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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chi is regressing in all our previous accomplishments, going through a very bad case of the terrible two's or has completely lost her mind - maybe a little bit of everything but in any event, she is on serious lock down. I bought a muzzle on Saturday and have been introducing it slowly, I want her to associate it with good things so I put in on her for the short walk across 3 yards to the field where we play frisbee. It didn't take but a day for her to associate it with the frisbee and view it as just another thing we have to do before we play the game, it's right up there with putting on the harness and leash :) Let us all take a moment and thank God that I bought that muzzle and I put it on her today before we headed out the door.
-I couldn't find a basket muzzle her size so am going to order one, I got a plastic/nylon mesh muzzle for the time being though-
I opened the front door and in a split second as I turned to shut the screen door - to keep Petri from running out - she pulled the leash from my hand and ran hell bent on eating the Japanese man who was standing beside my car about 15 feet away. I have no doubt that she had full intentions on eating him. I called her, she turned and came right to me as he was jumping up on the trunk of my car (I can't blame the guy for being scared, I would have been too, the muzzle is black and not obvious, and let's be honest, dogs have been known to bite through them before). I'm livid. I'm embarrassed that she did that, I'm embarrassed and heartbroken that I've failed her and have allowed her to think she can act like this. I honestly have done everything I can think of and followed every decent suggestion I've gotten. My biggest fear now is Jordan walking out the door and Chi rushing out behind her and attacking a kid or something. It could have been so much worse than what it was today.
So after 2 hours of crying and thinking "why, why in the world is it that I who loves dogs more than anyone else in the world ended up with a dog who loves me but wants to eat everyone else??? When all I wanted was a dog to jog with and take to the beach and sea wall and be active with (most dogs would kill to have me as an owner! why doesn't she realize this???)" I realized that self pity doesn't get anyone anywhere :) NILIF is now a way of life. Mark isn't here, so it won't be difficult to get him to play the game and after a long talk with Jordan, she will cooperate. For at least the next couple days -if not weeks- Chi will be on lead at all times. If I can't have her with me on lead, she'll be in her kennel. We'll keep up with the excercise but really enforce NILIF. She's not liking this so much right now after just a few hours of it, but I figure her being mopey and whiny for a short period in her life (or however long it takes) is better than the alternative.
Any and all suggestions are appreciated. I so love this island but absolutely hate the fact that there are no trainers or behaviorists here. I did make an appointment for next week at the vet's just to make sure there is nothing physical going on but I truly doubt there is. When she is good, she is so good and honestly, she's good much more often than not but when she's bad, buddy, watch out! We have to work through this and I know that in time we will but I guess I'm just frustrated, it seems like for every step forward we take there is a step back right around the corner. I have get her to where she can be safely boarded (part of the military, we travel and she must be boarded when we move from one place to the next) she must be safe to walk through crowded airports, she has to chill out before my parents get here in December (although I could use her as an excuse for them to postpone their trip :) I guess I just needed to vent a bit to fellow Dobe lovers.
 

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Wow Tracy, of course I can't give any advice as I am pretty new to the doberman world but I can sympathize with you. I know it must be heartbreaking to see her going in the wrong direction when you have put so much into her and how much you love her, hopefully someone here can help you with some good advice to get her back on the right track.

I can understand the frustration and we never know if we might be next with our young dobes, I would be a basket case.

Did you get her as a pup and if so did you socialize her a lot? I imagine socializing is an ongoing process, I am glad that I was told how important it was because I would not have known otherwise.

How much longer will you be on the island?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks DaKari,
I did get her as a pup (at 7 weeks which is more than likely at least part of the problem) and have socialized her quite a bit. From the time I brought her home, she has come every where possible with me and has always been fearful of strangers. But as she's gotten older and bigger and more of a threat, I have tapered off when that is simply the wrong thing to do. Of course, my ignorance has greatly antagonized what would not be so much of a problem with someone more experienced with the breed. But we will not give up and will continue to press on :)
I just ordered a new book "Click to Calm" and found some really great exercises to work on until it gets here. I do believe in discipline but do not believe that I can counter these aggressive reactions with aggressive corrections - that was our initial plan and it backfired badly making the situations much worse.
I was frustrated today but do feel a bit better and more positive tonight.
My school term is coming to an end early next month and I'm taking the summer off, Mark will be deployed still and Jordan is always at one activity or another so I will have plenty of time to make Chi and her issues a number 1 priority. I also have to remember that although today was a bad day, she has made remarkable improvements and think I need to try to concentrate on the good and continue to manage the bad until it gets better. For the sake of safety though, I am going to muzzle her when I take her out from now on. I don't think it will be permanent but certainly don't want to risk anyone getting hurt.
In case anyone is interested, here is the link to the book that I ordered and from there you can find 2 exercises from the book - Changing Stress Cues to Calming Cues and Teaching Manners to Aggressive Dogs. I really like the bit on Stress cues to Calming Cues - that lesson will work for so many different things. http://www.clickertraining.com/trai...m?loaditem=click_to_calm_samples&itemnumber=2
Send positive thoughts our way :)
 

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I'm so sorry Tracy. How disappointing that is. But you are right, you have made such wonderful progress with Chi, and I can only imagine if she had went to another owner than you what may have happened to her.

