Welcome!

Welcome to PetForums, the UK's most popular and friendly pet owners community. Please 'Sign Up' if you'd like to take part and contribute to our forum.

Sign Up

Annnd back again we go

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Acidic Angel, May 15, 2019.


  1. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    I've not had to post about Hazel's behaviour for a long while, as things seemed to have been steadily improving.

    However, in the last few days it's like a steep hill suddenly appeared and we've gone tumbling down it.
    I'll start off by saying we are currently in the process of moving house again, thankfully this will be a long term move as we partially own the house, so I can see this may not be helping at all...

    So, the behaviour I'm now struggling with...

    The biggest and most notable behaviour is food snatching... And she's getting bold about it too, she will try and do it while I'm right there trying to stop her.
    Today I went to make myself a sandwich, I sliced open a breadcake and put it on a plate on the side, moved less than 2ft away to grab the ham and lettuce out of the fridge and she ran over, grabbed the breadcake off the side and ran off with it! I got it off her, but threw it away, as I didn't want her eating it, but then minutes later she tried it again. Except this time I was stood in her way, so instead she tried to get around me and failed.
    This is very new, she's never been this bad with snatching food... She's counter surfed from the day she could reach, as much as I've tried my hardest to stop her doing this, including no food being left on the side, etc. it's just not worked.
    She was getting much, much better and seemed to be starting to realise that, actually, there's nothing up there for her. Of course managing to snag a breadcake has made her think there is stuff up there for her, and she's spent most of the day couter surfing to check for more stuff. Of course I've corrected this when I've seen her. Either by catching her off guard before she jumps up with an "Ah ah", and rewarding when she turns and walks away from the kitchen counter, or by saying "off" and rewarding for her coming off the counter if I've been a bit late to catch her. She knows "Off", she knows what it means thankfully.

    There's still the other behaviours that we're working on, and for some we're slowly getting somewhere but for others I'm losing all hope to be honest. She still tries to bolt(and almost breaks my arm in the process) when she see's another dog in the distance, on or off lead. She still pulls like there's no tomorrow, the only way I can walk her without her pulling is with a headcollar. And the only reason I can walk her on a headcollar is because she loathes it, and will spend some time during the walk trying to get it off her face. Unfortunately though, no method of trianing has stopped her pulling, even clipping to the front ring on her harness doesn't stop her anymore, she just ends up walking sideways or with three legs because she's pulling so much the fourth can't touch the floor.
     
  2. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Messages:
    4,294
    Likes Received:
    8,034
    Bless I sympathise as Loki will steal food given the chance I have to make sure he can't reach anything.

    He has settled with the food he has four meals a day still and the food is varied (raw kibble scrambled eggs leftovers) I feel this has helped.

    Can't help with the wanting to get to other dogs loki is not great with that. We play lots of games I try to distract I hope he grows out of it.
     
    Acidic Angel likes this.
  3. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    We switched Hazel to Step Up To Naturals kibble from [email protected] because the Millies Wolfheart she was on made her funny after she was ill earlier in the year. She's actually needing to eat less of the SUTN than she was the MW in order to remain healthy. She still gets her raw chews through the day, raw filled bones, etc. though so even though she only eats two meals a day now, it's not like she's going without food all day. Plus, she's been on this for a few months now and up until a few days ago she had no issues- I mention the breadcake because that was the worst, especially trying again while I was stood there, but there have been other smaller incidents of food snatching starting a few days ago.

    I've tried engage-disengage, I've tried just turning away from the other dogs when she gets excited, I've tried just getting her to focus on me.. None of it works, it's probably not helped by the fact that outside she has pretty much zero focus on me anyway, so adding a dog into the mix just makes her less likely to focus.
     
  4. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    18,128
    Likes Received:
    12,305
    Am I right in thinking she’s about a year old? It’s very normal for dogs to seem to regress or undesirable behaviours that have never before been a problem to show up in adolescence. I think management is your friend during this stage, because just like human teenagers, nothing’s seems to sink in! If it were me I’d find some way of blocking her from entering the kitchen, or restraining her while food is around. Likewise, if she’s pulling towards other dogs, it means that you are too close (even if they seem to you to be really far away!). So instead of battling with her, change route so she’s not going over that threshold.

