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Thread: New staffy - ex breeding bitch - settling- in issues with family - long post

  1. #71
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    Aug 2009
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    I am so not game to let my dog off lead on our footpaths.

    Too many cats. Not enough control.

    And she can leap my front fence in a single bound and then be a real PITA to catch - because she has important sniffing and cat hunting to be done. And she's really rude to anyone who walks along our footpath like she owns the whole street and they have to pay a toll sniff/pat before they may pass.

    And dogs must be on lead on footpaths in SA.

  2. #72
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    Feb 2014
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    Perth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    I am so not game to let my dog off lead on our footpaths.

    Too many cats. Not enough control.

    And she can leap my front fence in a single bound and then be a real PITA to catch - because she has important sniffing and cat hunting to be done. And she's really rude to anyone who walks along our footpath like she owns the whole street and they have to pay a toll sniff/pat before they may pass.

    And dogs must be on lead on footpaths in SA.
    \

    Good points. I wanted her to go to the toilet because she had been holed up under my desk for almost the whole day. Nothing I would do would coax her out from under there but she associates the opening of the front door with a hop in the car and ride to the beach. Luckily she didn't stray far from the front lawn and just had a perfunctory sniff along the path just in front of the house and came back to me when I called her.

  3. #73
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    Yup. Because my dog has zero trouble clearing the front fence which is roughly the same height as her agility jump height (half a metre) she's even on lead when she goes from the front door to the car...

    I've been lucky that nothing bad happened when I was finding these things out but a couple of events frightened me enough to be really careful about where she is any time the front door is open.

  4. #74
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Inside/Outside unhappy vs happy dog

    Something just occurred to me and some thoughts would be much appreciated. Whenever I let Serena inside, she bolts straight to her safe place under my desk. There she will sit all day, especially if she senses any of the kids are awake and making noise in the kitchen. Even when I am home alone with her, she is reluctant to come out unless I jingle my car keys and say 'walkies'.

    I have also noticed that she seems much happier outside and she is finally exploring the back yard and doing her own thing. When I go out into the yard, she is very excited to see me and comes up to greet me and walk around the garden with me.

    So, I guess my theories are the following - Serena associates the inside of the house with scary things - kids, noise, etc etc. the only time she likes being inside is to join my wife and I on the couch once the kids are in bed.

    Conversley, she associates the yard with fun, like the beach, where she is free to explore, growl at the chickens etc

    So, finally, what I am asking is this: Should I encourage Serena to stay outside where she seems happier and limit the amount of time she spends isolated, under the desk? Then let her in at night once the kids have gone to bed?

    thank you

    Adrian

  5. #75
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    Should I encourage Serena to stay outside where she seems happier and limit the amount of time she spends isolated, under the desk? Then let her in at night once the kids have gone to bed?
    erm. I wouldn't.

    I would write a list of what I've got and what I want and work out some strategies to get from what I've got (with the dog) and where I want to be.

    So right now - my dog is in the dog hammock under the desk under the computer and keyboard I'm typing on right now. And I use the hammock as a foot rest a fair bit of the time.

    No problem. But my dog is happy on the couch too. Or the kitchen. Maybe a little bit too happy in the kitchen (counter surfing evil hound).

    Have you got a designated spot for her in the lounge? A mat? A dog bed? A soft sided crate? Or the kitchen. I think I've got a dedicated dog sanctioned spot in every room except the bath room. And even then she considers the bath mat her spot.

    So I'd be thinking about how I could train her to be happy in another room on her spot. Maybe swap the dog bed in the lounge with the dog bed under the desk for a bit. Or if you have a coffee break (ideally when the kids are not busy in the house), feed your dog some treats for being on her spot. When you get the kids to feed her treats, maybe some of them (about half?) could be for being on her safe spot. Make a game of going on the bed ("Mat") and reward with favourite things (pats/praise/treats).

    I can't help thinking she got scolded a lot when she was at the breeder's. Eg if they wanted to get her from the play area back into the kennel - they'd yell at her or something nasty. They never trained her to go there or anywhere else on command using friendly tones and rewards. Hence her being happier with other dogs than humans.

