Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by tigerlily46514, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Okay, my neighborhood is OVERUN with a skunk overpopulation crisis. I'd vote for importing that kind of owl that eats skunks....

    anyhow, i've never once suspected my dog Buddy has great vision. He alerts for leaves, that i, a person who should have glasses on, can easily see is A LEAF....he does that kinda stuff all the time, pieces of paper, whatever, Buddy can not see well....

    so anyway, skunks are fearless, do NOT run away if we accidentally come upon one on a walk. Buddy is often off-leash or on an extendaleash, so if he sees a skunk, he WILL lunge towards it....sometimes before i can intervene.

    ANY OTHER CREATURE RUNS AWAY............Buddy doesn't even usually get that close to OTHER creatures...they see him coming, and get away.

    ANY OTHER CREATURE WOULD NOT EVEN BE THAT CLOSE TO BUDDY.......other creatures tend to take a bit of care about predators, etc.....
    ANY IDEAS HOW TO TRAIN THIS OUT OF HIM?? This lunge towards skunks??? Should i work on squirrel types, with some cue word? Leave it?

    KEEP IN MIND, this happens in A a FLASH. And it happens in the dark, so i don't see it sitting there on the edge of the street either.....

    One moment, we are having a nice walk, next moment---flash lunge and Bam, it's done, dog ruined with skunk spray...Buddy does NOT seem to be able to learn "skunks---bad"...nope, he hasn't figured it out...maybe cuz he doesn't see well...?

    ANY IDEAS???????

    by the way, scroll to comments for how to DESKUNK a dog, i'm pretty good at it by now...sigh.

    Attached Files:

    Jean likes this.

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    HOW TO DESKUNK A DOG (this really works)

    first off, keep dog outside while you get ready.

    Put on some outfit you don't mind to throw away. cover your own hair up, too. Wear gloves if you have them, and put on a pair of glasses or some eye-protection.

    Add one drop of veggie oil to dog's eyes. (if dog's face was hit, which is very very very very very likely)

    Papertowel off worst areas, or, use towel you don't mind to throw away.

    MIx up:
    1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide (fresh bottle)
    ΒΌ cup baking soda
    1 teaspoon of strong liquid soap such as dishwashing detergent, or shampoo.

    Mix the ingredients in an open bucket or bowl. The mixture will fizz. Thoroughly massage the solution into the DRY fur.

    Be sure to keep the mixture out of the dogs eyes, nose, inside of his ears, and mouth. If it is necessary to apply it to the dogs face, very carefully use a washcloth or a sponge, this would be very damaging if it touched his eyes, ears, or nose or mouth.

    After applying the mixture to all parts of your dog that may have been sprayed,

    X 5 MINUTES.

    rinse that skunky part of the dog thoroughly, first, then rest of dog.
    Now, put on some perfumey doggie fur conditioner, and rinse this treatment is a lil drying to the fur.
    not really bad, but, conditioner is good follow up to this treatment.

    THROW AWAY any unused mixture, it could explode if not in open container.

    Wa-la, dog smells just fine now.:)

    now, if anyone knows how to get that oily skunk perfume out of the lawn, so it doesn't keep REstinking up my dog---------let me know!!!
    Jean likes this.
  3. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    NOW, on with our regularly scheduled topic in this thread----how to EVER teach a dog to not lunge at a surprise skunk, either on a walk, or in his own yard.....

    ALL IDEAS WELCOME...spring is coming, the skunks are out already, we've had TWO near misses this week...
  4. Jean Cote Administrator

    LOL I guess the chase for the skunk is more rewarding than stinking for a couple of days. :) I've never had my dogs sprayed by skunks so I can't be of much help. The only time I came close is when I was walking my dog and a skunk came out of the bushes and walked in front of me. I went to the other side of the road. :)
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  5. reveuse Well-Known Member

    I don't have skunks down here to worry about just gators (tho generally not too nearby) , and those poison toads that my dog thankfully could care less about.

    That said if you need a squirrel like thing to use as a target Romeo has agreed to volunteer his services. (he will even assume the "squirrel" position if properly bribed . [IMG] -
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  6. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Okay, now i don't feel so sorry for myself when i compare skunks to gators....oh my.
    Jean, wait a minute, your dog did not lunge towards the skunk???? Not at all??? see skunks do look MUCH like a toy, and sort of wiggle cutely as they walk, all small and furry........and your dog did not find that irristable??
    LET'S TRADE DOGS!! bah ha ha!!!
  7. Jean Cote Administrator

    No. Chase is a wuss and is scared of her own shadow. :) I can't walk her without a leash because a bunny once jumped in front of us and Chase jumped right in the middle of the road.
  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ey, i HAVE a leash with me, and he does get leashed for ANY oncoming creature of any kind, be it a dog, a squirrel, a horse, a deer, a person (just so the person feels comfy, buddy is fine though) and especially, a CAR.
    He almost knows reflexively to return to my side for all cars, still, i say, "car" and he comes quickly to my side and gets leashed up, and we stand up in the grass til the car goes by. He knows the drill.

