My Dog is driving me nuts

Posted by Laylaw31
Dec 1, 2011

I have two minature poodles. A brother and sister from the same litter. I love them very much, but, my girl dog is out of control when we go on walks. She intimidates her brother, if he is smelling an area, she jams in his way and shoves him aside. She barks, yelps, screams when she sees other dogs. A few days ago, I accidently dropped her leash while I was picking up after my boy dog, and she leaped to bite a jogger.

I have no issues with my boy dog and have done nothing different with him. My girl dog is an angel at home, but, outside, she is another story. I have stopped going to the dog park as she snarls and gets very aggressive to the other dogs no matter the size. On one occassion, she was in the middle of five dogs and I honestly thought she was going to be a scooby snack. She does not back down.

I got them at four months. I enrolled them in puppy day care, I got individual sessions at $100 a pop which did not help. I have all the dog books as well as watching every show of the dog whisperer. Curretnly, I am at the humane society and they have to close us off from the rest of the class becuase of her barking and growling at the other dogs. I am at a point where I think I might need medication for her...otherwise...I will need it myself because she is making walks such a bad experience. I do not want my boy dog to pick up on her barking at other dogs when we are out for a walk.

I am at a loss....any suggestions?
Posted by KOPCaroline
Dec 2, 2011
Hey leylaw31,

What a headache!

The best thing I can suggest is to start walking your girl on her own for a while - so that you can focus on her manners in public without worrying about her brother too. May you and your partner or a friend can take walking duties?

When on lead, work on "heel" with her as much as possible. Restrain her to a short lead at all times - dont let her just go wherever she wants. When other dogs are around, I would suggest distraction training - find something that gets her attention all the time - a really good food treat, an amazing toy, ANYTHING. Whenever you come up on another dog, have her sit, and bring out your distraction to keep her attention until the other dog is gone. If she disobeys, give her lead a sharp tug and continue.

As much of a pain as it is, you might consider looking into some sort of socialization class - not necessarily training, but just an opportunity of some sort to keep exposing her to other dogs and people in a steady environment. Play dates with friends' dogs would even help. You should try to keep putting her where other dogs are or her problem will just get worse.

I hope this makes sense, and I'm sure other users will help you even more. Please let us know how things go!