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9 YEAR OLD STAFFY

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Mel93, Mar 24, 2021.


  1. Mel93

    Mel93 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello, I’m wondering if anyone could offer me some advice, I have a 9 year old Staffordshire bull terrier called Lola. During lockdown I’ve been taking her on walks a lot more and noticed she isn’t the best at recalls! She currently had a retractable flexi lead but I’m thinking of changing and getting her a longline to practise the ‘stay’ command and her recall. Sometimes when she’s off she comes back after 2/3 shouts but other times if she’s distracted she literally acts deaf & sometimes even runs further away. I know she can still learn as during lockdown when we now get to roads I say ‘here’ and ‘stay’ and she listens to that! Sometimes she decides to cross but I just pull her back and repeat the command - she then stays. Also i take her out at 12pm everyday, so at around 11:45 she’s literally screaming the house down! If anyone has a staffy when they get going they are loud!! So when I’m trying to put my shoes on outside the door she’s screeching, jumping up the lot! She’s a nightmare, any advice on how i might be able to stop this or at least calm her down?

    My question is how do I practise the recall with a long line? Also she will not eat a single thing outside, she never has. So I can’t offer her treats as rewards. Does anyone know why this is?

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you.
     
  2. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

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    Hi, there are a few different ways to use a long line.

    - you can hold the end of it, let your dog go out to almost the full extent and then call your dog back. If he doesnt respond within 2 to 3 seconds, dont keep calling - attract his attention by bringing in your long line and then reward once he reaches you.

    - stake your long line on a flat, clear, grassed area. This works well in a grassy field, sports pitch or quiet park.

    You can then move yourself around your dog, calling him from point to point and again, go and help him come to you if he is ignoring you.


    - you can leave the long line trailing loose. This is good if your dog isnt running far from you, but just ignoring you. You can then run after him and get your foot on the end of the line to stop him.

    It gives him a feeling of freedom but makes him easier to catch if he ignores you.


    Always use your longline on a well fitting harness. Never attach it to a collar.



    I would up the value of your food reward. Use human grade cooked chicken (warm chicken is hard to resist for most dogs; wrap in foil to keep it warm)

    Cooked liver .

    Sausages.

    And keep your dog nice and hungry before you set off. Skip breakfast.

    If that doesnt work, think what else your dog might like - a squeaky ball? A game of tug?


    For your other problem, pre empt it by changing your walk time to 10 a.m for a few days.

    If it isnt the time, but the putting on your shoes that triggers it - pop your shoes on at random times throughout the day and just sit down, look at your phone, have a drink or something and ignore her totally til the noise stops.

    When it does, praise her.

    Repeat frequently throughout the day to break the association of your shoes going on with the excitement.

    Just blank her completely when it starts. If you take no notice (dont even look at her, dont say a word) she will give up eventually - then you praise.

    Hope that helps a bit
     
    Mel93, Burrowzig, Nicola234 and 4 others like this.
  3. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    I'd add the option of attaching your end of the long line to a wide belt. It can be quite a jerk if the dog runs to the end of it, and the line can easily be pulled out of your hand, and using a belt makes the centre of gravity lower, so you're less likely to be pulled off balance.
     
    Lurcherlad, Mel93 and tabelmabel like this.
  4. Mel93

    Mel93 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks guys - I don’t know if it’s the putting on the shoes, or my coat or the time, she’s just an absolute nightmare screeching the house down until we actually set off walking.
    Thank you for the long line tips - I’ll try the chicken. I don’t know if it will work as she literally won’t eat a single thing while out. I have no idea why as in the house she’s always scrounging for food off us. Maybe she’s not comfortable outside ‍♀️ X
     
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  5. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel Banned

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    I'm not sure of the reasons for your dog not eating outside @Mel93. The most common reason, in my experience, is where a dog is just too hyped up and excited by the environment,

    My own dog, for example, when she is running about in a crazy state, high on adrenalin and nose on the scent of rabbits - she wouldnt stop if a freshly roasted chicken was swinging right in front of her - she is on a mission, in full drive and blinkered to everything around her.

    Most dogs will weigh up the 'response cost' of whether your treat is worth it. If what they are doing is more exciting, they will pass on the food.


    I dont know if this rings true for your dog or not. Getting your dog's focus and engagement with you can be as essential for treat giving with some dogs as it is for recall.

    A treat can really be amped up in value if you hold it in your hand, covered and then get your dog all excited with "what is it, what is this?" (Use a voice similar to how you would talk to a small child - draw out a bit of drama to sound like it is really exciting)

    Hold the treat high, behind your back. Move it about - see if you can get your dog really drooling for that treat. Dont prolong til he loses interest - as soon as you have him there and he looks like he will take it - go for it.

    You can practise this in the house too. And practise fast recalls room to room in your house. These can be speeded up if you have someone hold your dog for a few seconds whilst you call - then he will drive towards you. An energy will build in him when you call and he cant get to you as someone is restraining him (just a a second or two)


    You can also use your indoor practice to find out his favourite treats. Do a selection and work out a hierarchy of motivation.



    With the warm chicken (or whatever you pick) what i used to do was heat it really hot and then foil wrap so it still had heat in it when i was at my outdoor location.
     
  6. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Lots of shoe changes, and coats on and off then, through the day to stop it meaning something exciting's going to happen.
     
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  7. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    I’d also think about how much mental stimulation she gets in the house - how much training do you do and does she have kongs/puzzle toys etc to occupy her brain? If you can give her another outlet for some energy she may not get so hyped up for walks.
    But I’d definitely do the coat and shoes on at different times in the day so she doesn’t see that as exciting.
     
    tabelmabel likes this.
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