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Thread: Leash Anxiiety, or something...?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiaLo View Post
    There are often different reasons for lead aggression......
    2. the dog has no confidence in you as the leader and goes into a protective mode

    The second one sometimes needs some management in the home. Where you make the dog more comfortable with your Leadership, this is why I like to see the dog in its home environment too, not just at Obedience.
    Thanks for all the help! What would signs of no confidence in you as a leader be?
    Any anxiety in a dog often means the dog does not think of you as a good Leader...it is quite a shock to some people, but from my work with dogs it seems to be what happens.

    I often make some changes in the home of the dog as to how people deal with the dog, management in the house and the dogs environment. The dog who wants to follow (not made to) is a dog who has confidence in his Leader.

    I found this with my Newfie, who was people and dog aggressive, I was able to counter condition her and desensitise her, but the changes we made at home were when she eventually relaxed and did not feel she had to protect us (look after us)...She chilled, relaxed, it got rid of all her anxiety. She became quite different. It has worked for quite a few other dogs

    I have found this also works for a lot of separation anxiety dogs (not all)....It means you have to see the dogs at home with the owners in its own environment.

    I have some disagreements with other trainers over this.......I just do what i do and I see results, I am quite happy to be different. We are the same in our Horse Training, different........LOL
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 06-17-2012 at 04:35 PM. Reason: fix up the quote bit
    Pets are forever

  2. #12
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    @ Beloz

    Probably - flooding I'd avoid. But maybe as a last resort. But Cesar was a last resort dog kind of person. There's very few of his methods I like, and even less of his reasoning. Ie sometimes what he does works - but not for the reasons he gives - and it won't work for people who copy the method at home with a different dog.

    But if my dog does go TAR (too aroused to respond), and I can't get distance from whatever it is. I just hold her still till she calms down. Had a slight problem at the park the other day when a large number of those piping shrike magpies decided to do circles over us. And she thought they were crows and tried to tell them off. All I could do was hold her close and wait for her to figure out she wasn't going anywhere and she might as well pay attention to me - for which she got praise, a pat and a slightly looser lead but no treats.

  3. #13
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    Here are some behavioural clues, that your dog may not be seeing you as a competent leader.
    Barging through doors before you.
    Not coming when called, in fact, not being at your side and needing to be called is a huge clue!
    Conflict over toy drops, as opposed to keep away game
    Guarding you when others are around
    Resource guarding its toys/bones from you
    Watching you whilst it eats
    Growls when you remove ANYTHING it has
    When your let your dog off leash, and it doesnt come back
    When your dog is escaping from the garden
    Aggression toward you, or family members/visitors


    And this is think is the litmus test: when you are struggling to keep your dog under control around the house.

    All of which are easily remedied, by switching things up, especially at home. And consistency between house occupants. Which ive never managed to achieve, but you might lol. or you'll end up with a dog like mine, there is one competent leader in his fambly, that's me. The rest are occasionally competent, and he'll do there bidding. The teenager, is definately not competent according to our dogs, nor the teenage boyfriend, a EXCELLENT assessment i reckon.! spot on.
    Last edited by bernie; 06-18-2012 at 06:11 AM.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfsie View Post
    Any anxiety in a dog often means the dog does not think of you as a good Leader...it is quite a shock to some people, but from my work with dogs it seems to be what happens.

    I often make some changes in the home of the dog as to how people deal with the dog, management in the house and the dogs environment. The dog who wants to follow (not made to) is a dog who has confidence in his Leader.
    What kind of changes might be required? He doesn't sleep with us, but is allowed on the bed when not sleeping (or if only 1 is in bed). He's also allowed on the couches.

    Thanks again!

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    Here are some behavioural clues, that your dog may not be seeing you as a competent leader.
    Barging through doors before you.
    Not coming when called, in fact, not being at your side and needing to be called is a huge clue!
    Conflict over toy drops, as opposed to keep away game
    Guarding you when others are around
    Resource guarding its toys/bones from you
    Watching you whilst it eats
    Growls when you remove ANYTHING it has
    When your let your dog off leash, and it doesnt come back
    When your dog is escaping from the garden
    Aggression toward you, or family members/visitors


    And this is think is the litmus test: when you are struggling to keep your dog under control around the house.

    All of which are easily remedied, by switching things up, especially at home. And consistency between house occupants. Which ive never managed to achieve, but you might lol. or you'll end up with a dog like mine, there is one competent leader in his fambly, that's me. The rest are occasionally competent, and he'll do there bidding. The teenager, is definately not competent according to our dogs, nor the teenage boyfriend, a EXCELLENT assessment i reckon.! spot on.
    He does not barge through doors, unless we're leaving (on the lead), to which he is currently learning to wait ("yes" and treat for waiting until he stops trying to run out).
    At home, he always comes. At the dog park, it depends - if we're walking he'll follow, if we are stationary he'll run off but come check in. I'd say recall at the dog park is about 70% (we time it to a point that he's more likely to succeed, otherwise it becomes "noise").
    He doesn't guard us. He used to be worse at resource guarding, but is getting MUCH better (give him a treat to release toy, but give it right back), he doesn't seem as nervous that we will grab it away.
    Doesn't watch us while he eats, never growls at us, but would run out the door if we don't watch it (is also getting better at this). We have only had him a few months.

    I wouldn't say we struggle.

    What do you do to get him to see you as a competent leader?

  6. #16
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    I don't think it has anything to do with sleeping on the bed or the couches, unless he guards these places from someone in the family.

    I'm not quite sure what the main examples that demonstrate good leadership are myself. But I imagine a general description could be that the dog looks to your for direction and doesn't instead try to guide you in what to do. Which is pretty vague, I suppose.

