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Old 12-18-2012, 08:26 AM   #276 (permalink)
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Hello all Posting here since Skoll is supposed to be reactive to people and mildly to dogs (anchors/barks). I've been watching this topic for a bit but haven't posted at all.

Since I don't know much of his true personality yet I've been taking delicious treats with me on walks and they seem to be working well. Anchoring I've had to just wait out, sometimes going in the other direction works but luring him away with treats has not. I do reward him once he starts walking again.

He's barked at a couple other dogs which is something they told me to expect. If he's in bark mode usually I can just get his attention with a treat and he's 100% focused on me, which is GOOD I think and shows promise. Same as if he barks at a person, I can fish out a treat and distract him with it. Sometimes with people instead of barking he cowers and tries to hide, and sometimes he goes right up to them begging for love. I'm not too sure what the difference is that he's picking up... The trainer and one of my roommates he adored right away, one was a meeting outside and one was a meeting in the apartment. The other roommate and my mom he cowered away from, even though they both greeted him the same as the trainer, again one outside and one in here. My roommate's boyfriend, meeting inside, he would not leave alone and kept barking at. Now, that reaction is one that he had at the clinic he was staying at when he met one of their vets and it was JUST that vet, and she's supposed to look like the woman in the couple that previously had him. I'm not sure what they looked like but it's possible the boyfriend looks like the guy.

What I did for the shakey greetings was I gave my mom, roommate, and roommate's boyfriend some tasty treats and had them hold it out to him without facing or leaning in his direction. Took a couple refills but he accepted my roommate easily and now he adores everyone who lives here. My mom was too easily discouraged when he cowered the second time she didn't have food so he's still not sure around her, and while he was willing to get near my roommate's boyfriend and take the treats, he WAS watching him out of the corner of his eye and would bark if he moved again, so I ended up separating him from the group downstairs and doing a mini training session upstairs practicing his already robotic sit so we could end the ordeal on a high note. Luckily the boyfriend is a dog person and has heard Skoll's past, so he's not taking it personally unlike my mom and was okay with giving him space. Prior to that I was able to distract him with treats and make him back off via body blocking, but if I let up he'd be right back next to him barking and refusing to let him move.

Outside, unless he's spotted another dog or a squirrel, he tends to pay 100% attention to me. He does pull when not in his harness, but since I walk him in the harness he may walk in front but he'll have his head turned back to watch me. Or he'll be at my side with his head up watching my face. He doesn't pay enough attention to where he is sometimes and has run into a sign and a garbage can already. He also tends to lean up against me which has tripped me on occasion.

I'm hoping he remains in this area of "good" and continues to get better from there. To me, the fact that he's so easily distracted from reacting with food is a very good sign. I've been playing crate games with him, loaded the clicker and have introduced it during a few training sessions and he's taken so well to it.
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:02 PM   #277 (permalink)
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Another giant post for you all. And quick question at the bottom, thanks!


Actually, been wanting to ask, what's a "normal" amount of time to kennel your dog when you are someone who is home 24/7? To prevent them from becoming too dependent and getting separation anxiety? I feel bad kenneling him when I am home, but I know I should do it. Just don't know how long is appropriate. He used to be kenneled 3 hours in the afternoon while I was at work.[/color]

Thanks!
Can you alternate with an ex-pen? When I was going through TPLO recovery with Carson, I would do that. It helps ease the boredom for them somewhat.
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Old 01-20-2013, 01:43 PM   #278 (permalink)
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Mabel update!

My SO was back for a month or so over the holidays and she was a little off at first (this actually started before his return) but warmed up nicely, she is spending more time with us instead of away and sulking, she barks less during hugs/kisses/ etc.. though she is still unsure of some hugs. She even cuddled with us in bed a few times! Having bones in the room seems to help too, it gives her something to worry about besides the man in the room. Overall they still get a long fantastic and I have high hopes (she used to like him more since she saw him as a pup but coming in and out of our lives since he goes to school 6 hours away is taking a mild toll)

She got a little weird before he came back so we just finished (today's our last day) about a month and a half of gabapentin, i'm weaning her off again and seeing how she does

She's also really coming into her brain, she now (with tons of excitement) comes running into the house from the yard when called (60/40 split though when the one neighbor is out but i'll take it!) she is being a model house dog (no overly rough play with hannah, leaving the cats alone, etc..) and is just a whole new grown up dog!

