...let's Help Russell

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by curls139, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. MaryK Honored Member

    So very happy to hear how well dear Russ is going. He's doing amazingly well in a very short space of time. Jackie has just about summed it all up in how to move on to the next steps with Russ.

    What I am doing with Ra Kismet now since he's settled so well with dogs behind fences other side of the road though with the real rowdies but same side with the not too bad's (c an hear see a little), is to get him to do very simple tricks, like sit pretty. His attention and focus on me is getting so that LOL if a dog does bark (even the high visible Mr. Rowdies across the road) he will immediately look up at me for a treat. It's almost now as if he enjoys hearing a dog bark - it means treats YEAH!!:cool:

    With passing dogs on the same side of the street, am trying to avoid that situation as yet, but the other day didn't have any option. Fortunately the other dog was quiet but Ra Kismet did pull/lunge just a little NOTHING like the over the top meltdowns he's had in the past since his trauma. But with dogs passing just a few feet away at an angle as happened about four/five days ago, he's almost 'there' just a head turn and that's about all. It's now just the head to head passing which we have to get in a well behaved manner. No telling though how long, it's all about patience, but never give up Russ will make it that's for sure.

    I would just keep working slowly with Russ passing other dogs head to head on the leash, take him as far as he can go with other dogs at close quarters but not to meltdown threshold of course. Remove him before he even looks like having a meltdown. Run away if you have too! As Jackie said, dogs off the leash and dogs on the leash - two different worlds. Ra Kismet has never had any problems off the lead at all, (not even after the trauma) just on the lead since his traumatic experience.

    Have you anyone, with a nice quiet placid dog, who can work with you as per the Kikopup vid?.

    There are some totally inconsiderate people around that's for sure. I've asked people to not walk right behind Ra Kismet and they too just keep on keeping on, and sometimes add a rude gesture or words too. Other night, fortunately out with Zeus my bomb proof boy, young girl with two small dogs, sans a leash which is against the law any way, and the two dogs were running all over the road (very dangerous even though it's a side street motorists still break the speed limit and race down it) and one ran right up to Zeus full head on! Both neighbor, to whom I was chatting, and myself called out to the girl who was on the other side of the street to control her two dogs and put them on a leash. Her response a rude finger gesture:mad:. I was just thankful I had Zeus as all he did was to look a bit 'snooty' at such deplorable doggy manners, and not Ra Kismet.

    Yes, sniffing is a good sign Russ is relaxed. Love that he plays fetch with sticks that's grand. LOL Ra Kismet looks aghast when offered a stick - well you cannot eat sticks can you!:D He's into soccer playing:D
    Dogster likes this.

  2. curls139 Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone - just an update on Russ as I know its been a long time (3 months) wow!! Me and Russell are at my parents house for Christmas with my sister and parents dogs - a miniature schnauzer and a schnauzer/pomeranian cross. Yesterday on our walks we saw a total of 10 dogs on lead! 10! And no reactions at all - no lunging or growling. The pattern that has been happening most recently is this: Russell sees a dog, we are still walking forward toward/around the dog, Russell seems a little aroused but still attending to me or following a nice smelly treat (recently has been Christmas turkey fat and skin mmm!), if we get too close or the dog comes too close for Russell he will stop and look at it (with no straining or lunging), I make extra effort to keep the lead loose especially at this time then usually Russell will come back to my side after he's *checked them over* where I'll give him treats and praise and we'll continue walking or sometimes I'll say "let's go". Most recently he doesn't even look back at the other dogs :). We still aren't walking right beside the dogs and keeping a little distance and with some dogs can get closer than others, or with some he stops and looks sooner, some he doesn't stop at all. I've found that when Russell stops stock still and looks at the dog I know it's time to turn around and "let's go" as they've come too close for him or I've walked too close to them. I'm not using a clicker as I have found it stresses me out trying to remember when to click or trying to juggling clicking and holding Russell etc, which I hope has now helped Russell have a more relaxed experience around dogs on lead. I'm not talking to him or trying to pull him away wehn he seems 'over thershold' as I have found that just puts tension into the whole experience - for me as I'm thinking about thresholds and when to turn around, and for Russell the lead is inevitably tense or yanked. I know staring at another dog also isn't ideal (i'm resisting the urge to post and ask "what is this about?" "is this okay?" and go into overthinking mode) but the other dogs don't seem to mind it and what I'm noticing is that the *I'm just checking them over* look from Russell seems to be getting shorter. Hopefully it will get even shorter. We are also working at a place where Russell's hackles are up and he seems aroused. But if I stress myself out trying to read around the *right* way to do things and the precise time when we are or are not supposed to be doing things...this puts a lot of tension into any experiences of seeing dogs.

    What we seem to be doing is something I read way back when but seemed to ignore........( in favour of getting myself tied up in knots, reading anything and everything, clicking, thresholds, getting confused, looking at this and looking at that, even arguing with Russell's other Mum Sarah)................"PUPPY'S CHOICE". We're going with what Russell seems to manage at whatever point and keeping it very very simple.

    Still working on getting closer and being calmer.......and it seems like Russ will never enjoy the on-lead meeting, and I know there will be times when things go wrong. But wanted to share how far we've come and thanks again for everyone's support :)
  3. MaryK Honored Member

    Lovely to hear from you about Russ's progress:D Was just wondering where/what had happened and how you were progressing the other night!

    Am thrilled that Russ is making such excellent progress, boy has he come a long way, in such a short time!!!!!!!!!! Whatever it is you're doing now - keep it simple PUPPY'S CHOICE - is obviously working, so stay with it!(y)

    You can read and learn and think and think some more, nothing wrong with that, but the main thing is 'what works with YOUR dog, as all dogs are individuals. What works for some doesn't always work with others.

    It is confusing trying to remember exactly when to click etc. and what I've found it's best not to click if you unsure, rather treat instead.

    Even if Russ never get's to the point of enjoying the on-lead meeting, the main thing is that he's calm and can pass other dogs without stressing out and going over his threshold. After all, we don't want to 'meet and greet' every single person we see on the streets when out, so why do we expect our dogs to want to be on 'meet and greet' terms with every dog they see.

    Must say, your newest treat for Russ is grand, I think my boys would do ANYTHING for that treat!!!!!!:D
    jackienmutts and Dogster like this.
  4. Dogster Honored Member

    WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!! GO RUSS!!!!!!:D:D FANTASTIC progress, you two!!!!!:) I'm glad you found a postitive method that works for you!! Keep at it, and keep us posted!!!!:)
    MaryK and jackienmutts like this.
  5. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Congrats to you and Russell on the great progress!! I'm so happy for both of you!! (y):LOL: Keep up the great work!!!
    MaryK and Dogster like this.

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