May Be In The Wrong Section (again)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by mewzard, May 26, 2011.

  1. mewzard Experienced Member

    I sometimes think we need a "general dog chat" section...but anyway....
    As i've said before Oka is *mental* about dogs. She loves to go play and that is her ultimate reward. She ignores me (almost totally) when there is one insight and she is off lead, and about the same if she is onlead - i've been working hard but her spey as set us back a bit.
    So we had planned on another dog most likely early next year. BUT I'm really worried about how this will work out with Oka. I'm hoping that if she has access to a dog 24/7 she'll learn after a while that there are other great things in life. That she isn't going to go mental to go play with every dog she see's.
    However i'm aware that this could back fire and I'll end up with two that will want to go play with every dog.
    Her recall around people and just us is about 80%, with other dogs its like 40% the first time 0% the second. I had got that to 90% but we need more work.
    I had a really bad morning, and she ran off to play with someones little dog, and the woman picked it up and Oka jumped up :cry::oops:. Then the woman said that Oka was snapping at the dog - which would really surprise me as Oka has never snapped at anything.:(
    I'm really frustrated with her at the moment as shes being a royal pain in the arse - i know it's her age (11months -teenage!) and a stage but I'm tired of all the really clueless dog owners making out she's some devil dog just becuase she's a Shepherdx.
    *sigh* sorry wasn't going to rant!! Any ideas on the dog fixation + new dog senario?
    Lexy88 and Dodge like this.

  2. Ina Well-Known Member

    We are in the same boat - expecting too much from our puppies. Smokey is the same. Sometimes we have great recall and sometimes none at all.

    If I was you and want another dog I would get one asap. They will be friends straight away and can play together whilst both are youngsters.
    But that's just my personal view - I am no expert whatsoever :-)
  3. sara Moderator

    I've never had this problem, so I cant help... I have a dog that IS the attack dog from hell, and so can never be off leash where another dog may show up. but other than that, Scout could care less about other dogs, Zoe is a small fluffy dog, and has an almost perfect wait command. She does not recall, but she stops on command, and waits for us to come to her. but she'll trot up to another dog very nicely, have a dainty introductory sniff, then walk away. Mouse and Boo are both deaf and somewhat sight impaired, so they never, ever go off leash anywhere that is not fenced.

    If you were here, you could take her to an off leash dog park, where all dogs have to be friendly, and let her go play, she'd get over the novelty awefully fast, I would think, and if you brought along really yummy treats, she'd quickly learn that you're as much fun as other dogs... but I know you dont have that in the UK, so I'm a bit at a loss here

    personally, I'd keep a long line on her, so as to have control, and never let her rush up to a dog, if she tries to rush, turn and walk away, then turn back, repeat as necessary, until you have he calmly walking beside you... if she's not calm, she cannot approach. and let her grow up some... it's really tough being a teenager!
    jackienmutts and mewzard like this.
  4. Dodge Well-Known Member

    :)I know excatly what you are talking about!!!
    Dodge was off lead last year up at our park,for quite a few weeks (I was a right baby about having him off lead and was so proud of myself to let him go off lead) and it was kind of ok,but recall was shockingly bad,he would not listen for toffee. After running off to every single dog and to the "bottom bit" of the park nearly every day,he was at that magicall 1 year mark,maybe a bit older.I had enough and we made a looooooooong rope (like a long line,just cheaper;)) and he was on that one for ages,nearly a year in fact. I didnt really know anybody with a dog,so just really knew the people that I met at the park. He could still play with all the dogs even with the rope on (us humans had to watch out for the rope,I ve been pulled over quite a few times:ROFLMAO:) at first I used to hold on to it,then it was just dragging behind him. When he ran off,I could step on it,to stop him (has to be attached a harness though,so you wont hurt his neck) and I did take him at different times,when I knew not a lot of dogs would be there sometimes and just trained and trained and trained the recall with a whistle.
    Now he s been off the rope since february 21st (yep,I ve got it on my calendar,I was that chuffed!) and he s 100% better,part of it is that we made great friends with a couple that have got two boxer's,too and we meet up every single day for them to have the greatest blast and we do the whistle training together now.
    See if you can find somebody you can meet up with regular and you may just see the most amazing difference, and maybe try the long line. I ve had soooo many people telling me forever that I should just let him go off lead and that the rope is a daft idea,but I tell you what,it helped me no end (before the rope I used to get a better work out then Dodge:LOL:)
    Well anyway,rambling on,sorry,my point is that the more you can let her play with dogs,the better she will become,Dodge will now actually play with just me at the park and ignore dogs that are walking around on the path bit of the park(some dogs are just to tempting and he will run over to say hi,but thats just dogs being dogs,I think:)),you will get there,and you will be sooo chuffed the first time she will ignore a dog and come bounding back to you:love:
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  5. mewzard Experienced Member

