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Thread: Camping trip

  1. #1
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    Default Camping trip

    Took dog and child camping with a bunch of friends over the weekend. For the most part Banjo is great to camp with. It's a very dog friendly camping ground where most have their dogs off leash. Banjo never wanders off and is usually no hassle at all. Except, the first 2 nights she keeps bolting out of the tent to chase off bandicoots. On the third night she generally can't be bothered anymore. She was also good with the other people. She did try to climb onto a few laps, but not nearly as often as she does at home. She was great with the kids and even climbed trees with them (with practically horizontal branches).

    We did have some issues with her being nasty to other dogs. There was 1 incident each day. Which wasn't too bad considering we met dozens of dogs over 4 days. If I can act before she does, I can still always control her with come, leave, close or keep going. But her reactions are a tad unpredictable (apparently the stretch of beach from where we sit to the ocean is her territory?) and it's easy to get distracted or miss things (like when someone walked into our camp with their dog behind my back).

    The lab that we shared a house with for 6 months last year also came on the second day and the 2 dogs were so wild together at times! The first time I tried to take them for a walk to the beach together, it took me at least 5 minutes to walk the 10 meters to get out of our campsite because the lab kept doing the excited jumping on the spot right in front of my feet and then as soon as she moved away from me Banjo would ambush her and I'd have to jump back to prevent getting bowled over. Would've been quite hilarious to watch. On the beach I had to walk in a wide circle around areas with toddlers and sand castles because the dogs ran in and out of the surf and did zoomies on the beach with such enthusiasm. Banjo will often jump over the lab while they are running at full speed. Again, funny to watch, but I am a slight woman with a very fragile skeleton, so half of the time I felt a bit panicky about them bashing into me. I think the lab enjoys me screaming when she runs right at me at full speed too.

    Unrelated to the beach story, I managed to call Banio off a roo on our first walk after coming home. She surprised it and it was probably less than 5 meters away when she started to give chase. I did have to call her twice and then yell Oi a couple of times, but she stopped after a few meters and eventually came to me and then sat and stared in disbelief at the big roo that was too lazy to run more than about 20 meters before he sat down again. I let her watch him for a couple of minutes and when I asked her to get going, she did without protest. I'm pretty darn proud of that!

  2. #2
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    You have all reason to be proud of her! To let go of a roo is pretty damn amazing!! Good work!

    I really wished I could get mine to do that. We were working so hard on 'leave it' and 'come here NOW' but I'm starting to have this awful feeling that my attempts to distract them with the ball has just provided the perfect trainingground for them. They now have figured out how to work together. So far nobody got hurt - but it's quite frightening to watch them give chase now. It was a pretty close call a few times. I fear that it has become so self rewarding that all my treats just stand no more chance. Once they're going, they're gone!

  3. #3
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    Much harder to control when there's 2 joining in the game, Margoo. I had mine help another dog kill a roo once, if you remember that story. Wouldn't have happened if it would've been just here. Admittedly the other dog wasn't mine and not well trained, but once they've decided that they're in pack mode, it's hard for anyone to get their attention, I reckon. It really is one of the reasons why I don't want to adopt another dog. Yet.

  4. #4
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    Yes I remember the Roo story - and that the other dog initiated it! I bet it was quite traumatising. Roxy caught a rabbit once and I found that hard to stomach. I know rabbits are a pest (they definitely are in my veggie patch) but I still don't want them to be torn to pieces. They are so cruel - like cats. If they at least killed it quickly but they just played with it until I managed to take it away.

    It's definitely changed into a whole different ballgame since we've got Roxy. Nero used to chase roos for about 4 seconds until he lost interest and came back to scoop up the treats. But with two of them they really stand a chance and since the rabbit, they're on fire!

  5. #5
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    I'd be worried for the dogs - a big roo can inflict a lot of damage. The bucks get a lot of practice boxing each other - with their big feet.

