Feel prouder of your doodle's behavior on walks and start enjoying walks in your neighborhood again! Find out if your dog is a frustrated greeter on leash and what to do!
In part 3 of our discussion of leash reactivity and barking and lunging on walks, guest trainer Victoria Baker explains why dogs who aren't fearful or anxious are pulling and barking when they see another dog. Learn how to better meet their needs and how to stop their pulling and barking on walks.
Frustrated Greeter Dog Training
This episode answers questions including:
– Why does my dog bark when seeing other dogs but seems happy once we reach them?
– Should I let my dog meet other dogs on walks?
– What is a frustrated greeter?
– Is my dog a frustrated greeter?
– How to deal with a frustrated greeter dog?
– Is a frustrated greeter reactivity?
Catch part 1 of my interview where we discuss WHY dogs bark and lunge on leashes at https://thedoodlepro.com/24.
Listen to part 2 of our interview where Victoria explains HOW to help dogs who are barking on walks due to fear or anxiety at https://thedoodlepro.com/25.
Learn more about our guest Victoria Baker at https://www.fureverbehavior.com/
On today's episode, I wanna give a shout out to Doodle breeder, Amanda Terino. She shared. I love what you're doing for doodles out.
I am just so pleased that you exist and spread positivity about doodles. I will be recommending your content when I have another litter. If you would like a shout out on the Doodle Pro Podcast, Be sure to leave a review on your favorite streaming service.
Thank you. Amanda Terino
On episode 24 of the Doodle Pro Podcast, I interviewed Colorado Trainer Victoria Baker, who loves working with. Leash reactivity she helped us on episode 24, talk about why is your doodle barking or lunging on a walk, or why are they hiding every time they see a trashcan or a bicycle?
She helped us understand what's going on with them so that we could be more effective in our training, so we can both enjoy our walks again on last week's episode number 25, Victoria shared her protocol on how she trains doodles to not be reactive on leash anymore using counter conditioning and desensitization.
Don't worry if you're not familiar with those terms, she breaks it all down for you. On today's episode, you'll hear the final part of my interview with Victoria where she is going to give you her protocol on how to help what are called frustrated greeters. Those are dogs that are not scared of other dogs, but instead are just hungry for interaction and attention from dogs or people that they see on walks, and that can look like barking and pulling.
That can also sound like my dog just wants to say hi. Well, instead of yelling that Victoria's going to. What you should do instead, if you wanna grab the other episodes, you can go to the doodle pro.com/four or the doodle pro.com/ 25 or download them on your favorite streaming service. This is going to be a fun episode,
and I even added a special treat. The Doodle Pro society members are able to ask our guest experts anything about what's going on with their doodle and get private advice, and today's was so great and it would help so many people. I wanted to share it with you too.
Let's dive in.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: let's talk about frustrated greeters.
Victoria Baker: One of the things that creates a frustrated greeter is that the dog's needs aren't being met in the first place. And the dog is frustrated because it never gets to play with its own kind or it never gets to be a dog and be off leash and forage around and the vet said, don't go out until the vaccines are all done and you didn't get your rabies vaccine until the dog was six months old and the dog just doesn't know how to be a dog.
So that's what creates a frustrated greeter. Also too, we accidentally reinforce the behaviors that we don't want. And that creates frustration as well for the owner. But by paying attention to the dog when it's all excited and not reinforcing, when it's calm, the dog says, Hey, getting excited gets me what I want, so there's that. But when I get a frustrated greeter, the first thing that I do is I fill their cup with dogs . And so that can mean going to Corinne's for a day of daycare, or it could mean going to a dog park. And I like to go to the larger dog parks. So I don't like small dog parks. I don't think that they're four dogs really. But I do the larger dog parks cherry Creek, Chatfield, Westminster Hills for people that aren't in the area. Those are a hundred acre dog parks. So it's more like a hike where dogs are located versus going to a dog park to play.