I want to try and rent some ring time when I can and work on JWW courses, it's the only agility course she can do, so maybe with some focused work we can be trialing by the end of this or sometime next year

UPDATES FROM EVERYONE ELSE PLEASE!
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:17 PM   #279 (permalink)
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Mabel update!

My SO was back for a month or so over the holidays and she was a little off at first (this actually started before his return) but warmed up nicely, she is spending more time with us instead of away and sulking, she barks less during hugs/kisses/ etc.. though she is still unsure of some hugs. She even cuddled with us in bed a few times! Having bones in the room seems to help too, it gives her something to worry about besides the man in the room. Overall they still get a long fantastic and I have high hopes (she used to like him more since she saw him as a pup but coming in and out of our lives since he goes to school 6 hours away is taking a mild toll)

She got a little weird before he came back so we just finished (today's our last day) about a month and a half of gabapentin, i'm weaning her off again and seeing how she does

She's also really coming into her brain, she now (with tons of excitement) comes running into the house from the yard when called (60/40 split though when the one neighbor is out but i'll take it!) she is being a model house dog (no overly rough play with hannah, leaving the cats alone, etc..) and is just a whole new grown up dog!

I want to try and rent some ring time when I can and work on JWW courses, it's the only agility course she can do, so maybe with some focused work we can be trialing by the end of this or sometime next year

UPDATES FROM EVERYONE ELSE PLEASE!
I am SO excited every time I see this thread bumped

Mabel sounds like she is making great strides; both with the house manners and accepting your SO! I saw in your other thread that you were planning to leave her at home for a while while you settled in MN. How do you think she is going to handle the separation?

Trialing her is a great goal
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:25 PM   #280 (permalink)
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An update on Alice:

1) We "broke-up" with our trainer in late October/ early November. We had an in-house session and I felt his body language was intimidating Alice. I've been reading/ watching BAT material and already recruiting people to act as decoys as soon as spring rolls around. I'm really excited about the program!! Right now though I'm just waiting out the -40 weather :/

2) We completed another foundation to agility class. She's known a number of the handlers/ dogs since puppy hood so she was pretty manageable

3) Last week she allowed me to cut her nails without ANY fussing. This is the dog who reared like a horse, screamed, and pulled her paw out of my hand whenever I tried doing nails. I am happy with this improvement.

4) She isn't medicated yet. I just can't decide if she is 'bad' enough to require meds?! I also worry about LT safety and efficacy.

5) Not Alice related: I have puppy fever. A BAD case of puppy fever!! Struggling to decide if I would have enough time to 'fix' Alice, raise a performance puppy, and give Tucker what he needs
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:51 PM   #281 (permalink)
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I am SO excited every time I see this thread bumped

Mabel sounds like she is making great strides; both with the house manners and accepting your SO! I saw in your other thread that you were planning to leave her at home for a while while you settled in MN. How do you think she is going to handle the separation?

Trialing her is a great goal
I have fingers crossed on the trialing, she won't be able to go in an Obed ring for years if ever but this dang dog is to smart and driven to not earn any titles

She should be ok, I've left her for up to a week before and she adjusts rather well with off and on bits of anxiety (if she hears something/thinks I may be home), she is wayyyy better with my dad when I am not around so I don't see too much of an issue there, but the goal is still to get her as fast as possible which is basically as fast as I can get a job once I move!

She is already used to the gabapentin and diazepam and my mom knows her dosing routines should the need arise while I'm away as well.

Quote:
An update on Alice:

1) We "broke-up" with our trainer in late October/ early November. We had an in-house session and I felt his body language was intimidating Alice. I've been reading/ watching BAT material and already recruiting people to act as decoys as soon as spring rolls around. I'm really excited about the program!! Right now though I'm just waiting out the -40 weather :/

I love! the BAT work, it's really been what worked best for Mabel, she's such a suspicious dog I like how it gives her a chance to think and really assess something from her comfort zone instead of just react

2) We completed another foundation to agility class. She's known a number of the handlers/ dogs since puppy hood so she was pretty

CONGRATS!

3) Last week she allowed me to cut her nails without ANY fussing. This is the dog who reared like a horse, screamed, and pulled her paw out of my hand whenever I tried doing nails. I am happy with this improvement.

