NEED IDEAS=How to train THIS?

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by tigerlily46514, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Our new dog, (we've had him 4 weeks now), age 3 Border Collie, Buddy, won't leave the deck when we open the door for him to go out to pee. Unless we go out with him. THEN, and only then, Buddy will leave the deck, nose around the large, fenced in yard, pick a spot to pee and it's all fine.

    For some reason we cannot understand?-- Buddy will not leave our deck without one of us out there with him...?:
    We'd like it if he would go on out to the grass to pee without us out there, too.
    We've tried throwing toys out in the grass, he will either retrieve the toy and return to the deck, igore the toy, or, very occasionally Buddy will go out onto the grass and sit beside the toy, but never move again til we come out....... but Buddy will NOT go wander off to find a spot to pee, justs sits beside the toy in the grass, waiting for us. He's waited as long as 15 minutes, and due to it is freezing here, we cannot do any marathon waitings right now..This dog CAN and will hold it a long time!!

    We'd rather not throw treats out there, cuz we are teaching Buddy not to eat stuff off the ground. We don't have a clue as how to teach Buddy it is okay to go off the deck without us....If one of us goes out there to lure him, he is STILL thinking, "Okay, NOW i can leave the deck, a person IS out there now.." so we are finding this to be a catch-22...I'm thinking i may have to borrow a friend's dog to show Buddy dogs go out to the grass all by themselves...


  2. snooks Experienced Member

    I don't want my dog eating off the ground either. Have you tried teaching him to catch a treat if you toss it? Work progressively further and further. If he's a bc he'll start to anticipate you and go where you are aiming. Work on the deck and then move off the deck.

    If he won't go on his own there is something out there that is making him anxious or your absence is making him anxious. For a couple of weeks take him on leash (you can use a long one for this like 20' but I don’t suggest a flexi) to his fav spot or where you want him to potty and stand there. When he does potty repeat the same potty cue over and over and over. I use hurry-up. Then give him a nice meaty treat and praise. Once he learns the command he may be more likely esp if you get him out there with a tossed treat to go potty.

    If he doesn't go bring him back in a couple of minutes and crate him for 15 minutes. Then try again. This should be fairly boring and not exciting play since you don't want to teach him to go out and play. The only big deal should be when he pottys. There may be a cat that marks your yard or other animals that scare him and that's why he won't go off on his own.

    Didn’t you say he'd been neglected? He may just not want to leave you. It takes any dog at least 8 weeks to adjust to a new environment so give him time and calm patience. It may take a few weeks to see progress but I bet if you look close you'll see a little every day.

    As he gets better and better on that long leash start backing a little away and get further and further. you should be able to let him out eventually and have him go and come back. Just don't expect it overnight. Please encourage your hubby NOT to be impatient or frustrated. Dogs read us like billboards. Those vibes may cause anxiety or fear and totally ruin your training.
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Well, Snooks, maybe you are right, maybe he is anxious...he does not appear anxious out there...but maybe he is.

    We did just exactly what you said about taking him on a leash to the pee area for first 2 weeks, then off leash we just walked alongside him to pee area, but now he sure seems to think we hafta come along!! (he won't poop at all in our yard, we have no idea why, only pees. Poops require a walk to the woods down the steet!!! for whatever reason, that is Buddy's rule!!) He will totally become constipated before he will ever poop in our yard!! Another mystery to us. We're not even sure how he got us to learn this!! ha ha! We are hopeless, huh?!!:msngiggle:

    Yeah, you are right about Buddy was at the least neglected (if not abused, we have noticed if we go by him carrying a large stick of any kind, even a really large flashlight, he ducks:msnsad:..otherwise though, he is not a 'fearful' dog anymore, not in general..just ducks down if he sees a big stick:msnsad:)... maybe you are right, it has not been 8 weeks, and he STILL is continuing to open up to us and reveal himself more and more.

    I like the throw treat idea, he does not know that one. That might work!? I'll pass on to hubby your advice, ha ha:msngiggle: DO YOU KNOW HIM? ha ha !! Actually, we are already so accustomed to booting up and going out, it doesn't seem much of a nuisance, and we are both so very very empathetic to our new dog's plight, it's hard to say which one of us is most wrapped around the dog's finger!!! and we both realize how hard it must be for lil Buddy to figure out all the stuff and trust us. We find it baffling, not frustrating, cuz we are outside so much anyway, it's not a nuisance, just baffling to us. It would be convenient at times, if Buddy could just go pee by himself, but maybe in time...maybe you are right, maybe it's just too soon for Buddy to get that far away from us yet...
    Even our friends think it is so unusual and have never seen anything like that....a dog who has to pee, sitting and waiting on the deck...:dogwub:
  4. snooks Experienced Member

    Many anxiety signals are so subtle that we never see them. The lip lick, a single paw lift, ears back or out, tail straight down or tucked, even puffing up like a werewolf can be a fear response. Not all are as obvious as ducking or shaking. Even the angle of their whiskers on their noses can convey fear.

