Almost 7 month old Pup

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Lotsaquestions
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by Lotsaquestions » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:24 pm

Thanks Nettle! He definately sees me as.an annoying anchor when he is on his way to the park. He is amazing at loose lead walking on the way home amd when he doesnt know where we are going, but if he assumes we are going to a destination he likes he will pull me all the way.

I gave up on trying to have him on a loose lead on the way out because i didnt know if he could manage it at his age and he was just getting frustrated, but i will give it another go!

@Judy most people accept my apologies thankfully, but he has frightened people before with his barking when we set out. Luckily he is kind of well known now and i get alot of 'he is excited again!' :p

jacksdad
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by jacksdad » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:58 pm

Haven't watched the video, so this is general thoughts for you.

1. It is difficult to impossible to train when your pup has built up energy. sometimes we have to "live" with the "maniac" at the end of the leash until that energy is burned off before we can train a desired behavior.

2. just going by your description, I could not agree with Nettles more.

3. the way out of this is alternate behaviors. or in non trainer speak...train what you want your dog to do, focus on that, reinforce the heck out of it.

BUT before you can train, you most likely have to let him blow some steam off, burn some energy.

Working with a socially amazing pit puppy that is gentle, loves everyone dogs, people etc.... BUT is a "maniac" on the end of the leash UNTIL he burns off his excess energy and then BAM!!!! all the training the owner has put in/invested in shows up "like magic". so have hope. all isn't lost.

Which brings us to how? well like Nettle says, you need to become more part of the walk with your dog. Think of ways to interact with your pup more. can you maybe run a little with him to start? what about some tug at the beginning? start capturing looks at you..pup looks at you...YUMMY treats happen. etc. then you can start slipping in some impulse control. at start of walk...pup has to look at you...which triggers a brief run together. or a game of tug etc. be creative. getting that brain of his involved and working as mental work can tire a pup as much as running and playing does.

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by Lotsaquestions » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:43 am

Well I shortened up his lead, kept throwing food around and marked whenever he looked back at me and... NO BARKING! He even saw some of his usual triggers - people doing things with things. I'm not counting my chickens yet because I did forget to give him his painkillers before setting out so his leg was a bit painful, which might have dampened his mood. Hopefully it was your advice more than the pain though!

Here he is being Mr Quietpants. There were a few times his ears went up and his head went up (his pre bark warm up) but I grabbed his attention asap as soon as I saw it happen.

https://youtu.be/gMGINNIyzHY

Also I was caught short by a surprise dog round the corner, and basically every trigger in the book happened and I failed to do things perfectly. Triggers included;

- Friendly dog pulling towards him
- Other owner stopping trying to have his dog say hello
- Appeared around a corner
- Coming towards each other head on

Did he react? Nope! He was interested, but I decided not to let them greet since the other dog seemed quite keen and his leg was hurting. Even with the bad owner (me for not doing things properly) he was quiet. It did help that he had a massive play with Ollie (5 month old springer) and Isabel (gorgeous little scottish terrier) not long before so he got his dog jollys out.

https://youtu.be/cTszQ4RhXp4

ZaraD
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by ZaraD » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:03 am

The power of positive training :D from my own experience once you've found what works , which I think you have it's now about keeping up with it and eventually you won't even need chicken. Me and Sampson are still working towards this, so if you keep at it you and merlin can achieve it. But isn't it so rewarding when you see it's worked and he ignore the gate or in your case is quiet :D . I got very excited the first time Sampson just ignored the gate :lol: :D

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by Lotsaquestions » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:54 am

We weren't making headway for a long time, I think Merlin's two little additions were getting in the way a bit. Since being neutered he's making dramatic progress. I think removing them reminded him I exist. He is smart so he's quick to learn, I just need to make sure I make it worth his while to learn. :lol:

I do still wish we could have kept him entire for longer, but it was ruining his life (the frustration, brewing aggro, and endless pacing). If I ever get another boy I'll keep them entire for as long as it doesn't get in the way of them enjoying life. Merlin was either way oversexed, or we were unlucky enough to live near lots of bitches in heat. :roll:

ZaraD
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by ZaraD » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:59 am

Lotsaquestions wrote:
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:54 am
We weren't making headway for a long time, I think Merlin's two little additions were getting in the way a bit. Since being neutered he's making dramatic progress. I think removing them reminded him I exist. He is smart so he's quick to learn, I just need to make sure I make it worth his while to learn. :lol:

I do still wish we could have kept him entire for longer, but it was ruining his life (the frustration, brewing aggro, and endless pacing). If I ever get another boy I'll keep them entire for as long as it doesn't get in the way of them enjoying life. Merlin was either way oversexed, or we were unlucky enough to live near lots of bitches in heat. :roll:
I know how you feel , Sampson's getting neutered next week, I struggle to get him of females that are in heat trying to get a 42kg dog to stop pulling you towards a female in heat is no easy task :shock: :lol:

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by Lotsaquestions » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:31 pm

So shortening up his lead has dramatically changed his outlook. He walks to heel the entire way there (except for a small stretch where there are lots of squirrels up the trees and he goes a bit nuts). I don't ask him to heel, I don't really want him too (he's not sniffing, he's just staring up at me like he's at some sort of obedience competition), but he is and he is reacting less to everything. I do have to make sure I don't kick him up the bum if he does go ahead since he's so close, but that's about it. I didn't think about him being on his own walk before, but it makes lots of sense now.

