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Strange dog - suggestions needed..

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Myyy, Aug 17, 2009.


  1. Myyy

    Myyy PetForums Newbie

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    I have three rottweilers, and am quite experienced with having dogs, but I'm really struggling with one of my dogs as she is not responding to me training her, and she seems a bit "off" Anyone had a dog like this before, or any suggestions to how we should handle her?

    She is the sweetest dog ever, but she has no focus at all. she is always whirling around, sniffing, eating things etc. She knows basic commands like come, sit, lay down and stay, but it has taken us quite some time to get there..

    We started by using clicker to train her, but was advised to stop doing this as it winded her up to much, and she made no progress on the obedient part. So we went on to train her with normal positive enforcement with a treat. She winded herself up a lot over it too, but we managed to get the basic commands down with this method. We tried with toys as enforcement to, but she is not so interested in playing with toys with humans..

    We tried tracing with her for a while, but again she was very unfocused.. with treat tracing she got so winded up over the treats she lost trace of the trace, and with no treats she lost the trace when exploring everything else around the woods.... She is very eager and willing to please but she just looses it when she gets to excited...

    So now we just walk and rides a bike with her three times a day. Some people suggested she had too much energy so we tried to exhaust her, but the more exercise she got the wilder she became, and we had to cut it back in order to be able to live with her...

    My other two dogs are very well behaved and obedient, and loves training, and are calm and normal dogs. The strange thing is that these two are far more dominant than this one, so I would assume they would be more of a challenge...

    Meeting new people, she is very excited to meet them for about a sec., and then she will just run off doing her own thing. I remember when we picked her up as a pup, her mother was just the same, to busy playing by herself, to mind us.

    With us she loves a cuddle, and a tummy rub, but she is not focusing on us as the other dogs. We've tried contact training, without much luck, it works in a training situation, but not in everyday environment.

    She is such a sweetheart though; likes people, children and other dogs, and never shows any sign off aggression, or causing trouble. (Sometimes she'll get a bit eager with other dogs though... causing them to get annoyed with her, so I have to remove her) But she is quite exhausting to live with...

    Any thoughts or ideas? I'd like to find a way to work with her.

    Btw. She is 5 years now, so not a wild puppy any more, even though she acts as one ;-)
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    What are you feeding her?

    Is she on any medication?
     
  3. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    To me it sounds as if she might be in pain. Have you had her hips and elbows checked? Or her back or knees? I had a dog who behaved in a similar way until I found out that she had bad knees. She'd probably been injured as a a little puppy, before I got her from the breeder and the pain made her very stressed, which of course affected her ability to concentrate. She wasn't unwilling to move because of the pain, on the contrary she'd be moving most of the time because she didn't really feel the pain when she was moving (stress hormones work as pain killers). When we found out what the problem was she got medication and after that she didn't have any problem concentrating.

    I hope that is not the case with your dog, but if you haven't already I think you should let the vet do a complete check up on her..
     
  4. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    What do you feed her?

    I'm almost hoping you say Bakers because then it would pretty much be problem solved :D
     
  5. Colliepoodle

    Colliepoodle PetForums VIP

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    Other than that.... after the aforementioned vet check I'd be looking into some classes. It is very unusual for a dog not to respond to clicker training - are you sure you were doing it correctly? If she is getting wound up it could be confusion over what is earning the click...
     
  6. staflove

    staflove PetForums VIP

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    There are many reasons for this behaviour food is one of them iv owned rottis all my live and they are very inteligent dogs do you see yourself as the higher ranking is this dog boss of your other 2 x
     
  7. rachel57

    rachel57 PetForums Junior

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    oh no whats wrong with Bakers ? im feeding my 9 week pup on it .:confused:
     
  8. Poipin

    Poipin PetForums Member

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    Bakers is known to be full of colours and other things that can make your dog hyper!!
    When i got both my dogs - the previous owners had been feeding Bakers.

    We got Pops as a pup and the breeder had been feeding her on Bakers puppy food. We continued with it when we got home only to find after numerous trips to the vet that she had a sensitive gut. It didnt agree with her at all.

    When we got Monty, he was being fed Bakers too - i didnt like it after the experience with Pops so i changed him to Jollyes lifestage. Im noticing differences in his coat and sorry for being horrible, but even the toilet end has improved as well!!
     
