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Thread: Terrified of Cars During a Walk

  1. #11
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    Jan 2011
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    Haven't taken Milo out for a walk today... Ridiculously hot today in Sydney!

    Well, before I bought a kelpie, I've read that they need lots of exercise if they were to live in the urban areas. I'm going to have Milo as my jogging companion in the future, but of course that won't be enough for him since the breeder said he will be able to run up to 70 km a day!

    Whenever Milo's with other puppies, they all drop tired while Milo's still up and running around waking up all the puppies to play with him lol. So yeah, from that I thought he would need more than a short walk. Especially when I went to Bicentennial Park with him. We walked around for about 5 hours with a 1 hour break. Now that I think of it, that may have been an overkill. But yeah, when we were there he wasn't scared of the cars. And the next day he was able to ignore the cars in the small streets so I thought I would take him onto the Hume Highway... which he of course, freaked out.

  2. #12
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    Lol Kaer

    I think dogs do need their endurance built up... ie a big run after no previous build up is going to result in sore muscles and lack of enthusiasm on the next day, or next couple of days depending how much the dog over did it, it is a dog, they're not that great at telling you...

    I do two hours a day with Frosty and I encourage her to run a lot but she doesn't always. I agree it has been way too hot the last few days, though we did go to the beach on Sunday morning. It was 30'C by 8am - eek.

    Endurance Test Story

    The above is a story about how someone trained two? cavaliers to do endurance (20km run). She did start with adult dogs.

    So 2 hours a day (1 hour am, 1 hour pm) with kelpie when its grown up will be ok, and probably enough. Walking on lead actually works a dog pretty hard though it doesn't get as much physical exericse - my dog always sleeps really well after that because there is so much more for her to think about on the walk - as well as the scary cars. But free running, herding and wrestling with other friendly dogs works best with her.

  3. #13
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    Mar 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bundybear View Post
    The Hume highway must seem very scary for little pup, I'd be wary walking near it myself.
    I'd try to stick to back streets until he is a lot more accustomed to cars.
    Keeping yourself calm and not using a panicky voice will help a lot too, use calm soothing tones. It is natural to react to a dog that's doing helicopters trying to get away in a situation like that, but you have to stay as calm as possible and try not to project your fear onto the dog.
    You can't expect to overcome a fear like that overnight.
    Part of the problem is the kelpies natural instinct to get out of they way of trouble, it comes in handy when a bull charges or kicks out, but it will take a bit of patience on your part and a calm firm hand.
    All good advise BB except for possibly the calm soothing tones, that can be making the dog worse, better to totaly ignor the things you do not want, but yes do build up more slowly to exposure.

  4. #14
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    Haha alright. I will slowly build it up since he is still a puppy.

    Tonight I took him to a corner on a quiet street opposite of a coaching college where all the students were finishing class (my sister was teaching a class at that time and was finishing -- totally not a stalker of students!) so there were a few cars and parents waiting. I made him sit at the corner and whenever a car passed and he only looked but didn't try running away, I treated him. Sometimes he just totally ignored the car so I treated him for that too.

    I walked like 2 meters while a car was moving and he was hesitant at first but managed later. I guess sitting made him feel more secure than walking.

    It was pretty funny at first though. I tried distracting him with a sit when a car was approaching as suggested. He did well in this but... after a while he thought sitting = treat so wouldn't budge when I wanted to continue to walk! Had to lure him into continue walking and treat him while we were walking. He would sometimes randomly sit while we're walking and expect a treat despite no cars were passing haha.

  5. #15
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    Kaer

    You've got to try some "free shaping" him, he reads like a very smart dog ie will train you faster than you can train him. This will encourage him to think of new ways to get the treat and is really handy for any kind of competition or trick training or just training him to fetch your ugg boots.

    Have a read of this stuff...
    Gary Wilkes Intro to clicker training

    You don't need to use an actual clicker, you can just use a short sharp word like "yes" or "good" or "yip".

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minibulls mum View Post
    All good advise BB except for possibly the calm soothing tones, that can be making the dog worse, better to totaly ignor the things you do not want, but yes do build up more slowly to exposure.
    Yeah I agree, I was trying to make the point of not reacting to the fear the dog was showing and it did come out a bit wrong.
    Staying calm is important but you have to remain consistent and not tone things down when the dog is scared or it will send the dog mixed messages.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaer View Post
    Haha alright. I will slowly build it up since he is still a puppy.

    Tonight I took him to a corner on a quiet street opposite of a coaching college where all the students were finishing class (my sister was teaching a class at that time and was finishing -- totally not a stalker of students!) so there were a few cars and parents waiting. I made him sit at the corner and whenever a car passed and he only looked but didn't try running away, I treated him. Sometimes he just totally ignored the car so I treated him for that too.

    I walked like 2 meters while a car was moving and he was hesitant at first but managed later. I guess sitting made him feel more secure than walking.

    It was pretty funny at first though. I tried distracting him with a sit when a car was approaching as suggested. He did well in this but... after a while he thought sitting = treat so wouldn't budge when I wanted to continue to walk! Had to lure him into continue walking and treat him while we were walking. He would sometimes randomly sit while we're walking and expect a treat despite no cars were passing haha.
    Haha
    Who's training who now ?
    It sounds like you have a very intelligent dog.

  8. #18
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    Nov 2010
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    Goulburn Valley Victoria
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    This is intresting as Tilly will walk with me everywhere with me with no probs. But if I walk her down our small main street she will walk right up against the shop fronts.The only reason I can think of is the verandahs increases the sound of the traffic. As soon as I have passed the shop verandahs she is back to her normal self........

  9. #19

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    You should expose your dog to cars as much as possible. Even when you're not walking him you can just sit on the street with him and watch cars. It sounds a bit silly (watching cars) but this technique is called "flooding". It is used to desensitise - exposure to fear until the fear fades away.

  10. #20
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    I have walked Milo on small streets for a bit over a week now. Twice a day, 30-40 mins each with the a car passing probably every 3 minutes. He absolutely ignores the cars existence and does well on the leash and does the usual sniffing around. I have had Milo watch many cars on my lap during this week as well.

    He is still terrified of the Hume Highway though. I took him there again yesterday and he would not budge after he can see the road. Previously I have picked him up and carried him on the Hume Highway as I thought... if he's not going to walk... at least let him see and hear with my protection. I have always picked him up when he didn't walk if I actually needed to go on the Hume Highway. I have read another thread just then that picking up a dog is actually rewarding it. I am wondering if I have been rewarding Milo for being scared of the Hume Highway? If so, is there a way to undo this?

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