    You have my sympathies, my boy was a right PITA during adolescence! But they do come out the other side!
     
  5. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Messages:
    4,294
    Likes Received:
    8,034
    Another thing I've been trying to do is training a sit and wait putting a bit of kibble on the floor this is a work in progress.
     
    Acidic Angel likes this.
  6. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    Yes, she turned a year old 10 days ago. Unfortunately, the kitchen in our current place(where we are until June 3rd) is all open plan part of the living room, no way of blocking her at all. The new place, however, the kitchen will be entirely off limits for her. As for restraining her, that's another issue. There's nowhere to restrain her short of putting her in her crate in the bedroom, where my fiance sleeps because he works nightshift so the act of taking her through and getting her in could disturb him as he's a light sleeper.

    If I went by the rule of being too close when she pulls towards another dog I'd never walk her. I've taken a screenshot of the common, which is one of the fields I walk her on and work on her recall on her long line. The red X is where we enter the common. Usually, she'll see a dog roughly where the black X is, and immediately she starts pulling towards that dog. As soon as we enter the common, if she see's a dog anywhere on it then she's off trying to run towards it.
    29694723_1699311996789470_9070894999775422212_n.png
    She has an incredibly long distance for reacting to seeing another dog, I have never met a dog so intent on meeting every single dog she sees. And I've worked on her with this from day one of taking her out, I blame all the off lead dogs that are allowed to run over to her when she's on lead, even after I say "please don't, she's training" and I get the "Oh it's OK! S/he's friendly!". I don't care if your dog is the friendliest dog around, if I say my dog is training and please don't let your dog run over, respect that!! ¬.¬

    She was very good before this while I was getting food. I'd send her to her bed and she'd stay there until I was done eating, then she'd get up again. So it's just very disheartening to go from that, to stealing food while I'm still making it/trying to steal food while I stop her.
     
  7. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    18,128
    Likes Received:
    12,305
    Put her on a lead attached to the leg of the sofa while you’re making/eating food?

    Walk her very late at night / early in the morning when there might be less dogs around?

    Just suggestions.
     
    Magyarmum and Acidic Angel like this.
  8. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    Our sofa doesn't have legs :Shy It's a flat bottom, touch the floor type of thing.

    I've tried early in the morning a few times, but it only takes one dog and she's riled up and ready to greet, even at 5/6am there seems to be an abundance of dog walkers using the fields around here. I presume the people that have work at 7/8am and want to get their dogs worn out before they leave for the day, etc...
    Late at night I'd only be able to really get to the common safely, but unfortunately it's no better. Possibly even worse after speaking to other dog owners/walkers around here, it seems late at night the common is used by people who have reactive dogs, with the same reasoning that at night less people will be walking their dogs, etc...

    I know it sounds like I'm just giving excuses, I'm really not. I'd like to say that the move might help, but I doubt it will being honest as I can see those fields being flooded with dogs too :(
     
  9. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    18,128
    Likes Received:
    12,305
    Is there anything heavy in your living area to attach a lead to? Buy a soft crate? Anywhere else you can walk? Drive her somewhere? Road walking?

    Otherwise perhaps it’s time to get a behaviourist in? I assume you’ve tried all the usual training methods like giving in to leash pressure, stopping/turning when she pulls etc.
     
    StormyThai and O2.0 like this.
  10. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Messages:
    4,294
    Likes Received:
    8,034
    Do you drive ? I often have to drive out somewhere quieter.

    Don't let it get u down they often go backwards. Sounds like your responsible so many people just let their dogs run up to others your making an effort. Keep going with it she will make you proud.
     
  11. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    Not really unfortunately. My fiance's PC desk looks heavy, but the slightest pressure makes it wobble unfortunately. And my TV stand, although solid, is also exactly that. It's another "flat to the ground" type of thing so no legs to attach to.
    Not really much else to walk, I've tried all the routes I can find within walking distance apart from just walking along the paths next to roads, etc.. This means she has to wear the dreaded headcollar though, and she also doesn't get chance to run if I'm walking her alongside a road.

