Need Help With A Five Year Old Rescue Dog

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by tugidq64, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    :(I have a five year old dog that I rescued from a kennel about a month ago. he has lived inside the kennel most of his life. He has not had any crate training, vet care, car rides, walks etc. my problem is that he still won't walk well on a leash (a lot of time he panics and jumps around) so i have been unable to get him much exercise except playing with my other dog in the yard. he won't get in a car either.
    so it is hard to go places. i would appreciate any suggestions. i am thinking I am over my head and a rescue group might be a better option for him. he is an irish terrier/bc and is good with people and other dogs.
    MaryK likes this.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    Okay make a list of what is most important for him to be okay with. Example
    1. Car Rides
    2. Leash
    3. Crate
    and so on.
    Personally I would start with Leash and crate. I just crate trained a puppy so here is how I did it. 1.Put the dog in the crate by throwing some yummy food in there. 2. close the crate. 3. Stay in the same room as him. He will cry, whine, bark, scratch do Not let him out. Yes it is annoying as heck. Yes you feel bad. Don't do it, Don't let him out. Once he stops and lies down in defeat let him out. Do this again a few more times during the day increase the time that he is in there. After being put in the crate three times for about 10 minutes my puppy was no longer pitching a fit for being in there. 4.Once he is okay with you being in the same room, leave the room. 5. Rinse, Lather ,repeat. :) This is how I did it, but others may have different ways, just choose the one you feel will work best.

    Leash
    When does he start to panic? (sight, being clipped on, when outside?)
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  3. southerngirl Honored Member

    Also you might want to go to Kikopups youtube channel. She has tons of helpful videos.
    MaryK likes this.
  4. tugidq64 Experienced Member

  5. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    He panics sometimes at the sight of the leash but i manage sometimes to clip it on by using treats to lure him to come.
    other times he just won't. Inside or outside it doesn't matter. He never was in a house in his life. i wish i knew more about how to start with the leash. when i get it on him he sometimes will panic and freak out, pulling in all directions.
    He especially is afraid to go through any barriers- gates, doorways etc. he just bolts through. mostly he spends his time outside on our small patio or downstairs on his mat under the bed.
    MaryK likes this.
  6. jackienmutts Honored Member

    A month in the life of a rescue dog is a very short time, they're just starting to become their real selves - and a month in the life of this 5 yr old dog, who sounds like he's had a really rough life, is a drop in his big ocean. Please, first of all, go really really slowly with him. If he's lived most of his life at that kennel, then he has no clue what living in a home even entails. Where is he sleeping right now? Does he need to be crated? (Just asking - I don't crate mine). Do you crate your other dog?

    I'd only start with one or two of the most important things *for now* and work on those - don't give him too much, he's having to get used to so much right now. If he plays with your dog, see if you can use your dog to help you. Don't worry so much about taking him for walks right now - that will come in time. First, get him used to having a leash on. See if you can just work on clipping it on/off - clip it on/off your other dog in front of him. And treat like crazy!! Work on that - just on/off - treat. Do that for a few days. Several times a day - clip the leash on, then unclip it. Treats - then he's free. Then - once that's conquered, time to move on. If he can handle it clipped on/off, then leave it on, and let him drag it around for a while. Then take it off. Do that several times a day for a few days, let him get used to this "thing" hanging off his neck. But make it fun, make it a party, make it come with lots of treats (I'm hoping he's food motivated). Then let him be.

    Work on that - then maybe walk him around the back yard (or let him walk you - don't worry about leash manners for now) for a few min, then be finished. If possible, walk your other dog with him - walk them together (so what if it looks like a bad circus act?:LOL: ) just in the yard, use lots of treats, just let him get the idea that it's all ok. With any luck, he'll see it's ok with your other dog - and they learn so much from each other. Maybe even start by leashing your other dog and letting him observe you two wandering together in the yard. Don't worry if you think he's not paying attention - he is! Start really slowly with him, he's trying to figure out so much right now, and is so overwhelmed, just take tiny baby steps with him. He's scared and is panicking when he doesn't know what else to do. You just be sure you pack all of your patience when you're dealing with him. Just keep taking loooong slooooow breaths - that in itself can help him. Look at him and make your eyes "soft" and "squinty", and blink a lot at him, yawn at him, lick your lips. He'll notice all these things (don't think he won't, trust me!).

    Because he panics, I wouldn't just put him in a crate and close the door right now - for any amount of time. He's a very scared dog, and that only might make him worse. Do toss treats in, let him go in and get them, and then come out. Keep encouraging him to go in - for treats, for toys, maybe feed him in his crate. But don't rush to close him in - yet. Go really slowly with that, too.

    I can't answer your question as to whether or not you're in over your head. I don't know. I do know a month isn't very long for a dog like this one to try to adapt from a life of 5 years in a kennel to a life in a real home. My guess is he's overwhelmed and hasn't acquired the skills (yet) to adjust to life "outside". I would also bet that with loads of patience and love, he will. He's just going to need to move only as fast as he can . Use your other dog, show him what life can be like - but go almost painfully slowly. One tiny baby step at a time. Some days may be one step forward and two steps back - and others may be one giant leap forward. But my bet's on the dog, he'll be ok. (y)
  7. Mutt Experienced Member

    Crate or mat training would be an option for your dog, though if you feel she will panick quickly I'd do it a bit different than Southerngirl: trow treats in the crate (so the dog will get used to going inside), after the dog is comfortable with this start putting it on cue, after this cue the dog to go in and close the crate, immediately open it and treat, after this add duration. Leave the crate open when you are not busy with your dog so he can go in when he wants. I personally am not a real crate person so just learning your dog to relax on his mat/take his rest would be fine also.

    Jackie also posted some great advice.

