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Thread: Bad day

  1. #1
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    Default Bad day

    I had a bad experience on our walk today. I've been taking the dogs to a local pond. It's big, more like a small lake. I ride my kick scooter. The pup's great, she just runs alongside me. Banjo keeps getting into the water, often chasing the ducks. I didn't really mind because then she has to run fast to catch up and she needs to lose weight so I thought it was good exercise. But she kept staying behind longer and longer. Until today I had to stop and call her only to discover she didn't come running straight away.

    At one stage I saw her way out in the water and I had to call her twice and then yell oi repeatedly to make her abandon her chasing the ducks. I watched her reach the shore and continued along the path, expecting her to join me. She didn't. I found her in the reeds and she ignored me when I called. This is highly unusual behaviour. She has had a very reliable recall for years. I put her on the lead for a while, then decided to test her. I let her off, she started running to the water, I called her, she ignored me. I repeated this another 2 times with the same very frustrating result. Only, the last time I went to retrieve her, I found her with a dead waterhen. So that was finally the end of her freedom. I didn't even let her back into the water although she was covered in yucky mud from the reedy area.

    I felt so very disappointed with myself. How could I not have noticed this problem developing. And now she seems totally obsessed.

    So I'm going to have to take her back without the pup and go back to basics. I clearly can't trust her around these waterhens, so I suppose I'll do lots of LAT around them. And then just recall training near the water. We have a solid base, so hopefully it will work fast and stick. But it just shows that complacency is the enemy.

  2. #2
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    Beloz

    That's so sad.

    I don't let my dog chase birds at the park or the beach at all. If she starts - she's on lead. So the "often chasing ..." doesn't happen with her.

    Unfortunately despite quite a few attempts at LAT, I don't have the same control in the back yard tho I could try more on lead back yard time too I suppose. She's never caught anything bigger than a cricket.

    She has had several opportunities to kill rodents but she doesn't - she stands off and barks at them until they stop playing dead and run away. She lets them escape.

    I've also made it quite clear - with a lot of on lead time - at cousin's farm that chasing chooks or guinea fowl or anything else is not to be tolerated either. She didn't like being sniffed all over by the pet sheep. Me neither. But it looked quite fierce.

  3. #3
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    I know the feeling. We were at the park one day, no where near any water but it was a drizzly day. My 2 dogs ran behind a small hill so I couldn't see them and then appeared a few minutes later with a brown duck each.. They were running towards me and were looking so proud of themselves for catching me a 'present'. Meika's was still flapping but Molly's was dead.. I screamed at them to drop them and they did straight away but then Molly ran to Meika's duck and finished it off before I could get to her. I felt absolutely awful!!

    A few days later I ran into a man at the same park who was telling me about how sad it was that 2 ducks had been killed by dogs.... I felt so guilty but didn't confess that it was my two! (What can you do?!)

    Molly has had a bird obsession ever since.. She is not allowed off-leash in any areas where there are birds or on rainy days when ducks are around.

  4. #4
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    I feel your pain. Nero killed one of our friends chooks when he was only a pup. He didn't really finish it off, he just 'played' with it until my friend noticed and was able to get it off him. The poor thing died later that evening. So the end result was: chook dead, kids traumatised, friendship strained (cos the chook wasn't just ANY odd chook but the one with a name!) and Nero was banned from their place for quite some time.

    He can't be trusted around chooks ever since. Our attempts of LAT have not changed his obsession. He sees a chook - he is gone! I really wanted to have some chooks myself, but I know he would harass them all day. It wouldn't be fair on the poor chooks.

  5. #5
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    My previous dog would try kill any wild animal she could get her jaws round. But Banjo is normally not that bad with wildlife. The other day there were 2 ducks that were so fat and tame that they didn't even attempt to move when the dogs ran up to them and my 'leave' made Banjo back off. She has met chicks that had fallen out of the nest and didn't harm them. And she once got into a friend's chook pen and went for the eggs instead of the chooks.

    So I'm not sure what is so different about these waterhens that tempted her to actually grab one.

    But it's more her repeatedly ignoring me when I called her that shocked me. We often go to places with lots of birds and ducks and it has never caused her to become seemingly deaf to my calls. Apart from the kangaroo incident, but that was also due to her partner in crime being insufficiently trained.

    At least incidents like these do prompt me to get my act together again. I did a training session with both dogs tonight while I waited for dinner to cook and Banjo's enthusiasm put me to shame because I couldn't remember the last time I did trick training.

  6. #6

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    Are you sure that Banjo actually killed the waterhen ? Did you check the bird at all and your pup ?

  7. #7
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    I can't be 100% sure she killed it because I had to park the scooter and by the time I got to her she was just sniffing the dead bird. But she had clearly just been trampling about in the reeds, so it's very likely she carried it out from there. I don't allow the pup out of my sight, so definitely wasn't her. She hasn't shown any interest yet in chasing wildlife either. We've had roos and rabbits run past and Banjo give chase (she's allowed to chase bunnies, I called her back from the roo) and the pup stays close to me.

  8. #8
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    I think of it a bit like counter surfing...

    if you allow air scenting - ie the nose in the air sniffing around your counter tops for the roast on top.... the next thing that is going to happen is the dog is going to have a look... and maybe a lick....

    So if you can stop the sniffing, the next step doesn't usually happen. Ideally. Hopefully it's not like if you stop growling and the next thing that would happen is a bite - and if you stop the growling (with punishment) you get bites with no warning. When I stop my dog from sniffing I give her another job to do like a drop stay with me - out of the kitchen. And she gets no treat so less likely to back chain it (sniff counter - get to do a drop and get a treat - don't want that connection)

    I'd be a wee bit wary of letting my dog jump into any pond around here in high summer... I can't think of any that couldn't possibly have a snake in them. But I'm fine with swims at the beach. I figure shark attack possible but much less likely than a snake bite.

  9. #9

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    My question - was purely about Banjo - absolutely nothing about the pup you are fostering !

    I have waterhens that come into my backyard - it has been very much a problem to teach Riley not to touch or be bothered with them.

    I have neighbours that have chickens and sometimes they come into my yard - also. Between the two lots of birds that wander in - the waterhens I find I have the biggest problem with ! They are really dumb !

    If you didn't check Banjo's chops for blood - maybe she found something she would like to eat - or roll in.

    Time to bring out the long lead - go right back to basics with recall - as you have said you don't know where it started - and I wish you Heaps of Good Luck !

    As I have said many times before - Riley is never off-lead - once we walk out of our property !

  10. #10
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    Lol, yeah they seem really dumb. And very noisy when alarmed.

    I took Banjo back to the same spot today, though did avoid the side where the dead bird was. I went armed with clicker and treats and totally prepared for a battle of wills and some serious retraining.

    She was good as gold! I called her often, from different distances and the only time we had a bit of trouble was when I threw a stick in the water and she swam past it to follow the ducks. But even then I only had to call twice and say ah-ah a couple of times to keep her on track and she came back.

    And I did have to closely manage her when we passed the golf course and there was a little group of waterhens behind a wire fence. She was so transfixed that she wouldn't look back at me when I said look at that and wouldn't accept treats. But she could have gotten through the fence if she wanted to and instead she sat down and watched, so that was good enough for me for a first day.

    So I really think she was having a bad day yesterday, but also remembered being put on lead and losing her freedom because of her bad behaviour. It was such a relief to see her bounce back and remember her training. She's such a great dog, my Banjo. :-)

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