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Thread: Hello From Ozdogtrainer

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, QLD
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    6

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    Hi Newfsie,

    It sounds like you are doing everything right. However, after reading that he still freaks out when he is approached or visit the vets.

    Whenever I try to correct a problem, I look at the threshold of where the dog is at. What is the trigger point for the behaviours. For your newfie, his threshold is really really low. So the slightest exposure to an approach or the vet is like having his past thrust in his face.

    What I am trying to say is this. In any given situation where your dog is having a problem. Gradually expose them to the nervous situation. For instance, in an approach. Have someone start walking towards your dog and look for the first sign of their avoidance. Give a signal to the person approaching to stop and throw the treat at the dog then get them to turn around to release that pressure.

    You are not thrusting the negative situation on the dog but gradually raising the bar. Repeat the approach numerous times, each time getting the approacher to get a bit closer to give the treat. You will find that each time they should be able to get a bit closer until they are on them.

    As for the vet. Use the same philosophy. Drive to the vet, get him out and start getting him to go towards the vet. Look for this threshold. Stop turn around and get back in the car, do a blocky and repeat. Give him a reward for calm behaviour. See if you can get a little closer each time to being inside the door.

    Again, gradually raise the bar instead of thrusting them upon the environment or situation where by there is about 100% chance of them losing it.

    Other than that, great job...especially for having 4 dogs...lol

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southern NSW
    Posts
    3,784

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    There is where my problem lies........He only "shrinks", no freak outs and I mean he just lowers by about 2". I notice it, but most people do not. And I find it hard to spot the threshold you are talking about. So what you are basically saying (correct me if I am getting it wrong) is that I should desensitise him and find his threshold and keep away, give him the space, from where it bothers him. So maybe time will tell......Shame you are so far away, Queensland, because it would be great to have someone look at him being the way he is. Thank you anyway, I will just plod along and try being more observant to find the exact threshold. Four dogs is easy when three are so easy to get along with
    Pets are forever

  3. #13

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    Hi Ozdogtrainer,

    Welcome to the forum. I am sure your advice will be much appreciated and taken on board. It is always good to have another voice/opinion on training methods, behavioral problems etc.

    I am going to PM your re: my older dog Keira, I realise I will need to get a trainer out but at the moment we are in the middle of seeing a specialist vet about her hips which I have probably 2 - 3 more visits left the next one is this Thursday, which is a) costing me a LOT of money and b) want to complete any treatment before spending money on having someone come out to see her (ie: get her into the best health possible, in the least amount of pain)

    But any insight/thoughts/ideas you have would be fantastic for a start
    I have tried to start on clicking to calm during walks/desensitization etc but unfortunately just after I started I had to stop because she started limping again, hopefully I will be able to get back into a routine today as she seems good again.


    Thanks in advanced.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

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    Hi Newfsie

    I got Frosty measured at a mock Agility comp last night - woo hoo, now we can enter real comps. I had to stop part way through our attempts to get her measured, and go buy a freshly cooked sausage to bribe her with and even that didn't work all that well.

    Every time we got the stick near her shoulders (me and two big blokes both of whom she'd met before) and she just did a standing squat or sat... really not happy. In the end one of the guys worked the ruler/stick and the other one fed her as fast as he could little bits of sausage and they got a measurement they were happy with so I got my card. Fortunately for me - she's in the middle of the range for 500mm jumping height so it didn't matter if it was give or take a cm.

    And we've been practicing walking under the stick and being measured for AGES, and just having two blokes she was less familiar with in an unfamiliar environment with loads of people and dogs around, friends and strangers, and she stopped doing what she was asked (ie a stand for exam).

    So back to your problem. To find the distance "threshold", I would be "open bar" - ie feed the yummy food pieces continually as the bloke approaches that you want your dog to be comfortable with. When your dog starts to fidget and stops taking the food, you signal bloke to stop approaching, back off away until your dog will eat again, you start feeding again, and signal approach again.

    Do a few of these per session, ideally bloke should be able to openly approach (not sneak up) a little bit closer each time. Or you can do it where the bloke sits somewhere, and you approach feeding the dog and turn around when he stops eating - there's your threshold and see if you can get a step closer the next time. And that would double as heel practice too.

    And the distance you get will vary from place to place and context to context, and time to time. Ie you change anything about the situation and you have to start over, until the dog gets the message that what you want applies in all situations and with some dogs, it can take 20 or 30 different "habitats" or more for that understanding to click.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southern NSW
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    Thanks...I see you are having a similar problem, but Lukey won't eat away from home. he did not eat for the first two days when we got home. Same diet as Rescue. Rescue had the same problem too. I agree, I do not push anyone at him. We let him go to everyone and if I sit next to the person, he will eventually come. Now if it is kids and women. totally opposite. kisses and wags for the kids, still won't take treats from them, but loves the attention.
    I will just plod along...I mean I spent 6 months full on training with Annabelle plus another six making sure she was fine. And i still watch her and give her space when it is needed. His signals are just so different. At least no aggression and he does love to be loved
    Pets are forever

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    12,581

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    Frosty was that no eat away from home for a while too. She's definitely not interested in food anywhere new until she's done two laps of the whole place, ideally at least one off lead (in her opinion). So she can check everything. A lap that would normally take five minutes, takes 30 minutes and treats are off the menu.

    She is getting better though. Ie I think I calm her down enough. But I have to be calm too. Last night I wasn't... which did not help her.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Penrith, NSW
    Posts
    29

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    Interesting thread and hi to OzDogTrainer.

    Speaking of 4 dogs... Im a bit miffed that if you have more than 4 dogs under your control they are no longer under effective control by the law. I currently walk my 5 (soon to be 8) all of which are under effective control yet Im breaking a law? Shame you cant get a permit or something to walk more than 4.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southern NSW
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    The law is funny.....I would be able to walk my four huge dogs and someone with five small dogs would be in trouble
    Pets are forever

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    12,581

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    I frequently see people who can't control the one dog they've got. There was even one lab I couldn't hold with two hands and my feet planted. He weighed as much as I did and he was lunging. I was quick enough to wrap the lead around a pole, which stopped him.

    What I'd like to see is a licence for dog owners. Ie you demonstrate you have control of 5 dogs, even when a cat runs across the road and moons them... and you get your licence to walk five dogs.

    The other problem I see with people who have a lot of dogs, is when they let them all off at once, they can't keep track of who is crapping where and miss quite a few dog bombs.

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