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Thread: Socialisation - Need Advice

  1. #1
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    Default Socialisation - Need Advice

    My pup is now six months old.
    We did puppy school from 10 weeks to 15 weeks.
    This consisted of 15 mins obedience and 45 mins of wild wrestling.

    By the end of this he was doing well and promoted to dog obedience.
    During this time I also took him to off leash beach and parks.
    Of course he got lots of attention because "aww what a cute puppy".

    At about four months we had some private training as all his puppy friends had dropped out of the school and he was hurt by bigger dogs,(he was the smallest one in obedience). Maybe thats why the others left also.

    Eventually the training paid off - he is very good at home but still testing the boundaries. I still do sessions twice a day then free playtime after.

    Now he is the size of a fully grown dog. He looks like an english pointer - very tall and leggy.
    When I take him out (rarely now and always on leash) he gets overexcited especially with children. He is quite calm around other dogs but seeks attention from thier owners.

    He is quite happy at home, plenty of stuff to amuse him, we are farmers
    and so work at home- he has a cat, ducks, chooks and 4 humans for company.
    Should I even worry about taking him out?
    Should I just let him grow up and get more sensible? Any advice welcome.

  2. #2
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    Dogs get dumped at a very high rate when they hit "adolescence" ie become the doggy equivalent of teenage rebels. They develop selective hearing and may also develop irrational fears of things that didn't previously bother them.

    You definitely want to get out there and socialise your dog as much as possible. You don't want a dog you can't take with you anywhere.

    Dog Training Article - Puppy Development Schedule - K9 Pro

    LAT "Look at That" training is what you need for the kiddies. Ie get far enough away from the kiddies that your dog can still pay attention to you and ask for a bunch of stuff your dog knows well. Eg Sit/Down/heel/nose touch your hand etc. Then go a little bit closer to the kiddies. Run the drill again... then go a bit further away then closer then further away by random small distances each time.
    Look at That! A Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing with Reactive Dogs Dog Training for Dog Lovers Blog

    This article says to do with things your dog is uncomfortable about - but it works on anything your dog gets excited about or finds distracting.

    You might want to get the book too, or Susan Garrett's Shaping success at Agilityclick.com- about her very over the top excited about everything dog "Buzzy". It has loads of training drills in it.

  3. #3
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    I have lived on a farm for most of my adult life and the kids were brought up on them along with dogs.

    We never did any "training" as such. We just shaped them to what we needed to coexist well together with everyone's needs met.

    Dogs never went anywhere except to the vet or out around the farm at times.

    I believe that the 4 we have now are very happy.
    They are totally contained at all times now after they started to pack and run off for hours at a time and we had neighbouring sheep.

    Mine have a massive dog yard, huge trees, beds in a garden shed as well as the enclosed back yard. They are also inside for a lot of the time and I play door bitch.

    I have never done all the you shoulds. Have had dogs for over 30 adult years.

    Never been to puppy pre school, obedience..never needed to and I doubt there are any out here.

    Just do what you feel is best for the dog and your family.

    If you need to socialise with kids..get some friends to bring theirs over. If you want them accustomed to visitors invite people over, etc etc.
    Last edited by Di_dee1; 10-27-2011 at 09:00 PM.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  4. #4
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    Thankyou Hyacinth.
    I have been doing the Look at That thing that you mentioned on another thread some time ago.
    Mind you I use it at home when the trigger is usually the wild deer that roam around our place. He is fine with sitting quietly beside me and just watching "the bambis" as I call them. Then we go to look at the chooks or something else.
    I have never used food rewards in his training - the puppy school people
    and later the private trainer were strongly against it. Praise only.

    However I have started to reward him for successful recall since the "selective deafness" started to creep in a while back.

    I dont know if I should start to take treats with me now. Is it too late?
    Should I just use them when we go out in public?

    We do 15 mins on lead Sit drop stay then heeling turning sit etc.
    Then 1/2 hour or more off leash around the farm, a spash in the creek etc
    he is very good responding to verbal cues we do the rounds and then its back to the house for "something nice to eat".
    So I will have to do beach/park in the morning and home session at 5pm.

    He is happy riding in the 4WD but is awkward getting in & out (long legs) so

    A. I have to lure him in (no success yet - have tried with sardines, mince and dine but may need the big guns e.g. roast chicken, potatoes & gravy)

    B. Just pick him up and put him in? He doesnt like this but its quicker.

    I would speak to the trainer about all this but he is so hard line, my way is the only way . Thank you Hyacinth, you are such a help to so many on this forum.

  5. #5
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    Yes, Di Dee I see where you are coming from.
    Our last two were cattle dogs and they did not really need any training.

    Ozzy had the run of the farm but chose to be near us all the time whether it was in the shed, in the kitchen or in our bed.
    He was an ex working dog that a dairy farmer was going to shoot as he was "a bit rough on the cows" . He had a mind of his own but was a loyal and loving mate.

    Chubb we raised from a puppy however we lived in the city by then.
    We had an old house that had a dog park a short walk away. He grew up playing with all sorts of dogs and people and was as socialised as a dog could be. Neither of them ever jumped on anyone or bit anyone.