    She's been to training and her training worked on her pulling, the problem is that the methods don't work. A full list of what I've tried to avoid her being so OTT with other dogs in the distance:
    Giving in to leash pressure- If this worked, it would also help with her general pulling and she'd likely not have to wear the headcollar. Unfortunately it doesn't.
    Turning away/stopping- If I stop, she stops with me, but the second I even LOOK like I'm going to walk again, she bolts forwards at full speed. Turning away she just pulls around me to go back towards where the dog is. I've gone as far as turning and walking back off the common and around the road to find another way on to avoid the dog she saw.
    Engage/disengage- The one where you let the dog acknowledge there's a dog, and then get them to look away without reacting. Hahaha, nope.
    Focusing on me and not even acknowledging the dog- Hahahaha, nope. There's not much else to say there unfortunately.

    To answer both questions RE driving- No, I don't drive. I rely on my fiance for driving, and he works 40 hours a week, sometimes working 60-70 if he takes overtime, and he works nightshift. This means he's either asleep for his next shift, or at work overnight. He works 10hr shifts, hence why if he's doing 7 days a week he can do up to 70 hours. Realistically, out of the 7 days a week he only truly has 2 of them free. We've driven to other areas a few times, but unfortunately everywhere we go there seems to be other dogs, I know I can't expect her to never see another dog but it's extra time consuming when she's so focused on finding another dog that she spots one all the way across the field. And if it's not a dog, it's a bird ¬.¬
     
    #11 Acidic Angel, May 15, 2019
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  12. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    15,262
    Likes Received:
    6,944
    I'm gonna say welcome to adolescence, it can be an absolute bastard. I feel your pain with the other dogs issue, my 8 year old Lab can still be a sod for it and we live in an area with a huge dog population and I can't drive. He's also a horrendous puller and I've not found anything at all that makes the slightest bit of difference with him. I've ended up using a walking belt to save my arms, pretty sure he's karma for all the times I've wondered why people don't just teach their dogs not to pull lol.

    Honestly though, it does tend to get better if you're consistent. Spen's gone from taking off to introduce himself to other dogs at the sort of distance Hazel does to only if they're within about 25m and sometimes not even then. It does mean I still have to be careful where I let him off lead but there are places I can let him off without really worrying. He's spent a hell of a lot of time on a long line, we've put an insane amount of effort into recall training, spent a hell of a lot of time working on not interacting with other dogs and we're still nowhere near 100% but the days of him dislocating our shoulders, screaming, spinning and barking to try to get at other dogs are long gone.

    For teaching manners around food I've used Sue Ailsby's training levels, the Zen one is very good. There's also Susan Garretts "it's yer choice" which there are videos of on youtube. I'm not gonna say it's fail safe, it's not. But I've found both of them useful in teaching mine not to just help themselves to food just because it's in reach. Link is to the Introduction for the training levels I used.
    http://sue-eh.ca/page24/page26/page10/
     
    Acidic Angel likes this.
  13. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    2,738
    Likes Received:
    7,588
    Giving in to leash pressure is a behavior you teach. It's not something that works or doesn't work, it's simply a behavior, like sit. The dog understands the required behavior, is motivated to do it, and does.

    My guess would be that she doesn't understand that hitting the end of the leash is her cue to return to you. How have you taught her to give in to leash pressure?

    Another option for teaching her not to pull on the leash is to remove the leash :)
    This is going to largely depend on how invested she is in keeping you in sight. Is she one to want to know where mom is? If so, there might be some tricks you could try. But if she's more one to take off and not give a second glance to where you are or what you're doing then the leash tricks I'm thinking of won't work.

    The food snatching might be a similar issue of not fully understanding the cue for leave it. Though I'd also guess her impulse control could use some work - as with any adolescent dog.
     
