyed, because she never does, nor does she try to bully dogs. It's never aggressive, just a little reactive - she just growls and walks away, as if to say, "Well, I don't care for you." Or for the one time a group of dogs swamped her with excitement, it was probably more like, "Get out of my way."

    She still runs around and socializes with dogs in small groups. Not too long ago I was using the dog park after it was empty (for fun, even though we do have a yard - it was nice and cool out from rain and Mitsu enjoys exploring the large park) and a small group of dogs showed up. She was fine - played with the cocker spaniel, fine with a puppy - they just ran and ran and had fun. She's not leash reactive at all, either. We pass dogs on our walks in the park sometimes and she shows only mild interest, but nothing more than that, and definitely nothing negative.

    So my conclusion is that socialization has definitely made a difference for Mitsu, as she isn't aggressive, she isn't a bully, and annoyance doesn't make her bite or lash out. She still can enjoy and have fun with dogs. She can walk past dogs on a leash without a problem. But, I do think she's less tolerant and more selective of other dogs, so I'm more watchful now if she's around them. If I'm going to meet someone and their dog, I encourage them to let our dogs have proper introductions, first, rather than just letting them go at it.

    My husband thinks that we should still keep an open mind about dog parks since she's capable of enjoying other dogs, but I decided against it. I don't feel like I'll be missing much. They kind of make me nervous since you never know what kind of dog is going to show up anyway. I feel like it's a hard balance though, because I don't want to discourage other-dog interaction in case it encourages her to get choosier, but I also don't want to put her in situations were she will be annoyed or other dogs (and owners) may be uncomfortable with her. I need to make friends with more people that understand proper introductions! Then I think it'd be perfect. I also think that putting her in a class (rally) will be good because she'll be around other dogs for training, but without romping around like there would be at a dog park.
    Post edited by atlas at 2012-09-01 00:22:10
  • INU RYUUINU RYUU
    Posts: 1507
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Post edited by tatonka at 2012-09-01 01:49:50
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Conker was pretty good with other dogs until he was about a year and eight months old. He started to get really annoyed quite easily, then he just stopped being tolerant of other dogs. Now, if I introduce them slowly and on Conker's terms, he'll get along with them fine if the other dog is not rude and gets up in his space. Conker is real big on his personal space...

    He is leash-reactive, moreso than when he is off-leash. I think it might have something to do with him knowing he can't get away if he needs to while on-leash, or something like that. But he's not exactly a friendly dog. Curious for sure, he wants to sniff the other dogs, but he doesn't want to actually meat them. That other dog's got to be paying no attention to him and cannot sniff him back, unless we take the time to walk around forever so Conker can get used to the other dog's presence first. (Most people aren't willing to do that.)
    There are certain dogs Conker just doesn't get along with, and that's fine. I just avoid them. Others he will wage war with through the fence, but be best buds when they are not separated by a barrier. And a few dogs he loves. I can generally tell how he will like a dog by watching it's behavior before he meets it, so I basically screen the dogs I allow him to interact with to avoid triggering any disagreements.

    Conker was acquired from a shelter, originally from a puppy mill at the age of four months, he was neutered between two and a half and three months by the shelter I got him from. I think that his breeding, and the lack of socialization to real-world stuff, is a possible contribution to his reactivity and fear of strange people. (Amongst other things, he was a real big project for the first few months.)
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    @notoriousscrat Conker would get along with most dogs after about five minutes or so. He was still specific about who he would actually play with, but he was a lot more open to dogs other than just calm polite ones. He didn't particularly like small fluffy dogs (got attacked by a pack of Poms on the first day I had him) and wasn't overly fond of dogs bigger than about 90 pounds (scary, I guess?), but in general he got along fine with everyone and only had a snarkfest when somebody nipped him wrong or shoved him over in a manner he deemed completely unnecessary. He was sometimes rowdy when meeting new dogs, but he was rarely rude. He would only charge at dogs he already knew and was comfortable with.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Post edited by lindsayt at 2012-09-01 10:20:04
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
  • atlasatlas
    Posts: 360
    @notoriousscrat Mitsu loved other dogs, would get super excited to see them, tail wagging and all. She couldn't wait until we pulled up at doggy daycare. She loved running around with them and never showed any signs of not being tolerant when she was younger. She never growled or got upset, and also had tons of patience for puppies around the apartment complex where we used to live.

    The daycare was familiar with shibas. At first Mitsu was wary of the people, but that changed over time because they were patient and understanding, and she got used to trusting them and being handled by them. However never had trouble adapting to her daycare pack. But, they did require that she attend on the same day, so I'm sure the extra familiarity with the Tuesday pack of dogs helped.

    We also played with random dogs around our apartment complex and had play dates with friends and their dogs. Never any growling or snark. Never any selectivity. Always positive - I honestly cannot think of one even minor negative thing that may have happened in her experiences with other dogs.

    So, by my experience, she was dog-focused and that changed to being more selective and less interested in dogs, but not aggressive. She isn't afraid of other dogs, but seems to have an opinion about the ones she likes and doesn't. And she can still focus on me while other dogs pass by during walks and things like that, no problem. She never looks to start something, just reacts with a growl if she's approached in by an overzealous dog or a dog she doesn't care for. She also tends to want them out of her face, which is strange, because she loves being in Kratos' face, haha.

