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Thread: Dog training problems and related issues

  1. #41
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    Dec 2010
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    I was told to take Little Bit out 15 minutes after she eats. Maybe a timer.

  2. #42
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    What a great thread! I read through it all, just to see if my questions/concerns were addressed. (They weren't.)

    Both issues involve a 7-year-old Scottie, and we got her as a puppy. We even paid for additional puppy training, and she's been great till now.

    We recently relocated to be near family (2 grandsons now!) and these issues have come up since then. I need to note that we moved here after our daughter's family moved here, meaning, our dogs were already used to them before we moved.

    1. Most critical - Kenzie "snapped" at our 4-year-old grandson for no obvious reason (no actual bite or anything that we could tell) about three months ago. Even with no obvious physical injury, he cried for a long time and now he's afraid of all dogs. Not just ours. We also have a very happy and harmless 10-year-old Beagle (Sadie), so he wants nothing to do with her either. It's sad watching his hesitation to even come into our home, when the dogs come to greet him. (They don't jump on him.)

    We watch Kenzie constantly (well, both of them) when the boys are around, and usually just keep them separated. But now, our 1-year-old grandson has decided that he loves dogs and constantly wants to pet them. Sadie's fine with that, loves it actually. Kenzie just goes off to her bed most of the time. But we have noticed on a few occasions, with both dogs resting in their dog beds (not in their crates), Kenzie will start to growl when the younger GS approaches. So we separate them, meaning the dogs go out or into their crates with the doors latched.

    Of course we're fearful that something could set Kenzie off any time, and with potentially serious results, but we don't want to end up with the younger GS unable to play at all with them and maybe having him end up fearful too. We'd like both boys to develop a love and respect for dogs, but obviously our grandsons' safety is paramount here.

    Is all that confusing? Hope you know what I mean.

    How can we - or CAN WE - train Kenzie not to growl or snap or bite at all?

    2 - Kenzie has now decided that she has a taste for books. So far, hard-backed, OLD (antique, valuable) books that she removes from the bottom shelves of the bookcases. She has literally removed and consumed pages as well as covers of several of these books!

    I keep the books on the lowest shelves because of their weight, so I can't really move them all up to higher shelves.

    This evening, her tummy rebelled and she threw up many pages of these tomes. I do know this could lead to bowel or other GI obstructions, which we'd like to avoid.

    I have been searching for a reason why she would start doing this after all this time, but the reason I'm finding is *boredom.* I have a hard time buying that, since her daily routine has not changed at all. I also have not found anything linking this to any kind of nutritional deficiency, which is what I initially suspected, as is common in humans with odd cravings.

    Is it time to find another home for Kenzie (or both of them)??? They are fine with just us - two old farts living a very boring, quiet life - until the boys come over.

    Any advice would be most appreciated!

  3. #43
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    That's a tough one. I suspect (addressing the easier problem first) the book chewing is a sign of insecurity, rather than boredom (if the dog wasn't bored before it's unlikely to be now) There *could* be physical issues involved, though (I currently have a teething puppy who LOVES paper.. we constantly have to redirect him into less destructive avenues)

    The simplest way to solve this is to get some of the bitter spray they sell and give the books a good coating- I've used it on books, furniture (including antiques) etc with absolutely no visible effects, save the dogs simply won't touch it once they get a taste. Of course, I'd try it on one small area of any truly valuable book- although anything with great value probably ought to be moved to a higher bookshelf for now, despite the inconvenience.

    The problem with the kids is much bigger, and may not be easily solvable... well, let's say it may not be solvable in the way you'd like, with the dogs able to be free at all times when the children are visiting.

    Scotties are unfortunately not known for their tolerance with children; while individual dogs (obviously) vary, this dog hasn't been habituated to the *constant* movement, noise and "displacement" children cause. He's clearly showing that he does feel displaced (obviously, the grandchildren ARE going to get more attention than the dogs while they are visiting!)

    What I would do is start asserting your dominance (you MUST be the pack leader, but most of us who have dogs as pets, without a clear need for them to obey instantly, often let a lot of little things slide, so the dog starts believing they're the boss) without the kids there. This means YOU go through doors first (make the dog sit and stay - I use "wait", as mentioned above- and only after you are well past the doorway, do you call them through).