Congrats again! mabel is still a bit twitchy but she doesn't run away from me anymore

4) She isn't medicated yet. I just can't decide if she is 'bad' enough to require meds?! I also worry about LT safety and efficacy.

This was something I struggled with for awhile, I ended up doing a trial on a low dose of a very soft core drug (the gaba) and I did notice a difference which is why I stick with it. If I hadn't noticed a change I'd have left it and maybe tried other things. It's one of those trial and error, you don't know what you were or maybe weren't missing until you try things. Do what feels right!

5) Not Alice related: I have puppy fever. A BAD case of puppy fever!! Struggling to decide if I would have enough time to 'fix' Alice, raise a performance puppy, and give Tucker what he needs
To puppy or not to puppy, I think the whole forum has puppy fever right now! I'd personally base my decision on how manageable and grown Alice is, I'm planning my new puppy now because though still reactive, mabel has grown up a ton and is still going, she is much more easy to manage and not as time consuming as she initially was so adding a puppy doesn't stress me in the least when I think about owning, training, caring for etc..
Good luck with your decision!
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Last edited by Sam1491; 01-20-2013 at 02:57 PM..
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #282 (permalink)
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Improvements! A couple things I need to ask for advice here, too.

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He's barked at a couple other dogs which is something they told me to expect. If he's in bark mode usually I can just get his attention with a treat and he's 100% focused on me, which is GOOD I think and shows promise.
I had this mostly stopped in the third week; he'd lunge and get bouncey and excited (he does like other dogs, he just doesn't like approaching other dogs) but no barking/growling/going mad at the sight of another dog and lord forbid if it barked back at him. There was an incident where someone who, sadly, I don't think understood the severity of the situation (possible that he had a mental disorder- his speech was slurred and he was in a wheelchair), followed us for about a block trying to sic his puggle/pug mix of some sort on Skoll. Luckily the dog was connected to his chair and I walk faster than electric wheelchairs, so no physical damage ever happened.

After that though it's been an uphill battle to get Skoll back to that good point. We were having a good walk yesterday where he'd ignored THREE!!! dogs, I went around a corner at the same time an elderly woman with a pitty mix came around that same corner and we ended up practically face to face. Identical reactions on both dogs, lots of "I'm so sorry!"s thrown over our shoulders, but again no physical connections. He also calmed down after about 5 steps away from the dog- was agitated but only paced in a circle, no more violent (loud) outbursts.

Quote:
Same as if he barks at a person, I can fish out a treat and distract him with it. Sometimes with people instead of barking he cowers and tries to hide, and sometimes he goes right up to them begging for love. I'm not too sure what the difference is that he's picking up...
He very rarely barks at people anymore, on walks or otherwise. The couple times he has, it was at night, they were far away, and they were acting rather shady so I was getting nervous and I think he's been picking up on that. He's done his guard dog impression (quiet and no teeth, but body language that says "GO AWAY"... hard to describe, looks kinda like he's pointing at them with his body instead of a foot?) at people who are about to walk past him and I guess only just then notice that he's a doberman? They get very close, then freeze and act afraid of him.

Cowering is hit and miss still. If someone moves toward him that he's not expecting, mostly kids jumping out of cars to greet the doggy before their parents yell for them not to do that, he'll cower. Also if we're passing someone holding a tool/trash can/bag/whathaveyou. He recovers quickly, it's just a flash of "whoa that was pretty scary" and then he's back to normal.

At the moment the most common reaction with greetings is, if we're passing a stranger he wants to jump up and bop his nose on their face. I know this, because this is how he thought to greet my roommates when they get home until he learned they tolerate jumping far less than I do. If we're inside, such as in the bookstore where he is currently a celebrity, he's a leaner and a licker and generally loves everyone.

Quote:
My roommate's boyfriend, meeting inside, he would not leave alone and kept barking at. Now, that reaction is one that he had at the clinic he was staying at when he met one of their vets and it was JUST that vet, and she's supposed to look like the woman in the couple that previously had him. I'm not sure what they looked like but it's possible the boyfriend looks like the guy.
Roommate's boyfriend was over for the first time since last night. We started with boyfriend behind the kitchen gate for safety, Skoll was fine. Stepped over it, wiggles and love and leaning. Whatever he didn't like about the boyfriend previously, it's fine now.

He's still a little unsure of my mom, but she's decided she doesn't like him and I think he knows that. She's taken his reactivity personally and now she's been trying to convince me to rehome him before I fall in love (too late, did that the first day) and since dogs react to the nervous energy and tension between people... Likes my dad though!