While she shouldn't go willy nilly after someone in your yard like that, she was sure she was doing a good thing. And I have to say, if you have never felt pride in anything feel pride in this, SHE TURNED BACK WHEN YOU CALLED HER. That is saying SO much about your training and work that you've put into her. Most dogs WON'T turn back. So see the good in this, you've done a great job with her,.

Lexus is wonderful with people and in a crowd, but I was raking gravel into the drive last night, and had Lex on a long line in the front yard with me. Two neighbors from down the road were walking and walked up to me to say hi, I thought Lex could have torn the porch she was hooked to off the house she was so perturbed by this. After sharply telling her "nine" she settled but her hair stayed up. Not to go completely off topic, I really do have a point to this :)

Point is, I take Lex out all the time, she is constantly being petted and given treats by strangers and having to walk around them, always without incident and with her wiggle butt turned on, but on her home turf last, she was uncomfortable with the people in our yard and near me that she was not "introduced to" properly as is our routine, when she couldn't even get to me, she was not a dog to want to tangle with.

So that move wasn't the end of the world that Chi made. She felt she was doing right, and doesn't make her a "serial Japanese killer" that can't be out in public;) You are right to have concerns, and you are doing right by them. (you know this but I'll say it anyway for anyone else's benefit) Be calm when in situations so Chi doesn't feed off of your tension and react accordingly. Carry treats at all times for people to feed her. (even through a muzzle) Be out and about everyday you can with her, and make it positive. And work on that door :)!

Now pat yourself on the back for all the hard work that you have done with Chi, b/c it has paid off when she turned back for you!
 

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Thanks Lexus for posting comments even if Tracy already knows it, because you are right, there are others that learn from this stuff, I have learned a lot from people posting to others not just directly to me. :)

With Chi being fearful as a pup etc, how does one get a pup out of that? So far mine aren't but that is something I would like to know. I was talking to a guy the other day that just got a pitbull pup, he said the pup was scared to death of everything and then he told me that he didn't spank his pup for pottying in the house UNLESS he caught him in the act. I told him, No, please do not hit the pup because he would cause him to not trust the hand of people. He was a young man, but he has small children and oh my goodness, not a good situation in my opinion if he doesn't learn to train this pup right. I told him to socialize this pup, that it was the most important thing he could do for it, whether he even listened to me or not I will never know.
 

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I was going to get that book Click to Calm...but Im always a looker and I never buy lol. Please tell me how you like it when you finish it. :)
I know I am very fortunate to have Duchess. When she was a puppy she went everywhere with me...drives to the video store...or to the drive through to get food...and from a puppy I would always bring her with me when I washed my car at the car wash b.c they allow dogs to walk through with you when you pay. So she saw the people in the uniforms approaching the car...got out bravely with the loud machinery and walked through a business setting and sat with me while watching them dry down the car. Duchess also went to a parade when she was a puppy...and didnt care about the Fire trucks...and people came up to pet her. and we also took her to fireworks...and she didnt even seem to notice them. I took her to the same parade she went to a year ago...to hand out coupons for my work. She walked through the crowds and went up to people with me perfectly.
This is when I get soooooo overwhelmed with Coco. He is the complete opposite to Duchess and its hard to deal with. But like I said the other day We have been muzzling him at the dog park and if he goes out to meet people so that we can actually get something done. Muzzles are good because they prevent the bad behavior and so the dog doesnt fail. In coco's situation I think after awhile coco will realize that people are actually good and nice.
Sometimes when Coco sees that Duchess is okay with a person...He will accept the person faster. Maybe you know a person that has a dog that enjoys meeting people? Then you can have chi hang out with that dog on walks...and when people are around the dog that accepts the people well can meet them then chi can follow soon after (with the muzzle of course :)) When I watch this happen with Duchess and Coco...I saw that it sparks Coco's curiousity in the people.
Keep up the good work and always have those yummy treats on you for when Chi meets new people or when people are even in sight from a distance.
 

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Please don't beat yourself up TracyJo, you have done a fine job with Chi. She DID respond to your command. was she growling with her hackles up? Cody used to charge like that, barking his head off, but he never tried to bite. (He did put one of our neighbors up on the hood of his wife's car, I kind of had to laugh, because Cody wanted to play - butt up, head down - and Terry was scrambling up on the hood of the car and he is a big strapping secret service agent - he just doesn't know dogs, after we got Cody back, he made us promise we wouldn't tell his wife)

How much time has chi spent around Asian people? I know you have been in Okinawa for a while, but does she get off base much? Cody was never comfortable around people who looked very different than us.

Chi is also getting into those wonderful teenage years (a little young, but still close enough) so she is going to be a handful. you are doing everything right with her and by her. you just have to keep it up. as jessie said, you need to bring her with you when ever possible and get her exposed to as much as possible. it is also helpful to run her hard before going out into situations that will be stressful for her. that way, her being tired will slow her down a bit and be slightly less likely to go nuts.

I know how you felt TracyJo, and I am sure that poor man had the fright of his life, but Chi didn't bite or lunge at him. She obeyed you. and you both deserve a pat on the back for that.

She will settle down - it just takes a little bit. eventually, you all will be joking about her penchant for Japanese food. Dammit - I promised myself I wasn't going to make smart remark like that, sorry. I couldn't help myself. you just keep up the good work and you will see the results, you may not notice overnight, but you will see.

cc
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Codysmom said:
She will settle down - it just takes a little bit. eventually, you all will be joking about her penchant for Japanese food. Dammit - I promised myself I wasn't going to make smart remark like that, sorry. I couldn't help myself. you just keep up the good work and you will see the results, you may not notice overnight, but you will see.

cc
ROFLOL! Thanks guys for your kind words and encouragement. Chi has been around many Japanese and Korean folks but I think associates them with the dreaded "paper guy" and "trash stealers"! 3x's a week she is forced to sit idly by and watch these people come into her yard and steal her stuff!!! The outrage! And every day she has to watch another walk up to her door and hang a newspaper that she is not allowed to shred on the door - such a tease!
Yesterday as the trash stealers came to do their duty, I sat with Chi inside the house but at the screen door with a clicker and treats in hand. She got verbal correction of barking and raising hackles and a c/t for nice calm I don't care that they're there behavior. Didn't take long before she was ignoring them completely and focused on me. Will use trash days and 4:05 every afternoon (you can set your watch by the paper guy) as training opportunities.
Storm did not like Asian people at all. She was not aggressive toward anyone but she really did not like them. I have racists dogs? What's up with that?
I'm going to give it a week or so of down time, kind of back up, regroup and work on the basics and then we'll start hitting the pet shops several times a week again. Will start at a far corner and work our way up. The weather is good again so we can get back out to the seawall that is always full of people, Asian and American alike.
On a side note, Petri (the little darling) is taking full advantage of this new Chi is on a leash at all times situation. He is such a turd, prancing around like he's king, trying to initiate play with Chi and just being a little booger. He is so trying to assert dominance - got news for him though, he's next! Muhahahahah :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
10 day update -
For the past 10 days, Chi has had very little freedom. Most of the time in the house, she is on lead and is expected to be calm and quiet (what a hoot!) - on the super rainy days when we just can't get out, I'll let her run laps in the house but I initiate that play, I initiate all play, food and attention. This has been a harder pill for Jordan and I to swollow than Chi, I think. I do still occassionally allow her on the furniture but only when I invite her (I like being covered with dogs at night when I'm vegging :)
I have been very proactive and taking every training opportunity possible. We've weathered 3 trash days, one recycle day and many paper guys with little incident. We started in the house at the front door (screen closed) and just watched the trash pick up - she is allowed to bark once and then I tell her enough, praise and treats for being calm and quiet and stern no's and down stays when she's not. We moved to the front porch for trash on monday and recycle this morning and all went smoothly with no incident at all :)
A strange thing happened before our walk yesterday - she did something, I don't remember what that warranted a stern "no!" and before I could tell her "down" she willing laid down, with her ears back and rolled on her back - totally submitted. I didn't really react outwardly but was surprised on the inside because she has never done that. On our walk, she was perfect, we walked past a dorm where there were many people walking infront and behind us and she was fine. At one point she showed interest in a really large guy that cut pretty close behind us but I simply gave her a little tug and told her "enough" and she fell right back in step. I really think all the work we've been doing in the house has helped with this AND Jordan is off of school this week so she and Petri have been walking with us. I've noticed that my attitude is different with Jordan around, I talk to her more and pay less attention to Chi. As a result, I'm much calmer and I think that calmness is travelling down the leash.
I've noticed a trend that we will make progress, I will come here and brag about the progress and then slack off with her training. Not going to to that this time :) Going to keep it up, I think within the next week or so we can move to her being off lead in the house and maybe even start letting her sleep outside of her kennel but we'll see. I don't want to move too fast and screw up all that we've accomplished so far...
Just thought I'd update you all :)
 

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Way to go TJ....Sounds like Chi is understanding what you expect out of her now....Don't stop now....your comment of the calmness you have is traveling through the leash is exactly what should be happening...Your attitude definately affects their behavior....Keep it up....
 

