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  • Dog walking hysteria

    Having huge problems walking my two dogs at the moment. Recently moved from a large, fenced outer suburban block to a smaller property in a more densely populated area. At the old place the dogs spent their days running madly around the place and getting heaps of exercise chasing birds etc generally having a great time. Their favorite game was to run along the fence line barking madly at any dog on a lead being walked up the street. Another firm favorite was the postie on his little motorbike. It was annoying but didnt take much notice unless it went on more than a couple of minutes. As they were both very active and worn out after a busy day I didn't bother walking them.

    Yes definitely bad to let them do this as I am now finding out. These days I have been walking them both daily but of course whenever they see other dog[s] or the postie they go absolutely hysterical. Both have slipped their harness on one occasion so far and it is only a matter of time till one of them is hit by a car or cause an accident on the road. Obviously I try different times of day when less people are out walking dogs and avoid the local park like the plague. But every so often we come across either the postie or another dog.

    I am at my wits end to know what to do. I have tried approaching another dog with them but because the cant check things out very well while restrained on leads they can get a bit snappy or growl. Not big dogs both around the 10kg mark. Both sweethearts and in an enclosed dog park where they can run free with other dogs they are fine except for being a little wimpy around big exuberant dogs. There are off leash parks around here but I am not confident to let my dogs go as they are not fenced.

    Thank you for any and all responses and advice which will be gratefully received.

  • #2
    Hi there. Yep you know you did the wrong thing just letting them run wild doing their thing, being the type of dog that is a pain in the arse through no fault of their own so you didn't have to exercise them or train them. Afraid that you are not the only one gone down this path. At least you know where you went wrong! But it has come back to bite you. At least they sound like they have good temperaments at the dog park. Being snappy on lead is very common among a lot of dogs, even well trained ones and I probably would not force them to do that, maybe a quick one second sniff and keep moving so you are not putting them in a situation where they feel that they have to defend themselves. I would not approach other dogs directly either just do a walk by. Learning to recognise dog language is quite important that gives you a head start on what their body language is telling you.

    So you are now going to have to put the training time in and get them to learn how to walk on a lead in the face of their favourite distractions. They also need a rock solid recall in the face of these distractions. So you are going to have train these behaviours and slowly build them up in the face of distractions. The behaviours have had plenty of time to become hardwired in their brains and it is going to take you a lot of work to reverse that. Definitely don't let them off lead at the moment in an unsecure area!

    Is there a dog obedience club close by where you could take them and you can learn about what you need to do to modify their behaviour? For recalls for example set them up for success and reinforce good behaviour positively. Start up dog real close and on lead and reward them when they come to you. Increase distance over time and then start adding distractions. Only reward the behaviour that you want, lots of repetition but only in short bursts to begin with. Remember set dog up for success and dont expect too much distance or add distractions to begin with, just practice reinforcing the recall. What are their recalls like at the dog park?

    Teaching them to focus on you is also a good thing, make yourself lots of fun and reward interaction and eye contact with you. Do they like to play tug with you?

    You probably need to find a trainer, dog club, people on here can recommend videos to watch.

    Good luck! Lots of hard work ahead of you but it can really be worth the effort!
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 08-10-2018, 08:51 PM.

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    • #3
      Thanks Kalacreek good advice.
      Both dogs are ok on recall unless of course they have a favoured distraction. In both cases of each of them getting off lead I managed to call them back relatively easily. All those whistles followed by treats had some effect. KCC Park (State Dog Centre) is close by which I will find out a bit more about ASAP

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      • #4

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        • #5
          Im having to do some of what u have ahead. Moved from rural to town, and my loose leash walkers in paddocks, looks very messy on pavement!

          Im doing dogs separately and together.
          I can use my older dog to model whats expected. Block pups zig zagging interpretation of "walk forward"

          Well done for putting your hand up to mistakes. We live and learn.
          And now researching how to fix. Brilliant.

          You may be delighted to know that a LOT of the training early days will be to develop your relationship.

          And you always train 2 dogs separately first, then eventually bring 2nd dog into the context.