    I think you have to gently expand her comfort zone by getting her to try new things and experience being slightly uncomfortable for short tolerable periods of time. If you let her socially isolate - you won't ever have the fun family dog you want. Keep these training sessions short and fun - maybe a couple of minutes and then let her go back where she's most comfortable by way of reward. You've got her excited about walkies - maybe pair pre-walkies with a bit of kids and treats time, then when she does well at that (tolerates and no growling) get the keys out and go walkies. So then she gets the same happiness about interacting with the kids as she does when she hears the keys.

    It's called transferring the value from one thing she likes (eg walkies) to another (eg keys) to another (eg your kids).

  6. #76
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    Jul 2010
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    It seems like it is the hustle and bustle of the children that is upsetting her rather than the house itself. I think you are going to need to work through the kid issues somehow, so she feels more comfortable in an enclosed area like the house when they are on the move. She is happy in the yard because it is more like what she is used to and there are other distractions. What is she like in the yard when the kids are playing ?

    Perhaps a class setting where the kids are involved in handling her in a structured environment with high value treats might help?. When I was instructing we would sometimes get families come along with their rescue dogs, that were having a few issues. The children need to learn how to act around her and to be able to interact at some level with her. This is going to take time, but is less likely to happen unless you work out a way of sorting this out.

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalacreek View Post
    It seems like it is the hustle and bustle of the children that is upsetting her rather than the house itself. I think you are going to need to work through the kid issues somehow, so she feels more comfortable in an enclosed area like the house when they are on the move. She is happy in the yard because it is more like what she is used to and there are other distractions. What is she like in the yard when the kids are playing ?

    Perhaps a class setting where the kids are involved in handling her in a structured environment with high value treats might help?. When I was instructing we would sometimes get families come along with their rescue dogs, that were having a few issues. The children need to learn how to act around her and to be able to interact at some level with her. This is going to take time, but is less likely to happen unless you work out a way of sorting this out.
    This afternoon I made a second spot for her in the dining area in the corner. I gave her lots of liver pieces which I had previously cooked and froze. She seemed to be ok there. I then had my 11 month old carefully hand her a treat which she promptly gobbled up. I left her there for a while and then allowed her back into the study. I'll try again later when everything is quiet. Once she feels comfortable enough to stay in the dining room I can find a place for her in the family room and see if I can do the same. I'll also keep the kids gently interacting with her, one at a time for now. I really hope that one day she will feel comfortable with us but I dread the possibility that she will always be scared.
    Up and onward I suppose`.

    thanks again

    Adrian

  8. #78
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    Yes its hard to say, especially with very small children in the mix as they are also unpredictable. My mothers ex breeding bitch from a similar situation as Serena found it quite hard to adapt. She was very attached to my mother and good on walks out but she spooked when my mother coughed (must have associated it with a gruff noise probably used in telling her off maybe) or if you touched her when she wasnt expecting it. She improved with treats but never got totally over it. She didnt like people touching her on top of her head or leaning over her. I think it is just simply quite overwhelming for them. I think some breeders simply dont put the time into socialisation of their breeding dogs with a thought that they need to be rehomed eventually. I think this tends to happen when breeders start to get too big and dont have time or inclination to socialise their breeding dogs effectively. I am wiser to these types of breeders these days.

  9. #79

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    Probably stating the obvious here but if she's so unsure of kids, be very careful with their interactions, especially an 11 month old. I'm certainly not saying don't let them interact but most definately not without very close supervision.

    I like the suggestions of Hyacinth and Kalacreek, both are great, just make sure your kids are safe during this stage while she's adjusting to having kids around, just in case the very unlikely happens and she lashes out due to fear or whatever. Also worth reading up on doggy body language if you're not already somewhat familiar so you have a chance at detecting any warning signs early.

  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ados View Post
    I really hope that one day she will feel comfortable with us but I dread the possibility that she will always be scared.
    I'm a Stafford fan, and while I haven't ever had to deal with a damaged one, I have a lot of faith in them as a breed and I'm sure yours will pull through just fine. Time, effort and patience .... and getting advice from the experts here(not me lol). If you want to see just how well Staffords/Pitbulls can recover from horrible experiences, watch this :



    The book is also a very good read if the story interests you.

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