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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19590
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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My dog is non-aggressive and socializes well off leash. On

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My dog is non-aggressive and socializes well off leash. On the leash or in the car, as we approach or pass another dog on a leashed walk she goes completely crazy, leaping around, barking and crying. We are always at least 40 ft away before it begins and I never try to pass on the same side of the street. Otherwise she is fairly well-behaved on leash, pack walks on leash with other known dogs just fine, and is quiet in the car. She is a 2 year old female German Pinscher. How can I help her? I have tried distracting with high value food before she starts making so much noise that she can't hear me, but she loses whatever interest she has as soon as she spots the other dog(s).
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
What obedience training has she had?
Are you a bit worried about her reaction now when you see a dog approaching?
What happens if you suddenly let her off leash when she is acting like this?
Have you tried anything beside just distracting her before the dog gets too close?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Abby had two 8 week sessions of group training in her first year, and a couple of private sessions to work on jumping up when greeting us at home. In the first year, I worked intensively with her on solo walks and recall training. In the last year, I not spent a lot of time on her training and she probably respects me less than she did when we were working on it more consistently. The bad leash and car behavior appeared in the last few months. She spends more time with me off-leash, as we have a large fenced property and I take her out in a regional park for long off-leash trail rides with my horse. I do worry when we approach another dog now - not that I can't control her or she'll bite, but she has scratched me and she usually infects my older dog who is often walked at the same time. She makes so much noise that people come out of their houses to see if the dog is hurt! I have tried to issue a leash correction as soon as I see her visually notice the other dog (she wears a soft martingale collar), have also tried putting her in a down, and just continuing forward and passing the other dog. When we run into another leashed dog on our off-leash rides, she will run up to say hello without barking. If the other dog or owner seems anxious, I call her off and she'll move right along with me. But she gets so wound up on neighborhood walks and there are usually cars around, so I haven't tried letting her go in that situation. She is only 35 lbs but extremely fast, strong and strong-willed.

Colleen,.Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. Dogs do pick up on how we feel through the leash. If you are anxious, then that triggers the dog to bark and carry on. She thinks you are worried about the other dog. She doesn't realize that it is her that you are worried about. That may explain why she doesn't do it when off leash..I think you have a couple of ways of approaching this. I'm going to recommend starting her obedience training back up. Start perfecting a good sit and down. Use treats for this that you would normally use. Do this around the house until she is perfect. The start taking her a bit further away from home and practice. You can use a higher value treat for these sessions such as a better commercial treat. Then graduate to a place where she may see a dog and use tasty hot dog slices or liver slivers as the reward for sitting. The idea is to get her to obey you instead of carrying on. Most dogs work well for hot dog slices. Make them paper thing. Do not give them if she is carrying on, only if she is calm and sits. If she sits even though she did start to bark, then give her the treat for sitting..I also want you to teach her the speak and then the quiet command. It seems easier to teach the quiet command after the dog has learned the speak command. The following site explains teaching speak and quiet commands.


This may also enable you to stop the barking to help get her under control. While she isn't' aggressive, you might use a technique that I use for aggressive dogs. You will need to find someone with a dog to help you preferably after you teach the sit and down and practice for a bit. What you will do is have your dog on the leash. You will have your helper off in the distance. Your helper will gradually move their dog a bit closer to you preferably walking past your position in the distance. As long as your dog ignores them, you can give your dog praise and a treat. The second you see her fixate on the other dog or show any other sign of carrying on, give your dog a correction by giving a short tug and a firm low toned "NO". It shouldn't take your dog long to realize you will not tolerate the behavior and that if she ignores the other dog, she gets the tasty hot dog treats. Once this happens you can repeat the training moving the other dog closer until he is no longer trying to lunge at other dogs or carrying on. You will need to practice this when you and your dog are walking as well as best you can. It is best to do this when they are hungry, so time training before he is fed.


Another method that may help is BAT training. You can read about this here:



You might be able to control the vocalizations with a bark collar. I have used the shock ones with a lot of success though I usually use it for cases when the owner is not present and thus can't administer corrections. They make citronella spray bark collars as well as ultrasonic and shock ones. They do require that the dog bark to trigger the correction. It also will only stop the bark and not the jumping around. Hopefully training will help stop that. Since she isn't being aggressive, a remote training collar might be acceptable though I usually only use this for long range recalls.


It sounds as if she may just be frustrated over not being able to immediately run to the other dog for fun and socialization. So you might try training in a place where you can let her loose. Start with her on leash. When she sits and calms down, then let her loose to greet the other dog. That will be a good reward for the desired behavior. Perhaps you can also enroll her into a group class and let an in person trainer see the behavior around other dogs in the class. That might also help you find a playmate close to home that she can socialize with on a regular basis.


I hope tI have given you a few ideas to help with the situation and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .



Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Colleen,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We've been working on basic obedience around the house and went for a walk today but didn't see any other dogs. She is better when I expect more from her - seems to be the case with my kids and horses, too:) Will try working on the speak/quiet and maybe the BAT method in the coming weeks. Do you have a recommendation for a brand of bark/training collar to try with her? Thanks.

Colleen,.I've used both innotek and petsafe. You should be able to pick one up second hand pretty cheap though expect to replace the battery. I have a yapper and we used it on him for when we were not home. Now we just sit it on top of his crate and he won't bark. So they are effective.

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