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Feeling desperate now

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by tinaK, Jan 16, 2012.


  1. tinaK

    tinaK PetForums VIP

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    Clover has always been barky to say the least. She is scared of kids and will go and bark at them if off the lead. I've got round this by just not letting her off the lead around kids now.

    However lately she has started barking at other people. Take yesterday afternoon for example. Had a lovely walk, but then this lady came out of no where with a hood up. Clover went ballastic :( Really barking at her. She wouldn't come back. It was awful :(

    Then this morning she went to start barking at someone we know. She did shut up and come back to me when she realized who it was.

    Yes I could keep her on the lead at all times, but she doesn't do it all the time, and it seems a shame. I've had a behavoural person in who doesn't know what to suggest. And I can't afford it now anyhow. She is on kalm aid tablets to help with her nervousness. It is fear based I think, She is such a nervous little dog. She is also a lovely natured dog, and this is spoiling it. I'm at my wits end now :(
     
  2. mel@fish

    mel@fish PetForums Senior

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    Maybe its time to join a local dog walking group where she will be on a lead but surrounded by total strangers and other dogs and perhaps children but in a controlled environment. One of the dog training schools locally have started this for precisely this reason. A lot of dogs have this fear around other people/children/places/dogs and so many of them have commented that it has really helped the confidence of their dogs in a relatively short space of time. Hope this idea helps. I think its worth a go and wont cost you anything.:)
     
  3. ebonymagic

    ebonymagic PetForums Senior

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    It could be that she's picking up on your sad mood and is protecting you.

    My dog used to do that, he became more protective when I was depressed. He even protected me when my exh went for me.
     
  4. tinaK

    tinaK PetForums VIP

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    Thanks but she has alwys done it, and I'm feeling so much better now :)
     
  5. natty01

    natty01 PetForums VIP

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    id seriously reccomend leslie mc devitts control unleashed book . the whole program is designed for reactive dogs and those that suffer distractions . i have a barky little dog , hes not barky at people but dogs when hes on lead . now 90% or more of the time we can walk past someone with no barking and often only minimal barking . before we started he would make a complete show of himself and i hated taking him for walks because it was so embarrasing . im now at the point where i can walk him through the town center and if he barks its just one or two . we still have a way to go before he is perfect but the progress is really pleasing . the book was definatly money well spent in my opinion.
     
  6. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    Does she work for food or a toy when out? Could you associate strangers with yummy things or a game? Maybe start on a short lead and feed her as you pass a stranger or child? I did it for people approaching us on their own - Kilo was fine with groups and fine with a person with a dog, but sometimes used to react to single people who were going to pass us closely.

    Once she is better on a short lead could you then maybe progress to letting her have the length of her flexi, then recalling and feeding / playing when she spots someone and eventually try again off lead?

    I know you said she doesn't bark on lead, but you could put the work in making people a positive thing on a lead - think you did a thread on the LAT game if I recall correctly; has that helped at all (helped me immensely)?
     
  7. missnaomi

    missnaomi PetForums VIP

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    I have had some similar problems and I found Control Unleashed (the book) really helpful, and using some Kikopup clicker training videos on Youtube at the moment too, and the Look at That game. It's working (lots of time and TONS of treats later) but it's not easy.

    When you feel up to it, it might be worth considering joining a helpful and well organised training class - there are lots of members in your area who might be able to help choose one. I find going to the classes really helpful.

    You'll get there in the end...:)
    Naomi x
     
  8. Set_Nights

    Set_Nights PetForums VIP

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    I was away to suggest something along the same lines :). Mia is the same as Kilo was, she doesn't like strangers (without dogs) approaching us directly. She is also wary of children because they can be excitable and make funny noises and movements. Mia is fortunately also very food orientated so I have been working on this by getting her to focus on me as we walk close to strangers/children and rewarding her with her favourite food when she ignores them. I have also been getting visitors to the house and delivery people to join in! Mia is very wary of strangers coming to the door so I put her into a sit in the hallway and don't let her approach until she calms down. Once she is calm I get the stranger at the door to reward her with cheese!

    Is Clover food orientated at all? Is she just like this when she is outside or does she do it to visitors at the door too? Do you have any acquaintances that Clover hasn't met that would be happy to get involved?
     
  9. tinaK

    tinaK PetForums VIP

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    She isn't into food really.. not enough to keep her attention anyhow. The same with toys, the only thing that might keep her attention is a stick, but then she barks to have it. Will try all the suggestions though, something has to work . thanks everyone
     
  10. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    You could also try a thundershirt. Lots of dogs find them calming.
     
  11. tinaK

    tinaK PetForums VIP

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    ohhh I do have one actually. Forgot about that. thank you :)
     
  12. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    You really need to be careful though as it is not fair to other people to allow your dog to practise this behaviour, whether she does it to all or some.

    You could be putting your dog at risk and why should people be harassed by a barking dog?

    Would you feel happy if my GSD barked at you and would not come away?
     
  13. tinaK

    tinaK PetForums VIP

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    No I wouldn't be happy and I am not happy with clover doing it, which is why I am trying to work on it. Just a bit stuck right now
     
  14. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    It is simple, keep the dog on a lead so she cannot practise this behaviour.
     
  15. lotlot

    lotlot PetForums VIP

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    I have exactly the same problem with Finlay, so I know how you feel!! I have worked so hard to eliminate this behaviour and I feel as though I make progress, only for everything to slip back as soon as something stressful happens :(

    What I have found works well with Finlay is sitting on a bench in a busy area. I often sit there for half an hour to an hour. Everytime we see a person or a dog, I distract him and treat him. Then towards the end of this time, nothing seems to bother him. It's frustrating at the beginning, but it does work :)

    It is so embarrassing when he's in one of his moods :( Then I get worked up and he gets worse. I hope you manage to solve this...and if you have any helpful tips it would be very much appreciated :)
     
  16. tinaK

    tinaK PetForums VIP

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    Thank you all. I now have a plan to work on this. Firstly she is going to stay on the lead around people while I work on this. There are area's on the park where we can be alone, so I can play ball and stuff with her.

    I am going to do the "watch me game" and reward every time we go past someone without her barking. She isn't into food but she is really into praise.. she loves nothing better than been told "she is a good girl" Going to take her around people and slowly get her used to them

    Feel a lot more postitve about it now, so thanks for the posts and PM's. Much appreciated as always :)
     
  17. Nellybelly

    Nellybelly PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like a good plan:) Keep us updated!
     
  18. Izzysmummy

    Izzysmummy PetForums VIP

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    Theres lots of good ideas here that I am going to try with Izzy. She is a very nervous girl (not at all like a typical lab) and initially didnt even like going out for walks! We have addressed strangers while out on walks, are seeing improvements with strangers coming into the house, she can now walk past pushchairs without batting an eyelid but the next big thing is kids! I will show these ideas to Tarnus so we can come up with an action plan!

    Sorry for hi-jacking cloversmum but we are currently having similar problems so its nice to get some ideas for how to tackle this :thumbup1: and its good knowing others are in the same boat.

    Also I have found following people really helps, (I must look like a crazy stalker:eek:) but Izzy will walk nicely behind things that she does not like approaching head on so this may be an idea for you and if Clover's not looking happy you can turn and walk the other way.

    Good luck! Let us know how you get on!
     
  19. tinaK

    tinaK PetForums VIP

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    Well I was teaching clover the "watch me" game on our walk this morning. She picks things up really quickly. By the end of the walk, she as almost watching me constantly :)

    My question is do I get her to watch me everytime a person goes by and reward? Thanks for all your help :)
     
  20. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

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    I like 'watch me', but prefer to get Kilo to look at whatever a trigger may be then to look to me for a treat, so he isn't being taught to avoid that thing, but to start associating seeing it with good things (food). For example, if we see a child heading at us on a scooter he makes a real point of looking at it, then nudging at my hand at looking at me for a treat. Initially I treated every time, now I treat intermittently and praise.

    Hope you see what I am driving at - the LAT game again!! If I were you and you want to just use 'watch me' I would do it every time to start I think.
     
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