Quote:
Outside, unless he's spotted another dog or a squirrel, he tends to pay 100% attention to me. He does pull when not in his harness, but since I walk him in the harness he may walk in front but he'll have his head turned back to watch me. Or he'll be at my side with his head up watching my face. He doesn't pay enough attention to where he is sometimes and has run into a sign and a garbage can already. He also tends to lean up against me which has tripped me on occasion.
We heel on command! Not for very long if he figures out that I don't have a treat but we're working on it.

I had to stop using his harness. It works, but because it tightens around his shoulders, he's got a nice horizontal bald bar on his front now and he's starting to worry at it because the nylon is irritating his skin. Luckily he is mostly controllable with just his (leather) collar but I've had to fall back on the halti for control which I was desperately trying to avoid. I've only used it on the 2ft lead (meaning his head can't snap around because he can't dash) and only when I start noticing a LOT of dogs around. He's pretty good otherwise on just the collar by this point though, sometimes if he's VERY excited for the walk he needs a stop&pivot reminder that I'm not going to let him haul me down the street, but otherwise if he hits the end of the leash he "corrects" himself and gets back beside me.




Aaaand, my question. He's been showing a bit of resource guarding with super high value items like raw knuckles and such. Normally I don't bug dogs that have high value items like this in the first place, but he wanted to swallow a pretty big chunk whole, so I had to take it from him aaaaand he threw a temper tantrum. I still got it, traded for a hot dog, but he really didn't like that and threatened to remove my fingers. How should I best proceed forward? Normal food is no problem... I can take whatever he tries to snatch IF it's not a bone, and if it's not a bone that was given to him I can take it (like if he steals something from a trash bag during a walk on trash day).
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:01 PM   #283 (permalink)
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Improvements! A couple things I need to ask for advice here, too.

Aaaand, my question. He's been showing a bit of resource guarding with super high value items like raw knuckles and such. Normally I don't bug dogs that have high value items like this in the first place, but he wanted to swallow a pretty big chunk whole, so I had to take it from him aaaaand he threw a temper tantrum. I still got it, traded for a hot dog, but he really didn't like that and threatened to remove my fingers. How should I best proceed forward? Normal food is no problem... I can take whatever he tries to snatch IF it's not a bone, and if it's not a bone that was given to him I can take it (like if he steals something from a trash bag during a walk on trash day).
I'd have him on a leash when he has them, give him his ignore command (drop it, leave it, etc..) and if he won't/acts reactive when you go to take it, walk him away to his crate for a time out.
I had a puppy that was getting this way in a past training class, I prefer to do timeouts versus corrections because when they are going for your fingers it is safer to not be reaching but still make him loose his prize and also seems to sink in more if every single time he doesn't give mom his toy not only does it disappear but he gets put in solitary for a few minutes.
I usually rinse and repeat with 5 minute time outs and 5-10 minutes out of the crate then give the bone back and try again.

He's a smart boy he's just having a little trouble realizing that even if it IS his, it's still always mom's and mom said give it back now!
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:42 PM   #284 (permalink)
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I know this is probably uncool to ask...but does anyone have video of their "reactive dog"?

I am a very demanding owner, sometimes to the point where I have to ask myself if I am punishing for normal behavior.

Einstein has not learned to loose leash in almost a year. Sometimes he does great, others he pulls in circles and whines. He never focuses on me when walking unless I have treats. I can see his brain going a million miles a minute when we walk.

He also gets really excited around other dogs. He is good with neighborhood dogs but any other dog he doesnt normally see prompts him to bark or expect to play.

I expect him to be perfect but realize hes is still a pup (11 months). I am working with him but I have to question if he has some deeper issues.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:01 PM   #285 (permalink)
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I know this is probably uncool to ask...but does anyone have video of their "reactive dog"?

I am a very demanding owner, sometimes to the point where I have to ask myself if I am punishing for normal behavior.

Einstein has not learned to loose leash in almost a year. Sometimes he does great, others he pulls in circles and whines. He never focuses on me when walking unless I have treats. I can see his brain going a million miles a minute when we walk.

He also gets really excited around other dogs. He is good with neighborhood dogs but any other dog he doesnt normally see prompts him to bark or expect to play.