    Ina - it's a bit beyond 'expecting too much'. Her recall is rather good when we are alone. Basically dogs are Oka's equivilant to another dogs ball or treat. If i let her run off ignoring me to play - she's rewarded for it every time. She's run across roads, jumped at older people. She's not a little doggy, it's not like if she jumps at people she hits thier knee or thigh - her paws reach peoples shoulders. It's not fair on other dogs if she runs and they are fearful or aggressive - the other owners shouldn't have to deal with my idiot dog ;)
    Sara - i use a 10m long line. and she is good if i'm holding it -sometimes i have to give a little tug and then she will come back. But she is bloody strong; I have numerous rope burns where she has managed to whip the line out of my hands. I've tried to do the calm walking, we can get within about5- 7meters and then she goes mental, jumping, mouthing me, spinning and jumping. It's worse if she has already played with the dog before and knows they are "ok".
    Dodge - thank you! I did manage to get her to recall before greeting dogs a while ago but it's all gone south this past month or so. I was given a ladies number to go meet up with through my trainer but she's cancelled every date so far :rolleyes:. There is woman with 2 shepherds on the field almost every morning but the elder one who is 5months is a horrible snappy thing and goes mental at Oka. It's really not that i don't want her to play but more that i want to be able to tell her to come away from certain dogs if i need her too. She got really good at with the recall when i was meeting with the trainer and her dogs but she's obviously busy alot so it can't be regular. Oka needs the balance of play and training BUT I can't find the right people+dogs!
    Dodge and Lexy88 like this.
  6. Ina Well-Known Member

    I wish I lived close by - then your idiot dog could play with my idiot dog ;)
    mewzard and Dodge like this.
  7. running_dog Honored Member

    Have you read this article "Who is teaching your dog?", it's in the library on here, the link is

    I'm not saying it will help you but I did find it useful, maybe if I followed all the advice my dog would be perfect! For you and Oka I think the key might be in what you say about her being worse if she has played with the other dog before. I think that you may have to make her focus on YOU for her fun and not on other dogs. If she is anything like Zac then letting her play more will not help, Zac never gets bored enough to warrant this approach.

    Based on the article and what I've had to do with Zac for similar but not identical problems, I think I'd never go closer than 8 - 10 metres to another dog for a week or so and see if there was a difference in her behaviour. Cut out all off lead play with other dogs and possibly limit off lead times to recalls in a secure distraction free environment (I used a playing field early in the morning). The reason she goes beserk is probably that she expects to play, I think you have to remove that expectation. It seems harsh but it could save her life in the long run.

    It is really scary when your dog goes completely deaf and blind to you. I know. Big dogs are a terrible responsibility. A few months after I got Zac a yorkshire terrier ran up to me and I suddenly realised how lovely it was to greet a dog without bracing myself for impact!:)

