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Thread: Ruby

  1. #1
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    Nov 2009
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    Default Ruby

    Well...I do have a question

    Ruby used to be a showdog, but she absolutely hated it.

    Now.....since being in the showring and hating it...she completely shuts down when I put a collar or harness on her. It is tail between the legs and she freezes on the spot.

    The show experience was that horrible for her, so since then she has been doing this.

    How do I get her to move forward? I have tried treats when she gets the collar on...it doesn't work. Is it just a matter of persisting with giving her the collar on and taking her for walks etc/

    I would appreciate input from everybody here, because this is quite traumatic for little Ruby princess
    Last edited by Cleasanta; 07-20-2010 at 06:15 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleasanta View Post
    Well...I do have a question

    Ruby used to be a showdog, but she absolutely hated it.

    Now.....since being in the showring and hating it...she completely shuts down when I put a collar or harness on her. It is tail between the legs and she freezes on the spot.

    The show experience was that horrible for her, so since then she has been doing this.

    How do I get her to move forward? I have tried treats when she gets the collar on...it doesn't work. Is it just a matter of persisting with giving her the collar on and taking her for walks etc/

    I would appreciate input from everybody here, because this is quite traumatic for little Ruby princess
    S: I have a saying that I picked up from a client in WA who is a Martial Arts Trainer. That is Practice makes > permenant, and it does...

    When something isnt working, I never persist with it, this is a tricky one because you also cant give up before extinguishing the behaviour or the dog will learn that your a quitter.

    First it is really important to realise that the collar or harness is a trigger that has the dog predict that it is going to suffer the discomfort that it felt at an earlier time, dog training is about training predictions.

    The other aspect is that by the time you may be presenting the reward, you could be reinforcing the negative prediction.

    I would be taking this route;

    I would start by building a reward experience, this means you set a trigger, such as making a kiss with your mouth or a click in your cheek.

    When you make this sound and the dog looks at you, you instantly give a free command (release / terminal bridge) and give the dog treat > play tug (which ever is the more rewarding to the dog)

    You can also use the clicker as the terminal bridge, we clicker train people who have nerve or temper issues as the clicker is consistent.

    I would run at least 20 reps per session, 4 - 10 sessions.

    The result is that you are building a reward experience. You should notice by session two the your dog is getting hyped for the reward experience.

    Now remember that you dont ahve the collar or harness anywhere near this.

    At the end of the sessions, you start session 11 say with the collar sitting on a chair at eye level to the dog.

    As soon as the dog spots the harness, you make you kiss or click sound and as soon as the dog looks at you, you release (free or click) and reward.

    The dog got paid for simply looking at the collar and you also interupted the behaviour of avoidance the dog usually goes into when the collar is around.

    The idea is to run 3 - 6 reps now per session with your dog needing to look at the collar for slightly longer through the first session.

    Second session starts the same but half way through rep two you pick upmthe collar, hook it to your belt and continue the same way, if the dog checks out of the game, simply go inside.

    These are the first steps to counter conditioning or re setting the trigger value.

    If you use the TOT the collar can also start to make an appearance and gradually end up warpped around the food bowl.

    Give it a try, its fun and harmless...
    Steve Courtney, K9 Pro - The K9 Professionals

    www.k9pro.com.au

    Official Forum Trainer and Behaviourist

  3. #3
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    Thanx Steve...I will most definitely try this!

    I will use our clicker for this

    It is obvious she hates the collar, but I didn't want to give in and not give her a collar on...as in being a "quitter" or change collars constantly so she would "win" by me changing what I was doing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleasanta View Post
    Thanx Steve...I will most definitely try this!

    I will use our clicker for this

    It is obvious she hates the collar, but I didn't want to give in and not give her a collar on...as in being a "quitter" or change collars constantly so she would "win" by me changing what I was doing.
    S: Great let us know how you go...
    Steve Courtney, K9 Pro - The K9 Professionals

    www.k9pro.com.au

    Official Forum Trainer and Behaviourist

  5. #5
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    We had the first couple of sessions today and Ruby really seem to be reacting to the clicker, so that is good I will keep on doing just this for a while and will then...VERY slowly incorporate the collar. She LOVES her kong, so that will be a good reward for her too!

  6. #6

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    Hi Cleasanta,

    obviously Steve has said it all re - extreme reactions to collars, etc. and how to deal with it, step by step.

    I found using other dogs helpful in getting another dog to move forward or participate but not sure if it often works or just my experience.

    Can you somehow incorporate some of your other dogs who are forward moving and do some off leash work with Ruby while another dog comes along your other side on leash? I found my two youngest pups were very reluctant about collars and leads, even though they hadn't had them on or had bad experiences with them. They just seemed freaked out by the feel of them, tucked their tails in, stopped dead, or moved backwards in an attempt to get away from the sensation. First, I had the other dogs on the lead while the pups followed off leash (in a safe area), then I tried the same thing but with collars on, just for short periods. I guess for Ruby, you can take this part as slow as needed and not involve the collar at all until you have done all that Steve outlines.

    After we got the pups following consistently, we introduced a short try on leash as a group thing, ( plus treats and praise) hoping to help the pups to focus on the positives of moving forward on the lead. I didn't bother about steering, or making them stay beside me, or even achieving a walk, just going out on the front lawn at first, but it just got them wanting to go along with their buddies, even if it was only a minute or two at first. They saw the other dogs happy to come to the front door to go on the lead as it meant a walk or more recently, fun at the dog park. Doing laps off leash at the dog park with their pack and other friendly dogs has cemented the idea of walking with me and it is transferring to short walks around the neighbourhood - now they are bounding along on the lead. I was actually suprised at how well this worked. I hope you find the thing that works for Ruby and tell us what has been sucessful.

    Definately the clicker/positive reinforcement is a goer.

    Cathy.

  7. #7
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    Ruby is making great progress Cathy

  8. #8

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    Oh yay for you and yay for Ruby !!!

  9. #9

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    Hey Cleasanta,

    just been wondering how it's going with Ruby,

    Cathy.

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