Training With Dog Whistles

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by tx_cowgirl, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Bosun Well-Known Member

    We did have fun! That was all I wanted for that trip. Goal met!

    Our hunting season is over (well, for bear and deer, we don't have boar)

    Around here, they sell antlers in the pet stores for chews, in the dog section. They would be smaller pieces, but may be a spot to check out. And.... most definitely cheaper than $100!!!! Holy Hannah! I should open an Ebay account an sell sheds! I had no idea! We must have 10+ sets and a few singles around here! Neil's taking pictures of a 10 pointer now, he'll lose his soon, but finding would be difficult!

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Tx, Doncha know, soon as i bragged to you i can send you some sheds,
    as they are so common around here, then i stopped finding any!!:rolleyes:
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I did find some in pet stores, but I'm wondering if they are treated in any way, or otherwise "diluted." (Talking scent here.)
    I was really hoping that I would have Gypsy at least partially trained so I could start trying her out when the deer start shedding their antlers, but it looks like that won't happen. Ah well, maybe I can find some sheds then...to train her to find sheds....LOL!

    Haha, that's always how it works Jean. :ROFLMAO:
    tigerlily46514 and Bosun like this.
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Good news and bad news.

    Good news, I FINALLY found a great deal on sheds and got a whole bunch to get started with! They came in today. :)
    Bad news....Zeke has started having issues with Gypsy. Z is a peculiar dog; he is very insecure and formerly fear aggressive with other dogs. He is extremely submissive, but still likes to test his limits with new dogs. He always postures and looks all dominant when he first meets a new dog, but the second they show that they are dominant and even begin to hint that they are going to stand their ground, he backs down. "I'm just kidding, I'm really not a dominant dog, see my belly???? I give up!" Lol. This is always the situation with new dogs. He has never in his life had a dog that actually let him get away with his initial brat behavior. Until now.
    Gypsy is extremely respectful of other dog's body language. She is not what I would really call a submissive dog; she seems to be pretty middle of the road, but she has let Z get away with a lot.
    So, as it turns out, Z needs a dog that is not overly dominant but will also not put up with him testing his limits. Gypsy does not put him in his place when he tries to be the dominant one, and he is feeding off of it. He has never ever had this kind of power before and has no idea what to do with himself. I haven't found the trigger yet, but seemingly at random he will suddenly lay his ears back and growl at her. She does not try to start anything or challenge him; she just turns away and tries to leave him alone. And then he starts biting her back legs.
    The back legs biting sounds almost like a super stock-aggressive herding dog, but if you actually see it this is nothing like herd behavior. From watching them and knowing Z, I really believe that if Gypsy would tell him off he would quit and go back to being the bottom of the totem pole. Poor Gypsy. They used to play a lot, just the best of friends, and now they avoid each other.
    She is sweet, but Gypsy can really annoy other dogs. She's very in-your-face friendly with other dogs and very bouncy. Initially this reeeaaaally bugged Z, because he is so insecure, but then he seemed to get used to her and they played a lot. Now he seems very annoyed with her, and is obviously uncomfortable with her. Neither of them is happy and it's only getting worse. It's not always when she's being bouncy and playful that he does this; sometimes she's just sitting there. Zeke has never shown this type of behavior with any dog, and the only connection I see is that he's never had a dog that let him get away with trying to be the more dominant one. I thought that it would blow over, either by Gypsy finally telling him off or by him being satisfied that he's not at the bottom of the food chain.
  5. Bosun Well-Known Member

    Whew.... you just reminded me in living color what living with multiple dogs was like.

    Fearful dogs, in my opinion, are fearful dogs. My observations of my own fear-agressive dog is this.Some things may not bother them (noise, people,children, back firing cars) enough to react, but it is still to some degree be stressful.

    Although Tiki was a bouvier and acted stoic, in true bouv fashion, she was fearful. My job, as human, was to never put her in a spot where she had to make a decision. Her job was to trust me to look after things for her. She came everywhere with me, I expected her to behave nicely. I watched her like a hawk for signs for stress and never put her in situations where she had to decide how to react. Her reactions came from a place that was scared, not confident. She was abused, lived in a puppy mill, used for breeding and left behind (freed) when the owners moved. It took a neighbor 2 weeks to gain her trust. She was simply the sweetest dog and the oldest soul I've ever known. BUT she couldn't be allowed to React.

    After years of living with me and building confidence in me, she still would not comfortably get into bed with me. It was too high (dog language, not physical height). She would get up and wait for me to fall asleep, then get down onto the floor.

    Have you given "Grounding" a good 8 week shot? It seems like you have a few things going on (and stacked against you).

    1. Zeke is a Border Collie. These dogs, in my opinion, make it their life's work to find a job. 24/7. Gypsy is there conveniently those same hours ;)

    2. Fearful actions, and when that "scene" hasn't played out the same as always (posturing), he is now in a position to "react" in a new way which equal more stress.