    And dogs can do themselves considerable damage doing the zoomies - I've seen it a few times now - dogs slamming full speed into fences, park benches, each other, and humans (knee recon required in one case) and I get a bit paranoid if there is anything they can crash into. And if they're coming at me - I make a lot of noise in the hope they go round. I figure you're in much more danger if you're quiet.

  6. #6
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    That's why the roo stopped, I reckon. He realised he'd easily fend her off if needed. Even my lurcher wouldn't approach a roo that was facing her. But she managed to ambush a few... She also killed rabbits, but always did it with one quick shake, so I didn't really feel sorry for them.

    I yell "WATCH OUT!" when the dogs race towards me. And often when I walk 2, I will carry a stick and swing it in their direction (making sure they won't spear themselves) to create some kind of a buffer around me. It seems to make the lab lose interest in trying to scare me eventually. But it's those moments when the dogs play fight while running full speed that freak me out most because they don't look at all where they're going and one or both can jump sideways at any time. I often go stand close to a tree or big rock and wait till they somewhat calm down. Didn't happen at the beach though. It was super over excitement from start to finish!

  7. #7
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    your trip sounds great success beloz. and none of mine would take on a roo. and have a friend with a surviving dog from a roo disembowling the dog with those back leg nails. Like some freaky ass dinosaur hang over.

    "watch out" gets used here too dumb ass zoomies can easily dislocate a knee, break a bone should you be slow enough to not get out the way.

  8. #8
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    Met the same roo again this morning! Well, I assumed it was the same one. You don't meet large solitary males that often. I noticed he had a tag in his ear.

    I'd scanned the area before I started walking, but he was too well camouflaged. I got Banjo to stay close to me, but when I focused my attention on where I put my feet to avoid stepping on snakes for a few moments, she sneaked off and then I heard the familiar "thump, thump" behind me. Only a few jumps though and by the time I'd turned around, the roo had stopped and turned and Banjo was walking away from him. She came when called (still needed a fair bit of encouragement to actually come to me - she kept stopping to stare at the roo). She ended up sitting next to me, shaking and stress yawning for a while. Then we kept going on our usual route, which I knew would take us right past the roo. We were doing really well, but when I realised the distance between our track and the roo was only about 3 meters, I did end up putting her on the lead for 5 minutes. But she was easy to control both on and off lead and I had no real issue getting her to turn her back to the roo eventually to walk in the other direction.

    If I ever were to get a second dog permanently, I think I would like to continue this sort of training for quite a bit longer... It is heartening to see how she will sit down automatically when her brains starts to get a bit overloaded and makes it hard to focus on cues. That's the kind of stuff you train for, isn't it? Those reflex responses.

  9. #9
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    Yup definitely want the classically conditioned response to be what you want, not roo chasing...

    It's nice to have convenient semi-tame roo around for distraction training... wonder what the ear tag is for.

    Some of my rural cousins have had pet roos - as joeys. They can get a bit demanding as they get older. "your sandwich is my sandwich - or I scratch you to bits". At one of the ACT nature reserves - they had to fence off the picnic tables to keep the roos and emus out so you could eat in peace.

  10. #10
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    The instinctive response to chase is still pretty strong. This roo seems to live there permanently now. We go for a walk there every other morning or so. This morning I saw the roo long before Banjo did. Even when she was looking straight at him about 20 meters away, she still couldn't spot him sitting there. Funny how well camouflage works on dogs.

    I made sure I didn't take my eye of her while I waited for her to spot the kangaroo moving. But I failed to prevent her from giving chase. And until she can control that initial fight/flight response, her training isn't complete. This roo is actually great to practice on. His courage matches his size. So he's not phased if you walk right past him. I was more scared of him than he of me. His claws are massive! Anywho, Banjo knows this is not an animal that should not be confronted and he never runs for more than a few meters. So there is very little opportunity for her to self-reward the chasing impulse.

    Apart from that initial error, she's got the sit and stare at roo down pat. Next goal is to try get her to look at me when he's very close. I also need to remember to take the ball thrower for an exciting game of fetch as reward when she walks away from him.

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