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TracyJo said:
I've noticed a trend that we will make progress, I will come here and brag about the progress and then slack off with her training. Not going to to that this time :)

You're so honest! You're gonna stay "on the wagon" this time:tongue23:

I knew she would turn around. She's had so much positive training in the past that she has a fantastic foundation to build on. Keep the updates coming.
 

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Wow, all this hard work will pay off. Keep it up you and Chi are doing excellent!!
 

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KEEP ON GOING!!! :dancing_b Just to give you some perspective it took my girl a good year to stop chasing Asians!!! She does it once in a blue moon but I keep a close eye on her and with constant training I can stop her in her tracks.

You will win and have a wonderful dog. Kudos to you for keep working at it and not giving up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
MIA said:
KEEP ON GOING!!! :dancing_b Just to give you some perspective it took my girl a good year to stop chasing Asians!!! She does it once in a blue moon but I keep a close eye on her and with constant training I can stop her in her tracks.

You will win and have a wonderful dog. Kudos to you for keep working at it and not giving up!
LOL
I'm beginning to wonder what the trash guys think of me. Yesterday, there was only one guy working the truck, he had to drive and do all the loading. We were waiting for them to come and as soon as I saw the truck pull in the parking lot, we walked out to work on some obedience training in the side yard. It stinks because of the language barrier, I can't explain, "It's okay, I've got everything under control, I'm just trying to teach her not to eat you..." We stayed a decent distance away maybe 10 or 15 ft but he did not turn his back completely on use once and had at least one eye on us the whole time LOL.
I honestly think I'm going to ask one of my Japanese friends to write a little note that I can copy and hand to them that explains why I always come out with her when they come and ask them to just completely ignore her/us - at least for the time being.
 

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HaHa. That might be a good idea Tracy. Maybe they won't be so nervous around you if you let them know the reason. Asher was always really good with people, but I found out that for some reason he didn't like spanish speaking hispanics. He would sit in the car and growl at them if they spoke spanish. Never took his eyes off of them. If they spoke english he wouldn't care. Just if they spoke spanish. The weirest thing. I've had him since he was eight weeks old and have no clue what his issue was here. I just drove slowly around the part of the city closest to me with the most hispanic population until he got used to it. I would tell him to stop and sit. We would sit in parking lots while they walked by the car. They probably thought I was a lunatic. I don't speak spanish so I never could explain it to them. He still on rare occasions will let out a low growl. Mainly I think if he doesn't like the appearance and feels threatened when they are too close to the car. Then we do a quick stop. I think more out of protection though. Good luck :)
 

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Sorry I'm late, but don't beat yourself up for that Tracy. You have been a wonderful owner/trainer/companion to Chi and your continued hard work will def pay off.

As we all know that Dobies are natural protectors and most likely the best ones at it. Chi is growing up and is slowly trying to find her place in the pack and not necessarily as alpha but reacting to what her natural instincts are telling her to do. And yes our furry and sometimes fiery buddies do see "different people" as threats to their pack and react accordingly. By "different people" I mean people with beards, mustaches, turbans, hoodies, hats, short, tall, big, small, blue, red, black, brown, white, yellow...etc.

This is why I always make the initiative to go up to as many "different people" as possible and ask if they wouldn't mind petting her. I have also been through this situation with Princess once before and I guess it was a combination of a good teacher and a good student that I was able to make her stop and return to me.

So keep working on it Tracy and in due time Chi will go from a sometimes pain in the neck pretty girl to a calm and confident beautiful lady.

Good luck
Naveen
 

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I agree with you Desi. That is why it is always important to interact with as many different situations as possible. I think the spanish issue stemmed from being around something different. Where I used to live and he grew up, I dated a hispanic, so he was used to the culture, but it was a small southern community with not a lot of cultural mixutre. My ex was not a spanish speaking family. That or he hates him that much :) Take your pick. It is hard sometimes to find all the possible "triggers" so to say that may upset your dog.
 

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Duchess was socialized as a puppy wonderfully with us...but she still barks at "suspicious (sp)" people when wearing sunglasses...she is use to seeing people with sunglasses...but when there combined with...a weird slow walk...or stuff...its not the same as JUST sunglasses or JUST a weird slow walk. Things or triggers show up all the time that may upset your dog...and eventually...she will most likely bark and warn you still but she will warm up to them or whats happening more quickly and have a better judge of character or situations.

even with coco...he is 2 years old...and I think wow he has already improved at the dog park wearing his muzzle...and he still has his whole life ahead of him and so much time that in coco's case he will start feeling safe in the world.
 
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