    StormyThai and Acidic Angel like this.
  14. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    Sorry, I didn't see this reply at first. If I could at least lower the distance from which she reacts to other dogs, that would be a start as it would give me chance to spot them before she does! She's got better eyesight than me, that tiny black cocker in the distance could be a fly for all I know, but she knows it's a dog!

    Thank you for the link, I'll give that a try :)

    I tried using Kikopups video for giving in to leash pressure, it kind of was a case of not working. Inside she gives in to leash pressure immediately, as soon as we step off the patio she forgets it all and doesn't care. She's the same with other things though, I only recently managed to start getting her to sit, or do any of her other tricks, outside off the patio. Before this she just ignored me entirely, she's very much focused on everything but me when outside. I've tried countless times to get her focus on me and only recently does it seem to be semi-working. On the patio I can have her walk around to heel with no lead attached, if I tried doing that off the patio I'd lose her because she wouldn't be by my heel.

    She will not stick around, the second her long line goes on for her to have some run time(and for us to work on recall) she bolts off. Almost every single time she hits the end of the long line too, and still wants to go further.

    I think maybe there was somewhere I went wrong with teaching "Leave it" to be fair, her trainer told me off for it basically. When I was teaching her "leave it", I'd put some food on the floor and tell her to leave it, but then I'd let her get that food on cue. Her trainer told me this was entirely wrong and that what I needed to be doing was teaching her to leave the fod on the floor, and offering her something else for leaving the food on the floor. So that she doesn't associate "Leave it" with just ignoring things for a brief period and then gettign them anyway, so we started doing that in January, teaching her to leave things I tell her to and offering her something else as a reward for doing it, it seems to have been going well up until recently.
     
    #14 Acidic Angel, May 16, 2019 at 10:25 AM
    Last edited: May 16, 2019 at 10:30 AM
  15. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    1,486
    My dog can be THAT DOG when it comes to others. Only very very occasionally, but it’s annoying for both me and probably the other owner too.

    After I don’t know how many years it suddenly occurred to me to use the ‘leave it’ command as he first became aware of the other dog, and it works if I get it in early enough and then do a bit of heel work or something to engage him and keep him close.

    I think you just need to keep plugging away at this stuff; his age, the ‘moving’ stuff maybe making him a bit sketchy, maybe just a Springer thing (pic looks like Springer, if not apologies), as I read in a lot of places that they’re not always as owner focused as some breeds.

    Hope it gets better soon, all the hard work you’ve done is in his brain somewhere. One day it’ll pop out and surprise you!
     
    Acidic Angel likes this.
  16. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    I keep thinking of trying her "leave it" command for other dogs, but with how unfocused she already is outside it would likely fall on deaf ears. And one thing her trainer drilled into me is to set her up for success, otherwise it will fail without a doubt. So I've been hesitant to try it.

    She is a Springer, yes. I have read lots of different arguments, some people saying they're bred to be handler focused and therefore are usually reluctant to move too far away, and others saying they are very independant and less likely to stick close to a handler if something more interesting pops up- Such as another dog, another person, the smell of something good, etc...
     
  17. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    5,606
    A couple of things that should give you hope are 1) she's a PITA teenager which will make her particularly naughty (although you do still need to train through this), and 2) because you are moving house you can almost have a blank slate in terms of boundaries and manners. She will have no previous associations with the new place so you can start right away by managing the situation so she can't steal from the top, and get training too. The problem at the mo is that when she looks for food on the top it's a big gamble - and dogs LOVE to gamble. Most of the time nothing, sometimes a small win, but sometimes a MASSIVE JACKPOT. If you can avoid her having the chance to get up there you will win in the long run. Lots of training to get her to stay on her bed will be a big help too, and you can start this now.
    The other thing is that she seems to be completely overthreshold as soon as you go outside. I'd be working on calmness in general, and definitely calmness outside. Can you get her lead without her getting worked up? What about putting your shoes on? I bet you have a routine that she knows so by the time you step out the door you will have no chance getting her attention. Another thing to do is have a 2 point attach harness and have it clipped front and back for loose lead walking (and train this at home), but then just clip on the back when you don't want to bother with LLW and just want to get to your destination! Dogs learn quickly what the different attachments mean. Another thing you could do is take her to a quiet spot with a lead of up to 5 metres (you don't want it too long) and plant yourself in one spot and just let her sniff it out. Let her spend as long as she wants sniffing the radius around you and eventually she will have had her fill and will orient to you. When she does? Jackpot! Make sure you have her fave treat or toy and reward that focus on you with the most exciting game ever!! You then call it a win and go home.
     
  18. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    To answer your two questions:
    Can you get her lead without her getting worked up? - Yep. Picking her lead up doesn't phase her at all, the second it's clipped on is the second she goes OTT.
    What about putting your shoes on? - This doesn't bother her as I often put my shoes on simply for going out on to the patio, to take rubbish to the bins, etc. so me putting shoes on is about the most common thing to her.

    As for a routine, I try and avoid having one for this reason. My bag always has a bag of high value treats, a ball, a clicker and a whistle(still trying with this, still no improvement) in it. The only things I don't keep in my bag are her long line, harness, halti and actual lead. As well as extra toys, not that she bothers with any of them when outside anyway. Even the ball gets ignored after five minutes.

    Her harness has front and back clips, it doesn't work for loose lead walking though. Having it clipped to the front ring used to work to halt her pulling a little bit, as it pulled her to the side and she didn't like that, but she's got past it and now just ends up pulling through it and walking sideways instead.

    I often do the last part, planting myself and letting her wander on her long line(which I don't know the length of, but it doesn't give her a huge amount of distance) when we go to the fields too. The problem is that she'll run around, get herself all worked up, then she'll switch to wandering and grazing the grass, and finally she'll just lay down to say she's had enough... She doesn't gravitate back towards me at all, all of this is done at a distance
     
  19. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Messages:
    5,630
    Likes Received:
    5,606
    You need to stop thinking what's not working and turn it around, come up with solutions instead of thinking about the problems. Ok so she is great with your routine UNTIL you clip the lead on? Great, there's what you need to work on. Play with clipping the lead on and off onto different parts of her harness and collar - every time you un-clip = treat, everytime you clip = treat. Do this when you aren't going to go out just for say 20 treats and then stop. You could also leave a light lead clipped to her collar during the day for a bit. Put her harness on then watch TV or do the washing up. I'd also do A LOT of orientation and proximity games, so orienting and staying close to you becomes second nature. Instead of a long stressful walk just play some games in the garden. You need to train FOR the situation by playing and training at home, rather than IN the situation where you have already lost her by the sounds of it.
     
  20. Acidic Angel

    Acidic Angel Your ego does not surpass your pets wellbeing

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    1,270
    Having her harness on is a big distressing thing for her, same for the headcollar, but unfortunately it's that or trying to walk her on a flat collar which is the worse of the two options. Walking her on just her flat collar has caused her to throw up multiple times before, from over pulling and crushing her throat from the pressure. So putting her harness on and then not doing anything is the opposite of what her trainer suggested, her trainer made a point of saying the harness ONLY goes on when she's going out so she starts to associate it with good things(going out, playing, running, etc.).

    I could try having her lead attached to her collar during the day to see if that helps at all though, and I'll definitely do the clipping and unclipping thing.

    We play a fair few proximity games and orientation games, her favourite is one called the "Tornado game". Basically she starts between my feet, I throw a treat out, she goes to get it and has to come back to me for her next one, rinse and repeat for maybe 5-10 minutes twice a day. Basically teaching her that yes, she can leave my side, but she HAS to come back if she wants another reward.
    The thing that gets me is her threshold ends at the patio gate. On the patio or in the house, I have complete control over her walking. She will walk to heel off lead around the patio, all I have to do is say "Heel" and she's there, walks along looking up at me the whole time. Of course, this is great... It would be better if she'd show that kind of focus towards me once OFF the patio though.
    It's like someone flips a switch. I've tested it, got her training on the patio and then tried to just take her out of the gate, not even on a walk just out of the gate, to do the exact same training. Immediately her focus is gone as soon as she's off the patio.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice