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Thread: Problems When Walking- Please Help

  1. #1

    Unhappy Problems When Walking- Please Help

    My one year old border named Cody and i have been walking together ever since he was fully vaccinated as a pup.We used to be able to walk him without and troubles but as he has gotten older he has picked up some very unwelcome habits. It started pretty mild when he would stop and stare down bikes as they went past, we would check him as we were told at obedience and keep moving. Now months later we have to completely divert off the path because Cody starts leaping out at the bikes barking and showing his teeth. We have tried talking to the obedience instructors for advice, turning him the opposite direction so he cant see the bikes and using food distractions but none of these methods work. I even tried to copy ceasar millan after watching the dog whisperer. I also tried to neutralize my thoughts and emotions incase they were influencing his behaviour. I have also tried introducing the bikes to him up close in our own backyard without success. The problem seems to be progressing as he is now weary of joggers who jog past quickly and ladies with prams or kids with scooters. Cody is a very sweet dog who gets alot of love and stimulation in this household but we cant seem to find what is causing this behaviour. He loves people and would never bite someone deliberatly but he seems to believe that people with these objects are in some sort of danger or are dangerous to me and my family. We walk him twice a day, everyday, for about 30 minutes to an hour. Cody has his normal border collie type antics but this seems to be his most worrying behaviour to me. He is a very intelligent dog. We didnt get him from a registered breeder but we rescued him from some horrific conditions and he has turned into the most beautiful and loving dog i have owned yet. I wish there was some way i could understand what is going on in his head when we walk and how i can help him, can you help me?

  2. #2

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    He seems to be a bit bazerk like a lot of bored BC's.
    Do you have a large yard? Do you play with him at home regularly?
    BC's need constant stimulation which means that everything must be a game or a demand etc
    For example, calling him to sit and stay by you even when sitting at the computer, making him sit and wait when there is food, making him fetch things.
    If he is constantly waiting for a demand he is being stimulated which helps to distract him when out walking. It's almost like clicker training, where the dog is waiting for the sound and paying complete attention to the owner the entire walk.

    I would perhaps get a pair of roller skates and skate around the house and yard That will get him used to wheels for a start.
    I'd also get a behaviourlist out to see what is causing his anxiety as their may be an underlying problem.

    I'm sure K-9 force will have some great advice for you anyway

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western Sydney
    Posts
    808

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    Cody sounds like my Chookie. He used to chase anything moved; flies, runners/joggers, scooter, motor bikes, push bikes, cars.

    I am sure my response will put some members off but be it.

    I and my partner decided to give him a little nudge on his chest with left foot and said No in a stern voice. We used to go to Parramatta Park where you can find a lot runners and cyclists on purpose during weekends. Funny I received dirty glances from several people. They probably thought I was abusing my dog not we were trying to save him. Anyway he got better within a few weeks.

    The reason we chose to nudge on his chest is that Chookie is s/tu who is very short and we thought timing is a very important to capture the moment to be effective in this method.

    Chookie still does that here and there but he behaves ok with verbal remind only now. I can live with that. Good luck!
    I love cooking but I love eating even more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rural Western Australia
    Posts
    2,636

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    Herding dogs to have the inclination to chase fast moving objects. Mine will all do it if I let them. I have a BC and ACD who are particularly bad.

    I solved it by clicker training. But again you need to start at a distance where your dog is not so stimuated that he ignores everthing else.

    I would work at a distance where he can see the offending objects but is below reaction level and teach him to look at you with a watch me and click and treat, or use your voice instead of a clicker. You need to get the watch me command trained before you go on the road so to speak, so practice in the yard first and then take it out an about at a distance. With my ACD it got to the point that when she saw a car or bike she would instantly look at me and keep heeling. I did always keep a pocket of treats and reinforced this behaviour very very heavily.

    BCs are very quick on the uptake and they usually take to clicker training very well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody09 View Post
    It started pretty mild when he would stop and stare down bikes as they went past, we would check him as we were told at obedience and keep moving. Now months later we have to completely divert off the path because Cody starts leaping out at the bikes barking and showing his teeth. We have tried talking to the obedience instructors for advice, turning him the opposite direction so he cant see the bikes and using food distractions but none of these methods work. [...] I wish there was some way i could understand what is going on in his head when we walk and how i can help him, can you help me?
    My kelpie X does exactly this. Skateboarders; joggers; bikers; cars; motorcycles; scooters; push scooters; you name it, he barks, snaps and lunges after them. It's the working breed. You are not alone

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalacreek View Post
    I solved it by clicker training. But again you need to start at a distance where your dog is not so stimuated that he ignores everthing else.

    I would work at a distance where he can see the offending objects but is below reaction level and teach him to look at you with a watch me and click and treat, or use your voice instead of a clicker. You need to get the watch me command trained before you go on the road so to speak, so practice in the yard first and then take it out an about at a distance. With my ACD it got to the point that when she saw a car or bike she would instantly look at me and keep heeling. I did always keep a pocket of treats and reinforced this behaviour very very heavily.
    This. I do a lot of training on focus and I work with a clicker as well. Start at home and during obedience training. I don't let him have anything until he looks at me. Look at me and keep heeling = instant reward! He still lunges at times but he's getting much, much better. The problem is his reaction is SUPER FAST so that's another thing I need to keep in mind. If he does lunge/snap, I check him with a stern UH-UH and keep walking.

    Good luck!

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