Bad relationship

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  • #62105
    cjane
    Member

    As some of you regulars might remember, we’ve been struggling with some ‘issues’ with our dog for about a year now.  Five behaviourists/trainers later and we’ve still got ‘issues’.  The last person we spoke to, whose experience and advice I respected, told us that the problem was with our relationship with our dog.  He is quite an independent chap, he doesn’t fret when left alone or with strangers, is not convinced that the ‘best place to be…’ is with us, and would much rather be/play with other dogs.  This becomes a big problem when he starts to get aggressive with them.

    So our advice was to try to improve our relationship by playing and bonding with him, which we’ve been doing for about four months with no noticeable change in our relationship or his behaviour. All walks are on lead or long line and contact with other dogs is avoided. I’d like to get to a stage where I can let him off lead knowing he’ll come back to me even if he meets another dog, but we’re not there yet.

    So, my question is, does the diagnosis of a poor relationship sound plausible, and can any-one share some techniques for improving it?

    CJ

    #69031
    Mudgie
    Member

    Can I ask if one of your behaviourists/trainers has been Kizkiznobite from here

    #69032

    hi cjane we started on dogclub about the same time, just a little diff between our dogs ages and i think you got your lad from good breeders.  i was just wondering is he from working lines? he seems from some of your previous posts to be a high drive collie and this may have something to do with it. 

    #69033
    .dodger.
    Member

    i have the same problem – dodger doesn’t bother with me when other dogs around and i tried everything to get his attention (silly voices, treats, toys, being really excitable) until i found that i had his complete attention when i brought his ball on a string out with me. Now the only problem is i can’t walk him without it :embarrass: Don’t get me wrong by himself he’s an angel no need for the ball then but i would just like to be able to control him in the same way i can when there are no dogs arund to when there are. ::) i’m sure there will be plently of people on here who can offer you some advise like kerry said she had the same problem with Beau 🙂

    #69034
    Mudgie
    Member

    Laura you can walk him without a ball – I can walk him without a ball  😉 😉

    #69035
    .dodger.
    Member

    yeah i can walk him without a ball but you saw him on sunday when i didn’t have the ball he thought smelling the grass/chasing scents/sniffing horse muck was ten times better then coming back to me. If i had of had the ball he wouldn’t have done the above in the first place. I would just like him to think that the best place to be is next to me with or without the ball.

    #69036
    Mudgie
    Member

    Lets not hijack the topic – you need to work on recall big time – go to stickies  😉

    #69037
    wags
    Member

    [quote author=Kerry_and_Beau link=topic=12456.msg240809#msg240809 date=1221572124]
    hi cjane we started on dogclub about the same time, just a little diff between our dogs ages and i think you got your lad from good breeders.  i was just wondering is he from working lines? he seems from some of your previous posts to be a high drive collie and this may have something to do with it. 
    [/quote]

    i can anwer that

    hes similar breeding to Oban – actually i think they may have the same dad

    and hes very much like Oban from what i can gather
    – aloof
    – self asured aka cocky lol
    – very very driven
    – very independant
    – sees the vast majority of people as a joke and doesnt really take direction from them
    – very loving (yeh ok it doesnt fit with the above but he is)
    – doesnt work FOR you – about as biddable as a brick  ::)
    – chase orientated

    id really love to get my hands on him – hes just like Oban and i have a truelly amazing bond with him even if he is a total git

    id totally agree you can have a bad relationship with your dog – i have absolutlly no bond what so ever with Flyte i am very give and take with her and i really dont have much intrest in her (ok that sounds awfull but there you go)
    Oban i have a really strong bond with and he really is a mummys boy

    i think through training, walks, play etc you can build a great bond
    try doing daft trick training

    we really need to meet up so want to give your lad a hug – we can swop for a bit lol

    #69038
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I would love to meet him too CJ !  He sounds a cracking dog 🙂

    Laura – Bonnie was the exact same as Dodger but we worked through it and I know you will too 🙂

    Claire x

    #69039
    Dree
    Member

    [quote author=cjane link=topic=12456.msg240790#msg240790 date=1221568078]
    As some of you regulars might remember, we’ve been struggling with some ‘issues’ with our dog for about a year now.  Five behaviourists/trainers later and we’ve still got ‘issues’.  The last person we spoke to, whose experience and advice I respected, told us that the problem was with our relationship with our dog.  He is quite an independent chap, he doesn’t fret when left alone or with strangers, is not convinced that the ‘best place to be…’ is with us, and would much rather be/play with other dogs.  This becomes a big problem when he starts to get aggressive with them.

    So our advice was to try to improve our relationship by playing and bonding with him, which we’ve been doing for about four months with no noticeable change in our relationship or his behaviour. All walks are on lead or long line and contact with other dogs is avoided. I’d like to get to a stage where I can let him off lead knowing he’ll come back to me even if he meets another dog, but we’re not there yet.

    So, my question is, does the diagnosis of a poor relationship sound plausible, and can any-one share some techniques for improving it?

