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Thread: Things Not Going to Plan

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Northern Beaches, Sydney
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    Default Things Not Going to Plan

    Hi everyone,

    I have Geoff a now nearly 10 month old Airedale. He is desexed, and we go for an hour run/walk in the morning and another 1/2 to 3/4 hour again in the evening. He gets a piece of frozen kangaroo tail for breakfast and a mix of meat and dry food at night. He is right on his proper weight, good coat etc. He is generally a good boy. But I have a couple of questions and am feeling a bit out of my depth trying to work with him.

    firstly, he has become a great white hunter. No lizard or insect is safe at home now, and when we go for a walk, seeing a rabbit (or 20) just sets him right off the deep end. He goes deaf, and virtually chokes himself trying to get to them. I used to let him off the lead in the morning when we go for a run, but I am going off that a bit now because his recall isn't reliable when he thinks he has seen a lizard, quail, rabbit, possum, bandicoot (insert small animal of your choice here). He has a better recall at the dog park than on our running path in the bush. He used to walk happily on a loose leash by my side, and we practiced this a lot, but now he is constantly scanning and sniffing in the hope that he will find a rabbit. We seem to have a rabbit plague here on the northern beaches at the moment and you can't go anywhere without seeing at least 3 or 4 sitting on the verge taunting you. Any suggestions apart from keeping him on the lead all the time.

    Associated with the great white hunter is the fact that he is channelling his inner labrador, and while he will do 'leave it' from my hand or on a chair or on the floor at home, all bets are off in the great outdoors. And he eats things that will turn your stomach including half a used baby nappy before I got there, a dead putrifying eel, and 3/4 of a bbq chicken carcass bones and all.
    Again, any suggestions.

    Finally, I really want to train him and we work at least 2 x 10 minute each day. But I don't seem to be progressing much and I am feeling like a bit of a failure. We go to dog club, but that seems to consist of a lot of standing around and he just switches off. He is more interested in schnavelling up other peoples dropped treats and smelling other dogs bottoms. he ignores me and will not do what I know he can do if he feels like it.

    I feel pretty hopeless.

    Any suggestions.

    Curly Girl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    Default

    Hi Curly Girl

    1. Airedales can be independent thinkers (ie ignore their owners when they have better things to do).
    2. 10 months is doggy adolescence (ie ignore owners when they think they have more important things to do) Dog Growth Cycles in terms of Temperament
    3. You need "really reliable recall DVD" by Lesley Nelson and you need to make coming back to you automatic (conditioned) and way more fun than chasing rabbits.

    Dogwise.com Really Reliable Recall

    In the meantime you might want to get a front attach harness (eg sensible) or halti so managing him on lead is easier for you.
    Dog Harness, Dog Training Supplies | Sense-ible and Sense-ation Dog Harness

    All training needs to be generalised to every environment. If you find you're just standing around at dog club, take the opportunity to test his skills with verbal or signed "sit-drop-stand" in random order or quick games of tug or on lead recalls and stays. Eg stay, walk around him and return, heaps of praise or treats. Most airedales like food but are easily distracted so you need the best treats eg fresh roast chicken or garlic salami etc to get his attention back.

    You can also practice "it's yer choice", and up the criteria to not stealing food off the ground.
    It's yer choice by Susan Garrett
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 01-27-2011 at 02:45 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Northern Beaches, Sydney
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    Default

    Thanks Hyacinth.

    I have a sensible harness that I used a couple of months ago (before we had LLW knocked ha ha) so I will go back to that again.

    I do the "It's yer choice'' but I was doing the Sophia Yin version. As I said, we can do it at home, we can do it in our garage, we can do it in the yard, but anywhere else forget it. Guess I need to practice more. I have also been doing the Triangle of temptation at dinner and he will focus on me then, but if it doesn't suit him.... I guess that's the joy of an independent terrier brain.

    I really want to do agility or something that will challenge him and get him more in the game. At the moment he seems to just tolerate my training efforts like you tolerate an old aunty telling you about this nice young man she knows who would be just perfect for you.

    I will get the really reliable recall you recommend I think. I believe there is a book or a DVD, do you have a recommendation as to which one is better?

    My one piece of good news is that I have discovered that he will do almost anything for a Macdonalds chip, so I have now upped my training treats from bbq chicken to cold chips. Hopefully that will up the ante somewhat.

    With the dog training, we tend to walk around and do things while we are waiting, but this uses up his attention span if you know what I mean. Then when we are meant to be doing something, he is sort of over it all.

    cheers

    Curly girl
    Last edited by Curly Girl; 01-27-2011 at 02:56 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
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    I only have the DVD, I took notes and wrote my own instructions based on that. I do like to see what they mean, but I can't compare with the book cos I don't have it.

