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Too distracted to take a treat.

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by keasby, Jul 9, 2009.


  1. keasby

    keasby PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there,

    My lad Marley is gradually getting better at most things but walks are still hard work. He has a head check harness that he tries to get off for the first 5 minutes of a walk but then resigns himself to the fact it is staying on.

    He still tries to pull and walking to heel is non-existent. We have tried to reward and reinforce good behaviour but he will not take even his favorite treat when out of the house. Vocal praise (positive higher pitched voice etc.) doesn't seem to register either.

    Has anyone got any tips for rewards on a walk that he might respond to. He seems too exited/distracted to respond to what we have so far.
     
  2. rona

    rona Guest

    Hi
    What is he distracted by?
    Have you tried a squeaky toy to get his attention?
     
  3. Bobbie

    Bobbie PetForums VIP

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    I made some liver cake for my outside training and only used it on walks etc. It worked for my dog.
     
  4. keasby

    keasby PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the replys.

    I think he is distracted by everything, the smells, birds, grass, people etc.

    A squeeky toy sounds good and I'll try an 'extra special' treat just for walkies.

    Also when he goes past other dogs he really pulls and strains at the lead, jumps and whines. He appears to be excited rather than aggressive but I was wondering if there are body language signs to tell the difference.
     
    #4 keasby, Jul 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  5. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Aggressive would be hackles rising, barking, ears pricked upwards. Whining is a submissive sound, if your dog was aggressive then he would not whine. Sounds as though he just wants to meet other dogs. Do you allow him to go over and interact?

    Where are you walking him for him to get distracted?

    x
     
  6. keasby

    keasby PetForums Newbie

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    He does seem to want to play but he can be very rough and tumble, so i don't think random strangers would appreciate me introducing him to the pups. We generally walk around a field/park opposite my house. Maybe the grass etc is too exciting? he is better when walking by the road.

    On the meeting dogs thing, he does tend to try and be dominant with others. Are there any tips for getting him to respond more pleasantly. He's not aggressive but does mouth and wrestle so he walks with a muzzle.
     
  7. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like my Sammy! Sammy is a staffi x ridgeback. He gets very excited when he see's other dogs. What I do is recall him to me and then take him over on his lead. It is very important that they are allowed to meet, in order to develop social skills. Sounds as though your dog is lacking them.

    If he is on a lead, why do you muzzle him?
    What breed is he?
    is he a rescue?

    I would NEVER walk my dogs on a lead in a park/woods etc. They would be a nightmare. If I lead walk, then we do it on the streets where there are not the distractions. We do go to the park and woods, but I have them off the lead.

    Where do you live?
    x
     
  8. keasby

    keasby PetForums Newbie

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    He's always on his lead- we're not at the point of him returning to call yet. He's ok in the house and garden but we are terrified to let him off outside. He wears a muzzle just in case really. perhaps paranoid. Is there a good situation to start recall training outside? Is there a leap of faith element to it?

    He is a rescue and certainly lacks social skills. As for breed- anyone care to hazard a guess looking at the pic? best guess is a bit staffie a bit GSD, something with a husky/spitz tail and maybe a touch of grey hound. I do feel we're part of the problem, he reacts in a less than great way to dogs, so we try to avoid them which only exacerbates the problem.

    Although we have a nice park outside our front door it is very close to a main road- a neighbours dog bolted and was killed 6 months ago which adds to our nervousness.
     
  9. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    I would agree that you are probably making it worse, purely the fact he wears a muzzle whilst on a lead indicates your concern.

    I have 3 rescue dogs, 2 of them had (still can if not managed) dog aggression issues (doesn't sound like yours does). But I now have them off the lead (have to keep 2 of them seperate as they misbehave!)

    Do you live anywhere near me? I'm near Croydon, Surrey x
     
  10. keasby

    keasby PetForums Newbie

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    About as far away as possible- North East England.

    I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and let him have a good sniff of some dogs. He knows two- one he loves, an overweight corgi but he hates next doors remaining dog as all he knows of her is that yappy thing on the other side of his fence.
     
  11. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    It's a shame you are not near me, I'd love to be able to help.

    I do think you need to get some help. either a behaviourist or an experienced dog person. It does not sound as though you have much of a problem and an experienced person would probably be able to assit. But you can make it so much worse. Anything you are feeling will be passing down the lead to the dog.

    I can sense your anxiety with it all. He really does sound like my staffi x, Sammy. But because I have experience, I am able to deal with it.

    Please get some help, before you make it worse x
     
  12. keasby

    keasby PetForums Newbie

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    I will do, just looking into training schools. There doesn't seem to be many that offer opportunities to socialise though. Will keep looking. Is there anywhere to post around here to get advice on local trainers?
     
  13. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Just start a thread in this section for a recommended behaviourist in your area. If not may replies then put it in the chat section.

    Good luck, it won't take much to solve x
     
  14. rona

    rona Guest

    Try looking for gundog trainers, some of these hold classes for pets, and may have a fenced area where you can try him off lead
     
  15. keasby

    keasby PetForums Newbie

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    Well we found a nice training school for Marley. He's going to quietly observe next week then we'll go from there. Fingers crossed he'll learn to be friends with other dogs.
    Thanks everyone for the help!
     
  16. rona

    rona Guest

    That's good, let us know how you get on
     
  17. davehyde

    davehyde Banned

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    as abit of positive encouragement we had a dog in our class that was muzzled due to dog aggression for the first 3 weeks.

    he was in the class and had 15 mins socialisation before and after with all the other dogs.
    we had 4 rotts, a staffy, a sausage dog, a westie and my pup who was the youngest.

    when he first had the muzzle off his owner kept him on lead as were all the other dogs.

    when let off lead his hackles raised and he went defensive but no aggression.

    at the end of the course he passed easily and was a different dog.

    so yep i reccommend classes to everyone,not just to learn commands but the socialisation is of paramount importance.

    i bet ya see a different dog in a few weeks.
     
  18. keasby

    keasby PetForums Newbie

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    That is encouraging!

    I know he's got the potential to be an amazing dog- just needs the time and training.
     
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