    Bunnies in my hood, i *USED TO* be able to call him off bunnies, but, i musta bragged on that one, so now, it is no longer true, [IMG]only about 50-50. However, bunnies in my hood tend to have pretty set schedules, well, not during springtime though.........but the rest of the year, they mostly do.... i call it "the bunny hour", is about twilight, is a bunny wonderland around here. Buddy is onleash for bunny hour.

    Squirrels, i have noticed, somewhere in past year or so, Buddy has figured out squirrels scratch or something, cuz he WILL usually come back to me from a lunge towards a squirrel...but a bunny, not so much. Buddy has killed a few bunnies now,[IMG] usually in his own yard.

    He is not quite as interested in actually CATCHING the squirrels though................. chasing them, yes!! How fun to tree a squirrel!!!
    but he does not reeeallly wanna catch squirrels...[IMG] He is fun to watch him fake-chase the squirrels in our yard....he slows down if the squirrel turns out to be gangsta, too...and stops running...Buddy stops, too.

    Same goes for deer hour, also around twilight, he's leashed, and way more deer during certain seasons, however, my recall off of deers is 100%, as Buddy reeeeeeeeally does NOT want the deer, either...he's scared of them. (It's all a bluff.)

    I also leash him for any busy street, all corners, even a curve in the road that i can not see an entire block ahead of us, etc etc. Some streets, he is fine off leash, other ones.

    i worked up to that level of trust over a long period of time, and i call him to me often, to make sure he is with me mentally. If he does not come right away when called, ---then he gets leashed................cuz he is not usually in a heel, we have very very woodsy, mostly quiet neighborhood.....lotsa creatures....but he tends to walk a few steps ahead, (i gotta work on offleash heel)
    so it's not quite as crazy as it sounds...for Buddy to be offleash on certain streets in MY hood, cuz we have only a few busy-ish streets...
  9. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I think broadening his understanding of returning to your side when needed would be good. Unforunately, skunk encounters are a hard situation to control unless you know someone with a pet skunk.
    Or, if you can find a pet store that has skunks. Not that I think that's right, and I don't know what your laws are there on "wild" animals....

    With Z and his cat obsession, we went by the cat adoption center often. At first he literally could not walk by at all without his eyes being glued to the cats. A freight train could not have broken his attention.
    So we just started working further away, with his tennis ball. Wherever he could listen, that's where we worked, and we gradually worked our way in. I also did a looot of work on self-control----one of the easiest exercises is to have the dog hold a stay while a toy is thrown--super tough for Zekers. Anyway, just lots of work on self control. Today, he is still very obsessed with cats, and not trustworthy alone, but I CAN successfully call him away from a cat(with a barrier between them, like a door or window). In the beginning, if he hadn't been leashed I have no doubt that he would have gone after a cat. I think it's part of his stock aggression--he is really aggressive towards livestock, in a working kind of way. Very strong prey/herd drive.

    Also worked with a BC who was a dog herder...this is something you might be able to use in the yard. When she would show the earliest signs that she was about to go off, I would have dog food in a metal bowl. I'd shake it and say really happily, "Misty Misty Misty!" So three things:
    Loud, sudden noise to break focus
    You being interesting
    Worked great for her.

    So, quite frankly, I don't have many tips here...unless you had someway to be near skunks safely, lol, which is....well not likely I'm assuming.

    Good luck!
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    That is great advice, i can tell, i am going to work on Buddy with these things more than i have. Not sure any of this will help with a sudden appearance of a skunk closeby....

    cuz i do nto think Buddy can see that well....i often see Buddy get excited over leaves, scraps of paper, stuff even *I* can tell are not chipmunks. I've seen him get excited over small crumpled up boxes, even a halloween decoration of a fake cat in someone's yard. Not even a very realistic fake cat, Buddy totally started leaping towards it..(facepalm!) Does anyone else's dog do this? Seem unable to determine what things are actual creatures,------- and what are leaves and items?

    So Buddy being able to see it is A SKUNK, not a cat or bunny...or toy......might be less than some dogs' ability..
    well, maybe if if if i can get him to do that stuff even when it IS bunny, THAT might help, wow, is that gonna be

    He is going to vet next week for routine check up, i will ask vet to check his eyes.
    Also, if i CAN see the skunk ahead of time, is one thing, it is the surprise nighttime appearance of a skunk...right THERE next to us. dang.
    but, focus work, Buddy def needs more focus work, those are great ideas!!! THANK YOU!!!
  11. sara Moderator

    I know there is no way in heck Oliver could be called away from other animals. Which is on reason why Ollie is almost never off leash (poor boy) Except in daylight in the middle of nowhere, on a boring gravel road.