He even saw that white dog in the vid again before I did and didn't react at all. He turned away to me which is how I realised there was a dog there (it had gone behind a car). After that he saw a Shar Pei who stared at him, Merlin just carried on with a little nudge from some treats.

JudyN
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by JudyN » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:04 pm

Nettle works her magic again - but well done you and Merlin too! :D
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by Lotsaquestions » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:59 am

I am hoping the shorter lead was the last piece of the puzzle.

Had an absolute reactive dog owner worst nightmare today. Everytime we turned a corner or crossed the road to avoid a dog, another one was there... Three of them had flat faces. Two were puppies, one of said puppies being one of Merlins superbestfriendbuddies. Lots of deep breaths, lots of changes of direction (at one point we were walking behind two dogs and in front of another), and an entire large chicken breast later, we made it out without a single sound. No even a whine.

At some points I had to drag him because he put his backside down in protest because he wanted to go over and greet a puppy, but the puppy was a boxer so I thought not. At one point, stuck in the middle of a crossing with a boxer puppy behind me and a french bulldog in front of me, I prayed to the dog gods that the French Bulldog just carried on. Luckily it did! It wasn't smooth, Merlin was close to reacting a gazillion times, and he definately wasn't calmly carrying on, but we made it out and he didn't even turn around to attack his toy in frustration.

My coffee has been spiked irish this morning to relax. :lol:

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Nettle
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by Nettle » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:20 am

Love that kinda coffee! :lol:

You both did really well. REALLY well. Dog life (training is for all their lives) is two steps forward, one back, three to the side....seldom consistent progress....you did so well.

Dog gods have a sense of humour.......oh boy do they.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by Lotsaquestions » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:35 am

Thanks Nettle, he does amaze me sometimes and his progress lately has been just staggering.

We used to have to hide in the bushes far away from the other dogs whilst we waited for dog training, and then at training we sometimes had to have visual barriers for him. We've been slowly moving closer to the other dogs while we were waiting to enter, and this morning he was less than 2ft away from one dog, with another close by who was excited. No reactivity. He just lay down and chilled out, happy as larry. He got more excited to see their owners and get a good stroke :lol:

I'm so proud of him and so grateful for all the advice I was given here.

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by Lotsaquestions » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:04 pm

I am beginning to think Merlin has two different types of reactivity since his neuter. One is excitement which he's doing amazing at, I can get his focus wholly on me. The other I think is now fear. I don't mean fear as in he is terrified, but more a 'what is that? That is a little bit scary!'. Now with the second kind asking him to watch seems to make him worse. He wants to keep his eye on the scary thing (I would too!).

Today he saw three dog aggressive dogs (all on lead walking round the streets). These dogs he is frightened of as we walked right next to them when he was a puppy and they lunged at him. They are actually dog aggressive, not just reactive, so they are likely throwing off all sorts of body language. Merlin saw them across the street and barked once, I asked him to watch as we walked on, but he started to go into panic mode. Kept swapping his eyes from the dogs to me and was being really fidgetty. After that three teenage boys raced around the corner and he reacted to them too (I think he was still on edge from the dogs, was less than 1min after). He is the same with two reactive pugs, he is frightened and fidgets when I ask for a watch.

What I am wondering is should I just click when he looks at something scary and not ask for a watch? Or should I just play the 'find it' game or something instead?

JudyN
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by JudyN » Sat Feb 24, 2018 1:51 pm

If it were me, I wouldn't ask him to focus on anything else, I'd just say, 'OK, let's go this way' and head in the other direction. The message is that he doesn't have to worry about these scary things because you're going to lead him away from him - or even that he can choose to move away from them.

If there were a ruddy great spider on the other side of the room I would not be looking at someone else instead - I'd want to keep a close eye on it and/or move swiftly well out of range :wink:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by Lotsaquestions » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:48 pm

Thats what I thought! No way I was going to look into someones eyes with a spider crawling near me.

I already take him away from the situation, so I'll just drop the whole 'watch me' when it comes to scary things. Maybe give him a treat or play a little game as we're moving quickly away.

JudyN
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Re: Almost 7 month old Pup

Post by JudyN » Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:08 pm

Jasper is now able to confront his fears - to an extent - because I let him choose his course of action (within reason of course). And then he'll look at me to ask if he gets a treat for being a brave boy :lol:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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