A Special Video...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by Dlilly, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Dlilly Honored Member



    I've been feeling a bit down lately; I've made barely any progress with Rory. So, I started looking for a song for a video showing how difficult training him has been when I found this song…. This video I made will show you how hard it is for Rory to live with me.

    I'm expecting him to not play (nip) me, to not attack the enemy (dogs) and to be a 'good' dog. :rolleyes: While making this video I got a bit teary. All Rory wants to do is play and give kisses to everyone. He's the one who has no clue what is going on, why he can't be in the house with the rest of the family or why we can't go on the exiting hiking trail.

    I feel better now, I think Rory is insane and he thinks I'm insane.

    (And if you're wondering, the woman petting him in the field is my mom, not me. I'm not that tall, haha! :))

  2. MaryK Honored Member

    Cheer up Rory is doing what 'comes naturally' to him, nipping and yes, I KNOW it's not pleasant and hurts!

    First, I noticed at .58 seconds you did grab his scruff, not unkindly, (and I understand why too and am NOT picking on you) but grabbing the scruff will make him worse at biting. It's best not to use your hands at all but turn away, which you did later, and totally IGNORE any nipping. Then reward when he's quiet. Say nothing, do nothing and keep wearing boots to protect yourself. I've got a blue heeler and they too nip, so I know what it's like, but with Zeus I just turned away and walked away, if he was hanging on my jeans (never worked in anything else when he was a puppy) I just became a 'tree'. Try very hard not to lift your legs, yes it sure is hard not too, but Rory thinks "hey Mom's playing with me, she wants me to hang on to her". Keep still, very still, don't make eye contact or anything, totally and completely IGNORE his nipping.

    Plus I suggest you REALLY run Rory hard, throw balls, anything to really work him out. These dogs can easily run several kilometers a day when they're working, so he needs miles of running off lead as much as possible. Then loads of walks too.

    I noticed he was calm with your Mom. And it maybe your voice is higher pitched, that will excite a dog, especially one who's already excitable, so try to 'lower' your voice a little when speaking to him.

    How old is Rory??? I think you've posted his age somewhere but I've forgotten. From memory he's still quite a youngster.

    Don't give up, he's a lovely dog and one day he will surprise you and become a model citizen. Never forget he was bred to herd cattle, so he's got a whole heap of pent up energy and at present sees you as the 'cattle'.

    He's not aggressive, just a big over grown playful puppy. Just work on the basics, sit for now, and down, nothing fancy he's not clueless, just hyper active and looks like he's going through adolescence which is a 'difficult' phase where even a dog who's been a brilliant puppy totally forgets everything they've been taught.
  3. southerngirl Honored Member

    I know how it feels to be not making any progress. I've barley made any progress with Missy being reactive. Just keep working with him he will get better. For going on hikes ask your brother to come with you so the two of you can make a barrier between you and other dogs, that's what I use to do and it keep Missy from getting to another dog. Because he's so young(1 year?) he will probably learn to calm down some. Cheer up, his behavior will improve with you great training.
    MaryK, jackienmutts and Dogster like this.
  4. TiflovesBCs Experienced Member

    Yeah I know how you feel too, Bella is extremelly nervous and can be reactive too and not making much progress but i'll still keep trying.
    MaryK, Dogster and southerngirl like this.
  5. Dogster Honored Member

    Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that you're making little progress with Rory.:( Do not give up, you are a fantastic trainer, you can do this!! Just keep trying.:)
    MaryK, jackienmutts and MissyBC like this.
  6. Mr-Remington Experienced Member

    You're not alone. I'm having the same problem with Remi. He is reactive with other dogs, more out of excitement, and we haven't made any progress. It's frustrating, but you aren't alone. You are an amazing trainer, and I know you will be able to pull through and help Rory become the dog you want him to be. Don't give up! :)
    blacknym, Dogster, MaryK and 2 others like this.
  7. jackienmutts Honored Member

    That was a nice video and tribute to Rory. I know you're frustrated, but please hang tough. Mary gave you some really good tips and insight. Watch that video again yourself - and do what we've suggested others do sometimes, when viewing other videos -- turn off the sound. Don't let the music (or your emotions) influence you. Watch Rory around you, vs your mother. There's def a difference. Be really cautious in how you're handling him. Please, please don't think I'm being critical - I'm not. I just saw the same things Mary did when I watched. Be really aware of your body language. Maybe you can somehow change your approach with him, move more slowly and deliberately when around him, speak softly, etc. I have a feeling (and correct me if I'm wrong) that any fast body motions, high-pitched or loud tone of voice, flailing arms, etc would tend to get him aroused really fast.