    CJ

    [/quote]

    This sounds like a fab dog to work with!!  I wish you lived near me!!!  :yes:  I don’t think that this is so much a poor relationship, as a misdirected relationship.  I train dogs every day of my life, and what I do is give them the reward that they want.  (And that is not necessarily the reward that YOU think they want….there’s a difference.)  My Terv, for example, would put two fingers up at me unless she knew that her fav reward was coming.  If she didn’t get that reward, there’s no way she’d do it the next time!  So I’d have no hesitation in taking my dog out for a walk with a ball on a rope…..no disgrace, there.  That is simply a handler who is giving their dog a decent reward.  Let me put it this way…..if I asked you to clean my livingroom for no wages, would you do it?  (And would you do it well?  ;))  If I said I would give you £20 per hour for doing it, you’d do it  :yes:….and you would do it well.  Probably for £15  :)….maybe for £10….for £5  :-\….for zero, it would be.. :what: Are you kidding???  It’s exactly the same for dogs.  You want me to come when you call? Whatchya paying???  You’re gonna give me my (put in favourite reward….whether it’s ball on a rope, tuggy, chuckit, whatever)….okay… :agree:  You’re not giving me anything? Forget it!  :boooo:  That’s how I train dogs.  It’s as easy or as hard as you want to make it.  🙂

    For this dog, I would first of all find out what he really, really likes.  Let’s say it’s a chuckit….high drive dog….he would like that.  (But I’m guessing, it might be something else.  But for the sake of this post, let’s assume chuckit.)  In order to get this dog to do what you want, he first of all must understand that the chuckit will be there as his reward.  I won’t even ask about the aggression at this stage.  (Though I suspect independent dog, doesn’t “need” owner, etc.)  Firstly, go out and play chuckit, with no other dogs around.  Teach the dog that you *are* fun to be with.  (If he doesn’t bring his toys back to you, then you have to teach that first…let me know.)  But even without bringing that tennis ball back, you always have another one.  With Lana, I would go out with at least three tennis balls on me….the one you have, bouncing up and down in your hand, is always more fun than the one they have.  As he brings the ball back for another chuckit, say “Come”….you have a recall.  Always, always, always, use the reward when he comes back.  Initially, this is done with no other dogs around.  When you have a strong recall, then you can introduce another dog.  (Make sure this other dog is not random.  It has to be someone’s dog that is well trained.)  If he comes back when called, you go sodding ballistic with that chuckit.  If he doesn’t…..back to recalls on his own.

    When you’re training the recall, be sure to sometimes chuckit once…..then maybe four times for the next one….then twice for the next….then seven for the next.  He should never know how high the reward is going to be.  Then you can introduce a lesser reward if the recall should ever be half-hearted….just give him a treat, or a pat on the head.  He has to know that the reward can not only be given….it can also be withheld.  **That** is when you and he start to have a relationship, because that’s when you will be calling the shots, and he will be asking you to please give him his reward.  (This is where most relationships fall apart, because most owners never, ever withold the reward, because they’re scared of the dog’s reaction.) You also need to teach him an instant down, plus anything else you want to teach.  But an instant down is great for dogs that take off to play with others.  Again…..huge rewards when teaching it.

    #69040
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi,

    thats a really useful nice basic post Dree 🙂  just for future reference, where abouts are you ?

    this boy self-manages he’s got strong drive with strong instinctual behaviours and he’ll clearly choose whether he thinks CJ can handle him or he needs to step in.  he also needs alot of re-modification work done and CJ needs some work on her self belief and confidence with him.  he’s had numerous extinction bursts on many of the basic cues and IMO will not train in the way you described without alot more further intervention.  I expect his “other dog” problems are because he thinks he’s bloomin it and they should play by his rules.

    CJ – what management are you doing at the moment in the home in general and also what out on the walk ?

    Claire x

    #69041
    Dree
    Member

    [quote author=piglet link=topic=12456.msg240880#msg240880 date=1221589702]
    Hi,

    thats a really useful nice basic post Dree 🙂  just for future reference, where abouts are you ?

    Near Wigan, Lancs.

    this boy self-manages he’s got strong drive with strong instinctual behaviours and he’ll clearly choose whether he thinks CJ can handle him or he needs to step in.  he also needs alot of re-modification work done and CJ needs some work on her self belief and confidence with him.  he’s had numerous extinction bursts on many of the basic cues and IMO will not train in the way you described without alot more further intervention. 

    I’m not sure I agree about him “choosing” anything….but I’ve never seen him, and you have?  I have no doubt that CJ needs her confidence upped.  What re-modification?  (You make him sound like a model car, or something!  🙂 ) Why won’t he train in the way I describe?  Intervention in what way?

    I expect his “other dog” problems are because he thinks he’s bloomin it and they should play by his rules.

    Yes, that was what I thought.  But if you can control the basics, you “have” the dog.  My oldest collie here is a fear aggressive dog, and when she was young, she would attack without warning.  An instant down, with a high reward for the down, put a stop to that.

    #69042

    I have one problem relying on something so highly for walks and to get certain behaviours………what if your suddenly out find yourself in a ‘situation’ and dont have the reward – what then? Thats a problem for me – personally for me I want my dog to do something because I myself am the reward – my praise – because it thats a good enough reward its something i ALWAYS have with me………..am sure Bev has other reasons why relying on something like that all the time isnt good – but for me thats the big reason. That and i own a dog who doesnt have anything she likes enough to use as such a reward………

    #69043
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hi,

    Suz – praise suits you because thats the highest thing that Honey works for 🙂  You can (and I  have) move dogs on from using treats to praise without losing R & F in cues as a next step.

    Dree – I havent seen him but I have talked through this at great length and in great detail with CJ. 

    He is post 16 weeks so learning is operant so he’ll be choosing to offer the behaviour (yay!) or do what he thinks is best (an extinction burst).  Re-modification is the term generally used by behaviourists (and others) to refer to the unlearning of “things you dont want” and the re-learning of the “things you do want”.

    Intervention in this case would be the re-mod and getting CJ managing him all the time and this is extra challenging in her case due to specific details of her situation.

    A martini down is very useful for a number of reasons but did you ever get her properly socialised with other dogs or was she always just kept seperated using this and then once she was under your management she put her trust in you and lost the fear aggression?

    Claire x

    #69044

    It wasnt what she worked for – didnt work for anything………….been hard work…………

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