Is heavy handedness ever appropriate? A good alternative?

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Simba
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Is heavy handedness ever appropriate? A good alternative?

Post by Simba » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:19 pm

So, this morning I took Simba in the torrential rain ("floodwatch" rain) for a walk in the woods at the park. He was already antsy and without his morning exercise would have been impossible to handle all day. I was completely soaked head to toe as I stood by his side of the car attempting to coax him out as the rained poured down upon his adorable little face. He did not budge. So, I got back in the car and headed for home. A minute later I said to myself "I am already soaked and he is still antsy so there is no way I am going to deal with him like this all day." (My husband is under the weather so the whole day would have fallen to me and I already slept terribly last night - weird dreams too).

I returned to the park and enticed him with a liver treat out of the car. He complied and we both had a wonderful walk through the water. There were waterfalls all over; no one was in the woods but us; it was a lovely fall day with the colorful leaves all about; the earth smelled clean and we had a lovely walk in the rain (it was real warm out, otherwise I would not have considered it).

We are walking nicely on the trail on our way back to the car and out of the blue, literally, he lunged at me repeatedly four separate times tearing more of my clothing including the gloves I was wearing (thank goodness I was wearing some) and my favorite, and only, raincoat that I had bought in Norway many years ago. I tied him to a tree until he calmed down as Emmabeth had suggested all the while he was tearing at my pants, arms, etc. I thought he re-opened the wound he had given me a few days ago and it would have to be closed again - he did not, although it felt like he did.

When I "thought" he calmed down I untied him. No sooner had I done that they he began the process all over again. I did not yell at him and tried as calmly as I could to re-direct; give him a stick to carry (he likes to do that) which I wanted to you know what with; give him a command to obey or whatever else I could. In the pouring rain it took me quite a while to get him to the car and I was exhausted and overwhelmed by the time we arrived there.

Point of the Story: This evening I met a woman in the dog park and learned that digging is not allowed by the dogs (a park rule). She attempted to prevent Simba from doing so by blocking him by putting her foot in front of the dirt pile he was interested in. He got distracted. A few minutes later he started really going at it in another section of the park after he repeatedly lunged at me once again. The woman saw this and asked me if she could help. I was happy to have some help at that point. She had a huge and gentle adult Great Dane and a lot of experience handling dogs.

She had to repeat this three times before he gave up the digging (after he gave up the digging he ran around like a maniac for a few minutes): she laid him down on his side and held him with her hand like a claw on the side of his neck and told him to calm down. He growled, wriggled and wriggled and tried to bite her and finally he gave up the digging after the third time. She said he was very willful and that sometimes this type of thing is the only thing to stop them from what they are doing.

Comments? Thoughts? Alternatives that work? Ideas?

Also, when we finally arrived home tonight I asked my husband to remove his harness, etc. since I wanted to feed him and be "done with him for the night". He proceeded to lunge at my husband and tear at his clothes too.
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Leigha
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Post by Leigha » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:58 pm

The lay them on the side use your hand like a mouth to bite thing is a CM technique that is supposed to show you are the pack leader (the dominant one) and you disagree with their behavior.

Jason tries to do this with our dog. I don't particularly like it. It doesn't really help with ours. For the few seconds he's laid on his side he's calm, but as soon as he gets up he's gone psychotic again. Jason thinks it works because he's calmed down for the minute he's on his side, but for us it doesn't really help in the long run. I think he's just figured out all he has to do is be still for a little bit and he'll be allowed to get back up.

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Nettle
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Post by Nettle » Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:45 am

This was extremely stupid of her, and one day she will get badly bitten doing that. (CM has a written warning at the start of every programme that the public must not use his techniques).

It also didn't work - did it? Because Simba was even more wired when you got him home.

"Dominance" and "pack leader" ideas do not work. That's why we don't promote them here.

It can be very hard but please don't let other people discipline your dog.

You did very well to take him out in the rain. Dogs should go out in rain. But you need a coat that is not special to you for the future :lol:
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Simba
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Nettle, I got it, no CM techniques - what's your suggestion?

Post by Simba » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:33 am

Thanks, Nettle for weighing in on this. It is my only raincoat or I surely would not have worn it. It was more important for me to take him for exercise than the coat I suppose. I just was voicing my displeasure.

We are talking torrential rains with a lot of flooding as you probably have seen on the news.

I was at a loss after I did all that I knew how to do to handle the digging in the dog park after the lunging incident. What would you have done? Much appreciation.
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mselisabs
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Post by mselisabs » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:18 am

Nettle,
Can't remember the woman who said this but I remember this quote: "Holding onto a dog and glaring into it's eyes is a good way to get bit in the face" - in regard to trying to discipline. Hah!

Simba,
Not sure what your financial situation is, but if a dog is to the point where it is sending you to the ER to get stitches it might be time for professional help. A one-on-one dog trainer who matches your training views (not someone who'll just throw a prong collar on..) and *really really* work with his and your issues.

Simba
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I am on it- thanks...

Post by Simba » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:51 am

Mselisabs, you must have read my mind. We had a dog trainer (the one who originally suggested that we re-home him and that prompted my blogging in the first place) and we are now engaging another trainer. Hopefully, our experience will be better. Thanks for your advice. We are on the same page.
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Noobs
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Post by Noobs » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:13 am

Simba, what that woman did is called an "alpha-roll" and it's dangerous to the human and frightening to the dog. The idea is that the dog should "submit" to the human. However, as Victoria has explained on her show, submission is given freely - you see dogs roll over and show their belly to other dogs or to their owners, etc. - not forced. So in the future, just leash him up and get out.

I know it's easy for me to say, Murphy never did as much damage to me as Simba is doing. I guess I got lucky - his puppy rudeness was bad but not as bad as your situation sounds, so I truly sympathize with you and hope you are able to find a trainer who can help you out. Best of luck, let us know how it goes.

Remember, don't be afraid to ask the trainer questions so that you can gauge whether or not he/she will manhandle your dog.

Simba
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Noobs - a question for you

Post by Simba » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:24 am

Yes, thank you. I have a list of questions for this new trainer. We, too, hope it works out. We love this little guy in spite of it all. This morning during his walk he found an animal bone of some sort (I watch him all the time - he is a quick one) and I told him to "Drop it" (of course, I was ready with a good treat) and he did. I was so proud of him.

Question for you: you seem to know a lot about "alpha rolls" and things like that. I do not have any knowledge or experience with this. The woman said that she was doing what Simba's mother would have done to discipline him if he had gotten out of hand. If that is true than why would it be frightening for him? Just wondering.

I personally do not like the manhandle approach at all. I was simply curious if there were circumstances that called for it. I can see how this could be misused whenever someone is frustrated with their animal. It seems easier than having patience and working through the problem (at least that's my naive take on it all).

Yes Noobs, leashing him up and getting him away from digging would have been good if I could have done it without getting bitten. When he gets in this state all bets are off. I am hopeful we are doing something real incorrectly that the trainer can help us with.

Thanks again for your sage advice.
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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:55 am

No, mum doesn't roll the pups, the pups roll onto their backs themselves to show submission. It is facinating to watch this with pups and how they roll, it is very quick which is why many people think the mother has rolled the pup but they weren't looking properly.

Alpha rolling and pack reduction has been proved to make things worse not better, I hope that there is no after effects of this idiot rolling your pup, there could, be. She was using aggression to solve a puppy problem, if he had been an adult dog the chances of her being bitten would be high, then Simba would be classed as a biter when it wasn't his fault.

Don't let anyone correct your pup, not even a trainer who has come in to advice you, she is there to ADVISE not correct him. She is to teach you how to handle him and not do it herself. What is the point in a trainer doing the work then walking away leaving the owner with just talk to work with their dog. Owners need hands on experience to help with their dogs.