I expect him to be perfect but realize hes is still a pup (11 months). I am working with him but I have to question if he has some deeper issues.
I don't personally but do you perhaps have a video of your dog doing these things?

Mabel is just overall reactive (dogs/people/objects) and pretty highly so even after our progress. so for her she will bark and growl, snap and lunge at dogs and people (if given the chance) from a far distance though when she reaches her threshold, she starts with just raised hair, and get's mildly grumbly and just overall antsy in a rather stiff shakey way.
Every reactive dog is different though (within limits)
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:23 PM   #286 (permalink)
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In this video, she's not reacting aggressively, but you can tell she is very distracted by what's going on in the other ring. Ilka at GSDCof Bmt 1-20-13 001 - YouTube This was probably her best performance ever, by the way.

Out of the ring, and in "real life", she will, for the most part, just give a look at dogs while we are walking, but if they approach us, she will get more agitated, and has even displaced onto Leo and Lucky on occaision.

When she is out in the yard, she will react by barking and snarling at any loose dog or bratty kid that she sees. The kid next door has made her reactivity worse by yelling at her and sometimes throwing things. He's not the only one, but he's been the main culprit.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:41 PM   #287 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conspiracy* View Post
I know this is probably uncool to ask...but does anyone have video of their "reactive dog"?

I am a very demanding owner, sometimes to the point where I have to ask myself if I am punishing for normal behavior.

Einstein has not learned to loose leash in almost a year. Sometimes he does great, others he pulls in circles and whines. He never focuses on me when walking unless I have treats. I can see his brain going a million miles a minute when we walk.

He also gets really excited around other dogs. He is good with neighborhood dogs but any other dog he doesnt normally see prompts him to bark or expect to play.

I expect him to be perfect but realize hes is still a pup (11 months). I am working with him but I have to question if he has some deeper issues.
This description doesn't sound reactive to me, more just a young dog who's still excitable. That said, I find the techniques in "Control Unleashed" to be really useful even for "normal" dogs. I use the "Look at That" game with my puppy as we're learning to loose leash walk and it helps him refocus on me.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:24 PM   #288 (permalink)
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We had an old friend visit the other day. We crated Carson. I should have got a video of that, I'm sure a caged lion would have been much calmer. I forgot to tell my husband to tell his friend not to look at Carson in the crate, but apparently that is exactly what he did, sat and stared at him (probably hoping the door would hold...)

I should try for a video one day when I take him for nails but it's really tough if I am alone, because I have to watch his eyes, ears and breathing for the first sign of LOSING IT, SNAP.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:00 PM   #289 (permalink)
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I did have some video that I took for our veterinary behaviorist, but I'm not sure if I still have it. It's pretty classic anxious behavior - Dr. Duxbury actually asked to use it in the classes she teaches at the university.

We recently had to tinker with Shanoa's meds a little - upped the clonidine a little with good results. It'll be interesting...she's scheduled to take the ORT (birch) for Nosework a few days after we return from vacation. Hoping it goes well, both in terms of being successful and passing, but also in terms of being comfortable at the trial.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:19 PM   #290 (permalink)
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No videos of Skoll but I'm usually handling him alone and I need both hands for controlling a reaction from such a large dog considering he weighs about as much as I do (95# vs 130# = I lose). He does not typically completely lose his head unless he ends up WAY too close to another dog which has thankfully only happened three times. One I mentioned up there and once I didn't do a good enough scan of the area and we essentially ran right into a border collie and his very displeased owner, and there was an intact cane corso that he went COMPLETELY nuts over. I should mention that the pitty mix and border collie were also reactive dogs who's owners were also on the look out for other dogs and I feel a little less like an idiot for those reactions, though the corso did not react at all except for being slightly surprised and his owner shot me a judgmental look. Ah well.

Small update that I also posted on my blog: Skoll has been able to be worked up to the point where he can be distracted mid-reaction, which means his reactions are becoming less severe in nature as for a little while the only thing that would distract him was a hot dog. Now I can verbally call him off of his tirade and put him in a sit. He'll whine and raise his foot (stress I think??) but he stops the barking/snarling almost instantly. I'm also able to get him to approach a neutral dog (Mocha) behind a fence while he's on the outside on a leash without going insane and once he's able to actually reach said dog all he wants to do is play and sniff judging by his exuberant playbows. No idea why he gets all ruffled from approaching dogs if he likes them so much.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:55 PM   #291 (permalink)
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We found a lump on Carson's back , so he is going to have it looked at tomorrow. Going to try for a video but depends on how it goes down.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #292 (permalink)
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I think we can all see the humor in this:

"You Know You’re Living with DINOS™*When…
December 2, 2012
By teamdinos
in Articles


Your dog walking equipment consists of a leash, poop bags, high value treats, a cell phone, and…a head lamp, so you can walk your dog before the sun comes up.