    Truly, don't be discouraged. I adopted Makena at ~2 yrs old, and it took 4 yrs of really hard, hard work on her reactivity to get to where we are now, being able to walk both her and Alfie together, and not worry about being taken down on the sidewalk at the sight of another dog (altho I'm always vigilant, and we'll never do meet-n-greets). There were days I'd come home from walking her (always alone) and literally break down and cry out of frustration - she'd have a really bad meltdown, almost pull me down, etc. I know I went thru periods where I felt that I'd be walking both dogs seperately forever (I did for 4 yrs), and I'd get so discouraged I wouldn't walk her for a week or so, cuz I just needed a break. You're gonna get thru this, and so will Rory -- and you're gonna come out the other side just fine. My bet is, Rory is going to teach you so much, more than you'll ever imagine! I look back at what Makena has taught me, and it's more than I ever dreamed possible. You're an amazing trainer, and Rory is going to make you step up your game to heights you never knew you could reach. You watch.

    I know you just got Emma Parsons' book, but if you can get one more, you may find some really worthwhile suggestions in it. When you can, take a look at Kathy Sdao's "Plenty In Life Is Free". So much good info in that little book - not on reactivity, but in every day life with a dog. She recommends rewarding for doing things right (all day long), just stuff throughout the day - and I'm wondering if that would get Rory to kick that brain into thinking mode, instead of just living in 'reaction' mode. He most likely will grow out of some of that as he matures, but he's very young, good-sized, and won't mature for another 1-2 yrs. I don't want to hinge any bets on him waking up one morning and deciding his behavior isn't fun anymore. :confused:

    Have you ever tried to intro Rory to your dogs? Or has he been kept totally seperated from them? Have you seen him around any other dog(s) at all (and I don't mean the loose ones on a walk)? I do feel sad that he's basically living alone, and not included with your family. Poor guy. :( You keep your spirits up, and keep envisioning what you want. You know we're all here, cheering you on every step of the way.
    Gordykins, Evie, Dogster and 5 others like this.
  8. Dlilly Honored Member

    I tried introducing him to Shiloh aa few times and each him he snapped at her face. Shiloh didn't want anything to do with him.

    My dad says if he isn't able to be in the living room by the end of February I'll have to rehome him. :(

    He isn't nippy like that anymore, that was him just tugging at my boot.
    MaryK likes this.
  9. Dlilly Honored Member

    I have him in my brothers room a lot, he just hangs out with us while we play on the Xbox. And he used to be CRAZY around my brother, but he isn't anymore! Now he insane around my mom. :p It's like after I get him calm around someone he redirects his craziness too a new person.

    A few times someone has let out Shiloh while Rory and I are in the yard, each time he just watches her. She approached him once while Rory was peeing, but then ran back to the house. He isn't barking at her, that's good. If he sees any other dog, he will bark at it. I guess it's a little progress.
    MaryK likes this.
  10. southerngirl Honored Member

    Have you talked with the trainer yet? I really hope that they are right for a trainer for Rory.
    MaryK likes this.
  11. southerngirl Honored Member

    That's great that Rory didn't try to attack her. Maybe you could again to introduce them try having them off leash in the yard with your dad around just in case. I've heard that dogs are more likely to get along off leash.
    Dogster, MaryK and Mr-Remington like this.
  12. MaryK Honored Member

    You're absolutely right Southerngirl, dogs do get along much better off leash than on leash. The reason is that on their leashes they feel 'defensive' unable to be their natural selves, whilst off leash they can give all and do all the 'proper' doggy signals, like 'hey I'm friendly' or 'back off' or cautious without restrictions.

    I agree try Shiloh and Rory off leash together, with your dad around just in case. Watch their body language, that will tell you what's happening and if you or your dad do need to intervene and split them, then do it from the BACK that's the 'dog's way" (if another dog splits two dogs) because, for obvious reasons, they don't have teeth that end.

    You're making progress that's for sure.(y):)
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  13. DevonW Well-Known Member

    This may seem like a little far fetched but have you considered having blood work done? My mum's dog literally had me banging my head against the wall. I would feel like I made progress then something would happen and he'd go back to square one. He's bitten me on multiple occasions (and my thumb is ridiculously messed up feeling wise now)

    There were other little behavioural problems that would leave us scratching our heads like "the void" he cannot cross over a certain spot in our kitchen. He nips, he jumps, and he cannot be near other dogs or he goes crazy. Yet he's easy to train to do tricks when he's calm.

    We had his blood work done and his thyroid was out of whack and it was messing with his brain. So he's going to be starting some medication to get it under control and our vet said we will pretty much end up with a whole different dog.
  14. MaryK Honored Member

    Doesn't sound far fetched at all, makes total sense! Good post Devon W, the thyroid could well be the problem. I think it would be 'over active' in this instance. There are probably other dogs who would benefit from a blood test to see if this is the problem.
    Mr-Remington likes this.
  15. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Just wondering what happened with Rory. I am feeling some of the same frustrations with Brody, thinking of returning him to the shelter.
  16. MaryK Honored Member

    Please do not return Brody to a shelter. He's been through enough as it is and returning him could well be a 'death sentence', if the shelter isn't a No Kill one, or at best a very lengthy stay in a shelter, which will only exacerbate his existing problems.

    I know just how hard and frustrating it can be working with a rescue dog, I've worked with many over my time (since I was a kid actually as my late Mom also took in rescue dogs) and yes, I've been there, tearing out my hair, wondering if they will ever become a good Canine Citizen, so I totally understand where you're coming from.