    Back to the subject of the thread... What you need to be careful about with getting another dog is that they may gang up. We got to a stage that we could not let Poppy and Zac off lead at the same time, they would play with other dogs but in the way that two lurchers will bring down a fox, we couldn't risk them taking it a step further. I tended to walk them separately too because I couldn't train both at once. Another risk is that Oka decides to protect the pup, not a nice scenario. I'd say wait a while until you are more sure of Oka, she is too big to take chances with, she'll get there in the end but in the mean time imagine TWO dogs pulling their leashes through your hands :(.
  8. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Ooooomg... come live near me!!! I can relate to this entirely, apart from jumping up on people. Phew. But I am always on the look out for other dogs so I can call Blade back before he sees them, otherwise, hes outta here. And he isnt aggressive or anything... hes a steam roller!! He bowls everyones dogs over and it is so hard to find other dogs big enough and confident enough that want to play with Blade. I want him to go play with other dogs, but I dont want other dogs or owners getting upset that he is so.... 'enthusiastic'. Lol. His recall around people - 100%. His recall around other dogs - 40%... Or, if he has had a wee meet and greet early in the walk - usually by accident, he is more likely to come back... maybe... 55%.
    Actually he might be a bit different to Oka. He will run up and meet a dog, if theyre indifferent, eventually he comes away. If they snap at him, hes like OMG DONT HURT MEEEE! And comes away. If they want to play, he does too, and wont come away without a wee bit of feet stamping and growling from me lol. And if the other dog runs.... he chases them. So embarrassing.
    I just apologise to the other people and usually if I am having trouble grabbing him [which is usually when the other dog is running away] I just say Blade, 'this way' which he knows means I am changing direction. Although I dont have to change direction as such, I just start walking away. And he runs after me as he doesnt want to be left behind.
    I totally agree with the long rope thing. I use this to teach our dogs not to chase stock - so it is in effect, teaching 'leave' and recall. In regards to the rope burns, hold the rope so it runs from the bottom of your palm, up and over your thumb, and then back down and out of the bottom of your palm again. So it is anchored over your thumb, and doubles through your palm. I have never lost a lead through my hand this way or gotten rope burns. Another way, if your lead is thick - I learnt this when training horses, instead of having the lead end that is attached to the animal coming out the top of your palm - between your thumb and index finger, have it going out the bottom, it creates like a bend in the rope and anchors it a bit better.

    Will have to cut this post short. Have grizzling toddler here. Will check back though. Come live near meeeeeeee!!! :D Blade would love Oka!
    Dodge likes this.
  9. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Are you absolutely sure you have not got a white boxer called Dodge living with you?!???!!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
    You have described my boy better then I could,LOL:LOL:
    Mewzard,meeting the right people+dogs,crikey that took me ages,too,how about asking in your pet shop if they know of anybody with a big ish dog,doesnt matter what breed it is,as long as they can have fun together(actually,even if the dog is smaller,Dodge plays with a little furry carpet ferrari terrier,this little thing is so tough and Dodge has learned to be gentle with smaller doggies:)).The people in the pet shop should know loads of people,maybe worth a try.
    Bleedn shame you re not in Cornwall,I would love to help you with doggie play dates:love:
    Lexy88 likes this.
  10. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Also,sorry,forgot to say this,if your recall is pretty good already,fantastic,try if you can call both dogs to you;) its a start to get Oka to come to you while playing and you can build on that. I can relate to the "the dog is the ultimate reward"! Have you tried having peanut butter or liver pate or similar,anything that takes a while to lick and is super yummy, when you are walking past a dog? That may keep her attention on you and stops her going "mental" when she s near a dog and is on the lead:) (and will then learn to be calm with time:))
    Lexy88 likes this.
  11. mewzard Experienced Member

    If a dog snaps at Oka she will back away then go back and apologise, gets snapped at - goes back, apologise again and again. I actually think that this is a product of 2 things; 1) she didn't have enough human play from her breeder and had a lot of dog play and 2) a way side of her submissive nature. The 3rd is just that she's a dog but O_o
    <>
    The jumping at people is a new thing, she doesn't do it to ANY people, just ones that own the dogs. 2 have been people who have picked up thier little dogs. 1 was a guy with a newspaper under his arm. I try not to keep blaming it on this but I'm sure it's totally this stage that she's in (Inuits are neutorious pains in the rears at 10,11,12,13 months - many end up in rescues:eek::cry:). She never jumped at strangers until a month ago.
    <>
    I liked that article alot actually! I have been working at making myself more important and i think that hasn't been working so well this time round. I'm going to make some more tug toys as she really likes this game and just do as the article suggests only allow her to play with myself - won't stop all the other dogs running up to us and trying to play but we can work on that.
    The suggestion from our trainer is to put her on kibble, and dish it out on a graded scale of response through out the day. Then use chicken (or equivilant) for only emergency recall training and excellent recall responses on the long-line. That way her dependence on ourselves is increased and hopefully she will be more inclined to listen and respond promtly. Also the 'high value' treats are more high value rather than vaguely more valuable (she is/was on a raw diet).
    <>
    I must say thankyou very much to you all! You're a lovely supportive lot :LOL:
    Lexy88 and Dodge like this.
  12. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Ooooooh,now I am utterly interested inthat food thing:sneaky:
    Now I know that Dodge is 100% better then he has ever been,but I would love to know about what your trainer told you about the food . . .Dodge wont eat just his dry food(I ve been told by looooooads of people that if he s hungry,he WILL eat)and he actually will sometimes, but I always mix wet food in to make it tasty,my fault I know, just cant stand the thought of him going without food!
    So,what does it mean to hand the food out on a graded scale through out the day?
    Dont want to highjack your thread,but that really,really sounds awesome,as Dodge could not be bothered about treats up the park whatsoever :rolleyes::LOL:(spoilt git gets far to many treats at home,I suppose:oops:)xxx
  13. mewzard Experienced Member