    Scout, however, used to be nuts for birds/squirrels/bunnies and would probably be nuts for skunks too, but, thank goodness, we've never encountered one. For some reason her strong prey drive has dissappeared. I never tried to train it out of her, but as her Obedience progressed, her prey drive went away.

    She once went through a screen after birds, now is completely disinterested. Odd hey?
  12. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Remember Buddy still has a nose. :) Even if he can't see the skunk very well, he may remember the smell.
    Good luck at the vet!

    I think working on self control would help. Things like dropping on recall, dropping in mid-retrieve, leaving something exciting to come to you, staying when toys are thrown, staying when several toys are thrown(lol), staying when food is thrown....anything when he has to have control of himself to succeed.

    That's the only thing I can come up with for your skunk troubles. [IMG]
    reveuse likes this.
  13. reveuse Well-Known Member

    Can you suggest some more self control type exercises?? - I'd love to do some more with Ro (next week!)... - he is great at staying with toys thrown (even when giant ones land on top of him), could care less if a ball rolls right past, will stay if the thrown food is in its package, will do come over toys/objects/packages of food . Have recently started the drop on recall one ....

    one of my favorite ones is "wait" before eating , when his bowl is on the floor. He took ages not to just dive bomb in...
  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Hmm, let me think...
    You can advance the stay when toys are thrown, for instance STAND stay while a whoooole bunch of toys are thrown around him. That's more tempting, because he's not planted in a sit or down--he can very easily move to go after the toys, but has to control himself and stay.

    Wait with the door wide open and fun stuff going on in the yard(other dogs playing, a person running around, etc)

    Call him away from playing with other dogs (as seen in this video--think it's towards the end)

    If he likes tug toys, tug tug tug and then suddenly tell him to DROP. (As seen here)

    This ones TOUGH, takes lots of the middle of chewing a treat, tell him to drop it. Takes a LOT of work on a very solid "drop it." I had a trainer friend with a Shiba who would do this. I haven't tried it with Mud; we've worked through food aggression with her--she was neglected and malnourished when her shelter rescued her, and although she is no longer food aggressive, I just don't know that she could handle it.

    Come to you, but have to pass one, two, three + dogs and people(however many he can handle) to get to you. I start with one person and one dog, with that dog sitting, a few feet away and halfway between my dog in a stay and me. Short distance stay at first. Then work up to that dog and person being closer, so that eventually your dog has to literally walk right past the others to get to you. Then add more people and dogs. Eventually you work up to a tunnel of dogs and people, and gradually more distance(which also equals even more dogs and people). Teaches an incredibly reliable recall, because they have to ignore such big distractions. You can bump it up even more by making the distraction dogs and people be mobile. Doing tricks, or moving in the opposite direction, or even playing fetch. BIG BIG distraction, but your dog has to ignore it all to come to you.
    reveuse likes this.
  15. reveuse Well-Known Member

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I LIKE! - I've done the multiple dogs / people etc passing him in a Stay but hadn't thought to do it with come ... *adds to list*

    I think the dropping half chewed snacks would be a super challenge . firstly his snacks are all pretty small and he only half chews the majority of them anyways (tho i could select larger ones to combat this point). Secondly he is soooooooooo food driven its rediculous. --- He once inhaled half a chicken jerky strip i was about to break into pieces while wearing his GL because he couldnt physically open his mouth enough to chew it and i couldnt get the GL off quickly enough (his has a really teensy catch on it and it wasnt cooperating).

    Also could try stand and stay (tho the instant he hears stay he lies down for the most part since he knows its probably going to be a little while before he is released)
  16. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Start with a reeeeaaaallllly boring treat, even ice if he's not a total nut for ice, and offer a super high value treat for dropping the half-chewed boring treat. I did sort of test this with Mud; I had a treat that she really didn't like and asked her to bring it to me. She did this just fine, but I haven't tested it with good treats lol.

    In reference to dogs/people as a distraction...
    Although I use it with both, I think using it with come is more of a challenge, because your dog is in motion. He can very easily abandon the task(come) to play with the dogs and people, so he has to choose to come to you and ignore all the goings-on. It's fairly easy to stay seated when told, but to be free to do what you please and have to ignore fun stuff....that's a little tougher. :)
    reveuse likes this.
  17. reveuse Well-Known Member

    He IS a total ice freak...... i think the only thing he has zero interest in food wise would be my almonds but thats not going to work ;) --- ill think for a while and find something.... and then use the old faithful chicken as the super treat :)

    am totally going to try the Come with other dogs for sure tho

    (ok not going to hijack this thread ! the puppy thread was enough hijacking for me for the week ;)

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