Badly behaved on lead

Posted by TEna445
Dec 11, 2010
I have a 17 month old neutered female Spanish water dog who we've had since she was 7 weeks old.
We spoiled her at first, so we invested in the Secrets to Dog Training book which has helped us become alpha dogs and really improved her behaviour in the house. She is extremely obedient, well behaved and gentle.
The problem we have is when we take her out. We have been leash training her according to your manual and that has been going well as she has been pulling a lot less. However, she is still quite disobedient when we're out as she's distracted and often won't even respond to treats. The Alarm No command doesn't work as she is not easily alarmed, and we don't know how to use the time out approach when out for a walk.
Also, she is usually fine when people walk past us but if anyone approaches us for directions or just to say hello then she lunges at them and barks uncontrollably. This is even though we are confident when talking to them and show no signs of being nervous. If they go to pat her, she is fine at first but then if they stop or walk away she will then lunge at them and start barking. This only happens when she's on the leash - she is pretty well behaved off the leash and never shows any signs of aggression.
Please let me know wheat I can do as it is making us very unpopular with the neighbours and makes me worried about taking her for walks just incase I bump into anyone I know!
Posted by KOPCaroline
Dec 12, 2010
Hey Tena,

I dont think your girl has aggression on the lead, I'd say its more likely excited bad behaviour.

Does she know "speak" and "quiet"? Try training these at home, so that she's less likely to start barking on lead at someone, and so you have a training word to help quiet her when she does.

When she lunges or becomes excited on lead, give it a sharp tug, and tell her to sit. When my dog won't listen, I yell "OI!" to get his attention, and then have him sit. Combining a sharp command with a strong tug is usually effective to get a dog to pay attention. If it still doesn't work, I occassionally will grab Jackson by his muzzle, and force him to pay attention. This stops him paying attention to whatever he was interested in, and makes him make eye contact with me. I certainly don't hurt him, and use it as a last resort for when I absolutely can't get him to listen to me and focus on me. You could try something similar.

After you've got her attention, have her sit until she's calm again. This can sort of work as your walking time-out, because it stops the "fun" activity and forces her to wait for you to start again. When she is calm again, give her a happy "good girl".

Does she know "heel"? If not I'd strongly suggest training her to it. Tell her to heel as soon as you see someone approaching, and repeat the command every few seconds, so shes continually listening to you as they approach.

I hope these suggestions help. Let us know how it goes, if she shows signs of better behaviour Good luck!