New Mix on the block

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by brex, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. brex New Member

    Hi there, I'm a young woman from Maine who lives and works in southern Mexico. I rescued a 9 month old black lab/dachshund mix back in July and now I can't imagine living without her! She was abandoned by her family when they moved and a local rescue (the only one in the state) found her. Anyway, she is my constant companion and her name is Miko. I grew up with an AKC German Shepherd but wanted to rescue a dog from the harsh Mexican streets this time. Also, she is small which makes it easier and less expensive to travel with. She learned her name quickly, learned to sit, come and stay within the first month and to sleep in her own bed next to mine all night. She knows some of the commands in spanish and some in english (since she's Mexican and I'm American:)). Anyway, I know the importance of teaching her tricks and commands, so I am reading up all that I can to be the best pack leader. I live in a culture where dogs are not worthy of a regular meal, are allowed to wander freely on the street, or just stuck on the roof for their life, and sterillization is not acceptable (although my girl is def. sterilized!). I am in the process of making sure I follow through with her commands. She has to sit before I'll put her harness on before a walk, but she is really stubborn and doesn't want to most of the time, even though she is SO excited to take a walk. She'll look at the floor and ignore me. When we have our training sessions she'll sit immediately and stay and wait for her treat so she KNOWS what she's doing. I think it is her stubborn dachshund side coming out. Anyway, any info on how to deal with this would be good.
    Also, she is very well behaved around kids and other dogs, and VERY playful, however she shows no interest in fetching, or playing with balls. How can I get her interested in this? Is this normal?
    Well that's a huge intro! I look forward to learning some tricks to teach her. She is a great example of a rescue story.:dogblush:

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Welcome to the site, and kudos on rescuing! I have a rescued Border Collie.

    Having no interest in balls is simply part of her personality. But the good news is...yes, you can teach her how fun they are! One way to work with this is to sit a ball down on the floor in front of you and click and treat for even a brief look towards it. If she doesn't immediately look at it, move it or push it gently so it moves. The movement should attract her eye, and IMMEDIATELY click and treat. From here, she should go from looking at it to pawing or nosing it, and eventually grabbing it. Keep working on this, and then start sitting it away from you. You can give the command, "Get the ball!" or whatever you want once she will consistently pick it up with her mouth, and sit it a bit further away. Give the command, and if she doesn't immediately return it to you, then go back to having it close. Get her to pick it up again, and teach her to drop it. Use these two commands to help her understand that she has to bring it to you. Once you start asking for the return, never reward for just picking it up.
    As for the selective hearing, practice practice practice! Never reward her in any way for not listening. If you tell her to sit and she doesn't, don't say, "Oh, come on, sit. Sit. Sit. Sit." Give the command once and then IGNORE her if she doesn't respond. Come back a minute or so later, and lure her into the sit with a treat. Click and reward! Continue this, and go back randomly every now and then and tell her to sit. Make a huge deal out of how good she is when she does it right. Keep practicing. I would also recommend subscribing to the classroom to help both you and Miko with the consistency. :) Good luck and welcome to the Academy!
  3. szecsuani Experienced Member

    I think the way tx_cowgirtl said you can teach playing fetch is very good, but this way, the dog will se the ball as an exercise, and not a game. I did this with myĆ­ dog, and I had to give her a treat whenever she ran for it...
    So I think that you should start off the thing as a game. No clicker, no treats, just a ball. Sit down in fron of the dog, and start playing with it. Show how much you LOVE playing with it, give strange noises and everything. Whenever the dog wants to take a better look at it, gently turn away, and keep playing with it alone. When you see she is mad about the thing you are doing, let go of the ball, and let her get it, but take it from her gently after a few seconds, don't let her take it away.
    After a few minutes, when you see she is having fun, take the ball, and put it away. Never leave it for her, the ball is yours, you just let her to play with it sometimes, this way you keep it intresting. When you see that she likes it, you can start rolling it around, let her catch it and stuff.
    Then throw it, but not too high, just a little, and increase it gradually.
    Hope I helped!%

    And welcome to DTA! :)
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Good tips Szecsuani; this is how I got my boyfriend's Boxer interested in toys. He would happily run after them, but then he'd look at them like..."Um, what do I do now?" Lol. I also had Mudflap help...I'd play and play and play with her and her toys, and he'd get soooo jealous and want so bad to know what all the fuss was about. Now he's starting to love toys, especially tug ropes. :)

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