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Thread: Puppy Visitor - what to do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    se qld
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    Default Puppy Visitor - what to do?

    Our next door neighbour (on small acreage) has had a female GSD pup since February.
    She broke her ankle badly while playing with pup and is just now able to go out dog
    walking.
    Today she brought pup over for a first visit and as she started down our track I quietly
    took Miss Ginny inside and gave her a bone. I knew she would cause a ruckus and get
    Snoopy hyped and I did not want the young GSD (9 mth old) to be frightened.

    Here is what went down

    Lady and pup on lead walked down our track - Snoopy sat back quietly

    I came up to the fence to talk - Snoopy barked and bowed to pup

    Pup put nose in to lick Snoopy. she is a very calm and lovely girl

    Snoopy started shouting at poor pup and I tried to calm him but no luck
    Hugged him, security, I will protect you, I am your Fearless Leader etc

    Neighbour said "what if I come in and pat Snoopy, that is what he wants"
    Ok, come around into a little entry yard with a gate
    Snoopy calmed a bit then as he could lick the lady (he has always loved her)

    Pup checking out the cat, butcher birds etc not fazed about Snoopy
    Snoopy calmer but still being stupid jumping etc-I tried to quietly reason with him
    "she's a good puppy, can she come and play with Snoopy?"
    Nearly worked ! massive tail wagging puppy dance then
    -OMG there's a strange DOG here I have to bark at her!

    In spite of all this the neighbour was still considering bringing her dog in for a play,
    as she has known Snoopy for most of his life and does trust him.
    I said hmmm, not today but we will work on it, try again on the weekend because
    I have to consult with DOGFORUM and get some advice.

    Before they set off for home I put Snoopy on leash as I did not want him to fence run
    or attempt to "chase them away". I said we are going upstairs, ok, so we watched them
    go from the verandah and he sat quietly beside me.

    So, it was a debacle _ can anyone help with what to do next time?

    It has been a year since we had foster dogs coming and going so he is not used to new dogs
    on his property.

    They just turned up - we did not know they were coming

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    I think you did good Chubb Security

    Some of my training when to hell when I allowed my dog's out of control behaviour to be rewarded with a doggy greeting...

    So no greeting until at least the older dog can be calm and well behaved - at least until the tail sniffing is done and then it's ok to do some zoomies... somewhere relatively safe... beach and into water - good. Flying leaps from high verandah decks onto concrete - not so good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    se qld
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    Thanks for the response Hyacinth, so when they come back should I;

    have a chat with him before they come - then he will not be surprised
    should the visitors stand further back from the fence
    should I put him on leash before they come down the drive
    should I keep US back from the fence (he was fine until we came too close)
    have some treats ready, do one for you one for pup (have a picnic - invite a roast chicken lol)

    The more I write I am starting to answer my own questions in my mind, still
    I am all ears.

    So the crux of it is, if he carries on :-
    Pup goes home, too bad Snoopy, no playtime.
    The penny will drop after a few goes and the neighbour is great, she understands.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    near Sydney NSW
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    Just wondering if it might work better if you take Snoopy to visit the pup on the pup's territory?
    Perhaps Snoopy will be more relaxed if they get to know each other when Snoopy isn't in territorial mode? When the relationship is established this way he might might more agreeable to letting Snoopy into his yard for a play.

  5. #5

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    'chubbsecurity' - this is what I do with Riley. I don’t usually bring new dogs onto the property if Riley hasn't met them before outside the yard.

    Now, the types of treats you need for all this - have to be very high value and preferably the same sort for both pups. Usual rules apply for treats !

    So what we do - we go for a walk up the road (neutral territory) - with new people and their pups. Riley and I pick them up on our way out of the yard. Time and distance is really irrelevant. Usually just long enough to get the sting out of the pups’ energy levels.

    We let them do a bit of a meet and greet, sniffing – but no playing and no nonsense – and we walk and gauge how things are going. This may take a couple of outings.

    Next, we bring them onto the property after the walk – doesn't matter which one – still on lead, let them have a drink if needed and then continue walking and do a lap of the yard. This is done at a really slow pace – with people doing a lot of talking, pups spending heaps of time sniffing, a couple of piddles – and then we decide whether to take the leads off or just drop them or .....

    But we still keep on walking around the yard. Again - this can take a few times to get where you want.
    Good Luck ! smiley-eatdrink004.gif

  6. #6
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    @chubbsecurity

    have a chat with him before they come - then he will not be surprised
    Maybe. I'd have a chat with them...

