Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Newfienut's Newfie is Driving Me Crazy!! Help!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Formally Warrandyte, now Windsor VIC
    Posts
    123

    Default Newfienut's Newfie is Driving Me Crazy!! Help!!

    Hi everyone!! First of all, apologies for being offline for quite some time- I have a new job which is proving to be quite demanding!!

    I have a problem and this is always my first port of call for dog related problems so here goes...

    Some of you might remember that my Newfoundland, George and I moved from the country to the city about 6 months ago and both of us have been making some adjustments to fit into this new lifestyle.

    George is about to turn two (so he was 18 months when we moved). He did puppy school and obedience training, but since we moved I haven't enrolled him into a new obedience school due to time/money issues. George is walked twice a day (really- I'm not just saying that!!), usually for about 45 minutes at a time. This is a mixture of on lead heeling along main roads and off leash running at the park (usually within a fenced in oval). Once or twice a week I also drive him to a local dedicated off leash fenced in dog park where he plays with anywhere between 20 to 50 dogs at a time of varying sizes. Also about once a month he goes to the off leash dog beach and again socialises with other dogs.

    In the last three weeks, George has developed a walking issue that is turning into a BIG problem. If we're out walking on the lead (if he's on the lead he's heeling) and we approach another dog he completely ignores me and is lunging towards the other dog, wagging his tail wanting to play. He NEVER did this before, has always heeled, and if we passed another dog and he looked like his attention was waiving, I would make a 'kissing' noise of say his name a give a jerk check on the lead to get his attention back on me. He does not normally pull on the lead at all.

    He has always worn a halti (more for safety, so that if something did scare him and he took off I could have more control of him- he weighs a considerable amount more than me) however has been trained to heel with a slack lead and is consistent with it. At dog school we did the usual routines passing other dogs and keeping your dog's attention on you etc. Now, I try to get his attention and he ignores me, and not only that, he literally drags me when he's going for the other dog, even with the halti and a short lead.

    Obviously for the other dog and it's owner it would be quite intimidating having such a big dog lunging at you, and they would not know that he doesn't have an aggressive bone in his body, but is just trying to play.

    I tried to assess if he is not getting enough contact time with other dogs, but he is getting far more socialisation since we've moved than when we were in the country. Similarly, I was wondering if me starting this new job (which I have now been in for three months) has contributed as I am not seeing him as many hours as I used to. But like I said, I walk him twice a day for a reasonable amount of time, then we hang out at nights and my house mate has him inside with her during the day, so he's getting plenty of attention.

    I really need to get to the bottom of this because I'm losing confidence in him: I am not enjoying going out walking with him because I'm afraid of him scaring people and me looking like I'm not in control. I want him to be at ease in our new surrounds and to be able to include him in all aspects of my life, but the more he does things like this the more reluctant I am to take him into situations where he might do the wrong thing, and the more I deprive him of these situations the less he will learn and the less confidence I feel in him, and so it goes on!!

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated!!

    Thanks!

    http://georgescity.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    1,536

    Default

    I went through a similar situation with my dog Jethro (obviously size wise is different as mine is a whippet, but everything else the same.) I went through so many different idea's with him, but what finally worked was this-

    I used a noise (I use pssst, as it is quiet and generally no one else could hear it), every time I made the noise I would give him a treat and a pat. I started off by only doing this in the yard when he was making no noise. I did this for about a week about 20 times a day. I would never use the noise when out walking as I knew he was not ready and I did not want him to 'fail'.

    After the week I started to make the noise in the backyard when he barked, and treated and patted every time he was quiet. Again I did this for a week, then I started to do it when we were walking, as soon as his body tensed ready to lunge and play, I would say the noise and treat, his attention would then be on me as he knew he was going to get something good. I only used one type of treat (GSD's cheese, which he adores) and only used it for that command.

    I can know take my dogs for a walk and he is fine. To the point that two nights ago a yappy dog ran down it's driveway, right at Jethro, this would usually have him lunging and in full play mode, and instead he looked at me as if to say "Where's my treat??"

    i hope you find something that works for you and you are able to enjoy your walks again, as speaking from experience, there is nothing worse than taking your dog for a walk and people looking at you with a horrified expression because your dog is about to 'eat them' even when you know it is just because he wants to play!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,032

    Default

    Would you say you come across more dogs than when you lived country? My Setter went into sensory overdrive when we moved rural because of rabbits and road kill. It took a few months for her to just stop waffling in all the smells and get her focus back. George is used to country smells but now comes across more dogs??