Apart from the biting he has come on a long way since you first came here, you are doing a very good job and this will biting will eventually stop but in the meantime you are having a very rough time. I am very proud to know you. :D
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Simba
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For Mattie with affection....

Post by Simba » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:20 pm

Thanks Mattie. I have never been around mums and their pups and what you said is a real eye-opener and explains why putting the dog on its side is not a good idea since it is not natural, really.

I am the one who 99% works with Simba's training. Last night I was in a tight spot and just had no clue and someone "experienced" offered to step in. I do not think there are any lasting effects. He was excellent last night after I brought him home and fine this morning on his walk and only lunged once (I cannot believe that lunging once is seen as an improvement; nonetheless, it is).

Yes, I agree with you. This new trainer will help ME do the training. I have given it some thought since last night and reviewed people's responses and I believe I have some tools to use should the digging in the dog park challenge re-surface.

It is obvious that Simba really likes to dig. The dogs we had in the past did not and it was never an issue, ever. I wish we could permit him to enjoy digging in the woods yet prevent him from digging in the dog park.
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Re: Noobs - a question for you

Post by Noobs » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:34 pm

Simba wrote: Yes Noobs, leashing him up and getting him away from digging would have been good if I could have done it without getting bitten. When he gets in this state all bets are off. I am hopeful we are doing something real incorrectly that the trainer can help us with.
Yes, I do realize that it's way more easy to say than to do. Does he wear a harness? It's easier to take hold of a harness than a collar. Easier still to take hold of a short line attached to a harness. Just throwing ideas out there, I'm not suggesting you go out and buy a bunch of new equipment. Best of luck with the trainer. And YES, lunging only once is huge. Don't undermine even the smallest of improvements. :D

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Post by Nettle » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:58 pm

You can train him to dig anywhere - and not to dig anywhere :)

You can build him a sandpit in the yard, bury some toys in there, take him there on-leash and start him off by scraping your own hand in there. When he starts to dig, give him your command (eg "diggy diggy") and let him dig. When he stops, say your command (eg "enough") and reward him. If he finds a toy and picks it up, reward him.

When this is soundly established in his sandpit, take him to the woods and "diggy diggy". But when he wants to dig in the dog park, say "enough" then distract and give him something else to do away from where he wanted to dig, eg hold a toy and walk with it.

Don't use toys with squeakers. These encourage susceptible dogs to bite down.
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Re: For Mattie with affection....

Post by Mattie » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:24 pm

[quote="Simba"]I am the one who 99% works with Simba's training. Last night I was in a tight spot and just had no clue and someone "experienced" offered to step in. quote]


You are not alone, someone comes along who ozzes confidence and takes charge, most people back away and let them. Unfortunately many dogs are being damaged because of these idiots but until the owner stops and thinks about it later, they trust this confident know it all.

I used to be very shy, wouldn't speak much and had to know people before I would talk to them until dogs started to attack Joe, I had to change for Joe's sake so now will speak up.
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Simba
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Yeah or neah with the sandbox concept - input requested

Post by Simba » Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:36 pm

Oh Nettle, I love the sandbox "diggy diggy" , then "enough" idea. Could people weigh in on this and let me know for sure that it can be pulled off. Nettle, have you done this yourself or known anyone who has? I thought that it would be difficult/confusing for a dog to be able to do one behavior in one place and not in another, especially something like digging.

It would be fabulous if I could allow Simba's natural digging inclination to be confined to places that I determine are OK. I am so excited to think that it is possible. I was sad last night when I thought I would have to prevent him from digging altogether so that he would not tear up our brand new dog park. He so looooooooooooooooves to dig in the woods; he will dig up a tree root and then chew on it a bit. He has a blast and the tree is none the worse

Hope springs eternal.
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Mattie
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Post by Mattie » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:55 am

A lot in the UK have sand pits for their dogs so that they can did, terriers adore digging and it is the best way to control this instinct. Dogs can be taught to just dig in the sand pit. It may help with his energy levels as well. :lol:
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