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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I let my son take Toby out for a walk whilst I prepared Sunday Dinner. I admit, normally, I am the one who takes him for his walks not my son but today I thought to myself, what is the harm. What a mistake that was.
First he forgot to put him his muzzle on.
Then he forgot to take his leash.
This might not have been a problem save for the fact that he ran into someone who was out for a walk. Yea gods we live on a mountain with a road that goes no where and these people with dog in tow were wandering around and of course because I wasnt there Toby decided to take umbridge.
Suddenly he took off and started to bark at them moving quite close in the process.
My son shouted and shouted at him as he ran forward to get to him. He was terrified he was going to do an Atticus (I have been telling him about the story). Now whilst I must stress Toby simply stood and barked fact is, we all know a Dobe barking at you is a pretty scary sight. So in panic my son thinking to get his attention picked up a small stone and threw it at Toby's bottom. It was enough to stop him mid bark and to make him turn around at which point my son managed to get to his side, grab him by the scruff of the neck and drag him away.
Immediately he apologised profusely to the people and of course he received a royal ticking off followed by them saying Toby should have been wearing a muzzle. Yes by law here in Spain he should, but what I think is more important is Toby should have listened to my son when he shouted "No!" followed by "Come!" and "Leave it!" . But he didnt. My son said he just didnt listen. This is something new. Now whilst he doesnt listen to anyone outside the family he has always listened to my husband and son when they tell him something, but just this morning my husband called him and he failed to respond, instead he only stopped doing what he was doing when I spoke to him.
Do you guys have any advice as to how I can overcome this problem before it becomes more major than it is already.

:thanx:
 

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The only thing I can think of is for you to take a step back, and let them do everything with him for a while. I know that Lucky and Ilka will respond better to be than my husband or kids, just because I work with them more, and they know I mean business.
 

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Well, of course there is the standard advice:
1. Never use a command unless you are in the position to enforce it--use the leash.
2. Don't yell at a dog and expect him to come; when he does finally come throw a party (even if you're ready to kill him)--don't continue to yell.
3. In a pinch (supposing you have no means of control; the dog is ignoring you) Make it fun for him to come instead of ordering him to--carry food and/or a tennis ball in your pocket--make sure he knows it is there; toss a toy up in the air and invite him to come get it; whoop and run away--get him to chase you; be happy, happy, happy--use a squeaky "come see me" voice; make him think you have some food (pretend to eat it); examine something rather interesting (imaginary, even) you see on the ground--pick it up and really look at it--eat it; lie down on the ground and invite him to play......

But all that stuff means you have to play the fool in front of other uncomprehending people and I'm not too good at it. I imagine, too, that it is more likely to work with a dog that is simply pursuing his fun rather than one who is alerted by a stranger or possible danger.

I will often carry tidbits (kibble, even) and call the dogs to come at random throughout the walk just to get them turning toward me in a reflex thing whenever I call them. I also try my darn hardest to reserve a really severe loud NO! only for emergency times like you describe, so they startle and turn toward me--then I can call them in with my happy voice.

Perhaps your other family members have slacked off in giving praise and rewards for good behavior so that Toby gets more negatives for listening (gets put back on leash, gets put in crate, has to give up a toy--that sort of thing) and has decided it's not worth it?

At least Toby got away from this without harm to himself or others and I bet your son won't forget the muzzle and leash for a bit.
 

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Another little addition--I've found that when a dog alerts at something suspicious in the distance, he is likely to interpret your yelling at him in a negative way--as if it means that you are angry and suspicious too--and for the same reason he is. He is then even more likely to add his voice to yours, so to speak, and gets even more aroused by whatever it is that made him alert in the first place.

He won't necessarily understand that you are yelling at HIM for his negative behavior. And he escalates the situation rather than calming down.
 

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Has your son practiced any commands with Toby? If not, I wouldn't necessarily expect Toby to listen. Dogs aren't good at generalizing. That means that they take into account lots of cues in the environment as being "part of" the command. It's hard for dogs to learn that "sit" means "sit" in all circumstances, not just in the living room when you are standing directly in front of them. They need lots of practice in lots of different environments to generalize the command, meaning they understand that "sit" always means "sit" whether you are lying on the ground, standing on your head, whatever. So if your son hasn't practiced with Toby, there's a good chance he won't understand that the commands still apply.

You've also mentioned, I think, that Toby can be a bit reactive or fearful. If I'm remembering that correctly, then Toby was really set up to fail in this situation and you are pretty lucky that nothing actually happened. Toby saw the strangers and immediately went over his threshold, which meant he physically wasn't able to respond to commands because of his anxiety over the situation. Things were then escalated when he was grabbed by the scruff and dragged off. This could really set him back and make him even more wary of strangers, as he now has another negative association with strangers - he gets grabbed and dragged.

