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Too friendly dog

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Vicky_404, Jan 21, 2020.


  1. Vicky_404

    Vicky_404 PetForums Newbie

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    Hello everyone! I wanted to ask for advice about my dog, Orion. He is a one year old kokoni mix breed, and about 10 kg (aprx. 22 pounds). He is an overall amazing dog, but I have an issue with him being over-friendly. What I mean is, he would trust just anybody and follow them around and when somebody calls him he totally ignores me or he has a really hard time focusing on what I'm telling him. Today I was at my wits' end. There is no park near us, and the area I live in is quiet, so I took off his leash and let him run in a grassy area freely. I do this because 90% of the time he is near me and obeys every command I give him, plus he needs exercise, and I can't provide it for him in any other way. So we were heading home, and suddenly he saw a delivery man entering our building. He saw him as well, and yelled "Come! COME HERE, good boy" and such, and my guy just lost it. He barked like crazy and run towards him. I yelled him "come here" and "no" again and again, but he just totally ignored me (which he never does in any other circumstance!!) and jumped on the guy barking excessively. Orion was totally friendly, and did not mean any harm, yet he acted like he was possessed. I'm very worried about this kind of behaviour, because like in many cities where I live, some people hate dogs and feed them poisoned food. Yesterday, a post came up online in a nearby city, showing little fish hooks (22 in total) that had been placed inside of three sausages. A beagle swallowed one of them, and the other two were eaten by strays, one of which died. Also, what happens if someone calls him across the street? I do not have the money necessary for hiring a professional trainer... so, does anyone have an advice on that matter? Please do not tell me to have him on a leash at all times, cause that does not change the root of the problem. Also, I do not want him to be aggressive, just to calm downa bit. Thank you for your time... I apologize for the HUGE post!
     
  2. Billbailey

    Billbailey Banned

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    I also have an excitable dog and the most important thing to train is impulse control. There's lots of exercises and training routines you can try to get him to control himself and listen to you. You can do these in the house and you don't need to buy expensive equipment.

    Is your dog toy or food orientated? Because you can use either to train Take It - Drop it - Leave it. You can also start your recall training in the house with a Wait and then the recall signal you chose.
     
  3. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums Senior

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    OK, let's start with what you don't want to hear: you need to keep your dog on a lead - by allowing him to do as he wants you're just reinforcing the behaviour. He gets pleasure from it, so he will keep doing it - the more he does it, the more pleasure he gets and it will just keep going. As far as your concern about him running across the road is concerned, it's really a no-brainer - keep him on the lead! You should keep him on the lead for so many reasons - you need to keep your dog under control for the sake of himself and the other people and dogs he meets.

    THEN, you need to train a good, solid recall - you need to make yourself the most attractive thing around, by training him with treats (good ones - liver, or cheese, or chicken - something he finds irresistible),or if he's not food-focused, find what motivates him (a ball, praise, whatever.) Use a long lead to keep him under control. Start somewhere quiet (ie, without distractions) and when you think he's mastered that, take him somewhere with distractions and train him there. Use the long lead to keep him under control. When you call him, you need to use the same command EVERY time. You need to use a friendly voice. He will not come to you if you yell (whatever you yell - 'come here' or 'no') because he'll assume he's in trouble - whereas the nice delivery man is happy and jolly and that looks like a better option. You can use a louder voice, of course, but it needs to be reasonably high pitched (which dogs find more attractive than a deep bellow) and 'nice' - not threatening. Never stop practicing - every day is a training day, so keep recalling him to make sure he's not 'forgotten' how GREAT you are when he comes back to you. :)

    The bottom line is: your dog may never be 100% trustworthy. I can never say my dog will NEVER prefer someone / something else to me, because it's always possible (and my younger dog's recall is superb - and not down to me; he's a rescue and he arrived that way! The other one is very single-minded and very much does his own thing!) So, when you're anywhere where there is any risk, PUT HIM ON THE LEAD. If not, you DO run the risk of letting him run across the road, run up to someone who is afraid of dogs, whatever. If he runs into the road and causes an accident, then what? Are you insured? It's about taking responsibility, really.

    I hope that helps.
     
    JoanneF, Boxer123, Magyarmum and 4 others like this.
  4. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    First up you need to invest in a long line or otherwise keep him on a lead. You know he does this. The fact that 90% of the time when there's no distractions that he finds appealing doesn't negate the risk for the other 10% of the time. You know he's friendly, but the person he's barrelling towards doesn't.

    So first step is to stop him being able to do these behaviours. The more he is allowed to do them, the more ingrained they will be in his head as a neuro-pathway. So set him up to succeed so that he is physically unable to keep up with this risky behaviour :)

    Once safety is assured then you can work on recall. Easy to start with. And positively, with no yelling. Set him up to succeed! And have him want to engage with you!

    Oh I type slowly, thank you @Ian246
     
  5. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

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    Hi Vicky, welcome to PF :)

    A couple of things in your post jump out at me that you can address right away.

    Once you were headed home, he should have been on a leash. If he was anywhere near your building, he was near a street, and near streets all dogs, no matter how well trained and reliable, should be leashed near roads.
    In safer areas you may want to use a long line for a while until you get a better handle on his recall.

    Very common mistake and potentially problematic.
    Stop calling him over and over, you're just teaching him to ignore you. Definitely stop calling him and saying 'no' at the same time. Think about what a confusing message that is to him.

    Basic rules of recall - don't call the dog if you don't think he's going to come. That just teaches the dog that the recall cue is optional.
    If the dog does blow off the recall, don't call over and over again. Go get him.
    This is where your long line is your friend. You call once, if he ignores, you can go get him because you still have him on the line.
     
    Amanda Mower, JoanneF, Torin. and 4 others like this.
  6. Vicky_404

    Vicky_404 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you all for your replies! I am not sure where to start. First off I would like to say that our place is about 7 - or so -meters away from the sort of "garden" I take him to play. I thought it was a very short distance for him to put on the lead, but I get the point. Billbailey, I think we will try what you suggest and see how it goes. He is food oriented, so I think this is the easy part. Ian and Torin, about the friendly voice you suggested, he has a little issue with that. He never listens to commands given by friendly voices, ever. He may act like crazy when he hears them, but from what I've seen it is something like a brief satisfaction - like if he thinks "good! You did recognize me" - and then leaves them alone. Neither me or any of my family have ever achieved to make him listen to a command given in a friendly, welcoming voice outside, not even with food. He seems to disdain it for some reason. Instead, I give the commands in a quite serious but non threatening way, and it pretty much does the trick. Yesterday I yelled because he stormed off and when he is in that state of mind he never listens to a calm voice, and also quite frankly because I panicked. O2.0, the last part was really helpful. I have been in such a situation before, and I wasn't sure how to react. Although, isn't this going to send the dog the message "why should I go when called, since she'll come pick me anyway if I don't"? About the recall, is giving the command two to three times too many, generally?
     
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