Yeah. But going to places like that where you have your triggers and a lot of dogs are afraid of people they see a hundred people, but none of 'em are coming near them or coming close to them or paying any attention to them. So it really helps to desensitize. If I see 50 dogs every morning on a walk and I play with two of 'em, when I see them out on leash, they're not as sting.
It's not a novel stimuli for the dog. And they're not. Frustrated because they get to play with other dogs. So, the first thing I do is satisfy the dog's need of getting other dogs. And that doesn't mean just turning a dog loose on other dogs that has no social manners either. I work on that.
But yes, , that's a whole, that's a whole nother podcast as well, is helping a dog learn some social manners around other dogs. . Okay, so the first thing I do is fill the dog's cup with what he really needs. . Once I've done that, I will get dogs that the dog. And is familiar with. Or I'll bring a dog and I will let the dogs meet and interact for a short period of time so that the dog has met the dog, because that's the functional reward of a rated greeter is to get to meet the dog.
So I let him meet. I start there because that's where the dog is. And then once they've met and interacted for a little while, I separate the dogs. We're on leash and we go a hundred, 200 feet away and then we start to walk towards the other dogs. Also too, I have worked with how to walk on a leash extensively with the frustrated greeter in a non-distracting environment.
So he does have an understanding of what I expect him to do. So we walk a hundred feet away and we look, mark, treat, look, mark, treat, we treat for staying in a heel, we're rewarded, reinforcing the dog for doing what we want, and we walk in. Say if we're a hundred feet away, both dogs walk in 20 feet, then I release the dogs and let 'em go play
And so you have to do this in a safe environment. I release the dogs and let 'em go play. Sometimes that means they're on a really long line and I run with them, and other times we're in a confined area. Yes. So I prefer confined area off leash. from 60 feet away, we release the dogs and let 'em go say hi, and we let 'em interact for about a minute, and then we separate and we do it again.
This time we walk 50 feet in. And so now they're, 50 feet. Release the dogs, let 'em go play, let 'em play for a minute. Separate 'em again. This time we walk all the way towards the dog until we're about 10 feet apart. And honestly, at this point, the dogs are sick of each other and they're bored and they don't really care.
They would rather work for food and work at a heel. . Yes. They're like, oh, I can play with the dogs with you. I what? I'm gonna work for my food and then working, for food means stay next to my handler, right? So now we're at 10 feet. We release the dogs and let 'em interact for a minute, and then we do it again.
But this time we walk all the way by and as soon as the dog starts to pull or lunge to get to the other dog, which usually happens when you're right there, right next to each other. Yeah. You have to anticipate this and move and let the dog. Go to the end of the leash, but not get reinforced with getting in this dog's space and wait for the dog to make a better choice.
And that's hard sometimes to wait, but you have to wait. And when the dog makes a better choice, which is looking at you , yes, you mark yes and treat and move along. And then you do it again, and then you do it again, and then you do it again, and then you get another dog out and you do the same thing with that dog.
And you go through that process, the same process, and maybe you don't walk away a hundred feet and maybe you shorten the process a little bit because your dog's starting to get it. Now your dog's going, okay, when I'm on a leash and I see another dog, my handler wants me to pay attention to them and not the other dog.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: A lot of our doodles look like real life walking teddy bears and humans are like, oh, and run to them and wanna get in their fists and everything. And some dogs are okay with those greetings, many aren't, but a lot of dogs are okay with those greetings. And it rewards every human I see. I should be interacting with and jumping on and all of that.
So the same thing that you're describing with other dogs, when we're creating those bubbles, when we're on walks, . It helps, I imagine, prevent these frustrated greeters that they're not expecting that every time they walk by someone, it's gonna be a party.
Victoria Baker: So most do loaners, get their dogs from breeders and they get the dogs at eight weeks old, it starts there.