    I would be picking a distance where you can still get George's attention. It's a fine line between aware of the other dog but still under your control and start your attention work there. Slowly move closer as he gets better.

    Or perhaps since George is so friendly when he behaves this way he loses what he wants most - you change direction sharply no spoken word no nothing wait until he calms down, go back, if he does it again he loses what he wants again. I'm using this method on a very excited 6mth old GSD and in a week of walking she has got the message - shut my mouth, walk calmly and I'll get to greet the other dog, act like a looney and I lose what I want most.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    NN, MAC's advice above sounds VERY sound and sensible to me.

    Out of curiosity, what does George do when you get to the off-leash dog park. Does he wait patiently for you to unclip his leash, or does he try to do the same thing lunging at the leash to go and play with the others?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Formally Warrandyte, now Windsor VIC
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated!!

    Cate0404 I did start this training, using a 'kissing' noise to get his attention and rewarding him for it. He got really good, but I haven't been working on it for a while and I think he may have forgotten so I'll have to revisit it and be consistent. (In summer it seems I tend to forget to carry treats when I'm walking too as I don't have any pockets to put them in!!)

    Mouse and Chicken we definately come across more dogs now that we're in the city rather than the country. Not only that, but plenty of other 'challenges' as well such as non dog people, trams trucks and trains, and far more restricted walking space (he takes up most of the pathway!!). Even though it's been 6 months and we go out so often, he still is not at ease. He's a bit like a horse in that if we walk past something twice a day and then one day something's changed (like a man sitting in the doorway of the pub at the end of the street) he seems to get a fright and barks at it... I'm thinking this may stem from me not acting as a confident 'pack leader'???? I will try getting his attention and if he doesn't seem to be responding, take him on a different route.

    Devil's Advocate, the interesting thing is I've worked on this with him heeling on lead at the off leash dog park and he's perfect! Also, when I get there and there's dogs running up to him wanting to play before I let him off the leash he sits and waits patiently while I unclip him and say 'free.' It seems to be more of the walking around the streets that's the problem. Also, If we're walking and there's a dog up ahead he might stand tall and look distracted, but won't pull on the lead. It's when we are approaching other dogs front on that he gets excited and does the lunge thing. Interesting he doesn't do it as much when my partner is walking him... a respect thing?????

    http://georgescity.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,032

    Default

    So he's uncomfortable when he meets a dog face on while on lead. Not an uncommon problem.

    Certainly you being calm and confident will help. As you probably know an owner feeling tense and holding the lead taunt isn't transmitting confidence to the dog. Dogs being made to great head on also goes against a dogs way of thinking.

    If you can ask some of the people at the park if the would assist you I would do some cross over work. Passing person to person, then dog to dog. Start with a dog he gets on well with and work from there.

    All the best.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wodonga
    Posts
    2,672

    Default

    wanna come for a run at the park sunday?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Formally Warrandyte, now Windsor VIC
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Thanks Mouse and Chicken!! Will give it a go!!! As with most dog (and horse) problems it's probably more my issue than the dog's!! (That's what happens when you mix an extreme type A person with what should be a relaxed Newf!!)

    Occy- I would love to but I'm going to the beach for the weekend... I think this is what happened last time too!!! Damn!!! Next time I promise!! I'm just desperate to meet everyone and their K9 counterparts. Also would have given me a great opportunity to work on this issue with George.

    http://georgescity.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Devonport, Tasmania
    Posts
    6,675

    Default

    Someone above mentioned turning the other way. That is a great way of trying to deal with it imo. Make sure as soon as he starts pulling, you turn SHARPLY and fast. No pussy-footing around, in the complete other direction.

    Sorry NN, may make your walks a nightmare, and tedious and boring for a while, but in the end I honestly think this technique could pay off with George.

    All the best. That's a hell of a lot of dog to drag you along at those times! Lol.
    Perhaps the change from country to city life is also just taking longer - for George to adapt, that is, especially as he's not seeing you anywhere as much as he used to.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Formally Warrandyte, now Windsor VIC
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Just took George to the dog park and worked on making a kissing noise to get his attention whenever there is a distraction- like another dog and it worked a treat (pardon the pun- I was rewarding him with treats!!!) Nothing quite like a dog that thinks with his stomach!!

    http://georgescity.blogspot.com/

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •