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Old 11-13-2012, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Preventing "the great leap forward"

Let me say this, I know this problem is an operator error. I know I am doing something wrong I just can't figure out which step to begin with. I am fairly new to dog training/ handling I decided I needed to go to formal lessons and have a really well trained dog when I stepped up from 12 pound dogs to 50+ pounders.

Here's what occurs, doberman on a walk, in training class etc... great attention and eye contact walking beside me.... see's dog, interesting object, etc... Takes a great leap forward jerking the leash and herself (sometimes off the ground even) after this event she then takes a backwards leap to me (yep she literally JUMPS backwards). Then continues walking with me etc....

The leap is a leap of enthusiasm (OMG look at that let's play...) no growling barking etc... and it's always a single leap then right back to me and whatever we are doing.

I know I can extinguish the great leap forward if I can just catch it in time but my timing seems to be cruddy! I also have not been prepared a couple of times which means that she did get the leash out of the hand and merrily went to whatever she was investigating. (The worst type of conditioning to extinguish sporadic rewards!)

I've tried treats on the walk as a distraction, the problem is that the great leap isn't predictable regarding when it occurs. She's not always terribly focused on the object before the great leap and after the leap she easily sits, walks, lays down whatever I ask of her.

Again i am new to training so maybe I have to back up a few steps before I move on to extinguishing the behavior. I'm open to advice.

I can't bring her to an event until I can be sure she would behave outside the ring. Inside the ring she's always totally focused on me and I have no doubt she'll be a great obedience dog once I get better.

Right now I know I'm the one who isn't giving the right signals.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is she actually springing towards the distraction or just springing around for the fun of it?
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's always toward the distraction. Sometimes it turns into general goofyness after she gets back to my side but the first leap is toward her desired object.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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But not in an aggressive way, How old is she?
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, I'm going to LEAP forward into this chat also......I HAVE a similar problem ONLY, Kiss nipped the UPS man while we were at Banfield Hospital. Yep. No warning. No bark. No growl. I had my back to the door. He walks in rather fast and with a box and she went from a sit in front of me and nipped him right in his side. The gal behind the counter says, "did she get ya?" He said yeah and pulled up his shirt. There appeared to be a bruise. I didn't see any broken skin. We got home and the new manager of Banfield called and said he had to put in an incident report. He said he thought he smoothed everything over with the guy, but if anyone was sued it would be me because she was in my care. He said the skin was broken and it turned blue and green. He also said the UPS man was more aggrevated then hurt. She is not allowed at the vet now without a muzzle.
The gal at doggie day care is concerned about the muzzle part thinking that it could make the issue worse. I said I would do it to protect Kiss. I have NO IDEA what provoked it, caused it, nothing. It was more of a startle thing. The gal behind the counter was Kiss's trainer in puppy class. Again, there was nothing to warn me this was about to happen or (of course) it would NOT have happened. I'm feeling sick at my stomach just typing this. So how to you anticipate something like this to prevent it when there doesn't seem to be any warning? Please, I need to know. All I can think of is that it's always just been me and her. Yes, she's been socialized as a puppy. Some of the places I tried to take her when she was young was NO DOGS allowed. I have to wonder if the nip IS the warning that someone is too close to ME.
Oh, and Kiss absolutely has NEVER acted aggressive to any animal or person. She has never growled or wrinkled her lip or snarled or anything you would recount as aggressive.

Last edited by KissNme; 11-18-2012 at 06:38 AM..
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
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again how old?
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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For my pup it's totally not aggressive. If anything the leap is... Oh hello there !pet me! play with me! or she jumps at something she want's to nose poke.

Aggressive is just not a word I use for this gal curious yes, determined you bet, enthusiastic yup, aggressive nah not her.

She's not quite 2 yet so I know some of it is her age but I want to help her behave better. I know this hasn't been extinguished because I am inexperienced not because she's recalcitrant.

I've just finished reading about BAT training and "The Other End of the Leash" I am going to start working on impulse control, which means she has to sit while I run back and forth with her favorite toys etc....

I just want to know I'm on the right track so that the two of us can work together better. So if there is something specific I need to be doing on our walks or at home I can start the right exercises.

KISSNME- I'm so sorry this happened, I don't have any experience to give you.

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Old 11-18-2012, 06:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think impulse control is a way of putting it, but all you really need to do is teach the dog to heel properly, when you say heel, that means heel until I say otherwise.
You can either do this quickly by proofing with correction or the long way with positive reinforcement all the time.

If you are going to use the correction method then do it in a place where there are no distractions (or few) and make sure the dog understands what 'Heel' means and knows what is expected of it. If it breaks the heel, say no correct and say heel, when it heels good dog and reward/reinforce.