    Personally, from your description of how you dealt with the bike issue, I don't think leadership is the issue here. And I think you will be successful in dealing with this issue if you persist with doing what you are doing. And end up with a confident happy little dog.

    ETA: Posted at the same time. And your last post just confirms my opinion that you are on the right track. I would keep it simple and continue doing what you're doing. It's still fairly early days, training takes time but it sounds as if you are seeing slow and steady improvements.
    Last edited by Beloz; 06-18-2012 at 09:10 AM.

  7. #17
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    MiaLo

    I wouldn't get too hung up on the "leadership" thing.

    Distractions are on a scale for a dog from 1 = easy to ignore, to 10 = dog goes nuts when ever that distraction is present (doesn't really matter why the dog goes nuts - fear / aggression / LOVE, the way you deal with it is the same).

    So I think you know what to do, but other dogs - for your dog (especially on lead) are a level 10 distraction. And the main way of dealing with is is training at a distance where the intensity of the distraction becomes less, or maybe the duration becomes less eg you walk with your dog into view of the distraction just long enough for him to notice it but not be 100% sure, then turn and go back out of sight of it, and do some basic training drills - eg ask for sit/drop/stay/beg/nose touch to hand/party tricks etc. Things your dog can usually do fairly easily when there are not much distractions around or the treats are really good.

    Rewards also have a scale from 1 - really can't be bothered to 10 - dog goes nuts for these. This is similar to a distraction but a reward is always something the dog wants and enjoys.
    ie rewards can be used as distractions and you can start at low level distraction eg asking for your basic training drills when there is a cup of kibble (or something low on the scale) nearby. If the dog does get distracted, move the kibble further away and try again.

    So to counter a level 10 distraction - you need a level 10 reward (eg the right food treat). And some distance or obscured line of sight, just enough so your dog can pay attention to you. Otherwise - your dog won't be able to learn what you want.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 06-18-2012 at 07:15 PM.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by newfsie View Post
    You might already know, but never pick your little dog up, always leave him on the ground.
    Nefsie, what would your rational behind this be? I am not being picky, just interested in the why.

    Let's set the scene - a little dog is going off pop at the end of a ram rod straight 6ft lead. You tell the handler to turn and walk away but the dog is not focused on the handler and is still straining and pulling and digging his claws in to stay put.
    You tell the handler to go ahead and drag the dog away physically.

    Why?

    Next scene - You have a little dog cowering around the handlers feet whislt a dog 4 times it size is terrorizing it. You say do not pick the dog up.

    Why?
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 06-18-2012 at 07:16 PM. Reason: put the end quote tag in
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

  9. #19
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    Hang on Nev...this was in relation to the dog showing aggression on lead, not a little dog cowering at your feet...this was about a dog taking charge and showing aggression, even if it is fear aggression.

    Picking up little aggressive dogs gives them height. height= power in th dog world..if you are higher you are more assertive. Look at dogs when they play, if there is agility equipment they can get on, they will try to get higher. But it is worse if the owner picks up the aggressive little dog. the dogs thinks of this as approval for the aggressive behaviour. Yes I would just pull the little dog, even if it was straining. I prefer if it was going off that it would be able to get focus back on me, but if not...Away we go, Me pulling the dog to a distance where the dog can get its focus back on me...you get to learn these distances for different dogs, it means you have to read the dog. As soon as you are able to get focus, hopefully with the other dog still in sight, reward heavily and see if you can get focus a little closer and so on.

    I have no issues with dogs on furniture if I have allowed them on.....Or if they have gone on whilst I am not there.

    But do you go to your dog to pet it, or do you ask your dog to come to you......In early rescue training this can make a huge difference. I adore my dogs, but I will not pander to them. If they demand to be petted I will not, I will ignore them. Sometimes our Tessa will put ther head under our hands..we ignore this, it is cute, but demanding. As soon as they have gone away, I will call them and give them all the loving they want. if they are sitting somewhere, I will call them over for a pet, I will not go to them. these all seem silly things, but when you have a household of giants and sometimes a pile of stranger dogs amongst them (fosters or Rescue's in training) you need to have this Leadership that a lot of people say is not important. Our dogs are not crated and are all loose in the house........I can bring stranger dogs into my place and friends dogs (as long as they are not aggressive). I do not bully my dogs, we are very quiet, we never yell at our dogs and they are reasonably quiet too. Katy Talks a bit, which can be expressed in some fairly loud barking, but she is quieted quickly by just a shush.....

    If your dogs have no issues and you do not do any of this, then it is fine.....If you have a problem and you want to solve it, then maybe give it a try. I cannot understand why people will not try simple things that might help.....And again it is might, because the Handler and the rest of the family who live with the dogs have to be consistent. If not done properly or correctly it is a waste of time. hence I do home visits and talk to the Family.

    Myself I am always open to anything that might possibly help.........There are some things that I have tried and will not do again. But mostly if it will possibly help my dogs I will give it a go. Annabelle has taught me that you need to try anything. Sometimes I just wish people could meet her and some other dogs that have changed so much with some very simple things.

    The other thing we are very exact with is the ignore, when we get home, or even when we get back from trips into the Yard/paddock. All this has helped make our lives so easy and relaxed with easy dogs

    Anyway...Like I always say in my opinion it works
    Last edited by newfsie; 06-18-2012 at 05:16 PM.
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  10. #20

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    Thanks Newfie. Understood and agreed 100%. However I do think we need to be carefull of the words we use.

    These threads are read by lots of people who know nothing to very little about training and in my experience if they read something that says "never pick your dog up" written by a "senior member" they may just do that in the wrong situation.

    I don't think I am being anal here, just saying be carefull.
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

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