    Many dogs just don't like to go where they live so to speak. I've heard several stories about dogs that wouldn't go in their yards but would just outside. We just moved to CO and I've learned with all the wild animals that I just have to suit up and go out regardless. Packs of hunting coyotes have taken dogs from our neighborhood as have mountain lions. EEPS!
  5. snooks Experienced Member

  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    What a great article! I wish they'd post the answers to every photo!!
  7. snooks Experienced Member

    They do but they take a while to make us guess first. I want to know NOW! :) All of Turid Rugaas' books are like this short uncomplicated explanations of dog behavior. I think i gave that biblio to you didn't I? Same stuff with a book DVD very cool.
  8. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Good advice as always Snooks. :) I agree that it could simply be that he doesn't want to leave you. I would do a lot of work increasing his confidence off the deck. Dogs, ESPECIALLY BCs, who have not previously been a family member, can be very clingy at first. When I got Zeke(3 months old at the time) he had been loose on a ranch and his owner was a 14 year old boy. He was timid already, but it didn't help that he rarely got any attention at all. Because of his timid nature, the people he lived with didn't spend much time trying to earn his trust and get him to bond with them. When he came to my house, he got lots of attention, lots of training, lots of play...and it was a complete turnaround for him. Almost immediately he started developing separation anxiety, which I should've seen coming and might could've avoided. Even today, he's attached at my hip...but no anxiety, thanks to lots of training. ^^ BCs love being with people and are very eager to please. So neglected BCs don't know what to expect when they come to a new home that treats them as part of the family. Sometimes dogs like this may worry that if you put them out or go away for a while, they're losing their family again. They cling to you because they do not want to lose the only pack they've ever had. First of all, there's safety in numbers, and second of all, a pack means companions, and companions are always a good thing. :)
  9. snooks Experienced Member

    Poor Zeke. It's amazing most people don't realize damage to a dog can occur just when you neglect them and don't form relationships. Thank goodness you got Zeke!!
  10. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Yeah Zekers is my baby. ^^ He has indeed tested my abilities as a trainer, as he's incredibly difficult to work with. But he's unbelievably smart. His former owners have no idea what they missed out on....Zeke is a wonderful dog. :)
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Yeah, that Zeke is a lucky dog!! So glad he now has people to love him!! Thanks for the input, it all DOES make sense now!!

    BUT ANYWAY--TONITE--A BREAKTHROUGH!! I appreciated it SO MUCH MORE than i would have if Snooks and TxCowgirl hadn't helped me see, somehow, on some level, my Buddy didn't feel safe enough yet to leave the deck all by himself--
    This afternoon, was lovely, up to about 40 degrees, sun was shining, even some grass was showing, and I let Buddy out while i watch him through the sliding glass doors, while i boot up. Anyway, doncha know, BUDDY WENT OFF ONTO THE GRASS ALL BY HIMSELF!!! :yipi: I was so amazed, and so touched, realizing this meant, Buddy was starting to feel some level of safety and trust to make those steps away by himself!!!! I almost got choked up, and treated him, rewarded it:party: so he would know this was a good thing he could do that!!
    Wow!! the rest of the day, he waited as usual on the deck, but still, one step at a time!! It was a start!!!:msngrin:
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    YAY! Nice to hear he's making progress. In time he will be bounding out the door straight to the grass. :) One thing you might keep in mind is to treat him while he's on the grass, rather than calling him back to the deck to treat him---this would in essence be treating him for abandoning the grass to return to his safehaven(the deck).

    Another idea for you--work on sit stays with him on the grass and you inside or on the deck or just a good distance away. Start with very small distances with both of you on the grass. This will help him gain confidence in the yard while you are "away."
  13. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ah, you are right there, you know, now i can't recall if i treated him on the grass (snow) or on the deck, musta been on the deck, cuz he hasn't done it again since i bragged on it..bah ha ha!! Everytime i brag, on anything, whatever i just bragged on, goes away! If i brag right now, that my computer is running great, it will crash, see. YOu'd think i'd learn to quit bragging!! bah ha ha!!:ROFLMAO:
    Maybe Buddy read my post over my shoulder is why he left the deck that day all by hisself.
    Oh well, i will be more careful next time to see where i am treating Buddy if he ever leaves the deck again all by hisself. :dogsmile:
  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Lol, that's okay. ^^ BCs are very sensitive, and he may take a while to build up his confidence out in the "scary" yard. Just keep it up. He'll get there. :)
  15. snooks Experienced Member

    txCG hit the nail on the head-always treat in position like while in sit or down or in the grass. that way the association is with being in the situation not anticipating release. very good point.