*

You’ve caught yourself browsing for Direct Stop on your lunch break.

*

You drive your entire dog walking route, to search for any trouble spots, before going for a walk.

*

The unexpected sound of keys jingling makes your stomach do a back flip.

*

You know what a Happy Muzzle is and think they’re super cute.

*

Blind corners are scarier than a Hitchcock movie.

*

You’ve considered adding “excellent horizon scanner” to the skills section of your resume.

*

You’ve stood around, pretending to admire someone’s mailbox, while trying to keep enough distance between you and the slow moving dog ahead.

*

You’re considering teaching your Great Dane how to use the toilet.

*

If you win the lottery, you’re buying a private dog park.

*

You’ve criss crossed the same block more than three times to avoid other dogs.

*

You have a preference for the kinds of cars you like to hide behind.

*

Your hamster’s exercise ball is starting to look like a good idea for your dog, if only you could build one large enough for your Lab.

*

You’ve set your alarm to go to the dog park at four in the morning.

*

*

Your neighbor hasn’t looked you in the eye since “that time” you told her where she could stick her roaming off leash dog.

*

You day dream about what kind of privacy fence you’re going to install.

*

You’re excited to walk dogs in the rain or snow, since bad weather means fewer dogs to bump into.

*

You’ve whispered “be very, very quiet” to your dog, as you tip-toed past a sleeping dog in a yard.

*

You’re not afraid to jump a fence, squeeze behind a dumpster, or cut through someone’s back yard to avoid an oncoming dog.

*



You think Plastic Man and Inspector Gadget were on to something with those extra long arms. Perfect for catching off leash dogs at a distance!

*

You’ve got your trainer on speed dial.

*

*

You bought equipment for a home gym, but you already have a gym membership. The treadmill is for the dog.

*

On your walks, you wear poop bags on your hands, like mittens, so you can scoop and run."

source: You Know You're Living with DINOs When...
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:26 PM   #293 (permalink)
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Sorry, no video. It took both of us to control Carson/hold him down - it was a hot mess....
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #294 (permalink)
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Small brag, I know my dog friends will appreciate. I just got a delivery to the door and Mabel only barked once, responded to "that's enough" and stayed in a sit stay until I shut the door! She's never been that good about a possible "intruder" I think my baby is finally growing a brain and some common sense!

We've also been med free for around a month now...I just love the dog she's turning into more and more...as If I wasn't head over heels already
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:18 PM   #295 (permalink)
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RDOA - Reactive Dog Owners Anonymous

So hades has done great, for the most part, with his leash aggression/reactivity he can walk by people, joggers, bikers, motorcycles etc without anything but a passing glance. (Something he could never do before) Dogs he is becoming ok with as long as they aren't close... If they bark at him he returns the favor :-/

BUT TODAY HADES GREETED A DOG WITH NO AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR!!! ::applause::

A woman in my neighborhood, that knows I'm training Hades, has a very calm Australian shepherd that greets dogs by laying down as they approach. (Talk about calming signals) Perfect dog for Hades to learn an appropriate greeting with. The last two times Hades met this dog he barked, lunged and even tried to bite him! I had to drag him away. Today, I saw her coming and sat on a bench with hades and let her pass, the whole time giving him chicken and praising him for not reacting. As she got closer, her dog laid down. After a while of hades seeing him and remaining calm, I stepped in between them and allowed hades to approach on his own free will. Again lots of chicken and praise for being calm. He sniffed the dog AND wagged his nub then looked back at me for a treat (which he got). I didn't want to press our luck so we moved on with lots of praise.

This is the first time since I've had Hades that he's been able to greet another dog while on a leash without freaking out. Thankfully I see her a lot when I'm walking so hopefully we can keep practicing and eventually move on to other dogs. God bless this woman and her dog for being so understanding and willing to help!

The combination of watching the threat from a distance and praising/treating before any reaction can happen. Plus breaking from the walk to practice obedience (heel, sit, stay, etc.) has really helped Hades reactivity. He's ALMOST perfect on our walks. So proud of him!



