Central Asian Ovcharka – reactive to people


Some video footage of Crystal, the Central Asian Ovcharka. Crystal is reactive to people in the street, at varying distances. She will bark and very often lunge at pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, motor bikes and scooters, bin men and a host of other stimuli. She will rarely, if ever, take food when outside. Her normal tail carriage is high and arched due to her breeding (this is our baseline). As explained in the video, Lynn lives in the city centre and has no option other than having to take Crystal into this environment at least some of the time for walks. We are doing work also in a less stressful environment (local park with plenty space), but is it is essential for us to be able to do some work in the urban area as this is where Lynn lives. We just need to do everything we can to minimse problems and are making excellent progress with her. All the stimuli you see in the video, would previously caused her to lunge at these distances before we started working

3 thoughts on “Central Asian Ovcharka – reactive to people

  1. I didn’t see a reactive dog in the video at all… would have been interesting to see a “before” clip for comparison.

    What I did see was that the handler was letting the dog make all the decisions… she gave the dog plenty of time to view the people walking past, assess that they were of no interest, and then move on. The dog seemed to make 90% of the decisions on when to move on… not the handler, she seemed to just be following the dog around.

    Not saying that’s wrong at this stage of training… maybe that was the key for this type of guardian breed? – let the dog have time to do it’s job, then they will relax and be able to move on.

    At the end of the clip – the dog pulls the handler out of the video frame… you can see the handler’s arm jerk… so… I guess I know what you’ll be working on next? 🙂

    1. Tina, she’s not reactive and that’s exactly the point. If your dog is reactive to people or dogs and does react, it means something has gone wrong. The purpose here is to allow her to view the environment, make decisions about what is or isn’t threatening and react accordingly, we aim to teach her that previously threatening stimuli are not anything to worry about.

      It is true that Crystal is making the decisions here, but the key is for us to control the environment well enough so that she makes the decisions we want her to make and we then reinforce them so that they re-occur. Lynn is being anything but passive here, she is watching for potential flashpoints and stopping them before they occur. When Crystal pulls slightly at the very end of the video, she is trying to move away from both the construction worker and vehicle to make herself feel better, this too is a good choice as previously she would have lunged instead.

      The reason I don’t shoot before footage is that it rarely happens when I’m there because I’m doing all I can to control the environment so that the unwanted behaviour doesn’t occur. I’ll not put a dog or the owner in that position merely to get some video. if the client already has the footage, then I can use it but I’ll not set it up.

      Hopefully that answers some of the points you made, thanks for commenting.

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