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Training Social (Humans & Dogs)

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Lucas1233, Apr 8, 2011.


  1. Lucas1233

    Lucas1233 PetForums Newbie

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    Firstly I'd like to say hi to everyone as you can see I'm new to the forums and Im seeking help on training and I really would appreciate all the help I can get.

    Anyways,

    I have a border collie (Black, Tan & White) possibly with some German Sheperd. there (Mostly collie). She is coming up to 7 months old. I bought her from a farm with the mother and father both working dogs.

    I brought her home when she was ready to leave them and she met my ****'zu (who is 7 years old / Female) they got along great, they don't fight, just play sometimes which is great. Where we live is actually a quiet village and we have a detached house with fields outside with our other animals Chickens / Horses. She spends a good few hours a day roaming around the fields / horses which she is fine and she doesn't wander away from us.

    When I walk her around the mountains I don't put her on a leash because she comes straight to my call or whistle. I have walked her many time around streets / town on a choker lead (as high up as possible) which stops her pulling and she walks great on this lead.

    She is house trained, she sits / paws ext...

    I thought I'd give you an Idea of what her environment is like and what she is like to determine the problem (Sorry if im boring you !)

    Anyway overall she is a fantastic dog ! Although im having trouble training her within these types of situations:

    - When someone enters the house she will give about 2 barks and jump all over the visitor ! (Not Violent at all)

    - When I walk her around the streets she can sometimes bark at people but she doesn't pull on the lead aggressively or bite them once they are close (Just jumps on them)

    - When we see another dog she barks and pulls (even though on a choker) very violently. She has been in situations when she is roaming with a few different dogs and she is very aggressive towards them (trying to bite) without getting any judgement on the other dog.

    - The worst one is she trys to chase cars that drive past, she will wait for them to travel past then jerk the lead towards the car trying to chase it.

    I have tried taking her attention away from the dogs by using treats or her favorite toy. which kind of works for a while until they get closer (the other side of the road) when she will just go nuts !

    I have also tried using my shi'zu as a role model as she is great with other dogs but this does not make her any more less violent.

    My aim is to basically take her focus away from the other dog. I have purchased a remote vibrating collar I know she doesn't like vibrations but isn't scared or uncomfortable with them but I think it will grab her attention.

    Any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated !

    Sorry its so much to read !
    Regards,
    Lucas
     
    #1 Lucas1233, Apr 8, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  2. Eroswoof

    Eroswoof Guest

    Hi and welcome Lucas, didn't want to read and run but I'm useless with training advice :lol:

    I'm sure someone will be a long soon :)

    Em
    xx
     
  3. Jonesey

    Jonesey PetForums VIP

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    Echo.

    I'm sure you will get some good advice. And she sounds like a (most of the time) lovely dog! :)
     
  4. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Congratulations!

    Excellent!

    Bin the choker! You risk serious tracheal damage to your dog. You need to use some kind of good anti-pull system, either well fitting front or double clip harness, or flat collar & lead plus head collar.

    The problem was most likely caused because you didn't walk her along streets and mix with enough other dogs as a young puppy enough, or she's had a break from strangers. ( For background see material at Dr Iain Dunbar's site Dogstardaily.com Puppy Training 12-18 weeks and most likely you'll spot things you did not do with your young dog )

    May be she needed to learn to walk nicely first, because you used the Choker, big mistake!

    Walking a car reactive Collie on even traditional flat collar, is just not safe, not for the dog, not for the handler. She'll get much stronger in the next 4 months, and what is worse, these Choker leads do not stop ingrained pulling & lunging. They seem to work initially, but as you are finding, when the dog is focussed it does not care about it strangling itself, it just blocks the feeling and the throat constriction adds to the stress.

    What most people would advise, is positive-reinforcement reward based training, and where a nervous dog like a Collie or GSD is involved, then desensitising them by gradual exposure and building tolerance and better associations with the stimulus with patience works.

    Unfortunately, 7 months old, means this is not as easy as with habituating and socialising a 3-4 month puppy who develops similar issues, so you need to be committed and calm.