    Basically I measure out Oka's total amount of food for the day and stick it in a treat bag. Then i would ask her to (for example) /sit/ if she takes 4 seconds to sit she gets one piece, 2 seconds ->4 pieces, instantly -> 6-8 pieces...not an exact science but basically the harder she works the more she gets.
    If she doesn't do it she gets nothing and i walk away. You can't really use it for teaching them things - just well known commands that you are sure he understands. The idea is the dog realises the food comes from you and not the bowl, so his dependence on you is incresed. We would make Oka sit and wait for her food and actually i wonder if she just saw us as more of a hinderance in her quest for food rather than 'learning manners' about waiting for it - not sure if that makes sense?!
    So today she got treats for sitting, waiting at the door, trick recapping, stays in the garden, 'heeling' (of her own choice) around the garden, recalls. She was offered kibble at the park for poor->good recalls (though she didn't eat these). She recieved chicken at the park for several excellent recalls. She also recieved chicken for my 2 practices of whistle recall (which is actually working!!)
    So from 7 am to about 8 pm she has eaten all the kibble, and interestingly by about 4pm she was "checking in" with me alot more than she has for ages. Possibly coincidence but today is day 1!
    He honestly WILL eat, I'm surprised Oka responded so quickly as a) she has raw food 95% of the time, b) she's managed to go hungry for more than 24hours after turning her nose up at certain raw foods (she can't stand turkey or white fish:rolleyes:) c) sometimes she will skirt round not eating by trying to eat her poop :confused:.
    I've seen this meathod work with another dog who apparently was almost as bad as Oka and his recall was really good.
    Lexy88 and Dodge like this.
  14. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Oh wow,100 % respect that you can get her back with the whistle,I know how awesome it is when they turn on the spot to come back to the whistle,he s done this for a few weeks up the park now and its the greatest feeling (must sound daft to some dog owners,but when you ve got a stuborn little shite bag,you will understand:ROFLMAO:) Dodge has grasped the concept of the whistle down to a "t" and will come back,but Im not to sure if he would come back if there would be a cat/horse/sheep/cow to go after:rolleyes:
    I will have to try this feeding his food by hand,sounds fantasic,thank you!!
    And it must make the actuall treats so much more interesting,I suppose (y) keep the rest of the food for everything else?
    So she will get the REALLY good stuff (chicken) for REALLY good recall and if she has not finished all of the normal food,do you let her have it at the end of the day,as her actuall meal?
    Sorry if I sound like a daft nut,but that sounds like it really makes sense,if only I can resist his puppy dog eyes,to give him treats or a meal during the day :LOL::p:love:
  15. mewzard Experienced Member

    The whistle was only in the house where her recall is good anyway but she couldn't see me (I was hiding in the kitchen), it was brill to see her turn and bolt back to me :)

    No food should come from bowls. If he'd not eaten it all at the end of the day, then you can ask him for more things and keep giving the kibble till it's gone or if he's not interested then he doesn't need it :) My trainer said many dog Love this form of feeding and grown to adore the kibble as much as chicken or liver.... Oka essentially doesnt have meal times any more.... It may not work for everyone. I think eventually she will have meal times again but right now she has food as described. It does make the high value treat super great! Though I'm not sure yet what I'll do about trick training - may email my trainer after the bank-holiday.
    reveuse and Dodge like this.
  16. Ina Well-Known Member

    I feed my dog by hand all the time. He has to work for every single piece (and loves it). Even if I give him an egg in a bowl he has to do peek-a-boo to earn it.