You wanna teach the dog to ignore new and novel stimuli in the environment, not socialize with it. And we don't like the people, when they get their puppies, they think socialization is, go say hi. Go meet this person. Go do this, go do that. Let them pet you. Let them manhandle you. Let them let this adult dog intimidate you and all this stuff, and that develops a fearful greeter.
and we accidentally create the frustrated greeter. We teach them to go up and say hi to everybody. Instead of ignore them. And again, it's the same technique to ignore them. It's look, mark, treat, look mark, treat, look, mark, treat. If they don't have the cognitive ability to think about what they're doing and how to earn the reinforcement from their handler because they're too excited about the novel stimuli in the environment, then you have to go back to the basics and start with counter conditioning their emotional response first before you can ask for more behavior out of them.
How to stop your dog from barking on walks: And
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: the socialization is, I see that novel dog, bike, whatever, and I feel safe. It's not, I see that dog and I must interact with them. It's, I feel safe. Yeah. So it's, a safe, positive exposure. But not every human I see, oh, my mom saw a guy with a hat. She's gotta have 'em come over and tussle me and bend over me and give a belly rub.
And so you'll see a lot of new families say, can my dog say hi as their dogs pulling and trying to get to you? And it's because since they were a puppy, that's what we did.
Victoria Baker: Yeah, and then they magically go into adolescence and everything that they did it as a puppy, they're not allowed to do anymore.
And it comes out of the blue . Yes. They're like, but why can't I jump on that guy? I don't understand. I've always jumped when I was eight pounds. It was
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: fine. It was cute.
Victoria Baker: So frustrated. Greeters, the functional reward is to get to meet, so you start with the meat. and then you work your way out.
And then you work your way back in. But honestly it, goes pretty quickly If you can find four or five dogs to work with, that's the hard part. .
I think that covers a majority of the reactivity that you're gonna find out there. There are exceptions. Not too many exceptions in the doodle category to be honest.
A lot of that is breed, specific doodles are generally extremely happy. They're too happy. You mix a high drive poodle who's a high drive working dog, Uhhuh . And then you mix it with a golden, who is a high drive working dog with extreme happiness. Yes. And you put those together and you get high drive happiness, , ,
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: and poodles can run on the anxious side.
And if you're bringing in some of the other dogs that have more like protective natures, then you've got a bit more like fear and anxiety as well. So it's not anyone's fault if your dog is trying to create space by barking and lunging, it's what works. The other thing goes away. Nobody's gonna approach the barking lunging dog, but it's fixable.
Victoria Baker: It is. Oh it, is. Yes. It starts with understanding that it is just not gonna go away. The dog's not gonna just get used to it and get better. It's it really only gets worse if you don't address it from the beginning. And you can prevent it with that eight week old puppy. With proper socialization and proper reinforcement of ignoring novel stimuli versus meeting all novel stimuli.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And when you're describing what to do with the frustrated greeter, when you're talking about their needs not being met, I almost picture them as if like they're starving for food. And they're so hungry for that innate desire to socialize with other dogs. that you're feeding them a bit so that then they can make choices not out of that place of starvation that when you're saying filling that cup.
And that makes sense cuz there's a trend in some training classes. Traditionally, if you're in what someone might call a manners or obedience class that's not targeting socialization, that the dogs never greet, that they stay at their stations. And for dogs who are really hungry for that outlet, some training classes are experimenting with letting them have short periods of play in the beginning because then they're like, oh, it's just that dog.
I already sniffed them. We already romped a bit. Now I can work on my downs. Stay and, yes. All of the different things with him.
Victoria Baker: It can't be the forbidden fruit. it's like putting candy in front of a kid. Yeah. Tell 'em No, you can't have it. . .
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: So I have a question from one of our members.
And they wanted to know their dog has like a mild level of reactivity. You could see the alertness first. It's usually in front of their home. So when they're on a walk away from their home, it's not as common. But if they're in front of their home and they see anyone coming by, you see the alertness.
Then you hear like the, and then as the usually a person with another dog approaches closer, then it's getting bigger and bigger.
Victoria Baker: So is this from inside the house? Yeah. Both. So, you have to manage it. So he doesn't do that when you're not. Or that you're not available to work on counter conditioning, how he feels about people walking by the house.
