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Reuben goes up to everyone when off leash, help?

I am trying to control Reuben not to go up to everyone he sees as some people like dogs and others do not and get grumpy and worried he may jump! And obviously children get scared of big dog coming towards them. Now I know he is just sociable and friendly but I live in a area of people and children everywhere and would like to control this a bit. When I see children especially I pre -empt the situation by getting Reuben's attention before he goes to them but sometimes this doesn't work. I tell him to "Leave" when I see him going towards Joe Bloggs but quite often this doesn't stop him (esp if they have a shopping bag). His recall at the moment is quite good, so I dont really want to attach a long lead unless I have to. And I dont want to make him unsociable either. Is this just a puppy thing? Reuben is approaching 7 months now. Any ideas?

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One idea could be to train him to drop flat down to a whistle.Y ou could train him to stay dropped until you approach him with a tit bit or train him to come back to you from the dropped command by blowing the come signal on the whistle for him to return to you,where you then praise him. Usually people use a short sharp whistle for drop and perhaps a peep peep whistle for recall.It is up to you.

If it looks like Reuben is going to move towards the people you could then drop him and call him back or alternatively depending on how you train him leave him down and go to him in the drop position and praise him up and hopefully the people will have walked by ,plus it has taken his mind of them.

If i dont want my dogs going up to people i signal them to go the other wayusing whistle and arm signal to go out.

However this usually only works with my field trial trained dogs who i have done much more training with.

It is something that they grow out of as it is simply curiousity and some of mine will sit with the people while they fuss the dog so in these circumstances it is unlikely that the dog will just return.Dont be afraid of asking people not to fuss over the dog when he runs away or doesnt respond to your commands.

The important thing with a whistle is not to over use it.If the dog doesnt respond many people think that the dog has'nt heard and will blow it again.The dog has heard it but has chosen not to respond.Further blowing will reinforce the message that it is ok to ignore the whistle command. Then you may as well forget it!!!

Just some ideas!!!! Best of luck!
Look at it as if this is a tennis-match between you and Reuben...

Every time he does as he is told, you get one point.
Every time Reuben does as he wants...he gets one point.
So the big question is...who is winning?

At this moment in time I would most certainly use a line! Never mind how brilliant his recall is. Everytime Reuben rushes ahead and ignores you...you have lost one point and Reuben has gained one...

All you are doing there is reinforcing his behaviour...and that is not what you want to do.

I also agree with Colette, but teaching a dog to drop at a distance needs a lot of ground-work to begin with. The very important part of what Colette writes is the fact that you MUST tell people NOT to make a fuss of him when he runs up to them.
(If they do, he has won at least 3 points...:-)
Unfortunatly teaching people is far more difficult than teaching dogs...:-)
Hi Louise,

Autumn sends kisses to her brother xxxx.

you should try to find a local class which trains the dogs (& and you) towards gaining a bronze Kennel Club Good Citizen award...such a class would be good fun for you in lots of ways as you would be with like-minded people with dogs at the same stage of learning as Reuben.....social outing for both of you &and something to work towards. And if you both get hooked, you can move on to his silver & and Gold awards!!! Go for it girl.........:))))
Big kisses back to Autumn from big bro xx.

I am actually doing a local class called an improvers and the dog school is under the Kennel club Good Citizen Award. I chose this particular school because Barb kindly mentioned this to me before. But thinking about it i am not sure if I am working towards any award??? I will have to ask the trainer tomorrow. Does the kennel club awards cover my query?

And yes Ursula, I totally agree with you that teaching Humans is actually harder grrrr.

A question also is when you use a long line, what do you use? I have a length of washing line, is this practical to use?Do I just attach to collar and when I take his other lead off just let the washing line trail? I never see anyone doing this in my area. I see lots of retractable leads but they are not long enough.

I am open to all good advice as really want Reuben to be a well behaved Boy.

Thank you all
As for lines, I would use a tracking-line...but I suppose a normal washing line will do just as well.
And NO, no retractable leads!!!!!!

I would put the line on when I take the lead off...
Oh yes the tracking lines look good as they have a hook to attach easily. Is 15metres long enough? Thank you
Definatly long enough....in fact a bit too long for my liking.
If its too long it gets tangled up easily....
Thank you Ursula and Barb. I have started to use a release command for Reuben and now can let go off the collar prior to saying 'Okay, go play' and practice the wait command often ie, before entering houses, gates etc rather than rushing in anywhere full steam ahead. I see so many untrained dogs that it kind of gives a idea of what I don't want in Reuben and therefore a bench mark of dog manners. i will get a tracking line as this will be really good for when I walk in the local park where there are lots of people and children etc.
And yes I really enjoy the training sessions as so satisfying when Reuben actually understands what is expected and then does it! I hope he behaves at dog school tomorrow and the Lab from last week isn't at the peak of her season!
Hi Louise,

I have a setterdog about the same age as yours, 8 months, and have trained him with harness and line since the recalls didn´t work they I wanted them to do, that is an immediate turn back without an extra round. I use a 15 meter line and in the beginning I thought it was to long. I had/have to be very focused and alert on him, and I decided that the distance between him and me was about to be 7-10 meters. Every time he went to far I stopped him by stepping on the line, and now he stops himself at that distance and turn back to me, even if we meet other dogs or folks. If the line is too short you might miss it while carrying through a stop for example. Advantages using a shorter line is that you are forced to be alert and focused, but to me it would be to stressful not to miss stepping the line and stop the dog from doing mistakes, and at the same time be focused on the dog.

I`ll use the line for about 3-4 months on one walk a day. After that I´ll try to walk him without line and se if it works the I want it to. The other walkes is for training good leadmanner.
Hi Jeanette,
Yes that is sometimes my problem, the immediate turn around and come back. I always go for a field walk every morning and often with other people and their dogs and he is generally very good and then a short walk in the afternoon in a more public place. When in the public place I have started to use the longline of 10metres but have to be very cautious of not tangling up with people/dogs etc but find it works well. Then when a bit lighter I think I will do another very quick walk with longline in a quiet area in order to enforce the recall even more. My hubby doesn't get home until late and I find at the moment I can't drag my 5 year old out prior to my hubby's return as he is not keen especially being wet etc. I am doing a fair bit of lead walk to as my right arm is beginning to suffer with any pulling and it is getting easier thank goodness.




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