Correct only for disobedience: i.e the dog knows what it is meant to do but chooses not to. Do not correct for 'mistakes'

Alternatively reinforce when the dog ignores a distraction. If it cant ignore distractions you are too close to the distraction, be further away so the dog can see the distraction but the motivation is not stronger than the reinforcement e.g hot dogs. then gradually move closer.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KissNme View Post
Well, I'm going to LEAP forward into this chat also......I HAVE a similar problem ONLY, Kiss nipped the UPS man while we were at Banfield Hospital. Yep. No warning. No bark. No growl. I had my back to the door. He walks in rather fast and with a box and she went from a sit in front of me and nipped him right in his side. The gal behind the counter says, "did she get ya?" He said yeah and pulled up his shirt. There appeared to be a bruise. I didn't see any broken skin. We got home and the new manager of Banfield called and said he had to put in an incident report. He said he thought he smoothed everything over with the guy, but if anyone was sued it would be me because she was in my care. He said the skin was broken and it turned blue and green. He also said the UPS man was more aggrevated then hurt. She is not allowed at the vet now without a muzzle.
The gal at doggie day care is concerned about the muzzle part thinking that it could make the issue worse. I said I would do it to protect Kiss. I have NO IDEA what provoked it, caused it, nothing. It was more of a startle thing. The gal behind the counter was Kiss's trainer in puppy class. Again, there was nothing to warn me this was about to happen or (of course) it would NOT have happened. I'm feeling sick at my stomach just typing this. So how to you anticipate something like this to prevent it when there doesn't seem to be any warning? Please, I need to know. All I can think of is that it's always just been me and her. Yes, she's been socialized as a puppy. Some of the places I tried to take her when she was young was NO DOGS allowed. I have to wonder if the nip IS the warning that someone is too close to ME.
Oh, and Kiss absolutely has NEVER acted aggressive to any animal or person. She has never growled or wrinkled her lip or snarled or anything you would recount as aggressive.
I think this is an entirely different matter and you should ask a mod to move it to its own thread.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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So if I get the idea correctly, I should be focusing on heel and introduce distractions slowly. Like a great treat or toy while heeling in the house then up the ante to outside in the yard etc....

Until I can get a reliable heel with distractions...

She's fine with no distractions and as soon as she hits the end of the leash on the great leap, she does a great leap backwards, like oh my bad we were heeling right?

It's like her brain gets too excited and BOOM LEAP!

I'll try to do more distraction training with heel keeping it controlled and focused. Thanks!
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I'd probably take her out for some free running play before the walk to help wear down her energy so she's not so excitable on a walk. If she's a bit tired she'll be less inclined to bounce around when you want her to walk.

I'd also not give her enough leash with which to have room to leap forward. My dogs aren't given the leash until they've shown me they understand what loose-leash walking is through training. Are you guys enrolled in any kind of obedience training? Even an entry level manners class should be able to help you extinguish this kind of silly/annoying behavior. You just need to be shown what you're looking for her in body language and how to head it off and train for something different.

I'll bet the "great leap" is predictable but you're missing her signals because you're distracted thinking about what to do if it does happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KissNme View Post
Well, I'm going to LEAP forward into this chat also......I HAVE a similar problem ONLY, Kiss nipped the UPS man while we were at Banfield Hospital. Yep. No warning. No bark. No growl. I had my back to the door. He walks in rather fast and with a box and she went from a sit in front of me and nipped him right in his side. The gal behind the counter says, "did she get ya?" He said yeah and pulled up his shirt. There appeared to be a bruise. I didn't see any broken skin. We got home and the new manager of Banfield called and said he had to put in an incident report. He said he thought he smoothed everything over with the guy, but if anyone was sued it would be me because she was in my care. He said the skin was broken and it turned blue and green. He also said the UPS man was more aggrevated then hurt. She is not allowed at the vet now without a muzzle.
The gal at doggie day care is concerned about the muzzle part thinking that it could make the issue worse. I said I would do it to protect Kiss. I have NO IDEA what provoked it, caused it, nothing. It was more of a startle thing. The gal behind the counter was Kiss's trainer in puppy class. Again, there was nothing to warn me this was about to happen or (of course) it would NOT have happened. I'm feeling sick at my stomach just typing this. So how to you anticipate something like this to prevent it when there doesn't seem to be any warning? Please, I need to know. All I can think of is that it's always just been me and her. Yes, she's been socialized as a puppy. Some of the places I tried to take her when she was young was NO DOGS allowed. I have to wonder if the nip IS the warning that someone is too close to ME.
Oh, and Kiss absolutely has NEVER acted aggressive to any animal or person. She has never growled or wrinkled her lip or snarled or anything you would recount as aggressive.
That doesn't sound aggressive to me. It sounds like she was nervous and didn't know how to react. She needs more socialization and more proactive guidance from you so she doesn't have to worry about anything or try to figure how to act on her own.

