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Thread: Hit and miss

  1. #1
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    Default Hit and miss

    We had a rare social day yesterday. Met up with a friend and his dog at the lake. Only to find our usual swimming spot was fenced off. So we took the dogs to the nearby dog park where it was very busy. There must have been at least 20 dogs there when we arrived. Banjo was ok, though still not keen to just join in. She had a little run with a couple of dogs and at least didn't seem as overwhelmed as she did the first time I took her to a dog park. But my friend's dog freaked out and ran back to the gate at the first opportunity.

    Then we went to a bbq. They organised a drum circle - which took on a hippy flavour, so it was quite serious and solemn. And Banjo ended up sitting on this guy's lap for most of the time. It was a hilarious sight. Apart from her licking, she was pretty good with all the people there. I had to tell her off a few time for trying to lick the only person there who didn't seem to like dogs. And she did manage to lick the toddler a couple of times, but they were very gentle licks, not the usual almost headbutts that used to get her into trouble. And after some instruction from me, she stayed away from the little human.

    Then I made a terrible mistake. I had to go to dinner at a friend's afterwards. I don't normally take my dog there because of her cat, so I don't know what I was thinking walking in with Banjo on the lead. My friend freaked out and told me to leave the dog out the front. Which I did. But no one checked if the side gate was closed so next thing in runs Banjo and up the tree goes the cat. Then my friend tells me he had been chased up a tree before and they had to rescue him because he wouldn't get down. She also tells me he seems unusually bad at getting off high structures and has injured his paws before doing so. Oh boy.

    I brought Banjo to a nearby friend's place, which I should've done in the first place (we were half an hour's drive from home). When I came back the cat was still up the tree. I apologised profusely for my brain dead moment. But the cat remained up the tree.

    Thank F he did finally come down while we were having dinner a couple of hours later.

  2. #2
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    Oh that was funny, would have just needed some Benny Hill music when Banjo realised the side gate was open, really it must have been like an open invitation to chase the cat. Ruby is a serial licker too, only she's the head butting kind

    Glad the cat came down the tree and your friend didn't have to call the fire brigade. Great day out for Banjo...

  3. #3
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    Oh and she stuck her tongue in a glass of coke that was on the ground. It belonged to the only person there who didn't like dogs. Haha! I was just happy that it wasn't wine.

    Findeb, I had to train Banjo to stay away from little kids because of her violent licking. I did LAT training with her at social events with lots of little ones and it helped a lot. Otherwise I would've never been able to have her off the lead anywhere near kids. She'll still occasionally get tempted - especially if they're sitting down, that appears to be an open invitation - but I usually only have to say "Who's that" once and she'll dutifully back away from the child.
    Last edited by Beloz; 10-28-2012 at 05:24 PM.

  4. #4
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    Oh I so know what you're saying Beloz, Ruby is a work in progress, I'm hoping that with time her greetings will calm down!

    We have friends who insist on dropping in unexpectedly with a 5 year old and a 3 year old, their dad brings them in, and Ruby's excitement level goes from zero to one million, she head butts first child in, showering with kisses and slobber, while the poor child walking behind gets the full brunt of the tail, lucky the kids love her and she makes them laugh but I wish they'd give me time to put her lead on and distract her, they just say "don't worry, the kids have to learn" - grrrrr...

    How long did it take for Banjo to be calm? Did u do time out for rough play or just keep her on a lead? I remember you used to get visitors to come over for practice of training Banjo, my visitors are almost too scared to return, they get waaaayyyy too much love....

  5. #5
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    Frosty met the local bull terrier club this morning. She led them on quite a few rounds of zoomies but frequently came back to me because she didn't like being hip and shouldered by them. Funny she can hip and shoulder a GR and trip it up into a somersault that makes me wince, but she didn't like being pushed around by the BT.

    Anyway, I decided to go back to my car - parked WAAAAY down the beach (we weren't going to make it in the remaining off lead time - ah well), and Frosty brought three BT with her. Oops. Most of these BT have zero recall - one of them was deaf and not in the habit of checking in with the boss. I had to wait for the owners to come and get their dogs. They were so cute tho.

  6. #6
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    I think bull terriers are great, such characters. Love that the naughty few followed you and Frosty back to the car ....

    It's great watching dogs play and do zoomies off-lead. There's a coffee shop in Trigg (Perth) across the road from the beach - there's a big drop from the road level to the beach, there's stairs down to a very small dog beach. On the weekends people get a take-away coffee and just sit on the bench seats at the top of the dunes, looking down at all the different breeds of dogs having the best time chasing the ball, standing in the water, or some doing zoomies from one end of the rocks to the other...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeb View Post
    How long did it take for Banjo to be calm? Did u do time out for rough play or just keep her on a lead? I remember you used to get visitors to come over for practice of training Banjo, my visitors are almost too scared to return, they get waaaayyyy too much love....
    Bwahahahaha! She is nearly two and she has NOT calmed down, Findeb. We just try manage the way she expresses her excitement. I think she will always be a puppy.

    Visitors at home are still an issue. Though she is getting a bit better. I still occasionally have to put her in time out. Out and about she is starting to get the message. With the exception of dog owners. She will head for their dog and then suddenly launch herself at the owner as if to say: "You have a dog! You must love dogs! You must love ME!" It is very funny and very embarrassing.

    She knocked over a couple of kids when I just had her and made another couple cry so I absolutely had to get that under control. So every time we were somewhere where there were kids, at the dog walking spot, the school, a friend's place, I would put her on lead and walk up to the kids with her doing LAT. I did this pretty consistently for a while and I saw an improvement very quickly actually. I once did this for maybe 20 minutes at a friend's place with like a dozen small kids (walking around with sausages in their hand!) because Banjo was just out of control. After 20 mins I could let her off the lead and she continued to be calm. For a few months I still had to do LAT around kids but could do it off lead. Now she rarely even tries to approach them.

    I had to laugh when my friend - he's a bit different because he fell off a roof on his head a decade ago lol - kept saying "Respect!" in a very deep voice when Banjo tried to jump on a guest at the bbq. I think I'm going to make that my cue for her keeping 4 paws on the ground if I finally manage to make her understand exactly what it means.

    I realised recently that Banjo probably thinks I'm encouraging her when I try to stop her from jumping. It can be hard to grab her collar when she is that wild, so it can take me a while and she probably thinks I am joining in. Dogs are funny... I once met a guy with a pair of big Schnauzers and his dogs had a harness with a handle attached so he could immediately grab them and pull them back if they were being rude. But I've never been able to find one of those.

    But honestly, I'm the wrong person to ask for advice on this really. I've had this dog for nearly 18 months and she still embarrasses me with her over the top greetings. I thought it would be an easy fix, but I've been seriously out of my depth with this. Thank goodness most of my friends love dogs. But even so, I've had a couple get cranky with me because of it.

  8. #8
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    Thanks Beloz, good advice. I've actually started walking Ruby where there are people, kids, dogs, as I was going to remote places but she's so excited to see people, especially kids, and dogs that I need to desensitise her so she's used to them.

    I've realised that I need to remain calm too and use the commands, I tend to screech her name thru gritted teeth when she races off or does the crazy boxer jump and dash off move, as the leash burns another mark into my hand, or if I have the lead wrapped around my hand it gets instantly crushed, there follows some profanities and my blood pressure goes to boiling point.

    I've bought a shorter leash, 1.2m, and brace myself and when she charges off, I stand still and she ricochets back from the end of the leash and when it's loose again I reward her and give a treat. She seems to be learning.

    I think the greeting manners need a whole new approach too, once she's hyped, it takes forever to calm her down, but I've trained her to be calm when I get home. Just need my friends to practice coming in, ignoring and maybe sitting at the dining table until Ruby (and her tail) become less lethal. Most people laugh and encourage her, then get peeved off when she wants to immobilise them... and lick them to death!!

    Getting her calm with children will need lots of LAT training, dear God, I'll be an old age pensioner by the time she's trained

  9. #9
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    I thought the kids thing was going to take me forever too. I had actually been telling myself it would probably take the best part of a year. Instead, it took a few weeks. The trick with any LAT type training is to start below threshold. If she is already jumping up and lunging forward, you're too close. Then you need to calmly turn around and walk a few meters away and try again. As soon as she gets too excited, move her away. Reward even the tiniest glance in your direction when she's near her object of desire and also reward her by allowing her to get closer to it. Banjo came to love LAT because it earned her a constant stream of treats. I could easily go through a quarter of a cooked beef liver in one day back then.

    Not sure if you are using a clicker, but I found the clicker immensely useful for this because it allows you to capture the exact moment when they look at you instead of the distraction.

  10. #10
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    I'm going to get some liver cooked up and start seriously with LAT training (when she's hungry). Thanks for the help Beloz, nice to know there's others in the same situation

    Yes I have a clicker, it's out of the cupboard now and dusted it off and I have started to use it today - she's so responsive to it already.

    I guess because we don't have kids, we tend to let her get away with more, she's pretty calm with both of us in the house, but I have to start being more strict with her (putting her toys away, not letting her have anything she wants, having to work for it and behaving with guests for treats/toys, etc.)

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