          My small pup was barking at dogs because he thought he had back up - his big sister.

          Alone, he pulls his head in lol


          Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            Originally posted by bernie View Post
            Block pups zig zagging interpretation of "walk forward"
            HAH I know that problem - the younger dog is like a fish on a line

            Over the past week the older dog has lost his vision. I have thought for a while that he wasn't seeing too well but was chasing a ball, following toys through the air ok as recently as a week ago. Then all of a sudden he is bumping into things, biting at thin air when giving him snacks. Took him to the vet Saturday and it looks like retina has atrophied. Booked in to see animal Eyecare Malvern in a week. It is very sad as he is barely 8 years old. Looks like there is nothing to be done from reading on the subject but will let the doggy eye doctor make that determination

            This of course makes walking him on his own a very simple affair. I'll get a bell on my wrist and on the other dog to give him some reference points but hey this is a whole new thread so will chase it up in that.

            BTW I posted this subject on a big yankee dog forum and all I got back was a link to dog training videos on sale and a spiel on how great they were

            Thanks for the excellent advice so far

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            • #7
              I hope a mod can bring the links u require.
              For my old timers who lose vision gradually, keeping furniture still, routine, normal, using audable cues for behaviour, so if you have used seeable cues like body language, there maybe brief confusion.
              But to suddenly lose vusion indicates a bleed, a bit of oxygen interupted so it would need to be individual training that takes this into account. Bells are brilliant!

              Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk

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              • #8
                Could it be PRA? Progressive retinal atrophy. I know a young dog that had early onset PRA and it progressed rapidly. Interesting to hear what the eye vet has to say. Yes this will need you all learning a new set of skills! as well as keeping the layout of the furniture etc the same.

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                • #9
                  Saw the vet at Animal Eyecare on Saturday and she was excellent. Lots of info and web links etc. The diagnosis is "Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS)". Not uncommon and nothing can be done about it other than checking for cataracts at regular intervals in the future. Apparently Astro will adapt a lot quicker than we will and we need to make some fairly simple changes in the way we relate to him and all will be fine.

                  Pretty devastating for me as, out of the 5 dogs I have owned across my life, Astro is the one I have developed the deepest bond with. He was always up for a game of tug of war or chasing balls but now as he cant see the toy he has mostly lost interest. I've ordered on line something called a "giggle ball" which is apparently excellent. I've looked around the local pet barns and I have to say that for dog superstores the amount of toys on display is poor. The noise making toys on sale - nil

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                  • #10
                    Saw the vet at Animal Eyecare on Saturday and she was excellent. Lots of info and web links etc. The diagnosis is "Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS)". Not uncommon and nothing can be done about it other than checking for cataracts at regular intervals in the future. Apparently Astro will adapt a lot quicker than we will and we need to make some fairly simple changes in the way we relate to him and all will be fine.

                    Pretty devastating for me as, out of the 5 dogs I have owned across my life, Astro is the one I have developed the deepest bond with. He was always up for a game of tug of war or chasing balls but now as he cant see the toy he has mostly lost interest. I've ordered on line something called a "giggle ball" which is apparently excellent. I've looked around the local pet barns and I have to say that for dog superstores the amount of toys on display is poor. The noise making toys on sale - nil

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                    • #11
                      One of my dogs went crazy for a giggle ball, it was hilarious! Sadly the giggle didn't last because he gave it such a good work out. Mind you he is a big Border collie. Good luck with your boy, he will make adjustments but it is devastating for you.

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                      • #12
                        Devastating news.
                        Human child toys are often noisy, (& cheaper) perhaps try there. I have a flushing wriggling ball that plays music for instance. $3.50 from Big W last xmas.

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                        • #13
                          Smelly toys are abundant and usually free.
                          Teach new interactive games to replace fetch. "Find it" around the home, can be the new fetch.
                          Ur herbs are a great set of free odours to train. Foot step tracking is done by blind dogs. All nose games are done as a team with u and dog.
                          Her QOL should pick up rapidly. I agree with ?kalacreek, dog will adjust faster than you.

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