Working Dog Refusing to move mid-walk

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by PippinsMummy, Nov 25, 2012.


  1. PippinsMummy

    PippinsMummy PetForums Junior

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    Hi there!
    I am hoping some people will have a bit of know-how on how to approach this difficult subject!

    My mum has a working guide dog, she is willfull, stubbon, but a total sweetie and adores my mother. She has developed a problem in the last few months which has got steadily worse.

    My mum walks her dog locally to the local shop, her mothers, other relatives etc in the village. She works her dog every day and free runs her once a week.

    The dog has started to stop and stand with her feet completly rooted. Upon my observation, it is whenever she wants to take control, i.e they pass a path she wants to go up, or a zebra crossing she wants to cross. Once shes worked out she's not going down that route, she stops.

    It is upsetting my mother, as she cannot go out without the dog, and she's terrified the dog is going to be taken away from her.

    My dogs experienced a simular habit, but i fixed it by walking ahead, sharply tugging the lead and then rewarding when they finally begin walking again. My mother cannot do this, she cannot walk ahead of the dog, and she cannot give it treats.

    She has tried turning round, taking the dog home, then leaving the dog in the house and going next door (basically, punishing the dog by ignoring it)
    But this only works for about 7 mins then she tries it on again.

    She also has no problem working if i walk ahead during a route, however, she is not concentrating on guiding my other, but she is dragging her, and following me.

    She seems to love working and when she "goes her way" she is a excellent worker.

    any tips?
     
  2. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    Guide dogs are not wilful or stubborn. If they were, they wouldn`t pass the training. The dog has a problem with something. Inform GD and ask them to come and observe. I`m sure this is something that can be fixed.
     
  3. hazel pritchard

    hazel pritchard PetForums VIP

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    Hi when this dog stops and does not want to move even for a short time are its hind legs at normal distance apart or are they close together? ie.. feet near each other if the latter this could indicate the dog has pain in its back,
     
  4. PippinsMummy

    PippinsMummy PetForums Junior

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    Sorry but thats not true. Guide dogs all have different personalities, and a stubborn dog can be just as good worker.

    GD are going to try and help, i'm just posting on here to see if i could get any other insight.
     
  5. PippinsMummy

    PippinsMummy PetForums Junior

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    No she shows no signs of pain. I'm pretty sure it's behavioural. I should mention she also only does it in the village. If shes working in town or in shops/resturants she's excellent.
     
  6. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Do you know anyone else who has experience of guide dogs? I've got an online friend who has puppy walked and has met up with some of the dogs she's put through initial training. I'm surprised there isn't some sort of online support group you can join? Might be worth while suggesting one.
     
  7. PippinsMummy

    PippinsMummy PetForums Junior

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    Not personally no. Its difficult as i'm not allowed to touch her dog or interfere with any training she has.

    Its frustrating cos i'm pretty sure a afternoon walking her would stop the problem! I just need something to help put my mums mind at rest, she's a first time dog owner and has no knowledge of dog psychology. I do try and explain it to her, but she thinks i'm talking out of my bottom!
     
  8. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    THere is no point in asking us for help as we cannot diagnose over the ether.

    The GDBA needs to be informed and they will send over the relevant person to determine what the next stpes should be ie vet and/or behavioural.
     
  9. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Moderator
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    Is it always in the same place or places? If it is, it could be that something has frightened her there. As you say she only does it in the village, it could also be something to do with her being completely familiar with that area.

    I don't know anything about guide dogs so I cannot compare, but one of my dogs does this if I try to walk him on a lead. He sits though, but refuses to move. And one place we used to go he will not go anymore.

    Just a thought, but Guide Dogs really need to sort it out as they are the ones who know what they are doing.

    Good luck with her.
     
  10. PippinsMummy

    PippinsMummy PetForums Junior

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    The guide dogs are aware of the situation as i've already said. I was simply asking for other opinions.

    Forgive me i was under the impression this was a forum where people share tips and advice! how silly of me :p
     
  11. PippinsMummy

    PippinsMummy PetForums Junior

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    She does it for a few different reasons, which leads me to believe its a possible dominance issue (throwing a doggy strop)

    1. Realising she's not going where she thought, usually the route to her free run park or if shes realised shes leaving a house which she loves (i.e relatives)

    2. If i'm walking with her, she will stop until i walk ahead, if i drop back and walk behind, she stops.

    It never occurs in the same place unless it's where certain paths start.
     
  12. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Moderator
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    Sorry? I thought that is what we were doing. You gave the impression to start with that your mother feared the loss of the dog so may not have told guide dogs. Obviously we were wrong but we are not telepathic and you cannot expect a forum of pet dog owners, no matter how experienced, to know exactly what do with a guide dog.
     
  13. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

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    Had a quick word with my friend, apparently there was a yahoo group a while back, but not really any other support groups as such. She suggested getting in touch with the supervisor for your mum's dog, which you've already done by the sounds of it. Hope you get to the bottom of the problem xx
     
  14. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    I wouldnt worry too much, someone near me has a guide dog and he developed a few problems at first similar to what you have said, and once the guide dog trainer came down for a few sessions and went out with him and the dog it was soon sorted, so probably just better to leave it to them, it obviously does happen from time to time and certain dogs have teething problems. His one is fine now after the shaky start.
     
  15. ouesi

    ouesi PetForums Muck Magnet

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    I would leave it alone and let the professionals assess the behavior and I would follow their advice.

    It could very well be a behavioral issue, but I would be more comfortable getting a vet check done. Especially with a working dog. I would feel awful knowing I had made a dog work through pain or illness. Dogs are masters of masking pain and discomfort, so just because the dog doesn’t appear painful, doesn’t mean he isn’t.

    IMO its generally not helpful to diagnose a dog as stubborn or willful. It could be, but in the end it doesn’t really matter. You still have to figure out how to communicate with the dog in a way that makes him want to listen. If the dog is indeed willful, forcing the issue is just going to lead to more confrontations.

    Oh, and just curious, why can your mum not use treats with the dog? Is it a SD thing or is it just that she doesn’t carry any?
     
  16. ClaireandDaisy

    ClaireandDaisy PetForums VIP

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    I do know GD trainers. I`ve never heard one pass a dog that needed coaxing to walk down a road. To use human terms like wilful is to misunderstand dog training IMO.
    If a dog is `stubborn` it is not the dog that is at fault. The dog is being a dog. It is us who fail in training, rewarding and reinforcing desired behaviour.
     
  17. PippinsMummy

    PippinsMummy PetForums Junior

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    it's not relavent she didn't do it in training.
    I didnt say a willful and stubborn dog is a bad thing. But they can be harder to fix bad habits. My dog is as stubborn as they come! Wouldn't change him though!

    As for the other comments, she's been to the vet and has a clean bill of health :)
    She has been advised not to walk her for a while, try and get it out of her mind. I think the trick is to stop her train of thought before it sets in.
     
  18. ouesi

    ouesi PetForums Muck Magnet

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    Well, looks like you got it figured out then. My hats off to you, I have not yet mastered reading my dog's thoughts or controlling them, but if you can, more power to ya! :D
     
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