Teaching a Vizsla Mix to Stop Lunging When the Kids Move Suddenly

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 13, 2018

For this Omaha dog training session we taught 1 year-old Visla / Whippet Harper to stop lunging at the family’s daughters when they dance or move too quickly.

As Harper comes from two high energy breeds, we started the session off by discussing his daily exercise. While the family was doing a better job of exercising him than 3/4 of my clients do before I meet with them, I made a few suggestions that will make them more productive.

Next we discussed the structure that was in place and like the overwhelming majority of my clients, there wasn’t much in place. I suggested some rules that will help him start to develop some self control while also seeing his family members as leaders.

After showing them how to disagree and correct him without using punishment or force, we went over the importance of rewarding desired behaviors which I call passive training. I also shared a way to get the kids to interact with the dog in a more productive way.

Next we were ready to address Harper’s habit of lunging towards kids when they move suddenly. I saw this a few times and Id classify it as reactive and not aggressive. But to the unsuspecting child, the movement forward can be unsettling.

You can see Harper demonstrate this behavior as well as how I used Counterconditioning to stop him from lunging at children who move suddenly.

Stopping a dog from lunging towards unexpected movement is a more challenging dog behavior problem to address. This counterconditioning exercise should help, but there are other things the family can do that will also help.

I recommended the youngest daughter hand feed Harper one of his meals every day for a week, after she eats a snack first. He seemed to lunge at her the most and my hope is that this positive interaction will help him start to see her as having more status than he does.

I also suggested that one of the kiddos teaches him a new trick or command each week. If the kids take turns and each week one of the kids trains him to do a different trick or command, he will also see them as having more status and develop more respect for them as authority figures.

To help the guardians remember all the positive dog training tips I shared with them in this in home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video you can check out below.

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