    Food doesn't get put down until the dog "earns" it by sitting or laying down on command.. and they must stay in the sit or down until you release them. If you are used to feeding the dogs at the same time you eat (a common practice, to keep the dogs from "pestering" you at mealtime), STOP. Humans eat first... the dogs are then fed afterwards. This establishes you as the benevolent leader, from which all good things come- or don't come, if they aren't properly submissive.

    If you're already doing this, and the dog is just grumpy, I apologize- but I know how easy it is to get "sloppy" in the pack hierarchy, especially when there seems to be no harm in it.

    We currently have a pack of four dogs, and it's been highly instructive to watch how the adult dogs (including two who are barely out of puppyhood themselves, at 18 months old) dominate the pup (going on 4 months)... even if they aren't hungry, when I put food down for him, they immediately physically drive him away from the food and eat a few bites; he's only allowed to eat after they are "done"! (and they will physically force him to the ground and stand on him if he "dares" try to sneak a bite!)

    The same thing goes on when I let the mostly-outdoor dogs in the house; Dixie, the English Shepherd bitch is the only true house dog, but the others are let in daily for anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, for socialization, training in house manners, and, in the case of the pup, potty training) EVERY TIME- even though they all may have been playing happily and apparently as equals outdoors five minutes earlier- Dixie will have all three of the outside dogs dominated and on their backs... after which they all get along just fine!

    Until you're sure the Scotty is understanding his "place" in the pack, it will be necessary to crate him when the kids are visiting... but hopefully, this won't take long, because that is likely to breed resentment in the dog (the less subordinate he sees his "place" in your pack, the more resentful he's likely to be)

    Once you are sure you've got control over the dog, it's time to start socializing with the kids. It would be best if you could enlist the aid of the four year old in helping with this (the baby is just too young)... if not, maybe you can "borrow" another preschooler who isn't afraid of dogs to help!

    I'd put the dog in a sit/stay, when the child arrives on the other side of the door. For a bit, insist on them knocking rather than simply entering your house (assuming your household is like ours- when our kids visit, in the unlikely instance that we didn't notice their arrival, they'd just come inside the house). Have the child hold a treat, and greet them in a normal- non effusive- manner, making sure the dog stays where they are (I'd have them about 10 feet away from the door if that's possible). If necessary, use a leash to enforce the "stay".

    Once the child is inside, and the door is closed, then you have the child call the dog to them, and tell them to "sit" in front of them. Again, you- as pack leader- enforce the commands if necessary. ("enforce" means to use whatever means necessary to get the dog to come, or to sit- none of this should be in a harsh manner, but simply tugging the dog to you on a leash, or pushing their butt into a sit.. in a matter of fact manner)

    When the dog is sitting in front of the child, they should praise him and offer a treat.

    The growling when their beds are approached is "territorial" guarding... this is actually fairly dangerous, as if the baby disregards the growls, the next step may be a nip- and you've already seen the psychological effects on the older boy from that.

    If the children are visiting at feeding time (or anywhere close), letting the child do the feeding- with close, appropriate supervision- will help. Again, the dog must sit or lay down, and STAY, until the food is placed and they are released. This places the child in a position of dominance over the dog. At this time, they are acting more like the kids are undisciplined puppies (normal, but not desirable!)

    At 7 years old, your Scotty isn't an "old" dog by any means, but he's settling into middle age, and changes are likely not welcomed- and there have been a LOT of changes, with a new home, etc. The dog is likely seeing the children as a threat in his 'new territory", which he's not completely secure in, yet.

    A few other ideas- keep the dog's beds and feeding areas out of the main traffic areas of the house- we have a mudroom, where we can feed, and even confine our dogs, if necessary. This prevents some of the "territorial" guarding, which can extend to "strangers" walking towards them on their beds, or even by the food dishes- even if there isn't any food there at the time.

    Rehoming should be the very last resort, but it *may* end up being necessary if your Scotty simply can't deal with children in the home. I'd try the above suggestions for at least a few months (confining the dogs to prevent problems when the kids are visiting) and see if there's any improvement.

    Summerthyme

  4. #44
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    If anyone is still looking for a good Border Collie training book for sheep dog work, I would recommend Derek Scrimgeour's book, "Talking Sheepdogs." You can get a paperback version for around $17 on amazon. Derek's dog Laddie was the 2008 English National Champion and I have two of Laddie's sons. Derek is a good teacher and a good trainer and explains his special way of training with diagrams, etc. He also has several DVDs out there.

