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Abby is overanxious about meeting other people and dogs...typical puppy curiousity of course, but I need some help in teaching her to calm down. She has learned to walk beautifully on her leash, but as soon as she sees people or another dog, she is out of control. Now that it is warmer out, coming across people and dogs is much more common. Every person we have passed so far has said to me "Looks like your the one being walked!" I want to say...I swear, she's really good on her leash...just watch when she doesn't know you're there!
Yesterday, we came across an older man and his older poodle. Abby was thrilled when the man brought the poodle over to her, but I had to hold her back a bit of course. They sniffed noses and then she turns to me and does one of those in-the-air flips that boxers are so good at and nearly scared the poodle to death. I had my hand on her collar too so of course she nearly strangles herself in doing this. A jogger passes, she barks like mad....I want to continue walking her but she needs to get used to coming across people and dogs! One house has a rotty that is out front (electric fence) and I can't even walk her past the house because she flips out. Also, and this is a huge issue too..while at home she is fine with this, on the street, she becomes severely jealous that Brady might get attention rather than her. So if someone wants to pet them, she jumps at Brady and growls nasty. This of course puts off the people who want to visit with her. I NEED this to stop. I am afraid that is she does this while someone is petting Brady, she will accidentally hurt the person.
Brady is pretty good....he sniffed at the poodle and came and sat on my feet as Abby performed her antics!  A young boy then came up and started dribbling a basketball right in front of her (he was only 3 or 4 and didn't know any better) and she was trying so hard to get at the basketball that she was crying from pulling on her leash. I could not re-focus her.
So far, I have made her sit and stay when people or dogs are approaching. I try to re-focus her attention by making her stay and she does alright until the person or dog gets closer. She's great at our house, where there are people in and out every day, but like my husband said, walking on the street is a different forum.
This weekend, Brady is due for a haircut...I decided to take him to petsmart for it just so I can take her and roam around the store for a couple hours while he is being groomed to let her come in contact with people and other dogs for a while. I am hoping that this will help socialize her a bit so she is more polite with strangers! Any other ideas? We have taken her to pet stores on her own and roamed for a bit and she has done fairly well with strangers then. On the street though, she just goes nuts. Any ideas to help much appreciated.
 

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I think you've got pretty good ideas already. Taking her out to Petsmart will definitely help with the socialization. Going for walks is great for her to meet other people and pets. Why not try walking her alone until she settles down a bit, that way you can concentrate on her and won't have to worry about Brady. I think making her sit when she gets overly excited is good. Also, she needs to learn that she doesn't have to greet all the passerby's. She's just a pup, she will learn in time, just be patient with her. Sounds to me like you just have a normal boxer puppy!  :)
 

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I think you have the right ideas and it just takes more and more repetition.  The more the dogs get out and see other dogs, the more seeing a dog on the street becomes normal and not such a big deal (i.e. no need to go crazy).  

The same place I took Lola to for puppy training offers doggie daycare and I've been doing it about once a week 100% strictly for the socialization.  Lola gets to play in a group of about 6-10 dogs for about 4-5 hours while I'm at work.  Its made a huge difference IMO in how Lola approaches and greets another dog in public.  We also go to off leash dog parks or the beach where she gets to meet other dogs.  I particularily like these 2 socialization techniques because its almost strictly off leash and many dogs have heightened anxiety when on a leash.
 

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Ditto everything that Tootsie said...Whenever possible, try and work with her one on one....I know, it's hard, I have that issue also...Samson gets a little put out some times cos our walks are not real fun for him any more..I use it as a training class for Angel, which means a lot of stops, sits, waits, etc. You might also try carrying some treats with you when you walk. Have Abby "sit", then reward her wit a treat..Use them also as a way to distract her.. Maybe carry a small squeaky toy with you....

Remember also, that boxers are very intuitive, they pick up on our feelings and that can cause even more anxiety...Try to stay calm, don't lose your cool when she starts acting up..Keep your voice firm, not shrill and you will get better results... :)

Hope this has been some help and keep us posted on how she does....
 

