Advice on bikes and runners

The Standard Schnauzer is a working or utility dog and is the original breed of the three sizes. Standard Schnauzers are generally a robust, squarely built, medium-sized dog with aristocratic bearings.
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lorenzini257
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Advice on bikes and runners

Post by lorenzini257 » 19 Apr 2018, 15:13

My Standard Schnauzer, Bronte,Image is now one year old and settling down into a very well behaved and friendly dog. The only thing she is stuck on is barking and lunging at cyclists and runners. She was socialised with them from 8 weeks old and has had daily exposure to them on our walks, but her barking and lunging has persisted. I’ve tried ignoring the behaviour, correcting the behaviour, getting her out of the way in advance, food distractions etc but no change. Any insights or advice on this? Many thanks! [emoji252][emoji190]


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Robin black mini
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Re: Advice on bikes and runners

Post by Robin black mini » 20 Apr 2018, 11:55

I assume she has a high prey drive and the lunge is her attempt to chase the bike or runner..you will have your work cut out !
I had this behavior in my first ST poodle girl..also a high prey drive dog.lshe would chase cats ,bark/ fence run for cars leaving the driveway etc..it's a really difficult behavior to extinguish if allowed to become a pattern.
The worst we had ,also at a year, was she started to lunge ,on her hind legs at city motor bikes when approaching a traffic lights that we passed daily ,on our way to a park...totally unacceptable.
SO for one entire week,I sat her at the particular city traffic lights,at a safe distance and let traffic whizz by,come to a halt etc...no comment at all from me,just command sit ...repeat command if she got up....if she lunged I would correct her with a sharp collar tap,and put her back in a sit...when she stopped reacting,the reward was to continue on to the park.l did this day after day,and gradually reduced the distance she was sat ,respective to the traffic...and it extinguished this particular behavior.
This is one example..you have to be patient,and determined that you will reach your goal.
I would not be giving treats for this but reinforce your everyday training so she watches you for direction etc.praise is the best treat here,and fulfillment of continuing her walk.
I live in the country and walk every day on a cycling path..we can be surprised by as many as nine fast racing bikes flashing by in three by three conformation..I've got two dogs on lead,walking on the left always,so that my body is on the path ,the dogs are at the paths side( no kerb) so I'd walk your dog on the left so you are between her and the runners or bikes ..
Use your left knee to block her if she should leap ,keep her lead short in these places so she cannot leap is better..
My friend has a collie who is so high prey driven she caused a cyclist to fall into a deep ditch because of her leaping dog...she was fined heavily and now avoids walking on the track rather than training the dog.
I use commands such as "heel in" to keep the dogs in single file,the poodle at the front and mini schnauzer at the back..they hear " bike" and keep especially well in..the "wait "command means they stand stock still when a huge pack of bikes(20 plus) ,or a tractor flashes by..it really is life and death if one would break the command so I start this training from them being pups.
I would take your dog to the areas she has issues with and begin training from a distance which you will reduce..set her up,have friends being the runner,the cyclists etc..get her to learn to sit and stay,then Reward with continuance of her beloved walk..then Praise her socks off...I'm sure she will get it if you are consistent and dont give up hope.shes so young this is a perfect time also to get her into some formal training that will include challenges such as these..good luck.
Also,may I say she's a beauty...I love her pic,she's got character for sure.

lorenzini257
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Re: Advice on bikes and runners

Post by lorenzini257 » 20 Apr 2018, 20:41

That’s really helpful! Thank you for the detailed reply and a practical guide to something that I can put into action. Much appreciated! [emoji5]


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Robin black mini
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Re: Advice on bikes a

Post by Robin black mini » 16 May 2018, 13:01

Ok you've had a month..can I ask how things are progressing?
Over here ,n Italy,mountain bike country,,,,the bikes are whizzing by from three to nine plus at a time on the path we walk...
If I didn't have the rigid training routine established at the beginning,we would surely have have an incident by now.
My hope is you ve had some positive results and your dog is becoming more chilled, and aware of the role she should play whilst walking alongside joggers / cyclists.. It is life and death...but can soon become so much more relaxed for you once the rules kick in...can you update so if you do need more help we can assist.??