    However, her love of people has never wavered. She thinks other people are the best thing in the world, especially if they come to our house. She won't necessarily curl up with them, but she gets excited to see other people and likes to play it cute for them. And I'm glad for it, because I worked even harder at getting her to like people.
    Post edited by atlas at 2012-09-01 13:28:05
  • SayaSaya
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  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
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  • NikkitineNikkitine
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  • zandramezandrame
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  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
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  • NikkitineNikkitine
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  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 98
    Gonna dredge up this old discussion quick.

    I've recently pieced together something with Bonsai that is super confusing to me. He seems to really dislike dogs that are all black in color. Ironic, really. We come across them on our walks all the time and he'll bark at them sort of nasty like and try to get after them. I never let him get close and just try to keep moving, but I can't figure out why he does it. Any other dog, big or small, he wants to meet and play with. But if it's an all black dog it seems like he's trying to protect me from them or something

    I feel so bad for the owners of the other dogs, they didn't do anything wrong and I end up looking like a bad owner. Most of the time they don't even bark back at him. Bonsai's never been bitten or attacked by a black dog and generally isn't aggressive at all. He was very well socialized as a puppy and gets on well with our family's dogs. And I don't really know what to do about it except keep his leash short and try to ignore the other dogs and keep moving. Trying to get him to sit and wait while they pass by doesn't tend to work, even if we're 10 feet away.

    If anyone has any insight or something similar in experience let me know!
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1272
    I would probably try to work on getting his attention before he notices the dog and lead him far enough away so that he keeps his focus on you. Through practice, hopefully that distance will become less far away, but at the beginning you might be going quite a bit out of your way, and it's not always possible...

    I think ignoring is good, and working on just having casual passes by other dogs without anything happening can help him get used to just passing by without any reaction. Ozzy used to be reallyyyy enthusiastic about greeting other dogs hahaha. He is still kind of an eager greeter, but he's gotten a lot better as he's gotten older and with training. My goal would be to notice the other dog before he notices them and bring him far off the path and lead him around practicing spontaneous sits and keeping it fast paced. We had to start off at a pretty big distance or the dog would still distract him and no amount of treats would get his attention back on me. But once he got used to the training, started enjoying the training and knowing what to expect, he was able to get closer without breaking his focus on me. We also practiced just passing by or waiting for other dogs to pass by without any interaction. No greeting, no eye contact, no acknowledgment. Just casually passing by and shoveling cheese to him lol.

    I used Sophia Yin's methods, I'll try to find some videos that show what I'm talking about...

    I never used a head collar, and she's also incorrect when she's referring to it as "negative reinforcement." Cus negative reinforcement means something is being taken away to encourage a behavior, like threatening with a squirt bottle and them behaving in order to avoid being squirted, or ungrounding a kid to encourage their good behavior. What she means is a positive punishment, adding a punishment in order to achieve desired behavior. I'm not sure I would ever use a head collar anyway, but I understand in extreme cases it could be a valid option (doesn't sound like Bonsai is an "extreme" case either, though).

    Anyway, here's another example...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=8zyjiA9bD3E

    I'm not super experienced, and Ozzy's issue was due more to overstimulation and excitement and wanting to greet the other dog. But I had to work on redirecting that energy to something else, focusing on me but remaining fast paced enough to keep his attention. Eventually, we were able to work more on just being in the vicinity of other dogs while everything remained neutral. No positive exposure, no negative exposure. Just being in the presence of other dogs and not expecting any interaction.
    Post edited by Lilikoi at 2018-07-04 00:17:07
  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 98
    Thanks so much, @Lilikoi, that's a lot of great help! We'll definitely try veering off the path if I can see them coming and doing some sit training. He does really well in his harness, he just gets excited to greet people and dogs, haha. Appreciate it!
  • jtocchio0531jtocchio0531
    Posts: 126
    @Lilikoi- that video is exactly what I'm trying to get Ace to do on our hikes. We are going to Maine for a few days next month and I'm nervous about off leash dogs in the mountains. I even got him a gentle leader like that so hopefully he won't have to wear his muzzle cos he hates that again.

    @MeghanBCG- one of my shibas does this same thing with almost any dog we walk by on our hikes. When I walk him around the neighborhood he doesn't react to other on-leash dogs if they're minding their own business and we can just walk by them with space. If the on-leash dogs try to come near him though he starts growling and showing his teeth. I try to warn people before they get close that my boy isn't friendly and I try to make sure his leash stays loose and not taught. When he has a loose leash he doesn't growl or bark as much, although sometimes I can't help it he just pulls and pulls. I'm trying to get him used to a gentle leader so I can get his attention when we are outside more easily. He knows "watch me" and does it really well inside, but once we are outside he forgets everything. That's what I'm working on now with my boy. He's a more extreme case though, hopefully your boy isn't as bad as Ace.
    Post edited by jtocchio0531 at 2018-07-07 18:44:13

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