  9. Myyy

    Myyy PetForums Newbie

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    We're feeding her Purina Pro Plan right now, we used to serve Belcandos ecological food to her but the shop stopped selling it here. So now she's been on Pro plan for a month.

    She also gets salmon oil, and glucosamin supplement, but no medications of any kind.

    We've had her hips scanned when she was younger. She has no sign of hd any where, and both her legs seemed fine. The only problem she has had, medically, is recurring ear troubles. We take her to the vet when she gets it, and she gets medicine. We have also checked what could be the reason, so far not much luck, in six months time she gets it back. Only thing I've seen is that cleaning her ears with a sterile salt water solution once in a while has kept it away for almost a year this time... But it could be pain, I've been thinking of this, so I will take her to the vet for a scan again.

    We have attended training classes with her for clicker training, and while our male responded very well to it, she didn't. Now we do not train any of our dogs with clickers, as they respond just as well with normal positive enforcement, and enjoy working for a cuddle.... Except the 5 year old girl though..

    I've asked the breeder, and she tells me several of the other pups from this litter is head strong, with very high energy but none are having trouble with concentrating. I did notice her mother seemed like this though, but I did not think much of it then, after all she is a very good rescue dog.

    Asking the breeder for advice, she tells me I've got to be harder on her, and that while not dominant, she is a very sharp and unafraid dog, with lines from police dogs. I'm not being hard on my dogs, and have always trained them with positive enforcement, and want to continue doing that.

    The two other dogs are respecting me as the "pack leader", but with this one its difficult, it seems like she does, as she always listens to me, but she's not completely there with me, if you know what I mean? Maybe I just need to be more patient with her, that she needs more time than the other two...
     
  10. michelle_sheppey

    michelle_sheppey PetForums Newbie

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    i know how your feelin as i have a 11 month old rottie who is exactly the same and durin the night he paces all around the room and crys in his sleep and we ignore him and he gets worse but wen i say 'its ok im here' he settles but at the moment he's wakin up every 3 or 4 hours and im feedin him tesco's own branded food which he is happy with.

    he does get really restless and ive checked out other websites which basically say he could be suffering with seperation anxiety as both me and my husband work all day so durin the night he likes to be with us and hopefully the training will get easier and there will be no sleepless nights anymore

    im welcome to any other ideas to help me cope coz at the moment im pulling my hair out its so stressfull
     
  11. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    I don't think your dog suffers from separation anxiety. To me it sound as if lack of mental activities might be your problem. Rottweilers are active dogs that need a lot of mental activity. Walks and other physical exercise isn't enough. Does he get enough mental stimulation with both you and your husband working all day?
     
  12. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    Wow it sounds like you're in a bit of a vicious circle because the more hyper she is the more exercise you want to provide, which in turn might increase her hyper activity! Clickers can also be counter productive with some dogs because it acts as a stimulus, so don't worry too much about that.

    For training (practice everywhere, at home, on walks, in the car etc), you could try and get her to offer eye contact in return for a high value reward. Don't ask for eye contact by saying 'watch' or 'look at me' and don't use the treat as a lure, just keep her on a lead, don't move from the spot and once she has finished doing her thing (might take a while initially!) and turns an looks at you to see what happens next, bam, give the treat. Each time she looks give another treat, but don't speak or encourage - she must choose to give eye contact on her own. Once she's worked out how to get the treat, increase the time before you treat, one second, then two etc. Eventually you should be able to hold her gaze for some time before treating her. You should see her start to focus brilliantly and then you can make some headway :)

    Worth a try, it won't do any harm!
     
  13. Myyy

    Myyy PetForums Newbie

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    Alphadog; Yes its a vicious cycle ;-) And I'm afraid how hyper we'll all be in the end ;-)

    We have worked a lot with contact training on her, but I guess I must have forgot it along the way, as it is such a natural thing for my other dogs, to always focus on me, and keep eye contact frequently. I'll definitely try working more on that.

    She definitely has no separation anxiety... while the other two will keep close when off leash, she'll just run way ahead off us when on walks...
    One time the gate to our dog yard was open, and she was roaming about in the neighbourhood, while the other two sat barking at our front door... ;-)
     
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