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Thread: 10 month old craziness!

  1. #1

    Default 10 month old craziness!

    Hey all,

    So my dingo/kelpie/cattledog rescue boy Scooter has hit the 10 month old mark and is clearly starting to go a little stir crazy! From what I have read this seems to be normal for a few months, but he is doing some weird things and I am chasing a few tips and tricks on how to make it easy on him and me!

    He gets walked usually twice daily and as I work shift, there is generally someone around the house to play with him. Admittedly I have been slightly lazy on the training recently, but I have just started back up in an attempt to stimulate him some more.

    Scooter is a very very happy dog and extremely social, bordering on too social as he sees dogs and humans as play things.

    He also is an pretty full-on scavenger. Every walk is nose to the ground, into the bushes, hunting for some kind of smell or food.

    Things he is good at:
    Hi 5/10
    Roll overs
    Waiting for his food
    Going onto his mat

    Things he is not so good at:
    Loose-lead walking (Used a front-attach harness for a while, but onto martingale collar)
    Off-leash recall
    Jumping on people
    Stealing food from plates/benches
    Biting me when I grab his collar

    Scooter is very intelligent but so stubborn which has made training certain things difficult. He is however 100% food obsessed... I've tried clicker training for the hard stuff like loose-lead walking but it gets to the point where he ignores the click because his drive to scavenge is greater.

    At this age he has hit, these problems seem to be slightly exaggerated and I am looking for helpful hints in ways to alleviate them. I know it is all about training, training, training, but if there are any other ideas I am more than open to them.

    Thanks in advance for any help or guidance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    You might need a head halter to control his head and his opportunity to scavenge.

    You can also put "go sniff" as a thing he can do wtih permission eg nice sit stay then "go sniff" and he's free to go sniff - with your permission so it becomes a reward for doing what you want.

    You need to play "its yer choice" (google - it;s in here somewhere) with the food on plates and things. You might need help with that to prevent him stealing rewards. You may also want to play a lot of give / geddit / give with food like things eg tug toys so you can safely stop him stealing food by putting your hand palm up, under his nose and lifting - to stop the sniffing/foraging when you want. Grabbing him by the collar and pulling fires up something called the "opposition reflex" and he will try harder to be naughty.

    Is your clicker training loose lead walking paired with food - better food than he can find foraging. Have you started somewhere where it's pretty much foraged out eg home, bedroom, bathroom, backyard, front yard, front footpath etc. Each new place, probably requires revision training.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    Firstly is Scooter desexed?

    I will assume he is .

    Having some Dingo in him and really also two mixes which most likely in their past did anyway, you will have to be sure you have good leadership. That does no tmean dominate your dog, it just means the dog knows that you are in charge.

    Loose lead walking is quite difficult, but I will assume that he will not weigh over 30kg...I would walk and every time the lead goes tight change direction..Dog walks on the left side go right. Or if it is on the right go left..these moves are quick and it make the dog realise you are in charge of the walk. it might mean you take a very long walk to get where you want to get. I only use front attaching harnesses for this iif the dog is really strong.

    It is also good to start this at home and slowly upgrade the amount of distractions. And to be very strict with if the lead is tight, change very young puppies to stop is enough, but when dogs have weight, it is easier to change direction. I would often click ( or say "Yes" ha[pily) and treat if i get a correct position..meaning if the dog is in the position I like my dogs to be and that is a different possy for everyone......It is what you want, not what someone tells you it should be. I really also have no issues with whatever equipment you want to use......Martingale is fine. Just do not hang on to a tight lead the whole time. Make a loose lead by changing direction. Even if it means changing direction a hundred times to get to where you want to be.

    You are going to have to desensitize him to the collar grab.......Get hold of it softly and if he allows it..reward and let him go...Again do this lots of times. Don't grab the collar and put him away or tie him up. grab the collar and talk to him, when he is calm reward and let him go. This all needs to be done calmly and friendly.

    recall is repetition, It has to be perfect in the house and repeated with many rewards.......recall is good, the reward can be let the dog go...letting go is the best reward.
    Recall has to be good in the house, in the garden, in a contained strange environment and slowly up the ante.........As soon as it is in an outside environment, use the long lead/rope, you will still have control. If the dog does not come on one call, bring him nice and let him go again. If and when he does come on one call, reward him heaps and let him go again........"go sniff" /"go play" can be a great reward too
    many people make the mistake of doing a recall and making that the end........meaning putting the dog away or keeping them contained..Wrong.....Do lots of reaclls and allow the dog to go back to what it was doing. In our Beginner class we allow all the dogs to play/sniff/just be together...we lure them out (early recall) and we treat/reward and let them go back to the fun...this get done throughout all the 8weeks. At the end most dogs can be recalled out of the meet and greet with just one call. So if you walk in your garden, call reward and let go....."go sniff" or what again and again

    The jumping might be because it was rewarded...i ignore if dogs are not of a dangerous can cause injury size.....I do not look at the dog or touch the dog and reward a sit.

    If large dogs, I use a lead and teach them to sit/drop for every greeting. it requires two people and some training of a steady sit/drop

    I also believe in ignoring dogs for quite some time when I get home....I do not look at them or talk to them. It also quietens everything down after some time. I will cal the dog when it is relaxed and make a fuss.