    First, I would get Brody vet checked, to ensure there isn't a physical reason for his over reactive manners. One dog I had a German Shepherd, did sadly, have a brain tumor, which caused his reactive behavior. This is NOT a typical scenario, if physical it is much more likely to be thyroid problems, or some other related type of problem. Thyroid is definitely treatable, along with many other such like dis-eases.

    Secondly. It takes time, a lot of time, and patience to re-train some dogs. One Shepherd I had took two years of seriously hard work, dog school every Saturday morning (where the trainers were divided on a successful outcome a 50/50 split I was also a trainer there), every day an 11 kilometer walk, along with training in my own garden/house etc. Help from the local Mounted Police Division who had stables nearby and would help me calm him down on the beach when they took their horses for a swim. And also help from a friend who was also a dog trainer and trained companion guard dogs.

    Jacques was totally over the top, he would completely zone out on me time and time again, so much so I LOL always had a pulled muscle somewhere in my body, or scratches or other 'war wounds'.

    But the outcome was this same dog featured in a video for dog training, made by the local council, to promote the benefits of a properly trained dog. He also won numerous ribbons in obedience trials (all Firsts and one second where I made a mistake not him) and also did a lot of demonstration work, working with a team of other dogs. He ended up the perfect Canine Citizen, invited to many events, parties and even on board one of Her Majesties Navel Ships, where he made good friends with the ship's cat:). And whilst it wasn't an easy road, the final outcome was one of the most rewarding events in my life.

    So please don't give up on Brody. I do totally understand where you're coming from, it's hard, it's frustrating and you wonder if you'll ever succeed. But, one day, when you least expect it, Brody will walk along with all the aplomb in the world and 'over reaction' "hey Mom what's that mean? Moi? Did I once over react?".
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  17. southerngirl Honored Member

    Having a dog like brody can be tuff, but everyone here on the forum is here to help you. I know it can be frustrating, my Missy is reactive toward dogs and there are some days that I wonder if she will ever stop being reactive. Start a training journal or blog and write about the ups and downs with his training and on tuff days go back to entries to remind yourself of the progress he has made, that's what I have done. For example here is my blog. http://missystrainingblog.blogspot.com/ I really hope this helps you. Remember your not alone a lot of people on here have dogs with problems.
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  18. southerngirl Honored Member

    Dlilly still has Rory and is working with his reaction toward dogs. She was working with a trainer, not sure if she still is. http://rorythekelpie.blogspot.com/
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  19. brody_smom Experienced Member

    If it were just me and Brody, there wouldn't be a problem. We are 7 people in our home, and we have had to adjust so much to accommodate Brody's presence here. It could be he is just a little over-reactive in addition to being an adolescent, and he will outgrow some of his quirks. For the most part, he is a very calm, loving boy. He loves me and my 5 kids and almost never reacts to most of them. He doesn't know how to act around my husband, and my husband is the only one in the house who does not like dogs. When one of the older kids (in their 20's) comes home late in the evening, Brody starts barking really loudly. He continues to bark even when he can see the person is someone he knows who lives in the house. We are afraid of bringing anyone into the house because of his reactivity. The last time my adult son brought a friend home, Brody freaked out and released his anal sacs. Even if we keep him crated when visitors come, he barks non-stop the whole time.

    Other than his leash aggression/frustration, Brody is a really great dog 80% of the time, as long as no one strange to him comes to the house. I have been reading everything I can, and most of the material on aggression doesn't really seem to apply to him. I think he is reactive because he was under/improperly socialized. He is not hyper at all. I was expecting him to require lots of exercise, but that part has been a pleasant surprise. He is pretty mellow as long as there's no one coming or going, or dancing, singing, hugging, jumping, etc. The worst he does is steal socks or pieces of Lego from the kids' bedroom floor and play keep-away. He doesn't growl or anything when we try to take them back, he just wants to play. He barks when he hears the neighbors' dogs barking, but he will settle down fairly quickly.

    The two main things that would make me return Brody to the shelter are my husband and, to a lesser degree, my oldest daughter. They take Brody's reactivity personally, and they think he is being a jerk. They don't try to understand things from his perspective, and when I try to explain some of the things I've been reading about dog psychology, they roll their eyes, throw their hands in the air and walk away. They act like I intentionally chose a dog like this to make their lives miserable. I feel so stressed when they are home, because I think he can sense their annoyance with him, and they are the ones he tends to react to the most. If he were going to bite anyone in the house, it would be one of them. He actually nipped my husband on the back of the leg the other day. Totally unprovoked and without a warning. It didn't leave a mark or anything, just a little pinch. But now I am so scared he's going to do it again. It's the same with Brody on walks. Ever since he nipped that strange man on the back side, I've been so afraid of letting him get close to anyone. I know Brody can sense my stress, even though I try really hard to stay calm and not react myself.
    MaryK likes this.
  20. southerngirl Honored Member

    I would find a trainer for Brody, it sounds like you really need help.
    MaryK likes this.

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