Honestly, your son really should not have set out without the leash in the first place. I'm sorry if it sounds harsh, but for Toby's safety, he should have come back home. I don't know how old your son is, but I would make sure the new policy is 100% leash NO MATTER WHAT.

I think everyone should probably do some more training with Toby so that he understands that commands should be obeyed no matter who they come from.
 

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Read more here & study fully: Leerburg | The Theory of Corrections in Dog Training

Since the early 1990's there has been a movement in the dog training world which promotes strictly motivational methods to train dogs. Some people call this clicker training others, like ourselves, call it marker training. The purists in clicker training don’t feel corrections are ever needed.

I would have to agree to disagree with those people. 99% of all dogs are going to need corrections to maintain consistency under distraction.

Determining when corrections are introduced, what type of correction are used and how they are applied results in how effective they will be in your training.

The wrong kind of correction, or a poorly timed correction, or even the lack of correction results in inconsistent training and poor communications with our dogs. This article will attempt to explore the world of corrections in dog training...............................>>

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Toby'shuman - for on/off leash OB:
I have never used treats and my commands are tested & proofed to "level 10" distractions, so I know how my dog will react and listen to my voice.
- while all dogs would like to work with reward based training, physical/positive corrections have a place in discourgaging BASIC commands that the dog tends to blow-off and ultimately for its own safety & handler control...much more is needed / and maybe something added or changed in the program
- remember, dog training may seem like 1 step forward and 2 steps back...as the foundation, needs more work
 

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To get a dog's attention, you have to come in at a higher level of intensity than they're operating at. If the dog is at level five, the minimum level of intensity you're going to need to operate at is level 6.

I'm not excusing what Toby did at all, but it's also totally possible your son just doesn't have the skills to be even noticed by Toby when the dog is on full alert, barking at another dog.
 

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Read more here & study fully: Leerburg | The Theory of Corrections in Dog Training

Since the early 1990's there has been a movement in the dog training world which promotes strictly motivational methods to train dogs. Some people call this clicker training others, like ourselves, call it marker training. The purists in clicker training don’t feel corrections are ever needed.

I would have to agree to disagree with those people. 99% of all dogs are going to need corrections to maintain consistency under distraction.

Determining when corrections are introduced, what type of correction are used and how they are applied results in how effective they will be in your training.



The wrong kind of correction, or a poorly timed correction, or even the lack of correction results in inconsistent training and poor communications with our dogs. This article will attempt to explore the world of corrections in dog training...............................>>

***********************************************

Toby'shuman - for on/off leash OB:
I have never used treats and my commands are tested & proofed to "level 10" distractions, so I know how my dog will react and listen to my voice.
- while all dogs would like to work with reward based training, physical/positive corrections have a place in discourgaging BASIC commands that the dog tends to blow-off and ultimately for its own safety & handler control...much more is needed / and maybe something added or changed in the program
- remember, dog training may seem like 1 step forward and 2 steps back...as the foundation, needs more work
That is why I say not to use a command unless you are in a position to make sure it is obeyed by using your leash or whatever--according to what level your dog's training has reached. What I wrote was aimed toward what to do when a dog is out of reach and out of your control and needs to be brought back into your range on a sort of emergency basis.

Food should not be your only method of control, but I don't think it should be shunned either. Whatever positive gets a dog's attention puts him in a place to learn--that may be different for different dogs. Once you are sure the dog knows a certain command, then you can work on it under different circumstances, and that would include proofing him in all kinds of conditions.

I've told the story before, but once my dog decided he did not have to obey me when I called him to come from across a large field--he settled himself on the ground and watched me narrowly, with sort of a "make me" look on his face.

So I yelled, I stomped, I stormed toward him complaining and calling him bad names as I came--you could see doubt building in his eyes and his ears start to flicker back and forth. When I was about half way there, he started squirming slightly, and I stopped and called him again, in my happy voice.

He came in at a full gallop, relieved that he knew what to do to avoid getting into the trouble he was sure was coming. I always like to give them a way to think their way out of a situation and to win (while doing what I asked them to do).

But words being inexact things, it's hard to cover all the bases in an explanation which is aimed toward one situation.
 

