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Thread: 10 month old craziness!

  1. #11


    Socks, undies, towels! Anything that can be placed in his mouth! So frustrating having to ignore him until he drops it, then try and grab it before he does....

    It is almost like he doesn't hear the click. I mean, he does hear it, kind of looks at you, sees a treat but is driven by what is going on outside/around him. That is even with high-reward treats such as raw chicken.

    He is a great dog, it just seems at the moment he is driven to do some crazy things! He is desperate to spend time with us (even though he gets so much attention). Even managed to open the sliding door tonight while I was inside and just trot on in knowing full well he has to be permitted to enter the house!

    Ahh the joys

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi Scooterdog

    head halter - you have to train acceptance of that, eg
    each of these - repeat at least 5 times, maybe 3 different sessions a day.
    1. gets a treat for interacting with it or sniffing it
    2. gets a treat for putting nose through the loop...
    3. gets a treat when you do the clip up (not on him but next to him)
    4. gets a treat for putting his nose through the loop and holding it there. gets another treat... build duration.
    5. gets a treat for putting his nose through the loop and allowing you to clip it up...
    6. gets a treat having the halti on and keeping focus on you (not trying to rub it off) etc.

    By now he should have a very strong connection of halti to food. If he can wear it comfortably, try putting it on in different places around your home, build up to walking around the home with the lead on. I found I needed to use two leads with the halti, a super light one on the halti so it never dragged on the dog except when I was trying to get her focus back, and release was complete, and a stronger lead, on the front attach harness or flat collar, so if there was a big distraction like cat that we weren't ready for, I could stop her with the strong lead not her face, ie reduce the chance of breaking or hurting her neck with a severe and sudden head twist at the end of the light lead.

    I wouldn't let him off lead at the beach until he can pay attention to you and the treats. You probably want to start attention games before he even gets out the car or near the beach... and then by incremental training you can build up to him having some self control at the beach.

    If you do let him off before he's ready, don't expect him to obey any commands but reward any time he checks in. Change direction often and call "This way" or something that lets him know...but doesn't require action on his part... And when you want him, go get him. Won't be fun.

    Ideally - you do lots of collar grab games and putting him on and off lead when he's being good, not just when he's naughty, or it's time to go home. He's not stupid, if he knows the fun ends as soon as the lead goes on, it's going to be really hard to catch him. And chase me is a very fun game for a dog.

    food is good for calming a dog down (it engages the digestive afternoon sleep system) and tug helps wind them up (because it's an aerobic kind of activity).

    If you're playing a game and it gets rougher than you like - end the game. For at least 30 seconds. If Frosty misses the tug and gets me - I put the tug away and go away myself... it's game over. I usually play fetch when it's too dark to play tug, to reduce the chomp risk.

    Frosty taught me that using a rolled up newspaper for discipline was a fun game. Ie she was better at catching and stealing then shredding the roll of paper than I was at hitting her with it. So we gave up that.

    The best trainers I know don't "discipline" their dogs by scolding or hitting or any kind of adversive applied. They will stop the fun (self rewarding), ie catch the dog or take the toy away or hide themselves what ever they need to do to stop the dog having "fun" without permission... or they will maybe say oops or not, and the dog doesn't get a treat for that activity. That's when the activity of itself is not all that much fun for the dog (ie unlikely to inspire a need for "discipline" from the boss). Ie jumping the wrong jump. No treat is all that you need.

    So if the dog bites you during play - end the play ie stop the fun. If the dog is digging where you want, make a noise to distract (or alert dog fun is about to end if he doesn't stop) eg OI - and push the dog off the hole, put a dog turd in it and cover it over with dirt, and a besa block if necessary. There's not a lot of point trying to "discipline" the dog, just stop him from doing the naughty thing.

    I think you may benefit from training him to be on a mat (or in a crate) when you're in the kitchen... My kitchen only has one way in, and just beyond that, next to where I feed my dog, is the mat. So she has to sit stay on the mat before I give her permission to eat, and I give her food rewards randomly - if she is on the mat. And if she is in the kitchen when I'm cooking I send her to the mat, and if she gets up and off it, I put her back on the mat (ie only command once - after that, put her back there). I admit I cheat a bit on the last bit. The cue is, I stand still, look at her, then look at the mat and she goes. If she's left it after I sent her there, she doesn't get a reward when she goes back where she should have stayed in the first place. This is important or evil hound learns that to get more treats we get off the mat, go back to the mat when mum looks at us, and then we get treats... cool. not cool.