    Snoop is a different kettle of fish. He is a bitza from the pound.
    He looked blue and had spotty legs so they called him a cattleXcollie.
    My vet reckons he is going to be a 50Kg dog.
    He is jumpy and mouthy when over excited.
    The bigger he gets the bigger problem this will be.
    So I do what I have to do and he is so much better than he was.

    p.s. he most enjoys jumping on women with ample cleavage!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Di_dee1 View Post
    I have lived on a farm for most of my adult life and the kids were brought up on them along with dogs.

    We never did any "training" as such. We just shaped them to what we needed to coexist well together with everyone's needs met.

    Dogs never went anywhere except to the vet or out around the farm at times.

    I believe that the 4 we have now are very happy.
    They are totally contained at all times now after they started to pack and run off for hours at a time and we had neighbouring sheep.

    Mine have a massive dog yard, huge trees, beds in a garden shed as well as the enclosed back yard. They are also inside for a lot of the time and I play door bitch.

    I have never done all the you shoulds. Have had dogs for over 30 adult years.

    Never been to puppy pre school, obedience..never needed to and I doubt there are any out here.

    Just do what you feel is best for the dog and your family.

    If you need to socialise with kids..get some friends to bring theirs over. If you want them accustomed to visitors invite people over, etc etc.
    Excellent post

  7. #7
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    Hi ChubbSecurity

    Ideally you reward with random jackpot treats occasionally like a pokie payout for behaviours you want to encourage.

    But when you're trying to work through a doggy's distractions (eg kids, deer, scary things, exciting things, attractive things), then best treats and lots of them but short sessions, I'd do two sets of about ten treats and then do something else. In between sets have a game of tug if he will - and you might need a tug with a bungee cord so you have some shock absorption - or fetch or just chase the boss - something that doesn't require him to think much but he enjoys.

    As far as getting in the 4WD goes - you might have to make a ramp. I'm thinking about doing that. When my dog was little I always lifted her in and out - didn't want her to damage herself as a puppy - my brother laughs but his dog broke a leg at 6mo jumping off his bed.

    So I still lift her in and out at home. At certain places she will jump in of her own accord now. Ie after the beach - there's a bit of curb so it's easier. But she also does it after dog club - where there's no curb - I just figure she must be extra keen to get home so she jumps in. And at certain places when I go to get her out, she throws herself at me - eg beach and at dog club when she sees a friend. But at home she sits there like royalty with her paw up for tummy rubs. Not interested in getting out at all. Even at dinner time.

    All I can suggest is each time he jumps in or out on his own (when you ask him to) reward lots with your best treats. Ie a 30 second reward: yummiest treat + 25 seconds of telling him how clever he is and scratching the sweet spot...

    You need a different trainer. Maybe send email to Steve Courtney at K9pro.com.au or I read somewhere that someone called Jane Harper is good in QLD.
    based on the testimonials - looks like Steve C is willing to recommend her.
    Dogs On Track - Testimonial 3

    But if you google "Jane Harper Dog Trainer" there's plenty of info not on her website - it is always good to read independent stuff.

    With each new dog - you learn new stuff because just when you thought you knew how to train dogs - the next one proves you still have much to learn.

  8. #8
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    Your dog sounds a lot like mine, Chubb! She gets so incredibly excited when she gets close to other people. And she used to be especially jumpy around kids. I had a lot of success with the LAT method. I think it does help to use treats and/or a clicker or marker word for other training too. My dog absolutely loves LAT because she gets rewarded more and in quicker succession than for any other behaviour currently. It's an almost constant stream of treats and it makes her calm and focused.

    I used to do this on leash, but now I can do it off leash too, as long as she is close to me. So recall is also very important and fortunately my dog's pretty good. Timing's of the essence though. If I only call her when she's running up to someone full speed, there is a bigger chance that she'll ignore me, so I keep my eyes open and call her to me before she even gets tempted to run up. If there's a child near a dog, I'll put her on a lead though, but otherwise she is fine and we can now go right up to a child and she'll be calm and responsive.

    I have tried this method with adults too and have had some successes. But if they reward her for jumping up by patting her, it's a bit of a lost cause still.

    Adult dog owners are a different kettle of fish though, because if I allow my dog to go up to their dog, there's often a bit of distance between me and her and she will just suddenly jump up without warning. I haven't worried about it too much yet as most of the ones I meet are quite understanding.

    So we're not quite there yet and as I was typing this my 6yo daughter came in through the front door and the dog managed to jump on her and hit her in the face from a sit position. We'll have to change our strategy and get her to lie down now before we come in.

  9. #9
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    And thanks for your links, Hya. It also led me to this: Protocol for relaxation

    It's written in a very long-winded boring way, but the exercise regime does make a lot of sense. The only thing I had to chuckle at was that they mention doing the tasks in all different locations, including the park, but the list includes things like sitting in a chair and ringing the door bell!

  10. #10
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    Well I'm not sure about the door bell but you can take a chair to the park and some parks already have them. You could use something like a squeaky toy instead of the door bell - by way of distraction.

    It's amazing how much some little change means to the dog that training has to start over (tho learning over is faster) eg dog knows heel, sit, stand etc while you are right side up - but what if you sit down - or lie down or stand two paces away etc. Can you get your dog into heel position when you're sitting down? Kneeling? etc.

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