    Make everything a fun game. Everything. Does he like to play tug, that can be good for having a break from concentrating and keep him excited about being with you. For Agility you really need a good recall and a good stay ideally a stand stay. And you need to "proof it" ie practice in distracting environments eg dog club can be good for a distracting environment. Eg get airedale to sit. Chuck some kibble treats around. Hold airedale so he can't go until you release him. Then release him with a "geddit". And let him eat all the treats. Work up to standing next to airedale while you chuck treats and don't hold him... and give him an uber treat for staying and then release him to get the ones on the ground...

    Susan Garrett Agility Training

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default

    I love SG. I suscribe to her blog and read it religiously. I just seem to have problems putting it into action. I think it is operator error as much as anything else. But you know, you can only do what you can do and I'm trying my best.

    From your comment I think I will go the DVD route.

    Geoff is not interested in tug at all. He will occasionally be mildly interested in our squeaky ball at the park, but he prefers chasing the dogs chasing the ball than doing anything himself.

    His favourite toy is the stuffless duck you recommended, but even that is on his terms, he will toss it around when he wants some attention, but otherwise isn't that interested.

    I am going to try making a tug out of braided themafleece which I read about on another forum. Apparently the texture of it appeals to a lot of dogs. I have got nothing to lose.

    I find this a bit frustrating because I have previously had kelpies who would worship the ground you walked on if your threw a ball, and viewed tugging on anything as the best thing since sliced bread.

    I just have to keep remembering my mantra of the moment 'that's the joy of an independent terrier brain'.

    Thanks again for your valuable suggestions.

    Regards

    Curly Girl

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Curly Girl View Post
    I love SG. I suscribe to her blog and read it religiously. I just seem to have problems putting it into action. I think it is operator error as much as anything else. But you know, you can only do what you can do and I'm trying my best.

    From your comment I think I will go the DVD route.

    Geoff is not interested in tug at all. He will occasionally be mildly interested in our squeaky ball at the park, but he prefers chasing the dogs chasing the ball than doing anything himself.

    His favourite toy is the stuffless duck you recommended, but even that is on his terms, he will toss it around when he wants some attention, but otherwise isn't that interested.

    I am going to try making a tug out of braided themafleece which I read about on another forum. Apparently the texture of it appeals to a lot of dogs. I have got nothing to lose.

    I find this a bit frustrating because I have previously had kelpies who would worship the ground you walked on if your threw a ball, and viewed tugging on anything as the best thing since sliced bread.

    I just have to keep remembering my mantra of the moment 'that's the joy of an independent terrier brain'.

    Thanks again for your valuable suggestions.

    Regards

    Curly Girl
    You know I had the same problem when I first got a Tibetan Mastiff as many do not even take treats & do not play at all. I had to forget all I'd learnt that worked well with the bc,rotties & shepards that I'd had in the past & take a totally new tact. I now have to say it's more a partnership that worked with my TM's where as with the others I was diffently the boss.
    Good luck & stick with it. Hyacinth has given you great advise so all thats left to say is hang in there.
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  7. #7
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    May 2010
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    Default

    thank you Crazy Dog.

    I love Geoff to bits, he has a great sense of humour and is affectionate (on his terms of course ;p) and so tolerant with the kids. He has a lot of great qualities.

    I just get frustrated because I'm sure he would have a lot of fun if he got involved a bit more. I just need to find out what turns him on.

    And your right about Hyacinth. She is a wonderful source of sensible information.

    cheers

    Curly Girl

  8. #8
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    SG can get a jack russell to work with her.

    She does something she calls working through the "don't wanna, don't hafta" moments. It's not exactly forcing the dog to enjoy tug but it is limiting his choices so that's what he chooses.

    Then again tug with an airedale could be a little over the top.

    Clean Run: Tug It Training Toy

    You could try one of these, and stuff it with old maccas chippies...

  9. #9
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    Hyacinth,

    Is there anywhere in Australia that you can get the RRR DVD and the other delightful items you are tempting me with?

    With the $A as it is buying OS is ok but the delivery is a killer.

    cheers

    Curly Girl

  10. #10
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    I know the dvd cost me a bomb and the delivery from clean run is scary, because they pack everything into a box slightly larger than your average case of wine.

    Tug Toys

    these guys are in QLD, they run the SG seminars when she comes to Oz - I went last November. They have the tug toys but not the recall dvd. I think dogwise is the only place you can get the recall dvd. Their shipping is not as scary as clean run. You could ask for it as a gift ie get someone else to pay for it... that's what I did.

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