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Hi the past few weeks our 6 month old has started lying down when he see's dogs or even just people (today a woman with a pram) approaching from ahead and walking towards us on the paths etc. when on a walk.
Once he has clocked them he will stop dead and sit and will not continue walking no matter how much encouragement i give him, digging his heels in and resisting a tug on the lead and then he lies down until they are basically next to us. Once they are close by he will bounce up towards them.

What should I do in this instance? Is he nervous and just sussing them out and making sure they are non-threatening or is this a sign of something else?

Thanks
 

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I would not do anything. It sounds like he is waiting until he feels comfortable, and then wants to greet them. There is no reason to try and force him, to move in another person’s direction until he is ready.
 
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If he’s just waiting for the other dog/person to pass by, I agree you should do nothing..let him gain confidence on his own terms.

My 2yr old has always done it, and still does. When off leash everything is perfect. He waits for the one approaching to pass by and he runs straight back to me. Unfortunately, when he is on leash he lunges at other dogs the moment they are near by. I try to avoid as much as possible situations where he wil lay down, but sometimes I’m just taken by surprise. In this case I’m lifting him up on his feet and I walk firmly in the other direction / cross the street.


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When my boy does this it’s a submissive gesture. He has learned that a lot of dogs and people find him a little overwhelming and he has experimented with all kinds of ways to appear non threatening (another one: dogs don’t like him running straight for them so he started running crouched instead. It looks ridiculous and I don’t think goes over all that well 🤣) Until they get close, then he loses his mind with excitement.
 

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If he’s just waiting for the other dog/person to pass by, I agree you should do nothing..let him gain confidence on his own terms.

My 2yr old has always done it, and still does. When off leash everything is perfect. He waits for the one approaching to pass by and he runs straight back to me. Unfortunately, when he is on leash he lunges at other dogs the moment they are near by. I try to avoid as much as possible situations where he wil lay down, but sometimes I’m just taken by surprise. In this case I’m lifting him up on his feet and I walk firmly in the other direction / cross the street.


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We are also working on this leash lunging behaviors with Ellie. We are showing good improvement lately and I find that key is timing on a correction to actively preempt the lunge/wild mode. Start to watch for the signs and signals that your dog is building up to the lunge. Take note of the tells, such as stiffened body, tail and ears up, and staring at the other dog intently. Once you can identify this accurately, the next time that is when you give a correction. The dog is building up its energy and focusing on he/she will make their move. This is what you want to correct. Once the lunge and wild-crazy-mode is activated, the correction gets lost.

With Ellie, I see her signs, give a correction (such as a light pop of a sprenger/collar or buzz of an e-collar in my examples), then a command to "Lets go" which for her means we are moving with me. You can see when they diffuse and that energy build-up diminishes as they get the communication that what they were thinking and preparing to do is unwanted behavior. Good luck!

As for the OP, I agree with others that the laying down seems to be a submissive gesture until he has time to process the encounter. Once he feels comfortable he then springs up and tries to initiate play etc.

When I'm alone with Ellie off leash and we encounter another person or dog, typically she will freeze and just watch from a bit of a distance. She is acting apprehensive as to what to make of the encounter. If i stop to speak with the person, Ellie instantly snaps out of it and wants to be the center of attention jumping, sniffing, seeking attention all over them (something I'm working on). Maybe your dog chooses to lay down instead of standing still?
 

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We are also working on this leash lunging behaviors with Ellie. We are showing good improvement lately and I find that key is timing on a correction to actively preempt the lunge/wild mode. Start to watch for the signs and signals that your dog is building up to the lunge. Take note of the tells, such as stiffened body, tail and ears up, and staring at the other dog intently. Once you can identify this accurately, the next time that is when you give a correction. The dog is building up its energy and focusing on he/she will make their move. This is what you want to correct. Once the lunge and wild-crazy-mode is activated, the correction gets lost.

With Ellie, I see her signs, give a correction (such as a light pop of a sprenger/collar or buzz of an e-collar in my examples), then a command to "Lets go" which for her means we are moving with me. You can see when they diffuse and that energy build-up diminishes as they get the communication that what they were thinking and preparing to do is unwanted behavior. Good luck!

As for the OP, I agree with others that the laying down seems to be a submissive gesture until he has time to process the encounter. Once he feels comfortable he then springs up and tries to initiate play etc.

When I'm alone with Ellie off leash and we encounter another person or dog, typically she will freeze and just watch from a bit of a distance. She is acting apprehensive as to what to make of the encounter. If i stop to speak with the person, Ellie instantly snaps out of it and wants to be the center of attention jumping, sniffing, seeking attention all over them (something I'm working on). Maybe your dog chooses to lay down instead of standing still?
Thank you!
Yes, I’ve noticed that if I get to “snap” him out of his focus he’d be actually happy to walk the other way or something to avoid the interaction.
It’s work in progress but we’re getting there.


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