lorenzini257
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Re: Advice on bikes and runners

Post by lorenzini257 » 16 May 2018, 17:09

Hi there, thanks for following up! We've had some successes, but not a consistent response as yet, so we will keep on with the training. I find her levels of reactivity to bikes and runners very variable. It is in quieter circumstances where a runner, bike (or even person just walking towards us) is more likely to get a barking and lunging reaction. It feels as if she sees a need to guard in these circumstances. In busy circumstances where there are more people she is not at all reactive. On Sunday for example, we entered our first Canicross event, and she was so well behaved. Apart from a bark in the car when we first parked up, she didn't bark at any of the many dogs, people or occasional bike at the event. On the run itself, I was concerned that she would be troublesome, but we overtook runners and their dogs and the occasional bike with no trouble all.

In the town or the busier streets she is much less reactive and will sit and stay, but if we're alone and a bike or person approaches, she often barks and lunges and in that moment is oblivious to any commands from me. I will persist, but any further advice would be welcome. Thank you!

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Robin black mini
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Re: Advice on bikes and runners

Post by Robin black mini » 16 May 2018, 18:13

I think your progress sounds really positive..well done ,and keep the training going..keep her on your left so,it becomes second nature..keep yourself as relaxed as you can be,don't tense up and anticipate an issue..praise her successes..I think this will keep getting better as she passes two then three..She will be all grown up and you will be so glad you put this work into her now.
With regard to the negatives she is still displaying,I'd consider putting a harness on her and keep her leather collar on ,but use a k9 long training lead( a clip at each end on a four meter lead.....when you are doing the run etc you use your normal collar,but if you plan to sit or stay where you think she may take you unawares and leap at people,you have her second clip on her harness so you have two points of control...again it will give you more confidence to control her and she will feed off that positively"

In time you won't have to use the double clip method,but it is a useful tool. I would buy a simple harness,trixie do some non restrictive ones that are strong enough to hold the dog and don't cost a fortune.
I think the fact you are doing sports with her with other dogs etc is also another huge plus to her socializing and keeping her brain engaged positively..
At home start using the watch command,use a small treat ,..say watch,and give treat..
Later she will look to you for the word watch and you can redirect her fixed gaze when she focuses on an approaching target..
When I trained my rottie we had to use beef jerky which we kept in our mouth and spat at the dog when it looked at our face..what a situation that was , but it did get the idea into its head that all good things came from watching the trainers face closely when the magic word was spoken...lol.

Finally,I believe a getting a dog through basic obedience involves using the basic commands in multiple situations..
Wait for example is a great command to esblish it is you who will start the fun and games...if she barks when you get somewhere in the car,I'd say wait and quiet...and when she does,open the boot, and wait a few minutes more...when she's calm then invite her out...
A labby breeder had five dogs in her boot..she used this technique,but would close the boot every time one broke its stay,before the invite down....they soon learned to wait..
I use this when we are getting two out of the car,the risk of jumping into traffic here is high..using this technique the dogs are calm and ready to walk ,but never rush out .

lorenzini257
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Re: Advice on bikes and runners

Post by lorenzini257 » 17 May 2018, 14:06

Thank you so much for your reply - that’s really helpful. I’ve got her on a two point harness with a double ended lead and agree it’s a fantastic tool for training. I really like your advice about training the watch command. I haven’t trained her specifically on that but will add that to the curriculum! She’s well trained on the wait command and stays in front of an open door waiting for my command to go through. She’s also very good waiting for a command before going to her food bowl. Because we walk on country lanes without pavements, she’s trained to stop and stand between me and the wall/hedge when we hear a car. She’s picked this up very well and sometimes stops and pulls in before I’ve told her to. I haven’t used the waiting for quiet and calm before letting her out of the car and I think that’s a great idea so will start using that.

It’s great to get your encouragement and to be reminded that these things take time and I need to persist because it will all pay off in the end! Many thanks! 😊

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