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I like the squeaky toy idea...she has a favorite toy that ALWAYS gets her attention when nothing else will and when she's excited, she gets such a grip on that thing to show it off, maybe that would help refocus her attention when others are near. Good idea! I will bring that to petsmart with me this weekend also to give it a shot.  Maybe we will try some doggy day care for a bit too....that leaves Brady on his own occassionally (he's sort of a loner...he LOVES to play with Abby but with people and other dogs around he is content on his own with a bone) but he's great in his crate so I am sure he'll be ok.  I do bring treats with them and frequently make them stop and stay. I do this at all sorts of intervals (cars passing, as Brady seems to be a car chaser, hahaha, just random stops, etc) so they know to listen to me out there, but SPECIALLY when I see someone approaching or see children playing in a driveway or a dog in a yard.  For a bit, I want to them associate strangers passing with sit and stay, so that they are semi-approachable if the stranger so wishes!
I have also thought about the one-on-one thing...as Brady needs to get some energy out, I will have to convince my husband to step away from home renovations for a bit each day to take Brady so I can focus on Abby!
As for tone of voice, I try to keep my voice very soothing when I am trying to calm her...for the same excitability/anxiety reasons. If I am calm about strangers passing, I hope she will understand that vibe.
I am glad that my ideas so far are being agreed with!
 

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Sounds to me that you are doing really well...And yes, it is important to involve the whole family in any training you do..It's a good way for everyone to bond, but mostly to make sure everyone is on the same page!!! I used to come home from class and run thru the whole lesson with my ex so he would know what we had done..Then on the w/end I would get him out there working the dogs too!!! It's got to be a family thing..... :)
 

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You are doing the right things, it just takes practice, practice, practice.  We take our working dogs (boxers) and expect them to ignore the world and only pay attention to us.  We didn't breed them for this reason and it goes against their nature to expect this of them.  They can learn to focus and control their natures but it takes some alot more time than others.  You need to take just one, as suggested, and work along.  Two will feed off each others energy.  

You need to allow your new pup more space from the distractions of people and other dogs.  Keep the distance as far as necessary to give her the ability to be more calm about it.  It might mean 50 feet, you will have to be the judge.  Distance can be decreased with time and skills.  

Namaste'
Nano
 

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Well, we went out again last night. The first family we encountered walking had a little girl who just started running up to us with the biggest smile on her face....the father called her back saying, "honey, you don't know that dog!" and sure enough Abby turned and started to jump on me out of excitement, I hear the man say, "see honey?" Ugh. I said to the little girl "she's still a puppy, still learning how to calm down" and left it at that. The 2nd set of people was a father and son walking the neighborhood. The son was probably about 3 and Abby was again excited. I let them get in front of us, I made her sit and stay until they got about 4 houses in front of us and started walking thinking it may help if she watches them for a while from a distance, but for the next 1/2 mile she just pulled so hard, I turned around. (I did bring the toy with me and squeaked it to catch her attention but it didn't really ever work...treats didn't do much either until what I explain soon). We ended up coming across the man and son again...the son of course wanted to see her, the father discouraged it as he hadn't asked me first. I said, "honey, she's still learning, so I am not sure if she will try to jump. When she learns, I promise you can pet her!" He seemed satisfied with that, the father spoke with me for a moment about the dogs (them being rescues and all) and they continued to walk in frnot of us. As long as the man was being kind, I asked Abby to sit and stay and let her watch the little boy play for a bit. He was fooling around with a stick, Abby obviously wanted to join him in his fun, but I kept her in a stay. To distract her for a bit, I pulled some treats and made her do "pretty" and "down" etc. THen she continued to watch him for a bit. We came across the first family again and again put her in a sit/stay and she seemed a bit more relaxed (but possibly just exhausted from her long walk).
We'll just keep chugging along...thanks for your assistance...

By the way, as for the suggestion re: staying at a distance, definitely! If we are passing people in the opposite direction, I take them to opposite side of the road. If coming across people in the same direction, cross the road and try to stay 4 or 5 houses away.
 

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Sounds like Abby is making progress. Good girl Abby!!!  :D
 

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Good job!  Keep up the good work and practice!

Nano
 
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