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Thread: Dog is scared of housemate

  1. #11
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    Low the breakdown, Hyancinth. It's always good to have those written out step by step to get a better understanding. I think we tend to say "slowly" and "gradually" but forget that this could mean different things to different people and different dogs work slower/faster than others.

    Thanks for the elaboration.

    Should/could the next step in the sequence be the housemate moving toward the dog slowly and then eventually speeding up tenpace toward the dog to reward. This way the dog could get used to Jono walking/running up to him to grab him (if necessary).

  2. #12
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    housemate moving toward the dog slowly and then eventually speeding up tenpace
    Lol, haven't thought about that one. My dog pretty much 100% runs away if i run towards her - favourite game.

    It's something I should try training too.

    Having taught my evil hound "start line stays" (hint - start close and reward lots), I actually get out the signal for the start line stay release (reward - half a tiny tug toy - I show it to her then hide it again), and signal that and release and run away. Gets her back any time she can actually hear and see me. For best effect (most reliable recall) I start running away and then I call her, ie my whole body is a lure. And like I say - luring is not the best but whatever works if you're in an emergency.

    Running at her tends to drive her closer to the danger. Which is why I don't do it. But you're right, I ought to train for it.

  3. #13
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    Geelong, Vic
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    The only reason I am thinking get it done a bit faster is this dog has already run of - it's become a little more dire then the dog taking its time. She needs help to get over the hump she has holding her back, if she's rubbing his head she's not really frightened of him but convinced it's the right thing to do in that situation, hence she needs to be on lead. Dogs that have behaviors like that are not always genuinely fearful, but it's just a reaction they have. Unless you stop the reaction and have them controllable in a fashion that you can immediately show them the right thing to do you find the time frame is huge, and reliability is low because they always have the option to run when feeling a little anxious instead of dealing with the feelings. I've done it with a lot of dogs before, especially rescues that have the habit of flight for really no great reason, just because it's what they have learned to do.

    The thing is too the dog has to start getting used to people acting like people ... otherwise as you see one small mistake and she's off. It can be unrealistic to forever shelter her from real life, noises, behavior. I would be purposely slowly introducing louder noises like radios and TVs so she learns they are nothing to worry about. Dogs are more resilient then we give them credit for, even the ones from poor backgrounds.

    But like I said I'm a little loathe to just mention something like this on a forum since I don't know the dog and its something that needs guidance.
    Last edited by Nekhbet; 03-04-2012 at 08:24 AM.

  4. #14
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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys

    Roxie is a rescue from the Lost Dogs Home. She was approx 1.5 years when we got her, and was a stray, so we really have no idea of her past. The assumption that she was abused by a man was taken from a vet at the Home who just observed her behaviour while she was there. She was VERY timid, wouldn't even walk on a lead so we have come a long way. She had issues with other dogs, the initial greet is the problem, but once she meets them she will happily play with no aggression. I took her to obedience school for a year. Her obedience is exemplary, but she still has issues with other dogs.

    I think it is important that we get on top of this now, because she has gotten out already. I bought a piece of yummy steak and John hand fed it to her, and she was happy to follow him around after that. We try to get him to feed her yummy treats as much as possible, it can just be challenging with timing.

    When John is home next I will get him to sit with her on the lead, so she can't run away. He also goes in the closet a lot because he plays computer games, so we're thinking of locking them in together. He will be quiet and immersed in the game, she can lay on her mat, and he can feed her treats every now and again, just so she gets used to his presence.

    I have taught her that a successful recall means sitting in front of me or letting me touch her neck/collar, and am encouraging the others to at least pat her when they give her treats. I've also set out some yummier treats and left them out, so they can randomly call her and she will be rewarded.

  5. #15
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    Hi Jucelala

    That sounds like good progress, she sounds a lot more comfortable with John now.

    If he can say her name before he hands over each piece of treat, she will look to him when he says her name eg name = yummy treat from John, and she's WAYY more likely to come when he says her name.

    I can't say "yes" to my dog without her looking for the treat... which is what I want. I have the same connection with the word "Look". I've broken her name to some extent - by using it without the treat connection, and using in situations where she's really not likely to come back (mostly the back yard not other places, my bad for being inconsistent). It's about making the connection consistent and so the response (to come get food) is automatic - "conditioned".

  6. #16
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    That's a great idea Hyacinth, thanks. She knows 'yes' because I use it in training, but her name is even better for John. Ta!

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