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Any ideas/advice for teaching respect to a difficult dog?
11-27-12 | Vanity

Posted on 11/27/2012 5:52:50 AM PST by needmorePaine

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To: needmorePaine

>On the advice of the trainer, we have tried feeding her a portion of her meals by “scatter feeding,”<

Heh. I like your trainer. I use a similar technique with a Norwegian Elkhound, also a hunting breed. I scatter a portion of her food over obstacles like a ladder and a tunnel, letting her track for the food. She loves this game and she is extremely good at using her nose.


51 posted on 11/27/2012 7:59:08 AM PST by Darnright ("I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
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To: needmorePaine
We had a toddler on phenobarb for a time and it was difficult so I'm not sure regular dog rules will apply. However, if you were talking about any old dog, I'd say you need to show her who's boss (you and the kids). Have you tried the pennies or dimes in the soda can? If not, try it - put a little duct tape on top of the cans with the pennies in them and keep the cans around the house. If you see her doing something like counter surfing, shake a can and say, "NO!" loudly and firmly .

My dogs through the years have been pretty well behaved, but if the dog is breaking the rules in front of me, it either means the dog doesn't understand the rules or else thinks it's in charge. Either way, the tin can and pennies is a sharp enough reprimand to get your message across.

I'd recommend reading the Monks of New Skete to get a handle on your dog's psychology. I have always corrected my German Shepherds with a little tug to the back of their necks, the same way a mother dog would correct them. I did have one very alpha Shepherd a few years back who required the occasional shakedown (as shown in the book by the Monks of New Skete), but for the most part, the tin cans and the correction on the back of the neck for the first few months they live in my home has kept all my Shepherds in line over the years.

52 posted on 11/27/2012 7:59:19 AM PST by old and tired
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To: FrankR
I tried the water gun trick (actually a squirt bottle) on our new Sheltie last year, and it only makes her angry, and she not only barks at the water bottle, she tries to eat the stream of water. She does the same to the garden hose, running under the water stream and biting at it, trying to bite the nozzle, and even the faucet when I’m turning on the water.

Squirting has done absolutely nothing for us. Our dog also eats the stream of water. She can get a squirt right between the eys and not respond. It may work for some dogs, but it means nothing to others.

Otherwise, this dog is pretty good - and smart - and doesn’t chew things up, but she barks at EVERYTHING. When I sneeze, it sends her into a barking frenzy.

Our dog is thankfully not a constant barker. She will bark at strangers, but she stops with a word from us. She does react to sneezing but not by barking. When I sneeze she runs over and wants to jump up on me and sniff my nose.

53 posted on 11/27/2012 8:01:35 AM PST by needmorePaine
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To: Darnright
Does this dog have a crate? When she gets obnoxious, she needs a time-out, given in a matter-of-fact, unemotional way.

I'm a big believer in crating a dog, and sometimes dogs do need to calm down in a crate, but I'd be careful not to use the crate as a punishment. A crate is like the dog's cave. A dog should always feel safe in his cage.

54 posted on 11/27/2012 8:07:16 AM PST by old and tired
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To: MyDogAteMyBallot
I have to disagree. Dogs are pack animals and they're seeking an alpha. If they don't find one, they're going to try to be alpha. Full disclosure, my dogs have primarily been German Shepherds over the years, so what's true for them may not be true for all dogs.

I don't know that I've ever owned an aggressive dog - I've certainly owned assertive dogs. Not a one of them has been mean. I do think there is a danger in telling people they need to be the alpha dog that they think that means they can bully the dog and so in that sense what you're saying may be true. But a good leader doesn't need to be a bully. My dogs have submitted to me over the years because they have loved and respected me.