    When Frosty nicks a sock, I blame me for not putting them somewhere safe - and I offer her a trade. Actually she usually brings them to me (sometimes slightly chewed) for a game of tug, and I swap the good sock for a tug sock... and reward her for that. Ie I'd rather she brings me the sock than nicks off somewhere I won't notice and rip it to shreds. It's my fault she got the sock so I can't yell at her for having fun with it, but I can trade for something I'm ok with her shredding...

    clicking should be followed as soon as practical - by a treat - the click (or yes) means you're going to get a treat for this behaviour, real soon. You need to follow this rule at least 4 out of 5 times or the click loses its meaning. Ie the click should make dog look for you for a treat and the dog should feel all the yummy food anticipation of a treat, but you need to follow up most of the time with an actual treat. Or as you already know - the dog won't look to you for a treat. If the treat or reward you have on offer is not as good as the distraction (eg running cat) you will lose. you might as well yell "Cats!" instead. Which is a sure way to fire up my dog and get her extremely excited...

    Pay attention to what distracts your dog the most, try to keep a list, and sort the list by the most distracting things... depending what the distraction is - you can use it as a very high value reward in certain circumstances. At other times - if indulging the distraction is not safe, you will have to train to ignore the distractoin. Distance from the distraction (eg going further away) decreases it's importance and other things like your bits of chicken will jump ahead of it on the list and you can use this to work on buildng some self control around the distraction...

  3. #13


    Wow! Thanks so much for the detailed responses everyone.

    It is back to basic training for me and Scooter but hopefully with a bit of effort we will get there.

    Going to try a head halter again. Any suggestions? The Black Dog ones seem pretty good...

  4. #14


    ScooterDog - if your pup is picking up stuff already - instead of the pup dictating to you the game - why not extend that particular skill and teach the pup to put the things where you want them - like in a box or on someone's bed ! Teaching the 'give' and 'leave' commands is also good at this stage.

    Super dooper treats are essential - like roast chicken, sausages, cheese - and my pup even thinks that apple pieces are special !

    Going back to basics to teach manners to the pup or reminding the pup what is expected at your place - will always assist you in getting the pup to behave as you would like at these different stages of the pup's life. There is also a major one coming up at about two years old !

    Good Luck !

  5. #15


    Couple of points I would like to add.

    Firstly, your treats need to varied and cut up smaller, no bigger than your little finger nail so they can go down fast. Treats need to be delivered within 3 seconds of the click. I find the VIP Chicken Chunkers are the best. Break the chunkers into 3 or 4 pieces.

    Secondly, you need to teach him his name. I mean here that he needs to be so well conditioned to his name that every time you use the name, he looks at you. Use the bathroom as a start point and call his name. Reward if he looks at you. Repeat repeat repeat until he looks everytime you call.
    Rinse and repeat in every new environment you move to. This needs to be so well engrained in a head strong dog so it will take a bit of time.

    Once you have this down pat you can start building your recalls and getting his attention when you need control.

    On the collar side, play the collar grab game, but reward him everytime you grab the collar - does not need to be food - it can be an ear rub, or scratch under the chin with "good boy".

    PS - forgot the halter thing. We recommend the Gentle Leader. We believe it is stronger, harder to get off and a better fit. But if a dog is a bolter, we would prefer the owner uses a Gentle Walker.
    Last edited by Nev Allen; 06-03-2012 at 09:16 AM. Reason: Added info
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

  6. #16


    Yep we train the leave it command, but I think we will work in the give or drop it command too.

    HE isn't so much a bolter, but he is quite strong so when he sees another dog or tries to fight the lead he does what I call the 'bucking bronco'. Pretty much just jumps and spins on the spot much like the name suggest in order to try and get away or do what he wants.

    Someone suggested previously to not let him off the lead until his recall is perfect, but I am struggling to find other ways to truly get the exercise he needs. Our beach sessions are quite intensive in order for him to get worn out for the day. I can run with him as far as needed so it's pretty difficult to find other solutions!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    I struggled with the 'no off leash until fully trained' too. Especially as my dog was already 8mo when I got her. So even though I knew it would've been the best way to go about from a training perspective, I didn't do it. I found an off leash place without roads nearby and walked her there twice a day. And personally, I found it the perfect opportunity to practice recall. But then I think I was lucky that Banjo stayed close and checked up on me very regularly. And she was also great with other dogs. Just too excited around people.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    scooter dog

    you can let the dog off lead for exercise, just so long as you never use the recall word. Otherwise if the recall word is not 100% reliable - using it when the dog isn't likely to come - breaks it. So if you let your dog off for exercise, you need to be able to go get dog when it's time to go. Ideally you go get dog, clip on the lead, treat and release - several times during the exercise session so the lead going on during off lead fun - is not seen as the end of fun (ie something to be avoided).

    but - lots of exercise - can lead to a very fit (and naughty) dog. Asking the dog to learn stuff (training) - engages their brains and helps tire them out too. Thinking and learning uses a lot of energy.

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