I was over Johns Creek last week working with a new Home Dog Training client and her Visula named Twain. The big, “A priority” problem we initially tackled was Twain’s jumping problem and his consistent habit of running out the front door. We solved those issues pretty quickly. As I was finishing up the lesson and planning what we would to at the next lesson, my client said that she had a “dog problem” of her own. She loved to ride her bicycle around the neighborhood, but the neighborhood dogs always chase her and make the bike ride very problematic. She asked if I had any ideas on having a good bike ride when there are neighborhood dogs loose in the front yards.
I told my client that this was one of my favorite issues because I had the same problem when I was a child and before I became a dog trainer. I first mentioned that all dogs love to play “tag, you are it”. I went on to comment that this is one of the natural submissive/dominance that they naturally play as puppies to learn proper canine socialization. So, when we are on a bike ride and we ride past dogs that are sitting on their front porch or in the front yard, they instantly chase us. We speed up to get away and are, unknowingly, encouraging the dogs to chase us to play “tag, you are it”. Here are some suggestions:
- When you are on your bicycle approaching a dog or a group of dogs, slow down to a “snail’s pace”. Peddle as little as possible. Look straight ahead and move past them in a very slow, calm manner. The dogs will interpret your “non adrenalized and uninterested body language” as “I don’t want to play” and will not engage.
- If the dogs start to run after you, slow your speed and come to a halt. Once you are no longer moving, you have taken away the “I want to play” language from your actions. What normally happens next is that the dogs will slowly approach you in a “nonchalant” manner. They will probably be wagging their tails and give off a few “hello” barks. Simply be calm and still and don’t focus on them. They should quickly loose interest, and go back to their yard or porch. You have simply become “the party pooper.”.
- If the dog(s) come at you with an aggressive posture (jumping, showing their teeth, crazy barking), stop and get off your bike. Stand behind your bicycle so it is between you and the dogs. Stay calm and still so that they will see no aggressive moves on your part. Slowly back away, continuing to show that you are non-aggressive and uninterested. Seeing no escalation on your part, the dogs will loose focus and leave in about a minute.
- I often ride past a groups of dogs and have used these techniques. I can firmly attest that they work.
Please contact Robin or myself (770) 718-7704 and we can help you with any of your dog training issues. We have a lot of good dog training tips at Best Dog Trainers Johns Creek Georgia. Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Johns Creek Georgia.