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One time my dogs (2) were running in a field fenced on 3 sides of course they started running to the unfenced area I called them once they did not come.So I screamed my male dogs name and laid down on the ground he was oldest also had a CGC,& CD but was having too much fun. Well I heard them coming they could not get to Mom fast enough they trampled me. This was what I call a emergency situation you can maybe use it once or twice at most. If you used any more often they would just think oh Mom just laying on the ground again. They were safe from the street they were headed for thats all I cared about at the time.
Looks like if the age is right Toby may be a teenager so that maybe his problem, around my house if you do not listen you get put back on the leash or long line until you listen every time.Good Luck training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In all honesty I do everything with Toby, I train him, I walk him, I feed him, I am his rock when he becomes agitated (not meaning to sound bigheaded here) I take him out in the car, I take him to the vet, I am his cuddle mama.
My husband and son rarely do anything with him, occasionally my son takes him for a walk but that is it. His excuse is, Toby is my dog, which he is. But sometimes it isnt possible or convenient for me to take Toby a walk so I ask my son to take him and up until yesterday it hadn't been a problem. However, now it seems it is because suddenly he decided not to listen (of all the times) to my son and barked at strangers on our mountain.
I agree wholeheartedly my son should have had a leash and boy have I given him a ticking off for not having one, and yes as unpleasant as it is Toby should have been muzzled and for sure we and I include myself in this should have made sure we were ready for anything like this to happen because Toby is so reactive. Thing is, I have been so pleased with Toby of late, telling my husband and son how good he has been whilst out walking, training etc I think perhaps I coloured my sons view of things.
The fault is mine I know this, not Toby's. I should have put the dinner on hold and taken him for his evening walk and not palmed off the responsibility on my son. (who is an adult by the way, but all the same). I know all dogs occasionally try it on, even the best trained dog can and does (you should see my friends Malinois taking the pee out of her at times refusing to sit, lay down etc just because he feels that way and he is doing his BH next week). and in an ideal world Toby would listen to my son and my husband in the same way as he does me, but neither are really willing to put the time in with him. My son because he isn't really interested and my husband because he is ill with Severe Clinical Depression as well as phsyical disabilities (all of which are due to an accident) which means he can no longer walk the dogs because his sense of balance amongst other things has been damaged. Now whilst Toby doesnt pull on the leash he does occasionally bump into your legs which unfortunately sends my husband off balance so we made a conscious decision to not put my hubby or Toby in the position where he might fall over Toby.
I must sound like I am making excuses, I guess in a way I am, but it really comes as such a shock when one minute your dog is pretty good about doing what he is told (when being told by other members of the family) and suddenly he isnt listening to them in the least. I guess I could blame it on the Doberteens thing, Toby is 16 months old now and in truth occasionally he pushes his luck with me, standing there looking, weighing up the score as to whether or not he has to do as I ask or not. But usually he comes around to my way of thinking when he sees Mummy is not best pleased. But to outright ignore my son, this is a new one and scary to boot.

Thank you everyone for your insight and advice. I am going to try and get my son to do some training with Toby and involve my husband a little more if only to get him to feel confident that Toby is going to listen to him.

By the way, I do reward Toby for being a good boy, usually with treats, however, I do not do this all the time, occasionally I will call him to me and give him a treat, then at other times I call him and just praise him. This way he does not know what to expect and so doesnt become complacent when responding to me. It is the way I have always trained all of my dogs but seeing as Toby is my first Dobe do you guys think this is right way to go?
Might sound like a daft question, but in truth Toby is like no other dog I have ever owned before or been around.
 

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...........................
Thank you everyone for your insight and advice. I am going to try and get my son to do some training with Toby and involve my husband a little more if only to get him to feel confident that Toby is going to listen to him.

By the way, I do reward Toby for being a good boy, usually with treats, however, I do not do this all the time, occasionally I will call him to me and give him a treat, then at other times I call him and just praise him. This way he does not know what to expect and so doesnt become complacent when responding to me. It is the way I have always trained all of my dogs but seeing as Toby is my first Dobe do you guys think this is right way to go?
Might sound like a daft question, but in truth Toby is like no other dog I have ever owned before or been around.
I would suggest buying a "cuz" toy in the smallest size and keep in your pocket.
It has a really good squeeker, maybe you can sound it...to get Toby's eye focus/attention more, while training.

Also, put Toby on a 50 ft leash, command him "TOBY COME" and if he doesn't...real him in.
Plus if you can whisle loud, play hide & seek in the woods, and use a natural 2-finger whistle...to get him running to you...can become a fun game, and the dog doesn't even know Mom is working him, b/c it all much fun.

Sorry to hear, your son doesn't have the same pet lover/interest as yourself - he could have been a great asset to help you.
- and good training schools in Spain, are few and far between / which doesn't help any
I wish you all the best, with your buddy Toby.

P.S.
I gave you my candid opinion above - because you need all personal view points (given very limited options, in your area) to consider.
 
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