Someone else will have to comment on the 9-month-old part.Woody Taylor said:What kinds of strategies do you all use to teach aloofness to other dogs? My pup thinks every one of them is one to be played with...she shows no aggression...but she'll react strongly to them on walks, etc. .... I'm trying to get her in gear for some of the AKC obedience testing and would like her to chill out when I'm passing a dog on a walk. Is this a correction issue every time until she figures it out? Currently I'm breaking her focus ("Watch me", knee nudge,put her in sit/down) and going onto a correction if she lunges but I'm wondering how I can get her to view other dogs without interest...and if that is practical to train into a 9 m.o. people-happy and dog-happy puppy. ....And if this is a right approach, does it sound like I need to ratchet up the distraction and/or correction?
But maybe I can help with "dog aloofness" for a pet dog. Pets and walks.....now we're talking at my level of expertise! LOL!
For me, it's a bigger picture of focusing on me always when at heel. If there is a wandering of focus, I use a little leash correction and a noise I make ("tch," or I have heard Cesar Millan use "shh"). The leash correction is done before the focus is really gone......the instant it STARTS to wander.
Of course I have had the dogs actually lunge and focus strongly, but my goal (and it's doable, so far in my experience) is to correct way before the lunge ever happens..........at the first sign of focus on the other dog.)
I give my dogs loads of releases from heel, on my terms, by stopping walking and doing a little leash toss thing (like the opposite of a correction.....doesn't matter what your signal is) and the high-pitched "OK!"
At that point the dog has the length of the leash to sniff, pee, wander, etc.
So it is NOT as if the whole walk is military heeling. But the whole heel part IS. Seeing a dog across the street and looking over is enough for me to give a leash correction.
Remember, I'm using a flat collar and my voice. This is no big correction. It's just inflexible. I think (JMO) that it has to be if what you want is focus on you and not on distractions (except at your OK).
This works for me, but I will be interested in what others have to say. I may have just been very lucky with dogs -- or maybe it's just that I don't have much puppy experience.
Oh, and I still do have occasional lapses with one dog who wants to greet every human. But he has improved by about 90% in a few months.
P.S. I find that a brisk walking pace is good! :lol: