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Help needed!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Kirsty87, Jul 28, 2009.


  1. Kirsty87

    Kirsty87 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello,
    I was after some help with my two dalmatians.

    They are both coming up to their second birthday, brothers (I know, bad move as I've been told).

    When we got them, they both went to puppy class (different groups) went the hole way through and both passed no problems (although recall was a hard one).
    Since leaving puppy class going for walks during the day is a nightmare!
    They were well socialized puppies and both still get on with mine and my partners parents dogs and each other with no fuss but any other dog or strangers freak them out? Even people they have met a few times?

    They get two walks a day, long walks on fields where they burn off a lot of energy but over the past 3 month or so we have resorted to taking them first thing in the morning and late at night where we know we won't bump into anyone!

    I love taking them out but it is starting to make me hate it! The fact that we can no longer go to the beach or to a park, it's not so much aggresive but they bark non stop and lunge? If that makes sense? They have never bitten anyone and I never want it to get to that point, hence taking them out at 6am and late at night!

    People are scared of them and it makes me sad as they are both very loving when you know them!

    Any help would be great!
    Thanks
    Kirsty
     
  2. rona

    rona Guest

    Could you walk them separately to socialize and train them more?
     
  3. Sounds to me as though there still needs to be work done with socilazion! harder when older! but maybe worth signing up to a traing class again! I get the ideal that this behaviour is whilst your dogs are on a lead!! (This is NOT unusual) if you go back to retraining work very hard on a 100% recall! Once you are sure of this you may find that your dogs are better off the lead
    All the best - and welcome by the way
    regards
    DT
     
  4. Kirsty87

    Kirsty87 PetForums Newbie

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  5. Kirsty87

    Kirsty87 PetForums Newbie

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    That's what I think! I would love to take them to the beach or to a park but always feel like the anti-social member? I don't want other dogs and owners feeling uncomfortable when I'm there?

    Do you think we're just giving up to easily? Or is it better to keep them out the way when they act like this?

    I dread anyone coming to the house now, all you get is barking! They do settle after about 20 mins or so but that 20 mins feels like the most awful 20 mins!

    Thanks for the welcome!
    Kirsty
     
  6. rona

    rona Guest

    I think you need to get a behaviorist to come and look at what you are doing, if you can't control them at home then you have no hope outside.
    Do you ever seperate them when someone comes to visit and let one greet the visitor?
     
  7. Kirsty87

    Kirsty87 PetForums Newbie

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    No, I haven't tried that one. Like get one to settle before letting the other one in? I wonder if they will settle sooner if there's only one there?

    I have seperated them both until whoever has come in is sitting down, then they get let in, all the do is stand at door barking, they will come and sniff then go back and bark then settle down and be best friends with them after 20 mins or so? It's really strange! This happens every time anyone comes to the house, apart from my parents and brother who they see nearly every day.

    Do you think it's best to keep doing this in the house before we start work outside?

    Kirsty
     
  8. rona

    rona Guest

    It's really difficult to say without seeing them, that's why I suggest that you get someone in, but if you haven't got control in the house and garden you stand no hope outside.
    Can you get them to stop playing on command?
     
  9. Kirsty87

    Kirsty87 PetForums Newbie

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    I think your right, I do need someone to help! Just thought I could at least find out why they were doing it?

    Yeah they give up toys, food, stop playing or stop anything when asked in the house but as soon as we get out and they spot someone or someone comes to the house it's like they can hear me but they just don't want to do anything?

    Kirsty
     
  10. rona

    rona Guest

    What has their socialization been like, did they mix with lots of people and dogs while they were puppies?
    It does sound as if you have been doing a reasonable job with the training, so I'm stumped.
    Did they always do this?
     
  11. Just one more thing! perhaps the very hardest thing you can do is to train two dogs the same age at the same time! Don't know if you are training together! if you are I would suggest that you set aside time to train each dog alone daily for at least the next six weeks! covering the basic commands first, then instilling them with no room for manouver!
    regards
    DT
     
  12. Kirsty87

    Kirsty87 PetForums Newbie

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    Yeah they were well socialised when they were pups, puppy class, loved going to the beach, loved all the attention they were getting! It started when they were around 7-8 month. We used to meet up with a guy who lives in the area and take them and his dally on the field for a run. Then his dally got sick and had to be put to sleep and he was given a great dane, not sure if the size spooked them or what but from then on they just would never entertain another animal or person?
    It is very strange! I'm confused!

    They were trained on their own when they were pups but now they have grown we tend to still do basics but together now. With the walking we have tried going out one at a time but they are the same as when together?

    Kirsty
     
  13. rona

    rona Guest

    Well it certainly sounds like a fear or protective response.
     
  14. Kirsty87

    Kirsty87 PetForums Newbie

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    Nothing else seems to jump out that could have caused it, that was the only major change?

    I shall ring around tomorrow, see if I can get someone here to have a look, thanks again for all your help. Will let you know how we get on!

    Hopefully it won't be long before we all can enjoy W.A.L.Ks again lol

    Kirsty
     
  15. rona

    rona Guest

  16. Kirsty87

    Kirsty87 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for that! Have the name of a lady not too far away who also does home visits!
    Will give her a call tomorrow and let you know how it goes!

    Thanks again!

    Kirsty
     
  17. rona

    rona Guest

    Best of luck
     
  18. zeon85

    zeon85 PetForums Junior

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    sounds like they need to be put into pack order with u at top and also once established then move onto socialising with other dogs if u keep them awahy from this as they get older it could get worse also the bigger the park the better as dogs are territorial over things and this may help them relax in a bigger enviroment
     
  19. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Hi. I would advise you definitely walk them seperately and as said above, look at your leadership status. Do the dogs see you as pack leader? I would have to say no, because it should not take 20 minutes to calm them when somebody arrives.

    Your first port of call is to re-align your status, with you at the top! Until your dogs see you like this, you will be unable to resolve this problem.

    What is your house set up like with their beds? Our dogs have beds in the lounge. When somebody comes to visit, all dogs are sent to their beds and I call them out one at a time (one dog has to be shut in his cage because he gets aggressive with visitors). They do bark, but I send them to their beds and they quieten down. About a year ago, I did not have this control over my dogs, they did not see me as pack leader. One of the things I practiced was getting my husband to ring the door bell and sending the dogs to their bed. This reduced the excitedness when the bell rang.

    Unfortunatley until you have this under control in the house, you will never fix it outside.

    You can practice something like this with your dogs. Also use a lead to keep them calmer. But only have one dog out at once (when visitors arrive). When the visitors have been there a while and the dog is calm, then bring the other in on a lead.

    Bottom line is, they are dominating you in the house and are not showing you respect. But it is down to you, to regain this position.

    With regards to walks..... as stated, until you have control in the house, you have no chance outside. I would walk both dogs seperately. When you see a person or a dog and your dogs looks like it will react, you need to distract it/correct it. A half check coller is best for this. The less your dog reacts, the quicker it will be to solving the problem. You can use treats or toys to distract them as well. When you have more than one dog, they tend to follow each other. This is fine if your dogs are balanced, but yours are not.
    Max and Lilly, my two greek rescue dogs, cannot be walked off lead together. (they can be a pain on a lead as well). This is because they both have issues, but put them together and I get double the trouble!

    A behaviourist is probably a good idea. But you do need to work at asserting yourself as the leader, regardless of what other advice you get.

    Good luck x
     
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