Do Citrus Collars work?

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Dolcielover
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Do Citrus Collars work?

Post by Dolcielover » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:37 am

My friend is a dog walker in London and I ocassionally help him. He walks a most gorgeous four year old female boxer called Dolcie. She does not like other dogs (apart from her friends whom she sees everyday). If, she is not on a lead, which sadly is rarely, she will become extremely agressive and attack any dog in the local vicinity. One of our dog walkers got bitten in a recent attack and had to have stitches and the police were called. She really is the most gorgeous dog and needs some help. Her owners to be honest are pretty useless and thinks that the dogwalker should be training her, but I don't agree. They bought over a year ago a flat coated retriever who is sadly going down the same lack of discipline, Dolcie path. I think that they want to get rid of Dolcie and find it hard to co-operate with their dogwalker. They have purchased a citrus collar which is still in the box five days after purchasing it, how does this work and will it work? Is this the right thing for this amazing dog and do the owners have to participate in it too. I have contacted you all as a last resort I wish I could own her but live in a small flat I adore Dolcie :?

emmabeth
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Re: Do Citrus Collars work?

Post by emmabeth » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:20 am

No, a citrus spray collar will not cure dog v dog aggression, nor will it train the dog. The owners need to do some behavioural modification and some training to combat this problem - punishing the dog for the reaction is FAR too late to be taking action, they need to work on the problem before she gets that far down her behaviour pattern!

We have lots of info about how to fix reactive/aggressive dog behaviour and how to understand how and why it happens too.

Ps - living in a small house or flat does not mean you cannot have a dog (I have five in a v small two bedroom house!)- it just means you have sensible rules about not playing giddy games in the house and you do a good amount of exercise!
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

ladybug1802
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Location: Surrey

Re: Do Citrus Collars work?

Post by ladybug1802 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:18 am

Oh nooooo!! Citrus collars are the work of the devil!! Dolcie is reacting that way because she is afraid....if every time she sees another dog, that she is already scared of, she gets a squirt up her nose of horrid smelling citronella, it is likely that it will make her more afraid. She will start to associate seeing dogs with not just being afraid of them, but with that horrid sensation, so her behaviour will escalate.

Also what can happen is if, for example, the spray is timed with Dolcie passing or looking at something else (for example another person) it is possible she will start to associate that thing with the spray....thereby causing her to be fearful of something she wasnt scared of before.

Awful things.

The owners do need to be doing a lot of work with her.....it isnt really up to the dog walker. But maybe it is up to him to suggest the reasons behind the behaviour (fear) and suggest ways they can help Dolci?

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Nettle
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Re: Do Citrus Collars work?

Post by Nettle » Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:16 am

The main other thing to be aware of with the citronella collar is that it goes on punishing the dog for a long time after it has 'fired' because the scent hangs around. Dogs hate the smell of citronella: it's the equivalent of us having a half-hour blast of raw sewage in our faces. The dog cannot associate the stink with what it did "wrong" (dogs don't actually do wrong things: everything a dog does is fine by that dog) so becomes confused and unhappy and may get very reactive as a result.

So - get them to return the collar and get a refund - and invest time in helping their dog instead of money in upsetting it.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Dolcielover
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Re: Do Citrus Collars work?

Post by Dolcielover » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:50 pm

Thank you all so much for your advice. Kind of what I thought the answer would be to be honest. It worries me that Dolcie will associate the collar with other things that she is not afraid of. She is so loving towards humans and dogs she knows. I have shown the replies to my friend and he agrees with everything that you all said. The owners really are hopeless (I don't know why they own dogs to be honest)?
Could you direct me Emmabeth to the relevant points that you mentioned on the website regarding training. We want to try and help Dolcie and we both agree that she is trainable and want to do anything we can. Good news the owners might be moving to Hong Kong WITHOUT Dolcie and my friend will take her on as his own dog Pru died last year. Happy Days, and once again thank you all so much for your kindness. :D

emmabeth
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Re: Do Citrus Collars work?

Post by emmabeth » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:39 pm

Hiya,

Check out the links in this thread under 'reactive dogs' and also the ones that chart the progress of various users (particularly Jacksdad) viewtopic.php?f=4&t=11503
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

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