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Really Hard

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Clodge, Jul 9, 2009.


  1. Clodge

    Clodge PetForums Member

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    Hi

    Over the last 5 days we've been reversing the roles and trying to be top dog as we didn't realise how dominant Otto was indoors. Since Friday night we've been eating first (which he certainly doesn't like!) and being firm in our commands and pulling him off the settee if he doesn't come off when asked after the first time - he's not happy!

    Everytime we go to take certain items off him inside the house he's started growling and at one point my sister tried to take a rawhide off him and he wragged her hand and caught her stomach and thumb. Now he's a big softy and has not an aggressive bone in his body but it's our fault as we've let it happen and been soft indoors. The trainer says this sudden behaviour is because we've completely turned the tables on him, we're being consistant and it's had an immediate effect. The evenings are the worst but we always get up the next day ready for another day and we're trying to teach him the basics of the gundog training.

    I know it's the million dollar question but how long does it normally take for a dog to recognise you as pack leader (if we're doing it right!)?

    Thanks
     
  2. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    It should be almost instant, however if you have been at the bottom of the pack for a while, then it may take longer.

    Out of interest, where does he sleep? Where is he allowed in the home i.e anywhere or is it restricted? when do you feed him? How often is he walked?

    I would not physically take anything off of him at the moment. As you have found out, it can make the dog aggressive. You can only do this when you have total control over a dog. The best way to take something off of a dog (if they won;t obey your command), is get a treat, wave it in front of him. If he does not drop it then the treat is not tasty enough! Once he has dropped it, then give him another command i.e sit, down etc and then give the treat. That way the dog thinks it is being rewarded for the last command i.e sit, down and not for misbehaving. Very important you don't give once he has dropped it and before the next command. Otherwise he might think it is a good idea not to listen to you.

    I would be very interested to hear how you get on. I have successfully used the pack leader approach and still do (it is a way of life, not a 5 minute wonder), to rehabilitate my 3 problematic rescue dogs.

    PM me if you want any advice x
     
  3. Clodge

    Clodge PetForums Member

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    Hi GoodVic2, thanks for your reply.

    He sleeps in his crate downsatirs in the kitchen and has the kitchen to roam in during the day (it's not a very large kitchen but a good size) and then when we're at home he has the kitchen and front room to roam round in and garden at intermittent times. He's not really allowed upstairs and only goes up if he wants to wind us up but the doors are shut so he can't go in anywhere. My sister takes him for a 30 minute walk on a morning and at lunchtime and then in an evening we take him out for up to an hour but this includes training such as quartering (which we're told 15 minutes is the equivalent of 1.5 hours). We feed him on a morning and on an evening at around 6.45am and 7.00pm (depending on when me or my sister have eaten). He was ill and didn't really eat for a week, he has a sensitive stomach so we changed his food and he's alot happier (JWB and minced tripe) and he's been fine this week and is now putting on weight (the trainer said he looked thin which was what was worrying us).

    I suppose we've got 9 months of being soft with him to change (he's coming up to 1 year shortly). I must admit I feel like I'm nagging as I'm telling my sister she's shouting and to just give firm commands and not to say sit 5/6 times when he's not sat - he should be sat after the first command but she says she doesn't mind as it's helping her get out of doing the wrong things but we're strong willed and persevering!

    Do you also do the eating first? Only this is the bit that seems to be irritting him the most and looks at you as if to say 'er...what are you doing making your tea - where's mine?'! What problems did your dogs have?

    Thanks again for your reply.
     
  4. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Check out the "about me" page, it gives you a bit of back ground.

    The fact you say "he is not really allowed upstairs" indicates a bit of inconsistancy. He should not go anywhere that you are not happy with. Buy a baby gate for the bottom of the stairs if you have to, to prevent him going up. It also sounds like your sister is not being consistant as well.

    Unfortunately, until you both become absolutely resolute in what you want to achieve, I fear you will not be successful.

    We begun the pack leader process over a year ago. My first 2 rescue's got very dominant and it led to people getting bitten. This happened because we did not show enough leadership and they could do what they wanted. Since we decided enough was enough, our house is a different place. So much so that I took on a third rescue.

    Tell your sister when you repeat a command over and over, the dog learns to respond to sit, sit, sit, sit and not just SIT. It makes it twice as hard if you make this mistake.

    If your dog is still not respecting you, then in my opinion it is because you have not made the shift from dog lover to pack leader. You can lie to yourself, but your dog knows!

    A couple of tips:
    * Ensure on walks he is behind or next to you. If he pulls you, he is in charge.
    * You need to stop thinking of Otto as Otto, he is an animal and needs to be treated like one.
    * Do not allow him to come to you for fuss. Fuss should be given as a reward and only when you choose to. By all means call him over to stroke him, but be frugal with it.
    * Limit access in the house to a couple of rooms, ensure he is never allowed on the furniture
    * Do not greet your dog when you return. A leader ignores until he is ready, wait at least 5-10 mins when you get home, before giving any attention. I find ignoring and with-holding attention is very powerful.

    I gesture eat with my guys. I eat a biscuit before I put their bowls on the floor.

    It sounds as though you are doing a great job and are really trying. However, you could do everything I have suggested, but if you are not consistant and absolutely determined then it won't work. It is all about your state of mind.

    Although being a pack leader is a way of life, once you have acheived your goal, you can relax with it. Although I still do all of the above, they do come to me for a fuss and I sometimes give it.

    You need to almost be harsh with him. It will pay off.

    x

    Just a thought, is he neutered......
     
  5. Clodge

    Clodge PetForums Member

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    Thanks ever so much - that's great!
     
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