    I also like the whistle idea .. have to introduce it for very special treats in the house - later in the backyard so that at some stage I can use it for emergency recalls in the park. Thanks for planting the seed in my head :)
  17. mewzard Experienced Member

    We made Oka work for her meal before but she had chunks of beef or liver, so it was pretty quick going eg 5 or 6 pieces of liver. She liked to work for it but becuase she considered it such high value, treats were just 'oh ok interesting' instead of 'wowsers!!'
    Day 2 of kibble and now chicken produces what i call "pie eyes", her eyes get soooo wide you can see the white all the way round!
    Took her to a forest this afternoon and got an absolutely excellent whistle recall. Had to use it a-proper twice, once she spotted a squirrel...she stopped instantly and looked, though we had to call her to us. Later had to use it again as she was after a rabbit and i got the tug toy out as she started to return and rewarded her with that - worked nicely.
    Would not take any kibble though but maybe the tug will be a better substitute...
  18. Dodge Well-Known Member

    Wow! Have you used the whistle before or only just started after reading it on this thread? My lord I m impressed,I ve used the whistle since ages,but NO WAY (and I mean NO WAY!!!) would he come back from anything that has got a pulse other than a dog!In the house he comes to it like lightening,at the park with dogs around,a little slower-depends on how good the playmate is,I dont really want to find out if there would be like, say a cat:eek: (never mind thinking about sheep/cows and horses!). Well done you,very well done you(y)
    Another question about the hand feeding . . . did your trainer say how long you are supposed to be feeding her like this? I m just thinking what would happen if you would go on holiday and she would be in kennels (That is if you put her into kennels.I cant bare the thought of it,hubby keeps on about a holiday,but I just cant bring myself to put him into kennels,looking at finding somebody that has dogs in the house to look after them,but that would make it real hard work for them,I suppose:p)
  19. mewzard Experienced Member

    I had used a different whistle before but i don't think i ever managed a recall from the garden with it, let alone an offlead one!! This one is a referee's whistle and seems to work really well. The first time she stopped on the whistle and looked at me - i had to call her (voicewise) to get her to return - i was really shocked as 2 days before she actually managed to chase down and (unfortunatly) kill a squirrel, so that she stopped dead (bad choice of words!!:LOL:) was amazing.
    The next big step up will be coming away from dogs and I'm not expecting that will go so well.
    I get the feeling that this feeding will be happening for a good few months. She is going to kennels for a week in August - and i'm expecting that all my work will come undone! :cautious:. I was going to put her with a homeboarder but none i could find had the right dates! The kennel she is going to only has 8 spots so it's not a massive thing. Next year she'll come with us if we go somewhere. I don't expect them to do this with her but i'm hoping she'll be pretty good by then that it won't take much to put her response back if it gets bad whilst she's there.
    Dodge likes this.
  20. Ina Well-Known Member

    Happy News about Recalling my pup.

    Today we had a total exciting walk at the park. First we met an old labrador ... lot's of sniffing, but no play. When another dog approached in the distance I called and Smokey came immediately. The lady with the lab was impressed.
    The other dog turned out to be a 1 year old lab who wanted a play. It was impossible to keep mine on leash as this other dog had just no manners whatsoever. He got tangled so badly in the leash that I had to take mine off leash.
    After a few minutes of play the other owner called her dog - of course this boisterous 1-year old couldn't give a hoot about the owner. So I called mine - AND HE CAME AGAIN. Now the lady with the old lab was really impressed.
    The ladies with the old lab and the one with the 1 year old lab were friends and ask me to tell them just how I get Smokey to come. I told them about repeating on leash, off leash and making it real interesting for the dog to prefer coming to you. I had to give a demonstration with the young lab. I told Smokey to Sit Stay (surprise he stayed all this time sitting on the same spot) and took the leash of this lab. I called him enthusiastically and he came - out came my treat bag. He sat for me, I put the leash on and he was happy. I waited a bit, called Smokey over, removed the leash and told him "Go Play". After 2 minutes I repeated the procedure. Obviously my treats meant a lot to this youngster - both dogs were now sitting nicely in front of me waiting for their treat and I was able to put the leash on both dogs. We went together for a couple of minutes, I took leashes of and told them again to "Go Play".
    Well, those ladies were amazed. The dogs didn't pull, they listened the first time when called - and I have no idea why I was so successful <snicker>
    We parted ways and by now Smokey was totally out powered. He was trotting along without leash ignoring another set of dogs focused on my "Good dog" talk.
    I just had to share this "I am so proud of my dog" day with you :-) Tomorrow I probably tear my hair out again ;)

    Oh, and he now has a new nickname: "LOVEBUG". Isn't that just a cute nickname for a cute little puppy?

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