STOP Chasing the 4-Wheeler

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by silasandfocus, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. silasandfocus New Member

    We have 2 -7 month old Aussies and they have become interested in chasing the 4 wheeler as my husband grooms our walking trail. I know they are herders but I NEED to stop this behaviour before it gets too far. It is the tires they are chasing not the 4 wheeler itself. Any ideas as to how to go about this.

    They have been clicker trained up until this point and we had to similarly go through severeal steps until they would leave the vacuum cleaner alone but it would be difficult to use that method... I would turn it off evertyime their eyes "locked on". It took a while but it worked. The 4-wheeler is more exciting and it doesn't seem to be working that way.

    You guys always have such great suggestions I thought I would put it out there and see what you thought. Thanks for lyou help. Lori

  2. snooks Experienced Member

    many dogs can get OCD with wheels so it's important to head it off as soon as possible before it becomes habituated and much harder to stop. First confine them so they can’t do it for now and self reward. For training I would start with the ATV powered off and just roll it maybe an inch. If there is no reaction click/treat. Build up rolling it until you start to see a reaction and BEFORE the dog has a chance to self reward by biting the tire body block and click/treat. As you work up if they do start to chase body block and the second they hesitate click/treat. A leash might help but I would put a bungee on it so as not to allow a hard pull and hurt their neck. I would also work one dog at a time until you feel pretty solid because they will tend to feed off one another (or one off the other). You also might find that one dog is the problem and the other is copying and then can work on the culprit more diligently. If the AVT is too heavy will the dogs react to a bike or lawn mower wheel the same way? My FIL had a boxer that did the same thing with all wheels.

    That's an immediate action but concurrently you need to teach a good call off or leave-it for when you are not right there able to block. Start by looking at the leave it here on the classroom. I also like dropping food (low interest kibble) right by my foot while the dog is watching. When they go for it I body block a little but also cover the treat with my foot so they don't get it. When they back off and realize they aren't getting it and look to you like so what?? Then you click and treat the second they give up. The treat should be a very good quality treat they really like such as chicken or beef or something wayyyyy more interesting than kibble. You work up to having them totally disregard food you toss on the ground by your foot and at 80% success add your verbal cue Leave-It. Make it harder and harder toss further from you, toss as you walk by on leash. The important part is never to let them have the food you've tossed. pick it up and give it to them or pick it up and give them a more valuable treat. treat this as a poison pill. they never get it so there is never ever a reward for ignoring your Leave-it.

    You can transfer this to leave it holding food in your left hand, close the hand if they try. Click treat and reward from the right hand or other hand. Insist they sit and stay for their food dish and not break for it until you release. If they do you just pick it up and wait a second. recue a sit or down and stay, set the bowl back down. What you end up teaching across the board is patience and self control. when you get a good solid leave it then you can practice with a long line or leash while one person drives by on the ATV. Just be sure the dog can't get up a lot of speed and hit the end of the long line and hurt itself.

    just work up slowly in excitement level. roll then push and just block and click treat. be sure to catch every hesitation, every look at you, every little thing that says i'm thinking about chasing tires but I am also thinking about human cueing me. if a favorite toy works better like a squeaky or a tennis ball bounce use whatever is more exciting for that dog than the ATV. It's a competition for the dog's attention and you must figure out what it takes to be more interesting.
  3. snooks Experienced Member

    I found a great body block video for you at http://abrionline.org/videos.php just paget down until you see Teaching Stay with Body Blocks and Treats parts 1&2 by one of my fav behaviorists Dr Patricia McConnell

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