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Old 02-21-2013, 06:02 PM   #296 (permalink)
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My name is Wesley, and I have a reactive dog.

My old APBT, Rosie, was the dog that got me started focusing on training dogs with reactivity issues, even though she was a dog that could only be managed. She was a former bait dog in Maine and had been adopted once previously (and subsequently attacked by two golden retrievers). With Rosie, there was NO "safe distance." If that bush waaaaaay off in the distance might possibly, if you squint and tilt your head a little, look a teeny bit like a dog, it set her off. She was walked at night and in the early morning, in areas where I thought no one in their right mind would walk a dog. BAT did not work and I could not find a distance to counter-condition where she would not shut down and go berserk.

Come to find out, Rosie had a brain tumour and seizures. She reacted badly to the phenobarbital and would seize if her stress levels got too high. I stopped trying to work with her on her reactivity and instead focused on making life wonderful for her. Rosie loved people more than anything in the world, and would try to kiss and cuddle strangers up until the day she passed. She taught me a lot about training and a lot more about management. To this day, she was the best (and hardest) dog I've ever owned.





Now, I have Remy. He's an almost six year old male Catahoula Leopard dog and he came from a "breeder" (hoarder) in Louisiana. He's the exact opposite of Rosie - he adores other dogs, but is reactive toward people. When the rescue took him from the hoarder, he was evaluated and put in foster care in New England. There he bit his foster dad and attempted to bite several visitors to the house and was deemed too aggressive to adopt out and was scheduled to be PTS. A friend of mine volunteers for the rescue and knew I had been looking for a dog, and pleaded Remy's case. They ended up neutering him and adopting him out to me. He has to be muzzled in public and we keep him away from visitors.

In the almost two years I've had him, Remy's come a long way. I started with basic counter-conditioning using hot dogs in the car in parking lots of non-busy stores. From there, we moved onto counter-conditioning on walks and getting him to look at me when something scares him (and we found out lots of things scare him!). I find counter-conditioning tends to hit a wall where it's difficult to move the dog closer and get a neutral reaction, so that's where BAT comes into play.

For Remy's BAT, we started with the "Friend" command. We used people he had gotten to know and like (his groomer, my grandmother) to teach the command, and then applied it to BAT. He looks at the person and gives a calming signal (jackpot if he looks at me), and is rewarded with both liver cake and the person moving away. He can now be walked just about anywhere and ignores people if they ignore him. We even managed the crowded line at PetSmart today and he just sat at my feet waiting for his liver. He's still muzzled in public, but he's far less stressed than he used to be. I still don't let people come near him and he has his own way of getting to know new people, but he's such a wonderful boy for coming so far.

Oh, I didn't see this book mentioned, but I may have missed it: Scaredy Dog! by Ali Brown
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:23 PM   #297 (permalink)
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BAM and I have been having some awesome training days lately. Today we headed over to the dog park area and watched the dogs play. His threshold has improved significantly - he used to react at the sight of a dog 100 feet away and now he can be within 10 feet and have a relaxed face and body.

His entire demeanor has improved. He is calmer, curious, and very engaged with me. I'm happy where we are right now with his dog reactivity, now I just have to find someone that is eager to continue his training and that wants to adopt him. I can dream, right?
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:32 PM   #298 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RottenVonSpotten View Post
BAM and I have been having some awesome training days lately. Today we headed over to the dog park area and watched the dogs play. His threshold has improved significantly - he used to react at the sight of a dog 100 feet away and now he can be within 10 feet and have a relaxed face and body.

His entire demeanor has improved. He is calmer, curious, and very engaged with me. I'm happy where we are right now with his dog reactivity, now I just have to find someone that is eager to continue his training and that wants to adopt him. I can dream, right?
yay bam!

Fingers crossed his new home is right around the corner waiting patiently for his awesomeness!
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:38 PM   #299 (permalink)
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yay bam!

Fingers crossed his new home is right around the corner waiting patiently for his awesomeness!
Thanks for the optimism Sam!
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Sam1491 (02-22-2013)
Old 02-22-2013, 08:43 PM   #300 (permalink)
ShutUp an Scratch My Butt
 
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Thanks for the optimism Sam!
It just feels like a good time for a wrinkly squishy big boy...idk why lol
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