    try 2 steps click treat, two steps click treat, very fast repetitions so ur dog engages and doesn't have time to stop and think about any distractions-birds-cats-grass. treat in a heel position on ur right or left-just require the dog stays fairly close for a click. once he figures out where you'll hold that treat and that it happens often he'll stick closer and focus more.

    just go around the deck a few times and maybe on day two or whatever day after this becomes very fun an interesting step off into the grass without a pause keep right on going. you might find Buddy doesn't realize he's on the grass until he's already having fun. keep these sessions short 3 minutes or so and do it 3 or more times a day. go only as fast as Buddy is having fun toward the grass.

    then maybe a favorite toy fetch or tug on deck oops it went in the grass wheee!

    you could also set a nice thick blanket on the grass just out of reach. it was freezing here yesterday but i had a thick fleece dog bed on the deck. my big shy dog just stands in the door or sticks her head out of the dog door sometimes. so i crated puppy and went and sat on the fleece with some canned cheese and a clicker. soon i was warmer b/c i had a big shy dog leaning on me. the thing is when i'm telling her what to do she forgets about all the scary stuff and focuses on the fun. once she came outside to see what i was doing ignoring her i started asking for tricks and finally a down beside me.

    if it's too much just go near the edge of the deck or you go off dog stays on. up a bit or toss a favorite toy out or even run out on the deck myself. place the treat on the ground just far enough that Buddy has to put at least on paw on the grass to get it. no words, coaxing, or encouragement just click as he eats.

    this year my big dog was afraid of the snow plows again-she forgot last year's training. So we had a chicken party just as I saw the lights and before she heard it. today they plowed all morning and she was out on the deck twice when they went by. a little "what should I do" but I told her come, heel, sit, spin right, left, up on hind legs all with click treat. the last few times she didn't even look at them. so she's re-associated plow = fun instead of plow is scary. just like deer no longer mean bark they mean run to mom and tell her for a reward. emotional reframing the dog's response. sometimes slow or fast but there is progress every day.

    puppy was a little the same on the deck or in clicker class, she'd get worked up and just bark or jump. while i was out there telling her what to do very fast and fun and high click treat she'd calm down. now she's really mellow on the deck with all the wildlife and big dog is still a little barky but will mostly run to me in the house and await her treat for not barking and coming to see me. i'll enforce that at 100% until she's got very solid. playing tug or fetch is also an acceptable treat as is the treats always in my pocket.

    just more random ideas after yesterday. there's always at least a dozen ways to accomplish a behavior. trying even silly ones if they work still meets the end goal. some things that make no sense to you make perfect sense to the dog. :dogbiggrin: that and time.

    in agility strangely enough my dog knew/trained to do weave poles on the grass but had no idea how to do them on a dirt course. we all had to re-teach on the dirt. pretty normal for dogs the instructor said, I would never have guessed. they generalize very differently than we do.
  16. welshherder New Member

    I agree it could be the seperation from you. My girlie doesn't like to be out without me, but I usually potty her on a leash as I don't have a fenced yard. If she is out on a line she usually just waits at the door for me to come out as that is how it usually is. I also once attended a behaviourist seminar on noise issues. Sometimes the dog can be afraid of noises and they connect something else to them. The dog in one of their case histories would not leave the deck either. It was because the air conditioner was right under it at the bottom of the stairs (it was a raised deck). The dog was afraid of the noise. Once they addressed the issue with the AC he ran happily off the deck. Just shows it could be something totally unrelated to the deck itself. Try looking at it from Buddy's perspective. What does he see when he goes out the door... maybe that will help. And I agree with the other posters, he is still relatively new to you, and may be unsure of being alone or not being let back in the house again.

  17. snooks Experienced Member

    bravery 101

    Another new thing I'm working on is allowing my dog to explore in class or anywhere and saying "Look at That" nice and sweet then I click and back up a couple of steps and have her treat ready. The Look at That becomes a cue to explore and it's safe and you're there and they are able to have a success at a formerly scary thing like exploring ahead or sniffing scary objects. Make sure they aren't movable and won't scare your dog. The click gets their attention doing what you wanted, exploring, and the steps back sort of play into the chase me excitement. The steps should be short enough that you don't pull on the leash, a 6' leash works well.

    This was a new to me thing from my trainer this month and both dogs took to it really well. Another interesting thing I wouldn't have thought of on my own. :dogwink:

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