    Should the visitors stand further back from the fence
    One of you should. Given Snoopy should not be so excited about things just the other side of the fence, maybe it should be him first. I guess I'd start with a bit of both - after explaining the routine to her. So often you don't get a choice.

    So start with Snoopy at a certain distance back 5 metres maybe? but where you both have a good view. And your visitor can see how Snoopy is handling things.

    Have Snoopy in a drop stay ie slightly vulnerable position for him, but it's his place... Have them approach until Snoopy starts getting excited and has trouble holding the drop, then get them to turn around and walk away - ideally before he gets up and definitely before he starts barking. The reward for calm behaviour on his part is the puppy gets to come closer. Depending how the puppy behaves, the visitor team might have to turn around and walk away if the puppy gets too excited as well. So find out what your "excitement threshold" distance is and work on the edge of it looking for calm behaviour.

    should I put him on leash before they come down the drive
    Definitely - how will you control what he does if you don't. Leash and drop stay.

    should I keep US back from the fence (he was fine until we came too close)
    Yes.

    have some treats ready, do one for you one for pup
    I'd call this advanced training - depending how much of a resource guarder snoopy is. If both dogs are good with sharing this could work. But it may also be better if treats come from the respective handlers. And beware of the dog that acts excited and then acts calm to get the treat.

    I've got one of those. She's that clever. Eg I go sniff the lizard - mum calls me and gives me lots of pats. So I go sniff the lizard when I want lots of pats. (this would be worse if she got food for it). And even worse today - I go counter surfing, then I go in the crate (She volunteered this - WTF! she could skip the counter surfing - that would be good).

    Pay really close to what gets your dog excited. If food or toys get your dog more excited when you want calm behaviour (until permission for play granted), use something else - like distance to excitement as the reward.

    Usually I let the scaredy dog approach the bold dog in the scaredy dog's own time and with a loose lead. And I'd treat puppies as scaredy dogs. They're on puppy licence but you also don't want the 9 month old to have a bad experience - most of them are on the edge of being in their second scaredy dog phase.

    There is this strange thing that happens to dogs on tight leads - they can't go forwards but in their heads - they can't go back either, so if they get a fright - they may fight or scold because they think they can't flee. They will fight without scolding if they've been reprimanded for scolding (and so supress their scolding).

  7. #7

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    I think there's some great suggestions here, especially about taking the dogs for a leashed walk together beforehand on neutral territory. I've done this in the past and had a lot of success.

    The only thing I really wanted to add was in regards to, "Snoopy started shouting at poor pup and I tried to calm him but no luck
    Hugged him, security, I will protect you, I am your Fearless Leader etc"

    You can not make a dog feel secure by hugging them. Your dog doesn't see the world the way you do, if you're sharing love with them they will typically view this as reaffirmation of their current behaviour. Put it this way, if my dog does something I want him to do, I will tell him he's awesome and pat/hug him. He's like, oh yay my human agrees with my course of action here and I have pleased her. So hugging your dog when it's doing the wrong thing, even if that's because it's nervous/scared is sending this message. If my dog is doing the wrong thing, I either reprimand (this is usually for bad behaviour - for example if a dog is aggressive towards him from the other side of a fence on a walk and he gets all growly, I tell him off and yank on the lead) or ignore (usually for scared/nervous behaviour - for example he used to be scared of plastic bags, I acknowledged the bag the first time to make sure he knew I was aware of it, obviously deemed it to be no threat and then ignored them from now on, now he ignores them too). Had I hugged him I would really be saying to him, look I don't know, could be dangerous, you decide what to do here and I'll just support you because I think you're doing a good job of handling the situation.

    I know it's hard, I want to hug my dog so much when he's scared but they're dogs, not humans. A lot of the time we communicate the same way and understand each other without words even but this is one example where it's different for dogs and humans. You would hug a human and go through it with them. With a dog, you really just have to lead by example and make sure your expectations and boundaries are clear so the dog sees you as confident and in control and can subsequently rest assured that you have the situation under control.

  8. #8
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    Sorry, quotes don't work on mobile version of the forum. But I wanted to comment on the "protect you, fearless leader" comment too because that is pretty much exactly what my consultation with the behavioural trainer was about today. And I was taught to step in front of the dog and to make her back up until she stopped trying to get past me and relaxed her body to show that I controlled /owned the situation she was reacting to, in our case also a strange dog ahead of us. We first did this at about 20 meters, both dogs being walked back and forth on leash and then slowly decreased the distance.

    I was also told to first only let the dogs make contact for 5 seconds and to then lead one away.

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