    3. More stress. He's gotten away with his "ground zero" behaviour and now needs to "decide" how to progress. Because his decision come from "fear" they will be poor ones.

    Zeke needs to understand that you will look after all things dog. There should be a clear line drawn on this behaviour. The actual "dominance" with Gypsy isn't the problem, it's the symptom. You need to find the "first step". Maybe it's after you've brought in groceries and excitement is too much and that's how he burns it off. Maybe he's overtired, like a child. You've worked with him too hard/far.

    It sounds to me like Gypsy is not the type of dog you could "let work this out". She's too laid back and respectful. Some dogs, yes, you could, Gypsy...nope. I would be afraid of what it's doing to Gypsy's trust in you.

    I believe Zeke will continue (spiral, if you will) from here. His responsibilities are more than he can handle now (judging from his behaviour), which will cause more stress, and more poor decisions.I don't consider it a "fault" more of a "behaviour trait" that you learn to live with.

    Again...First: I'd ground him. Second:Figure out what's starting the behaviour, avoid it, if possible, or prepare to distract/calm whatever he needs to avoid escalation.

    PS... Great news on the antlers!
  6. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I do stop the behavior when I catch it, and I've started separating them when I can't be there to watch for it.
    A little background info...
    When they very first met, Z did not initially posture, etc. Gypsy being bouncy and over-friendy was too much for him--he was uninterested and chose to just stick to me. (Both met on leash initially of course.) That was fine. We stayed away where he could just watch her until he was comfortable, and let him decide when he was ready to investigate.
    I hadn't ever thought of this before, but now that I'm thinking about it, he didn't initially do his normal new-dog routine. I think her exuberance kept him from trying his "I might be a dominant dog..." act.
    He was pretty stressed with her the first week. He tried to avoid her mostly and was unsure of how to handle her annoying face-licking habit. Then they started to sort things out; they roughhoused, snuggled, chased each other, etc. They became good buddies.
    Now they both completely avoid each other when they are together.

    We have a stable chain of command here, so that's not a concern. The people, first, but as far as the dogs, Mud is on top, and seemingly Z then Gypsy. Mud is the perfect companion for Z, because she is not over-the-top friendly, and she is a dominant dog but not a bully. She has always been the most dominant one and Z has a very clear understanding of that, and they are best buds. It seems that when Mud is around Z is not as much of a brat with Gypsy, and most of the time when I am around they pretty much ignore each other. But when I'm not around the only thing I can do is keep them apart.
    Both dogs are unhappy with the situation, Gypsy more visibly so. She loooooves playing with other dogs so much, and Mud doesn't play with her as much as Z. Both Z and Mud just seem annoyed with her.

    Gypsy's previous owner has offered to take her back, as she did not really want to get rid of her but had no choice at the time. It's not really that I want to give up on them, but it might be best for both dogs. Neither of them would have the stress of me trying to make this work with training and separation, and Gypsy could be back with the dog and human that enjoyed her exuberance. I really think that this might be the best option.

    On top of that, my bf is needing to rehome his Aussie/GSD/BC girl, who I've helped raise throughout her 1 1/2 years of life. I'm as attached to her as I am to Mud and Z. Mud and Z both like her. She is a submissive dog, but she does not let herself be at the bottom of the food chain--i.e. she does not put up with Z's confused attempts at being dominant when he's just not made to be, but she has no issue being lower ranking than Mudflap. She is a better fit with Mud and Z, and they both like her. And I am far more attached to her than I am to Gypsy, whether that sounds bad or not.

    So, if her previous owner does have the means to take Gypsy back, then that might be the best situation for everyone. Getting rid of Dixie(bf's dog) would be as bad as getting rid of Z or Mud for me, but getting rid of Gypsy would be removing stress from both her and Zeke, and giving Gypsy a better living situation because of that. Gypsy's previous owner is a friend of mine, and initially I agreed to let her keep Gypsy at my house while she was moving, because Gypsy would have more room. And I could jog her when I jogged my dogs, so she'd have plenty of exercise while Misty was moving and trying to decide if she was going to be able to keep all her dogs(job changes and other personal things at the time). When she decided it might be best for her to find a home for Gypsy, I told her I would just keep her. Honestly the only reason I decided to keep her was because of her potential for my hunting needs, and my friend's need to find a home for her.
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Geez I sound like the worst dog owner ever. :oops:
  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    NO, Tx, you are one of the best, most knowledgable, most loving of all dog owners i've ever heard of. don't you go letting yourself feel guilt or anything about this decision facing you. You know a LOT about helping shy dogs, and you know, not all dogs make great housemates together, they just don't.

    You and i have talked about this new snag in the pack harmony, and since Z is an inherently"shy" dog, i think this off/on issue with Z towards Gypsy will probably be an ongoing battle for the entire rest of the dog's lives together.
    Shyness in a dog (also called fearful dogs) is permanent. It's inborn, it shows up in the litter box, and it can strike ANY breed at all.
    Tx, you have done wonders helping Z, become his best possible self ever. YOu have brought Z a long long way,
    and have climbed some moutains in helping Z become more confident.