Also, it doesn't sound like someone is too close to you. I think you're making it more of an emotional issue than it really is. You need to work with her more on socialization and I'd also put some dedicated time into obedience training so she can learn to listen to you and control herself, rather than taking the situation into her own hands unnecessarily. Obedience can be a good confidence builder for a dog, and she'll learn proper focus and control.

ETA...I don't think the muzzle will make it worse in and of itself. I think a muzzle introduced forcefully and improperly can make things worse. But it doesn't have to be forced upon a dog. There are different ways of introducing/using a muzzle.
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Last edited by brw1982; 11-19-2012 at 12:38 PM..
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I concur
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My 6 month old boy has always loved to pull a lot and lunge playfully while walking. I'm not very big and it was becoming a problem. We went through training class and only got minimal results. A friend of mine and our vet suggested a gentle leader. I love it now because its not really a muzzle, but a guide loop around his nose that turns his head bak around to me if he pulls or lunges. It has made an amazing difference and he now heels beautifully. It even helped with his jumping too!
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

I have shortened the lead so that the only "slack" she gets is from the martingale collar itself, that way there is no reward for jumping forward but she can tell the difference between slack in the collar and pressure on the collar.

I did tire her out a bit with the flirt stick before the walk and we went a shorter distance turning if I even thought she might become distracted and "leap".

I did try the gentle leader at one time and it does help, the problem is that she has trouble turning left with it on and she wants to rub her nose in my crotch or anyone else that comes close to get that thing off her nose! I will go back to it if I can't extinguish the leaping any other way.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Personally, I won't use a Gentle Leader or Head Halti of any sort. My girls' chiro vet recommends against them as she sees a lot of torquing in the C1 in dogs who wear a Gentle Leader. With this breed's risk for developing Wobbler's and no known source or cause, I'm not comfortable putting unnecessary strain on my girls' necks and backs. Particularly not when I can get the same result through other methods.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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They are terrible equipment, you get things called 'choke chains' which sounds and are horrible, these 'gentle leaders' should be called 'Neck twisters' I would absolutely never use one for a reactive (aggressive) or reactive (play) dog under any circumstances.

One needs to address the underlying problem not mask it with equipment.

The martingale collar is the way to go for sure, I would put a normal flat collar on the dog as well, attach the lead to that and put a short tab on the martingale collar, that is just my preference.

Sounds like you are heading down the correct road. I would say if your dog is this playfull you could harness this play drive and really train your dog to do everything you ask.

Do you play with your dog much?
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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She IS playful!

Her favorite games are tug- Which is how I taught her how to bite the right things i.e. the toy and not the hands, toes, etc... It's also how she learned to "drop".

And from the forums I learned about making a flirt stick which OMG is her favorite game ever! I have a toy with a plastic bottle inside it attached with rope to a small PVC pipe and she loves it! She will stare at the fridge or where ever I leave the toy. After some sit stay down walk etc.... that's her "all finished" reward. (She gets treats during the training.) It helps that I have a large basement room with no furniture for us to play/train.

We play "chase" almost every morning where she chases me, she's allowed to nose poke as the tag but not to nip. To help reinforce the don't mouth the humans thing....

What I'm not good at is taking these inside games outside. It just becomes too much for me leashes, toys, treats, keys, poop bags, hat, gloves, jacket, etc.... (again operator error I know!) The same with two leashes I could never be that coordinated! So I can't use the flirt stick on our walks... Maybe I could just bring the toy and detach it from the string/stick.

I absolutely agree she WILL make a great obedience dog if the person on the leash can get it together! As soon as I can stop the great leap forward and get her safely to and from the ring. That's the frustrating part I know this is happening because I'm inexperienced and that the behavior is my lack of experience right from the start!
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Cool, if she plays well she trains well.
Do you play structured games or is it just a good laugh all the time?
I can suggest a game that will help the dog focus on you if you like.

Is there any chance you can make a vid of her play training with you and walking with you?

You don't need two leashes one is fine, make sure your matingale is good and slack but try and keep it high up her neck with the flat (leather collar).

How is she with treats when outside? I can't remember if you said.

I think training in your basement is ideal, do you have a garden also?
Fenced?

