My dog is too strong! No impulse control

Posted by sandy99922
Mar 17, 2011
I take my dog everywhere...home depot, lowes, the bank, the at&t store and local nursing homes.... Wherever dogs aren't. He is very friendly and loves everyone. The problem is that if he see's another dog, he wants to run over to it and say hello. It's as if i don't exist anymore and he doesn't listen. The people that he is runing towards have a look of horror on their face thinking that he is aggressive, but he's not at all. The only time i have ever seen him even growl is in his sleep.
I use a prong collar on him and he walks without pulling at all, unless he see's another dog. I am worried about him knocking people over and getting sued. He is a 2 year old male neutered english mastiff and weighs 220 pounds. I am a 57 year old woman with osterperosis and i weigh 145 pounds.
So far, his taking off hasn't resulted in any serious injury, but i feel it's just a matter of time. He will sit, stay, down and bark on command. He's not dominant with other animals and he's afraid of my 7 pound hairless cat.
Any help would be appreciated.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Mar 22, 2011
Hey Sandy,

I see youve looked around the forum a bit (saw another post on another thread ) Hopefully some tips from other questions helped a bit.

My own dog used to be bad about this, and hes a German Shepherd cross, so everyone assumes hes aggressive as he comes bowling at strangers just to say hello. My technique with him was to be dominant and stern with him on lead, until he listened enough and learned heel, and now he listens to me off lead very well.

On walks I kept him strictly on lead around other dogs. As soon as I saw him building up excitement I gave him a warning "enough" command. If that didnt work, I told him to sit, and kept his attention on me, not the other dog or person nearby. As he got older and a bit better at listening, I used "heel" instead of "sit" to keep his attention. He's a pretty smart dog and it seemed to work well. I think the best bet is to keep their attention with repeating commands and giving them treats in between, this is what worked wonders for Jackson. Have you tried something similar with your own dog?

You could also consider a halti head collar, which will give you better control over your dog, since your specific situation might not lend itself to strength control over him. Haltis wont hurt him, but are better than normal leads for keeping dogs in line.

Have you thought about enrolling in a socialization class, so that he can play and get energy out in an appropriate environment with other dogs? These sort of classes can really help excited dogs get used to other animals and people,and therefor hopefully help them get over being so worked up when they run into other people/animals in other scenarios.

Try to stay stern with him, make sure he hears that you're serious when you give a command. If he doesnt listen, stop the walk until he does, or turn around and head home if he absolutely isnt interested at first (I had to do this a few times with Jackson). Ultimately it just takes patience, he will get it and become well behaved if you both work together!
Posted by sandy99922
Mar 28, 2011
I think you may be right about some things. I don't think i am stern enough with him. Also, he gets keyd up so quickly that i don't have much time to get him under control and i'll have to work on that.
I have taken him to a few classes but in a controlled setting he is the perfect dog! The trainers have commented on how well behaved he is. If they only knew!
It's when a surprise dog appears too close and too quickly that he looses all control and so do i. I am working with a new trainer starting next week. She also recommends the halti and i have been working on getting him accustomed to wearing it. He's not too keen on it and his paws are almost as good as human hands at getting it off. I have to wait till he is sleepy, give him treats, and then put it on. I leave it on while he sleeps and it seems to go easier.
Thanks again for your help.