    Most shy dogs, if they develop agression at all, will tend to target humans primarily, not other dogs, but, shy dogs can learn to target other dogs, as well, like Z did, maybe because Z grew up alongside dog-aggressive dog is why he has this target of other dogs.

    A shy dog will always always be a shy dog, on some level. We can make these dogs better or worse, but we can't cure an inherently shy dog. You can't rewire all the inborn neurochemical differences found in MRIs and P.E.T. scanners in the inherently shy dog's brain.

    A very skilled human can help an inherently shy dog become better/more confident, like all the progress you HAVE made with Z over the years,
    but you can't cure this neurobiological disorder found in the inherently shy dog's bloodstreams. I don't think, no matter what you do, you can make the friendship between Zeke and Gypsy "bomb proof".



    LIke i said in pvt emails, Tx, i think since your bf's dog does need a home, and that dog does fit in well with your pack,
    that hard as it is,
    it'd probably be kindest thing,
    to rehome Gypsy, and take on bf's dog instead. I really think so.
    It's your pack, and your decision, but Tx, your life is already 200mph, and your pack just really doesn't need this 24/7 tension, and neither do you.

    Gypsy can't be happy with Z intimidating her, and Z can't be happy with his lil fuses blowing all the time. Not all dogs make good housemates,
    and it will be ongoing, off/on problem, for years........and years.........and years.....and you will never ever be able to "bomb-proof" an inherently shy dog to "like" a dog that he doesn't "like"..

    Many dog behaviors ARE inborn, on their dna. LIke herding, like inherent shyness. born that way. YOu can control it somewhat, but not completely remove the inner urge.
  9. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Tx, i'm real sorry about this tension in your pack, but don't you go feeling guilty. Please.
  10. Bosun Well-Known Member

    Ditto what Tigerlily said....

    When I opened with "remembering what multiple dog's were like" I meant it. I cannot tell you how much easier life is with just Bosun.

    You and your stress count first in this decision. If you are stressed, or doing extra's it's time and patience taken away from the rest of the pack, 2 and 4 legged. It's okay to put your needs first... when an airplane goes down, the instructions are to put your oxygen mask on first, THEN help others.

    You have enough with your dogs. I say, if the original owner wants Gypsy back... it might just be the right thing. I do, also understand attaching to one dog more than others... all very normal things...

    Tough days and decisions... all the best...
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  11. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Thanks guys. :)
    I knew this was a possibility; it's been part of Z's life all along. He's a dog with special behavioral needs and I've known that since he was a pup. Z's also very special to me, and whatever arrangements I need to make for him is fine by me.

    Haha, now that I think about it...I don't even know what life is like with one dog. As a kid, I grew up with two Dalmatians. When we lost Rosco, we had Sasha and a Bichon Frise named Corky. After them, I had Rusty and Nick. Then Nick, Rusty, and Z. Then Nick, Rusty, Z, and Mud. Then Nick, Z, and Mud. Now Nick, Z, Mud, and Gypsy. And a few clients' dogs, and other temporaries(dogs we found and kept to rehome, dogs we saved from various situations and kept to rehome, etc) sprinkled in... We've always been a multi-dog home, lol! And it's functioned well, until taking on dogs with issues, which I don't really regret. It's funny, aside from the Dals I grew up with, Gypsy is the first 100% "normal" dog I've ever had. She has no behavior problems. Odd how the most normal one is that one that doesn't fit in, lol!

    I think it will be best for everyone if Gypsy were to go back to my friend, and after Z has some time to readjust, then I can bring Dixie home. Dixie can still meet my hunting needs. Mudflap has the obedience and recall for shed hunting/blood trailing, but unfortunately, not the nose. Z could possibly have the nose, but not the self-control--he is extremely high drive and calling him off of something is still a work in progress.
    tigerlily46514 likes this.
  12. Bosun Well-Known Member

    I feel the stress lifting already. Good for you. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing what's right for everyone else and everything else, we forget about ourselves.

    Things have a way of working out.
  13. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Thanks Bosun. :) I'm feeling good about it all. I'm excited to have Dixie, she's very smart and a super sweet dog. I've burned recall into her brain since the day my bf got her, so she's already got that going for her. Great hunting buddy in the making! :)
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  14. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    //"She has no behavior problems. Odd how the most normal one is that one that doesn't fit in, lol!"//
    :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
    Bosun likes this.
  15. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    :p I've had such a little misfit group for so long, maybe Zeke has become a little prejudice to "normal dogs."
    Mud and Z both like Dixie...lol, she must be a misfit, wonder what underlying issue I've missed... :ROFLMAO: Kidding.
    Bosun likes this.

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