    I also agree with her that you have to keep in mind that a month is very short!
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  8. kassidybc Experienced Member

    I usually teach crate training like this- throw a treat in the crate, have her run in and grab it and let her run right out. Keep on doing that until she is comfortable going in the crate and grabbing the treat. Then, throw the treat in and say something like "kennel up". Keep doing that until she begins to associate the term "kennel up" (or whatever command you may use) with going in the crate (still do not close the crate yet!! Just let her run in and out). Then try saying kennel up, without throwing a treat in. If she runs in, immediately hand her the treat while she's in the crate, or just throw it in while she is in the crate, whichever she is most comfortable with. Keep doing that until when you say kennel up she runs in the crate even if there isn't a treat already in the crate (make sure to treat her as soon as she gets in the crate, and give her the treat when she goes in the crate, not when she comes out, you want to associate going in the crate with good things, not coming out) Then, if she knows sit or lie down, have her go in the crate and then tell her to sit/lie down. If she does, immediately give her a treat, then let her come out (we still aren't closing the crate!) Keep doing this, then after she is comfortable with sitting/lying down in the crate, begin to increase the duration of time that she stays in the crate with the door open before you give her a treat and let her come out (don't stop her from coming out, if she wants to come out before she does what you want her to, just let her, and try again). If she has a stay command you could use that to make her stay in it. Slowly increase the duration. One second, two seconds, etc. If she doesn't stay in how long you want her to, go back a step. Begin to release her from her stay position in the crate with "ok" (or whatever word you use as a release). Once she is reliably staying in the crate with the door open, begin to close the door for a split second (dont even clip it shut yet) then open it right back up. Don't release her as soon as you open the door, as you don't want the signal for her leaving the crate to become you opening the door. Wait a couple seconds with the door open and her staying in the crate, then release her. Of course be showering her with treats during this whole process. Increase the duration of time with the door closed (and clipped shut) and increase the distance between you and the crate. Go slow, and if she is uncomfortable with a step, go back a step.

    SouthernGirl's method works well with many dogs, but I don't think I would use it for such a fearful dog.
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  9. tugidq64 Experienced Member

  10. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    thank you to all who have replied. i really need help. This morning i am trying to get him out to our fenced yard and he just looks at the leash and runs the opposite way. I guess i will have to be patient with him. Does anyone have any suggestions on ow i can get him over to the leash?
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  11. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Try giving him (sorry for calling him she in my last post, I thought he was a girl for some reason :) ) treats with the leash on the ground like 10 feet away (or however far enough away it has to be for him to be relaxed). Slowly move it closer and closer to you and him and continue to give him treats. Then pick it up in your hand in give him treats. Then open the clip and give him treats. Then clip it on and take it right off and give him treats. Then leave it on a little longer and give him treats. Once he is comfortable with having it on, let him drag it around the house a little, and give him treats occasionally. Then when he's comfortable with that try taking the leash in your hand and walk around with him a little bit, whole giving him treats. Keep increasing the duration of time you are walking with him and the time the leash is on him until he is comfortable on the leash. Don't worry about leash manners at the moment, first get him comfortable with the leash. Make sure he is comfortable with each step before you move on to the next step. If he can't handle a step, try going back a step. Take it all really slow, and do it over multiple training sessions, not all at once. Only work with him on it for a few minutes at a time. When you start up with the next training session, try starting a step back then he already is, just so you start with something he is comfortable doing.
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  12. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    I don't usually use a crate, except maybe in the car or if i go to a dog event. Right now he sleeps in the downstairs room with my other dog. he has a mat, which he drags all over the place. He doesn't know sit or down or anything. I have been trying to teach him sit by putting a treat over his nose but it is not working. he is starting to chew everything so I am thinking of using the crate more.
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  13. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    MaryK likes this.
  14. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    thank you for the advice about the leash. I will try it this morning.
    MaryK likes this.
  15. southerngirl Honored Member

    Before the pick it up in your hand I would get it put a treat on the leash or beside it, than treat him for smelling the leash.
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  16. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Good idea Danielle!
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  17. southerngirl Honored Member

    Thanks
    and your way of getting her okay with the leash is Great(y) I just think that the dog should smell what is going on him first.:)
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  18. Mutt Experienced Member

    Daniel and Kassidybc have given some great tips!

    I'm not a crate person (if a dog is fine without I wouldn't use it), however with fearful dogs I think it can be very helpful as it gives them a safe place (like a 'cave'). I would even suggest putting a blanket over it (keeping the entrance open as dogs tend to lie under things (also gives safety) and it makes it even more of a retreating place for the dog. I now also use a crate as Boef was a real wrecker (she now won't do that anymore so we can start without it but the dogs like it as we never close it (only when we are away for very long/during the night).

    If you have any further questions feel free to ask and keep us posted!

    We also love to hear more about your dog :)
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  19. sara Moderator

    Omg you have to post pics! !! I too have an Irish Terrier x possibly lab or heeler
    As to the fear. Take everything in very small baby steps. Everyone's given you good advice so far. I suggest you re-read the post by Jackienmutts. She has given you fantastic advice!
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  20. tugidq64 Experienced Member

    I have tried putting treats around the leash. he won't even come near when he sees me with the leash. Me with leash=stay away. Even if i am in the vacinity he won't investigate the leash. if i go in the house he will go right to the leash and eat the treats. When we first got him i used to be able to get him on the leash. He would take a little walk with my other terrier and myself in our back yard. Now, i can't even get him out to our fenced area in the yard to play with the other terrier. I do leash the other terrier in front of him and walk her around. he seems more fearful now than ever. he loves hanging around me when I don't have a leash. I have to wonder if it is me that is causing him to be more fearful. I hope not.
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