55 posted on 11/27/2012 8:24:52 AM PST by old and tired
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To: needmorePaine

I’m not sure if this will help, but we used Tabasco sauce to train our wolf type dog not to play bite and not to bother the cat. If your dog doesn’t like the hot sauce, a little drop will do as a training tool. When our wolf type dog starts playing too rough or getting a stuffed object that isn’t one of his toys, the word “SAUCE” will usually do the trick. ...It only works if they don’t like the hot sauce. We recently acquired a little Boston terrier/pit bull mix from neighbors who didn’t want to keep him chained up, and he is happy to eat the hot sauce. Luckily, he is a sweetheart who learns well without it.


56 posted on 11/27/2012 8:51:09 AM PST by pallis
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To: MyDogAteMyBallot

I’m not offended, but I also disagree.

Cesar’s methods have worked great on our stubborn Pit.


57 posted on 11/27/2012 8:56:22 AM PST by mom4melody
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To: old and tired

You are correct—a good leader is what dogs need (clear communication of expectations, structure, consistency, etc.)
Leadership is what fosters the kind of relationship you have with your dogs. My view is that your dogs are following a good leader who is a very effective communicator, rather than submitting to your dominance.

You are also correct in that a breed’s temperament is definitely a factor in every aspect of training, so tone of voice, animation, choice of rewards, all need to be tailored to the temperament of individual dogs.

There are also definitely “normal” vs. “abnormal” behaviors in dogs and special care must be taken in working with abnormal dogs. There is usually a physiological basis (genetics, malnutrition, neurological damage at birth) for obsessive-compulsive, anxiety and other disorders seen in dogs, but the behavior can be exacerbated by poor early socialization and/or inappropriate training methods.

If you read more on dominance research, you will find that dogs are constantly switching roles in their packs, so even among dogs, dominance theory as commonly discussed among dog trainers does not hold.


58 posted on 11/27/2012 8:59:19 AM PST by MyDogAteMyBallot
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To: Monterrosa-24

I have had two English Springers in the past 20 years. My current one is 14 months old. He is extremely well behaved. Take my advice. Get an electronic training collar from GunDogSupply.com. It is fantastic. My dog is respectful because of it and very very happy.


59 posted on 11/27/2012 9:07:47 AM PST by AdaGray
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To: Cowgirl of Justice

That worked for me for about a week.
Then our dog started opening her mouth and trying to drink the stream of water.

She’s a real stinker


60 posted on 11/27/2012 9:10:49 AM PST by Scotswife
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To: Scotswife
Then our dog started opening her mouth and trying to drink the stream of water.

Our dogs have all done that with the hose. They're inevitably afraid at first of the hose. After a few minutes they're trying to drink it and purposely getting wet just so they can shake off in front of the screaming grandkids. ;)

61 posted on 11/27/2012 10:07:35 AM PST by old and tired
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To: old and tired

>given in a matter-of-fact, unemotional way.
I’d be careful not to use the crate as a punishment.<

Simply placing the dog, without emotion, in a crate when she is in a hyper-emotional (obnoxious) state is not punishment. It is removing her from the over-stimulation, which allows her to calm down.


62 posted on 11/27/2012 11:06:28 AM PST by Darnright ("I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives." - Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
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To: needmorePaine

Keep in mind that every seizure causes some brain trauma.

We went through that with Halla when we first got her.

The vets were more concerned with the possibility/level of brain damage from the seizures than her other issues.


63 posted on 11/27/2012 1:54:01 PM PST by Salamander (If animals could speak, mankind would weep.)
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To: needmorePaine

Some trainers resolve to choking the dog out. Not a good method for the unmindful.


64 posted on 11/27/2012 2:08:21 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: needmorePaine

Some trainers resolve to choking the dog out. Not a good method for the unmindful.


65 posted on 11/27/2012 2:08:21 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: needmorePaine

Some trainers resolve to choking the dog out. Not a good method for the unmindful.


66 posted on 11/27/2012 2:08:31 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: needmorePaine

Some trainers resolve to choking the dog out. Not a good method for the unmindful.


67 posted on 11/27/2012 2:08:40 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: needmorePaine

Some trainers resolve to choking the dog out. Not a good method for the unmindful.


68 posted on 11/27/2012 2:08:40 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: needmorePaine

Some trainers resolve to choking the dog out. Not a good method for the unmindful.


69 posted on 11/27/2012 2:08:50 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: needmorePaine

Some trainers resolve to choking the dog out. Not a good method for the unmindful.


70 posted on 11/27/2012 2:08:50 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: needmorePaine

Some trainers resolve to choking the dog out. Not a good method for the unmindful.


71 posted on 11/27/2012 2:08:50 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: needmorePaine

Some trainers resolve to choking the dog out. Not a good method for the unmindful.


72 posted on 11/27/2012 2:09:11 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: Gene Eric

Oops....


73 posted on 11/27/2012 2:10:49 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: needmorePaine

Not sure if this is going to help or not... however, we noticed a huge behavior change with our Boston Terrier after she went on anti-seizure medicine. She acted very out of character. She would start chewing/eating everything from her doggie bed, to socks, trash can liners, socks.. if she got a hold of it, she ate it. She also walked around “bug eyed”. I don’t know how else to explain it. If it was a human, I would describe it as giving the evil eye and being paranoid. The other two dogs picked up more on it and there were several tense moments.. simply because the other two assumed she was about to fight them. Long story short with us is we took her off the meds and she had seizures very infrequently. Granted, this is probably not your dog. It doesn’t sound like you can take her off the medications to see if her behavior improves. I guess in the end, you have to decide if this is something you can put up with for another five or six years or not. Either way, it isn’t an easy answer.

***does your dog seem to act out more prior to a seizure or just after one? If so, this may be an indicator of her brain going all bonkers. Not that it fixes anything.. but something to look out for.


74 posted on 11/27/2012 2:12:39 PM PST by momtothree
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To: needmorePaine

You may find it hard to place an epileptic dog. It also sounds like you already invested a lot of time and money in this dog.

What kind of training was tried?

You wrote that she gets a lot of exercise. Is her exercise just being allowed off leash or does someone throw a ball or interact with her in some way?

Many dogs don’t exercise on their own. They crave interaction. Take fifteen minutes and play with her in some vigorous way - throw a ball, pull on a rope, chase her, kick leaves, run with her, or anything else that leaves her panting. You can play scent games with her too.

Crate her for a part of the day, dinnertime would be good. Teach her to lie on her bed for an extended period of time with the down stay.

Set her up when someone comes to your house. Put a leash and prong collar on and let it trail. If she goes to jump, yank on the leash and yell no. You can warn your guest that you will be training your dog.

Keep your garbage covered or set her up for correction if she goes into it. Ditto the counter.

As to the children’s toys I might be on the dog’s side on that one. How is she supposed to know which items left on the floor are permissible to chew? Have your children put away their toys if they are not in the room.

What I am hearing is a dog who is bored and longing for attention. With a little effort her needs and yours can be met.


75 posted on 11/27/2012 3:51:15 PM PST by dervish (either the vote was corrupt or the electorate is)
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To: libertarian27

“Recently heard of a great trick for dogs that jump up on people for their greeting...

Cookie Sheet

Keep a cookie sheet by the door
When you or guests walk in - grab the cookie sheet first and put it up on your body where the dog usually lands, the dog apparently can’t stand it (fingernails on chalkboard)and won’t jump up (praise for ‘down’-’sit’)

It Works! “

****

Interesting.


76 posted on 11/27/2012 4:29:40 PM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: needmorePaine; MyDogAteMyBallot

You had a mostly-trained, young adult dog before epilepsy showed up with its consequent need for monitoring & medications. In the meantime, three very busy little youngins & all their accoutrements have arrived.

In kindness to the kids, your wife & the dog, please reread post 45 because that is what I was thinking: Both WRT to finding your buddy a new home & to asserting dominance. While I respect your commitment to this dog who may have a problem rehoming - I gotta go against my usual reflex here.

I really appreciate your efforts to rehab her behavior, but consider her age & need for those meds. If, as I believe, her impulse control is stifled by the meds, she could end up being a hazard to your children *or their visiting playmates* in the years to come. IMO (whatever a free one is worth, LOL) she would be best off in the home of an adult/s. Young as your kids are, that’s a lot of years of chewed clothes & playthings. Not nice to set up the sick doggie like that, is it?

I’m focusing on breaking bad habits, not lack of respect. In any pet household, covered trashcans too heavy to tip are a great start. Denial of opportunity - good. She’s either outside or crated when she can’t be *prevented* from unwanted behavior. Kongs & other chewies to keep her entertained while within. Cooperative guests ready to put a knee into doggie’s chest when she jumps - good. (Here’s where it gets tricky with small children running about...) Snappy mouse traps set on the counter edge to scare doggiewoggie - good. You can get plastic box types that don’t endanger little fingers, but I warn you’ll end up scaring yourself a few times with the noise. That’s the nature of the beast. See, that’s easier in a household of one adult, if only because there’s nobody else to get mad at after setting yourself up for a scare in a darkened kitchen, LOL.

Anything else you can think of to help her avoid a disciplinary situation altogether?

I mean no offense, but I seek clarification over the following from your post #27: “She walks well on leash. She no longer pulls and looks up at me rather than constantly sniffing the ground.” Sometimes the constant sniffing interferes with a dedicated exercise session. However, the variety of scents outside the homeyard also enriches a dog’s life. You seem to have a good grasp on your dog’s needs, but for whatever reason it struck me funny, as if she’s studying your face to see if she’s goofed up again.

My epileptic’s seizures were completely controlled by phenobarb. Despite yearly monitoring, her liver plummeted quickly once it decided to give up. But she died suddenly before her liver could kill her. The necropsy revealed that she’d eaten a plastic bag (probably former food packaging) which caught in her lower stomach and bound up her system like a drawstring purse. Horrible death. Please learn from my mistake with my dog. Deny the opportunity.

My epi dog was a sweatheart, but sometimes her eyes reflected light in a freaky way. Other ppl noticed that too, not just “dog ppl”. I assumed it was neurons pinging short of throwing her into a fit. Might not hurt to consult human epi patients to get their take on the aftereffects of a seizure. As it was described to me, the after-seizure is very similar between species, right down to disorientation & temporary amnesia.


77 posted on 11/28/2012 11:01:00 AM PST by Titan Magroyne (What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.)
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To: Titan Magroyne
I mean no offense, but I seek clarification over the following from your post #27: “She walks well on leash. She no longer pulls and looks up at me rather than constantly sniffing the ground.” Sometimes the constant sniffing interferes with a dedicated exercise session. However, the variety of scents outside the homeyard also enriches a dog’s life. You seem to have a good grasp on your dog’s needs, but for whatever reason it struck me funny, as if she’s studying your face to see if she’s goofed up again.

When she was a pup/young dog, her first instinct was to put her nose to the ground and zig-zag and pull me forward, back, and to the side. That's what a Springer is bred to do, especially the zig-zagging. We now have her walking at heel and periodically "checking in" with a look up at me. I'm not constantly watching her to see if she does it, but I can see that she is doing it from the corner of my eye. Even though there are many distractions, her attention returns to me, which is what I want.

I will stop at times during the walk and let her sniff the ground, fire hydrants, curbs, etc. I agree that she needs to encounter scents outside the home and yard, so she gets short sniff breaks.

The larger garbage can is now in the garage, with a smaller one under the sink, so we've denied that opportunity. We use the yard and crate often, and in the yard, she gets a mix of interaction with us and time on her own.

We've set up traps for her before to combat counter surfing. We tied a piece of bread--which she LOVES for some reason--to pot lids and empty cans and left it on the counter, hoping she would be frightened by the resulting crash on the tile floor when she tried to walk off with the morsel. She of course decided to just leave her paws on the counter and nibble away at the bread until it was gone, leaving the trap unsprung.

Thankfully, she has avoided the plastic bags, but she did down a couple baby wipes, which caused some bad diarrhea and necessitated some "assistance" in getting them to pass, but she got over that. The baby wipes are never within reach now.

Impulse control is probably the best way of describing what we want from her, and I agree it may be difficult to achieve because of the side effects of the phenobarb. Some extremely long stays last night got the incessant pacing under control.

78 posted on 11/28/2012 12:07:49 PM PST by needmorePaine
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To: dervish
RE: Exercise
She gets a mix of time on her own to roam about off-leash and time to interact with us. Aside from walks, she plays fetch, does tricks, and jumps through a hula hoop.
I tried to get her to catch a frisbee, but she seems uninterested.
79 posted on 11/28/2012 12:25:49 PM PST by needmorePaine
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To: needmorePaine

My really hard cases have been terrier mixes and shepherding mixes—both of which need work as stimulus (like field dogs) but terriers and shepherds will also stare at their master for commands—so eye contact works very well with them. No harm trying, I guess. Our Newfie/Lab cross will automatically look away if I tell her NO, but then she can’t look the cat in the eye, and the cat is smaller than her head. Like all labs, she’s kind of dopey.


80 posted on 11/28/2012 6:43:16 PM PST by grellis (I am Jill's overwhelming sense of disgust.)
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To: needmorePaine

Ah, thanks for answering me on the walking issue. Not familiar w/ ESS traits, I hadn’t even considered her instincts.

This conversation has me rethinking how I handled my epi dog’s appetite on the phenobarb, tho it’s nine years too late for her. I did treat her sudden garbage raids as a disciplinary issue. By that time, she’d been on the pheno for 4, 5 years. The vet had recommended I switch her from hi protein to a maintenance diet, plus I began feeding in spurts rather than continued browsing at her pace. At seven or so, she was past her prime and began to resemble a log on four legs as senior labs often do. Major regrets right now.

I couldn’t help chuckling at your dog’s cleverness as a “bread winner.” Too smart by half!

The current lab will not try that at home but at my best friend’s house it’s another story. There, the kitchen is on a different floor from where we dine. We’ve learned to stash cookery in the oven or back of the stove & blocked w/ tall pots, before retiring upstairs with our meals. Fresh cornbread and the remainder of a roll of sausage have disappeared down her gullet (also the tastiests spots of papertowel on which it drained), & she hasn’t even the brains to be ashamed later!

Your dog’s pacing, I dunno. Sounds like OCD or maybe just a need to stretch large muscle groups, could be either. With the kids so small yet, she might need a fellow canine playmate to thump around with. Not that doggie thumping is what you want after the kiddos have been tucked neatly into bed...


81 posted on 11/29/2012 12:43:00 AM PST by Titan Magroyne (What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.)
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To: needmorePaine
You're in a tough situation: three active youngsters and a hyperactive dog with epilepsy. A couple more thoughts -epi dogs are always very hungry. Seizures require a lot of energy. Even if not seizing, the seizure meds make them hungry. Try adding bulk to the regular diet. Low sodium string beans is a classic. Next, see if any calming meds can be used with seizure meds. Plenty of dogs are on fluoxetine for behavioral issues because in reality, they are anxious and they act out by being loud and obnoxious. We have one now who was that way; she's now on fluoxetine and is a totally different dog. See your vet about this.
82 posted on 12/14/2012 11:31:13 AM PST by greyhoundlady
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To: greyhoundlady

Thanks. We did add the green beans, and it seemed to calm her hunger for a little.

Just doing a quick search on fluoxetine, I found that it shouldn’t be used on dogs with a history of seizures, which is probably why one of the vets we use said she couldn’t really prescribe anything for the behavior issues. Also, she is already on phenobarbital for the seizures and needs liver checks periodically because of that. Fluoxetine requires the same checks, so I am guessing that the two combined could damage the liver.


83 posted on 12/14/2012 12:09:30 PM PST by needmorePaine
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