Bullying random young males - and how much exercise?

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henry101
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Joined: 21 Feb 2018, 03:04
First Name: Henry

Bullying random young males - and how much exercise?

Post by henry101 » 13 Jan 2020, 13:40

Hi There,

I have a 2 year old Giant - he is not neutered. Our off leash walks and hikes are becoming a nightmare and very stressful. Almost every dog we meet he is absolutely fine with - but ever 10th male dog for some inexplicable reason he goes for them - particularly younger males - one year old - the trainer said he has huge bite inhibition so he never injures the dog. But it is loud and scary and embarrassing. It used to be he would try and challenge them by putting a leg over - this stopped and now occasionally he just goes for them. Even though it is only every 10th male dog or so, it is too many and I am always on edge. His recall is quite good but not when he goes into prey drive or charges at something.

He is very sweet with small dogs and playful with his friends. Zero aggression towards people who he loves. But this alpha male behaviour is a big problem.

Specifically my questions are:

1.) I think I am going to have to abandon most of our off leash walks/hikes in favour of one or two major ones on the weekend where there are not many dogs around. Do you think a two year old Giant would be okay with a long walk and a separate run on the leash each day and only one or two off leash hikes a week? I know him being off leash is better exercise than being run with a human, but the stress is making these off leash walks so scary for me and then I am sure he is picking up on the anxiety.

2.) The vet has suggested I do not neuter him now as it will not change his behaviour and I may notice other disadvantages. Are there any other suggestions on how I can improve his greeting and reaction to unknown occasional male dogs that he takes a dislike to? I was thinking lots of on leash walks and saying hello to the dogs on leash and rewarding Henry with a treat when it has gone well.

Honestly, my main feeling is that at this stage avoidance of problems is the best technique. Avoiding being off leash where there are lots of dogs around and taking up running to make sure he gets his exercise and on leash hikes. I was reading that past 2 they have left their most active stage? He is the sort of dog that can literally go all day - but weirdly does not seem to be too bothered if he does not have an off leash run each day. He is always "calm" at home.

Looking forward to your thoughts.

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zeta1454
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Re: Bullying random young males - and how much exercise?

Post by zeta1454 » 13 Jan 2020, 13:51

Welcome to the Forum :-)

I have no experience with Giant Schnauzers and hopefully some other Forum members with this breed may be able to give you some specific advice.

It is true that neutering would not necessarily remedy the issue you describe and it is more likely to improve with training and maybe enlist the professional help of a qualified behaviourist who uses positive reinforcement methods.

You are right that you will need to restrict off lead running while you are working on training your boy to be less reactive with certain other dogs. Avoidance of problems can often be a large part of the training! Do you have a dog park that can be hired for an hour or so for your exclusive use? There are several of these near us and they are ideal for letting dogs run free and exercise off lead without worrying about other dogs. It could be worth checking out in your area.
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Oscar 12345
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Re: Bullying random young males - and how much exercise?

Post by Oscar 12345 » 13 Jan 2020, 14:40

Hi Henry, that is such a shame when he is good with so may dogs. if you had 100% recall would you continue your off leash walks? I imagine your answer would be yes. If that is so, I would concentrate all my efforts on perfect recall training. That way you pop on the lead and just carry on. Would be such a shame not to continue. I have a reactive mini with excellent recall so my stress levels are under control when he is off lead, he sees something and expects to go on the leash now. A good trainer can help particularly those with stooge dogs or there are some excellent Perfect Recall books out there. So I would get a long line leash and start practicing.
(Thumbs up to the not neutering suggestion).
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

Oscar 12345
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Joined: 02 May 2017, 11:28
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Dog #1: Oscar RIP Sweety
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 21 Dec 2002
Dog #2: Otto
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 04 Jul 2017

Re: Bullying random young males - and how much exercise?

Post by Oscar 12345 » 13 Jan 2020, 15:40

Just one other thought Henry, ever considered CaniCross - I would have thought ideal for a Giant and a really sociable way to exercise your dog.

https://www.canicross.org.uk
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

henry101
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Joined: 21 Feb 2018, 03:04
First Name: Henry

Re: Bullying random young males - and how much exercise?

Post by henry101 » 18 Jan 2020, 07:40

Zeta and Oscar thank you both so much! You are both right - strong recall needs to be worked on and the Canicross looks brilliant. Not heard of it before but would be so appropriate for Henry. Thanks both again.

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