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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a feeling i know this answer to this question already, but i'll see what you folks think.
today, brix and i went to town, we stopped at the butcher shop to get bones, the guys came out and visited w/him (i got him out of the car first), no problem.
then went to a "national chain pet store" to get his food, took him in with me (his 2nd visit to this particular place). he is fascinated by the scents in this store (no surprise)(didn't lift his leg on anything--pleasant surprise!), but we just go along with a huge shopping cart, stopping to talk to staff, checking out dog coats (on sale!!) for the big baby Dobe, you know, just going around the store.
so, while i was talking to a staff member, and brix had his nose glued to the floor, another staff member in an aisle behind us, sneezed. brix jumped, hackled, turned toward the sound and crouched at the same time, then, the first SM said "that scared him", i said "yep it did", and brix already had his nose back on the floor ignoring the sneezing SM. i didn't react with brix one way or another.
we went on, were checking out, the lady at the check-out counter was giving brix a treat (AFTER asking permission, BTW), and another SM came down behind the aisle behind us (a cross-aisle so he didn't see her coming), she "popped" into view, he jumped, hackled a little bit, then turned back to the "treat lady".
now, both incidents took only seconds, i really was prepared for both b/c i'd seen the 2 spooky ppl while brix was, shall we say "preoccupied", and, while i could've corrected him w/leash, i didn't. he reacted/ignored in literally split seconds.
so, blast away, what's the consensus here as far as 1) his reaction 2) mine and 3) what should i do differently-if anything-in these situations.
the dog is just 14 months old, from allegedly "late-maturing" DDR bloodlines. but i think his mom may've brought some "let's get 'er done" genetics to the mix.
have at it ppl. if you have questions, i'll try to answer them as best i can. it's been TOO long for a half-decent training discussion around here!!
 

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i wouldn't be too concerned because the dog got over it right away. sounds to me like the dog was really into smelling whatever it was smelling and was startled by the sudden sound/appearance of the people. if the dog went apesh!t and would not back off, then i would say there is cause for concern. it's just something i'd be cautious of in the future, but i would do exactly what you did...nothing...
 

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I agree with Tim. Dogs can get so preoccupied, like us humans, things can startle them. It's the recovery that is crucial. Those that are destined to act out, will. Those that recognize it as or determine there is, no threat, recover. Some may even become curious as to what it was that startled them in the the first place.

DFrost
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well, as 2 guys that work w/public w /dogs it's really reassuring to know that my initial thoughts were correct. he was simply spooked a second, and a "second" was all it was.
the funny thing is, i figured he'd get spooked by the forklift inside the store when we went past it, it was in operation (but his nose was glued; i think maybe he didn't even notice it); he didn't spook til after it was shut off and the guy sneezed.
now part 2 of the question (given that we'll get out and about a lot more in decent weather): with this type of recovery, i'm just better off to ignore the behavior and go on? in this case i simply asked him for a "hier" then he got a treat. but not until after the whole deal had happened, so i'm pretty sure he didn't associate the 2 (but maybe he did????).
thanks guys though--i thought he did well, but it's good to know LE ppl i respect think he did well also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well, i guess, mike. but i don't think i would've wanted to be w/in 6' of him at the time of the rxn. would you come up and try it once? it's about gotta be getting too hot to train down there, and if ya bring a pup, i might be able to find a home.....i mean, "10" puppies??? there's gotta be one that no one wants but me....
 

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I follow a general rule: a behavior reinforced is more likely to occur again. A behavior ignored is more likely to go away. Say we are working a dog and a metal shelving unit falls, causing a lot of noise and commotion. My instructions, just keep doing what your doing, the dog will recover, pick up where he left off and keep going. Not making a big deal out of it means it just another event in life. Make sense?

DFrost
 

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Well said David. A phrase I heard that I've always liked which is basically what you said is "A repeated action becomes a behavior". Make a dog repeat the same thing enough times and he will forget there's any other way to do it.
 
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