    Stealing from food and benches can sometimes be fixed with setting up surprise traps, but mostly you have to manage it by not having anything where the dog can get at it..We do some desensitising..we sit in our lounge room with food on a low chest and we watch and teach "leave it"......Three out of four in our household are very good and not touching..LOL but one, the newest newfie Rescue is unreliable. So we never leave out food when we are not there.

    I can however leave meat defrosting on the sink, he never touches the sink...we set up cardboard "shelves", so when he jumped up cans with lots of noisy stuff would fall off...he hated it. Doesn't work on the solid benches for him

    Anyway..there are so many different ways to teach different are just some ideas
    Pets are forever

  4. #4


    Thanks for the responses!

    Yes Scooter is desexed.

    I tried a head halter early on in the game, however we didn't even get into the car to go for a walk. He would just drop and try and roll it off his face. Tried it for ages to no avail. That's when I moved to the harness...

    I think after your advice and with some reflection, I need to strip his training back and build it up again. I use cut up chicken necks as treats so his drive for them is intense. However he has been known to even ignore them when he is fully charged at the beach. Just like how he ignores the clicker.... I started using the clicker in the house and very controlled but it was almost like he knew about the clicker and just did anything for the food. Then when I would prep some food, he thought it was for him!

    The collar grab problems only happen when he is very excited... say if he has done something bad off lead and I want to put him back on, his reflex is to bite me and try and get away. The rest of the time, the collar grab is fine and I can put different harnesses/collars on him not a problem.

    When we play tug I make him sit and wait every time before he gets released to grab the toy, but this involves him jumping to grab it usually. He also really enjoys rough play, which I avoid as it promotes him jumping and biting. Often when I go to discipline him for something, he gets very excited and thinks it is play time - I've tried so many options to counteract this, but he doesn't seem to get the picture!

    Righto, thanks again for your help and I am going back to basics with training!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    Just reading the last bit....just leave the tug game, until you have more control on him for a while. He is using the game to his advantage....It need to be more controlled, and once he is, it can come back, unless he is not when playing the game.

    It also sounds like you might have to be a little boring around him...he is in over-drive and things need to be calmer...So have those periods of ignore and not looking at him at all.

    I like teaching my dogs to work in drive (prey), but it can be a problem when the dog has no control.

    So like you said, back to basics, ....Happy Training

    Now just as a thought...When he does not come for recall, do you ever chase him? Don' away, even make some happy sounds running away (silly works too). It can sometimes make the dog come quicker. Chasing turns it into the dogs game. It can sometimes help in emergencies if you are out and about.

    I don't discipline for that reason, I ignore........I become the most boring non-interactive person for that dog. If he was not so reactive on his collar, i would take him to a time-out. But because he is reactive, I would take me away and ignore......Of course this can only be done in safe places, which limits it. But like I said it has to work at home first......
    Pets are forever

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    I'm not understanding this: "Just like how he ignores the clicker.... I started using the clicker in the house and very controlled but it was almost like he knew about the clicker and just did anything for the food. Then when I would prep some food, he thought it was for him!"

    The clicker is never a reward, just a marker, so? I'm possibly just misunderstanding what you're trying to say.

    Your dog sounds like a real character, which is a much nicer term than over-excitable or crazy. I got my rescue (presumably kelpie x staffy) when she was 8 mo and she was pretty wild. Now 10 months on we are STILL working on the jumping up on other people (we fixed the jumping up on us months ago) but I am finally getting more control. And she is an avid bench browser and I have not tried to do anything about it - I just make sure I put everything away or move it right against the wall where she cannot reach. But she is good on lead, great at recall and generally calm and well behaved now.

    Just stick with it, be consistent and you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

    Oh and where are the photos???

  7. #7


    Yep, just stopped with tug! Despite him loving it, I believe it is promoting bad behaviour at the moment.

    Back to basics indeed.... Today's sessions were just that!

    When he is off the lead, his recall is not guaranteed but I definitely do not chase him. One thing I caught onto quickly is that he enjoys the chase game. I do admit he is very good with looking for where I am. If he is 100m out in front and I turn and walk the other way, he WILL come in my direction. On the walk he is always checking where I am and what direction I am going. He also responds to "this way" with a point in the direction.

    Hmmm not really sure what I was getting to with the clicker training. I guess I meant that despite introducing it, using it, and really giving it a go, Scooter sometimes just ignores it and prefers other things. He gets it, click means reward... but sometimes I just believe he is stubborn for stubborns sake.

    We generally prep the house very well to avoid him stealing food, but turn your back for a second and look out!

    His new game is stealing socks and walking around the house waiting for you to chase him... currently he is sitting next to me with 3 socks he stole, but I have to try and ignore him!

    A crazy character he is indeed...

    Here are some photos... his favourite trick to wake me up in the morning is to jump on the A/C unit outside my wind and peer in until we wake up!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Sunshine Coast


    Oh a big boy isn't he!! Booodiful pooch!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    se qld


    "His new game is stealing socks and walking around the house waiting for you to chase him... currently he is sitting next to me with 3 socks he stole, but I have to try and ignore him!"

    Lol,lol,lol, this is officially a game at our place. We call it "What have you got!!"

    Snoop has 2 explorer socks. One for outside with a squeaky ball knotted in it,
    another for inside which he keeps safely tucked under his bed (until playtime).
    They are his most highly prized possessions.
    (p.s. handy hint - keep the laundry door closed)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    Do you mean he doesn't want the reward after you click?

    With recall, the trick is to call him often when there are no big distractions and you know for sure he will come. That is also a good way to get them used to working for treats I found, if that makes sense.

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