Progress from the basement to the garden to the street.
Work on heeling, if you are not going to do OB comps or Schutz then I would go for a that'll do position.
Also teach a 'go sniff' command.
Alot of springing about problems come from the dog just being plain bored of the heel position all the time.
By giving scheduled breaks in the walk where the dog can do stuff of it's own, it will heel for you in the (qualified) hope that it will soon have a break to do doggy stuff.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I don't know what you mean about structured games. She has to sit and wait until I release her to either tug or chase the flirt pole. Then she has to release it on command. (I try to vary how long she gets to keep tugging or pulling.) Is that structured?

There is no way I can videotape anything too much going on for me to think about that! It's a skill set I just don't have.

As for treats, she's fine with accepting them outside, I do tend to up the smellyness/quality when outside to compete with OUTSIDE!!!!!! Generally it's chicken livers or baked chicken as a treat.

We don't have a fenced area outside but we do have a big back yard and I work with her there with 100 ft of long line. (Recalls mostly). And of course running around goofyness of tag the tree from tree to tree.

She will heel all day long in the basement no problems, she can be put in a down stay or a sit stay while I work with the other dog no worries. I don't know how to up the distraction levels inside to help her learn to ignore distractions. Treats on the floor? Toy on the floor?

When you give breaks in the heel is it to a 6ft leash or do you use something analogous to a long line so they actually get to smell and frolic at a bigger distance? With jumpy a 6 ft lead is like half a leap and she's at the end of it!
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:15 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Lolz, cool

I use a 6ft training leash one with a d ring on the handle so you can double it up for close heeling.
This helps the dog to realise when it is free to 'go sniff' and when it is heeling time.

Best structured game you can play with your dog is with 2 balls on a rope.

Basically make an imaginary centre line in your basement and have two IDENTICAL toys, either tug balls or just a couple of tug toys, preferably with squeekers .
The ends of your centre line will be East and West for the purposes of this description. You need not line it up with Mecca or Jerusalem just the longways of your basement will do, if it is square shaped it is irrelevant as long as it remains constant each time and is the longest line (i.e diagonal).

Stand in the middle of your centre line facing North just south of the line with the dog next to you or in front (the line is for the dog).
Show the dog the toy (look what I have got!) and get her a wee bit excited, now toss the ball/tug whatever to your left (east) along her centre line and she will go after it, don't throw it too far.
As soon as the dog picks the toy up you need to make the dog excited about the one in your hand.
She will run towards you probably with the first in her mouth, you gotta make that toy more exciting than the first so giggle it and make stupid noises.
THE INSTANT she drops the first toss the other one west and repeat.

What this game does is shows the dog that play time comes through you not the toy, and you will rapidly become the most fun thing in the world.

ALWAYS put the toys away after the game, they are your toys not hers, you let her play with them through you.

OBV if she has chew toys then give them to her when you go out and stuff but when your about, they are your toys. Only take the special toys out when you are up for playing, but I think you do that anyway (Put them on the fridge?)
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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If I had a dog that knew what heel and loose-leash walking meant and was still acting a fool like that on walks, I'd skip the martingale and go to a prong collar. Each time she leaps forward and gets somewhat closer to what she wanted, in her mind she is being rewarded. I trained my Doberman to heel with a British slip lead. I used the change directions method and applied light pressure when he was lagging behind or too far ahead so he learned where the correct and happy place was on walks with no pressure, at my side. He knows what I ask of him. When he wants to act a fool I up the pressure so he goes on a prong collar. It's very effective when used properly.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:28 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Yeah screw it just bung a prong collar on her.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:08 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Thanks all,

I'll keep you posted on the progress I'm making with the leaping lizard. In the meantime if anyone has a "perfect dog pill" please let me know!

I'm intimidated by prong collars, not because I think they are cruel but because it looks like it takes skill to use them properly and I am so new to training that I think I could really screw up. I am also not the most coordinated person in the world so I have to try to find fail safe methods so that if I fail the dog doesn't get too messed up physically or emotionally. I'm not saying prong collars mess anything up, I have no experience with them, I even worry about pulling too hard on the martingale and have thought about going to some sort of harness. Sadly she can escape those in about 2 seconds. (My current theory is she's boneless, double jointed, and houdini's dog.)

Also, I want to be able to handle the lil brat in and out of an obedience ring and the martingale collars are definitely allowed in the rally ring but I've never seen prong collars or harnesses there. (I've only ever been to 2 obedience trials though so I could be way wrong there.)

I guess I was spoiled because my other dog was so easy to train for walks that I now just drop his leash and we can go for a run. With the brat I don't see that happening for a while longer!
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:01 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm just getting back on here. Some of the things I had hoped to do with Kiss have been nixed because I work midnights and our wake/sleep schedule is different then other people's. I will check into the OB if possible because of our schedule.
To Matt: Kiss will be 3 yrs old Christmas Eve. I did not know how to get MOD to move this. I just found it again just now.
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