  5. #45
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    Thanks for the share, cleosbcs.

    Looks like a good book.

    Since we don't have a herd(except for a few chickens and ducks) we're looking at ways to fulfill Mollie's breeding and instincts
    Plato once said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools, because they have to say something.”

    "Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." "Men willingly believe what they wish to believe."
    Julius Caesar

  6. #46
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    I have Alaskan Huskies they are a mix bred for sled dog racing. I have been breeding them since 1984. They are very smart and easy to train except when it comes to a leash. When pulling the sled I control them by voice command and sometimes pointing in the direction I want them to go.

    I only have 3 at present and they all live in the house, they are litter mates 2 males and one female. I have a crate that I use when Dot comes into heat as we don't want her bred by her brothers (she isn't into it either). When I bring her in I open the crate door and tell her to go to "Dot's House" she runs to the crate and I shut the door. She likes the crate and if one of her brothers puts their head in the crate she tries to rip their face off.

    We have one dog that is a talker, he was born talking and he even talks in his sleep Tyrone marches to a different drummer. When people come over he either runs into another room and barks if he doesn't like then. If he likes the person he stands up and puts one paw on each shoulder and looks them in them in the eye (tall dog). He doesn't put any pressure on the person with his paws. This is an immediate decision on his part whether he likes someone or not so I worn people when they come in.

    I have tried stepping on his toes and everything else and none of it works but he is a great sled dog which is his job. He is the low dog on the totem pole, Journey is the alpha male and Dot is the Alpha Alpha of the dogs. Tyrone has a lot of issues he has to deal with in the pack, this probably accounts for some of his actions but at least there are no fights.
    Some people are only alive because there are laws against killing them.

  7. #47
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    Are you still on Mountain Men?
    They didn't give you a lot of exposure
    Plato once said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools, because they have to say something.”

    "Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." "Men willingly believe what they wish to believe."
    Julius Caesar

  8. #48
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    No I am not on the show and glad of it. I learned a lot about reality TV and the main thing was I don't want to do reality TV. I was real Cooperative so that was one reason I am no longer on the show.

    My dog Dot is not starving to death she always has a full bowl of food and water. She is thin because she is a himSiberian, Greyhound, Whippet, Coyote and Border Collie mix. I bred these dogs for speed, strength, intelligence, endurance and friendliness.

    Some of the comments by the people who watch the show thought I had no control over the dogs (they have never driven a dog team) and that I abused them. I had to borrow 3 dogs from a friend because I had to take Gilbert on a one way trip to the vet he started having seizures.

    My 3 dogs slept in the tipi with me and the one night it hit -30 Dot slept in the sleeping bag with me. The 3 dogs I borrowed all had coats to wear and straw for bedding plus they were sheltered in the trees these were outside sled dogs. When Tyrone tore up the tipi it was the first time Tyrone ever had separation anxiety.

    When I lived in Colorado Channel 9 News out of Denver Colorado came up to the cabin and filmed me for 3 days, it was much better than what the History Channel did. The camera man rode on the sled and filmed all the action from there.

    So I am back to trapping, teaching (winter survival, trapping, primitive crafts and skills) writing for magazines and trying to finish my never ending book.
    Some people are only alive because there are laws against killing them.

  9. #49
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    I missed your reply before.
    That's interesting.
    I guess they have to script and do all kinds of things.

    There are very dumb people that have opinions that aren't qualified to have them

    No one who relies on dogs (for example) to survive is going to mistreat them.
    Just wanted to say I enjoyed seeing you on the show.
    Plato once said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools, because they have to say something.”

    "Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." "Men willingly believe what they wish to believe."
    Julius Caesar

  10. #50
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    Default Training boundaries and borders

    Looking for suggestions on how to train Molly the Collie her boundaries.
    Specifically, off the road.
    We live on a back road with not a lot of traffic but some of it goes pretty fast.

    Molly will run right out on the road.
    It seems that she went on adventure the other day and took off.
    Fortunately, a neighbor was home and helped catch her.
    But she went a ways to get there.

    Daughter wants to get a shock collar but I'm not ready to do that yet
    Plato once said, “Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools, because they have to say something.”

    "Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." "Men willingly believe what they wish to believe."
    Julius Caesar

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