So you obscure the view or you don't allow him access to see outside. And a lot of people when I tell 'em that, they're like, eh, it's not so bad. Because it's, too hard to do. It's just something they just can't manage.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: But it's not that hard when they're, they ordering Amazon, the window film, and it doesn't have to obscure your view.
I agree. I agree. Yes. You don't have to have a darkened home.
Victoria Baker: You can make it happen. I agree. Yes. . But besides managing him, so he is not practicing it all the time, every time he sees somebody. But it's the same thing. It's exactly the same thing. You don't wait until he's rah, right? As soon as he sees somebody look Marrie, look Mar. And inside the house, this is so easy inside the house because it literally lasts less than 20 seconds. And it goes away every time. So it's so easy to work inside the house, but you have to be consistent. And it's the same thing.
look Marrie Look Marrie, the thing is gone. No more food. And if you can pay some kid in the neighborhood to walk by 50 times, do it. Uhhuh, . Cause it's worthwhile. And once you start getting those repetitions in, the dog starts to go, oh, when I see somebody, I need to go look for my human.
Because they gimme a treat every time somebody walks by. Versus Oh my God, I make 'em go away by barking. Because yes, that is reinforcing. You bark at the postman and he goes away. That's his job. It worked. It worked. My barking worked. , it worked. And then there's a difference too.
So if you are outside with your dog and they can't handle somebody walking by, you want to have your dog on a leash. And the first time you do it, maybe the dog gets within one house or the corner, lot of the neighbor's house, and you bring the dog inside. Where he can't see the person. And then, he walks across the front of the lawn and he gets to the other edge of your property and walks away.
You bring the dog back out and you Look Marrie Look Marrie as he goes away and goes out of sight. And then the next time, so they're not trapped. Yeah. And then the next time you let that person get a little bit further and then you go inside. Because when they're right in front of the.
That's where they have the hardest time. And if they're gonna have a hard time, no matter what kind of tree, no matter how far away you are at the door, at the edge of the yard, whatever you can't get a distance far enough. And he goes ballistic, then you gotta bring him inside and work smaller pieces.
And that's that's the definition of training is breaking it down into little pieces. So your dog is successful, but it's the same procedure. Look Marrie.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And I love working on that. Inside the home, the Barkers that are barking from inside the home. I love it because I could be a frustrated greeter on walks.
I wanna see my neighbor, I wanna see their dog. And inside the home there's no risk of embarrassment of if my dog goes over a threshold and I am able to be more patient and in the moment, but, . I often am not in training mode if I didn't anticipate that mailman, if he's coming at a different time.
So I need to be able to switch my focus from what I was working on with the dogs to, oh, we're going to grab this opportunity to do some counter conditioning.
Victoria Baker: Yeah. Rough, When somebody comes close to the front door is not a bad thing. That's why a lot of people have dogs is because they want a little notification that somebody's around.
Not being able to stop them or the dog being you can clearly see the dog is aggressive, which they're aggressive because they're fearful and you don't want a dog to be fearful
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And you don't want your dog to constantly be in a state of patrolling. No, they don't need to live at that level of anxiety.
We don't want that for them either. And most of us are in the suburbs or urban areas not on the rural farm where we want them. Making sure nobody goes on the property. Victoria, if somebody is in the Denver metro area and they wanna work with you, how can they find you?
Victoria Baker: You can find me on the firstname.lastname@example.org and forever is spelled f u r, not f o r. And my contact information is on there, so you can email me or text me.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Wonderful.
I know my oo Nestle loves visiting you. It's, a high compliment because when my husband went to get Nestle from staying with Victoria when we were out of town and he Nestle ran past my husband looking for me. I wasn't home yet. And then he was like how do I get back to Victoria
So you ranked even higher than dad, which is a tall order.
Victoria Baker: I know. I looked back and he's no, don't leave me.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And my husband adores him and his kind and all of that. But , you bring good things to him. And yes, he loves learning with you too .Thank you so much, Victoria.