    For avoiding chasing & lunging I would in a quiet safe place teach an "Ignore!" command :
    • Point to something so the dog notices it
    • Waft treat and then offer it just behind shoulder of dog so it turns head and looks your way
    • Give it, and then keep your dogs attention on you (toy may help)
    • Once the dog turns the head expecting the treat add a cue like "Ignore!" and phase out the pointing
    • Soon the dog looks for the treat on cue
    • Work with greater distractions but not too much too soon

    Later you can try with more stressing distractions, like cars, and gradually approach closer and closer, even go past animals to chase, with the safe walking system. Until then, try and avoid close traffic, I found in similar young dog a road with a large verge was suitable.

    But you must keep the dog calm enough, to stay in control of self. If the dog looses interest in the treats, it's a sign of being over-stressed.

    Train to ignore passers by like for cars, and build positive association, quite possibly the choker is increasing her fear of stanger dogs! You would to if something unpleasant happened when ever you get close to them.

    If you can go to a dog socialisation expert for the off leash play & mixing situations.

    This is easy if she's happy to meet them, use a safe leash to give you control. Teach an "Off!" command if she jumps. Now teach polite greeting behaviour, have her sit or lie down and not ambush the person. Have them ignore her, until she's calmed down. Reward the calm polite greeting you like, and remove if she barks or jumps up. Give attention for the good, most people make mistake of just punishing the bad and not giving the well behaved dog enough attention.

    If she's actually become nervous of them and fearful, then you may need to consult professional help. Avoid confrontation, have people she meets approach slowly, preferably in netural place, ignore her. They can throw treats down on ground, so "good things happen" when she meets strangers.

    Normal for the Dog Whisperer techniques not really to work, they can look great on TV unless you watch the same show a couple of tiimes focussing on the dog's body language.

    Collies have great focus and tremendous concentration, so what you describe is normal for a dog that is anxious and getting over-excited. Their alertness and work ethic makes them prone to Stress

    You can look at calming suggestions on tripod's website, but manage the problem by keeping comfortable distance, and only gradualy working closer and closer as you turn things round. Calming Calming Your Cerrrrraaaazzzzzy Canine

    Belongs in the bin like the Choker. You have a highly intelligent, wary pastoral breed of dog, prone to nervousness and phobias!
    Screwing around with her head is stupid. Don't break the dog!

    Become what that dog needs you to be, the most interesting and fun thing in her life. Play lots and do games which help her learn to break focus and control impulses.
     
  5. Lucas1233

    Lucas1233 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi again everyone,

    Thank you so much for your post Rob I really will take in everything you've said im actually purchasing a padded dog harness as we speak I will pick up a load of her favorite treats also !

    I will be spending alot more time walking within quiet public areas training your methods.

    Kind regards & Thanks again,

    Luke
     
  6. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

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    I can't add much more to Rob's post really, other than to say that you sound like you are doing a lot right and, apart from using the choke collar and e-collar, your grasp of the positive-reinforcement training (using treats and toys as distractions) is good and you should just keep doing this. It is obviously working, but these things are not quick fixes and you need to stay consistent. If your dog is responding to toys and food from a distance, don't go too near to cars/other dogs just yet. Keep the distance and slowly decrease the distance. It takes time but insures that you build a positive association and counter-conditions an already well-ingrained behaviour. Using choke collars/e-collars serve to suppress behaviour and can result in a lot of mental and physical damage in the process.

    Good luck!
     
  7. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Dont know how old she was when you got her, but as a farm collie, it could be likely that she didnt have early introduction to roads people and other dogs. At 7mths also they can enter a fear of the unknown period where even previous confident pups can react again to sights sounds and situations with uncertainty and even fear.

    With the jumping over visitors, try getting them to totally ignore her on arrival, no speaking, petting or even eye contact, you can even try having her on lead. Once she has calmed down and stayed calm, then give attention and you can reward with treats too. If she wont calm, try removing her for 5/10 minutes to let her calm down, let her out ignore her, and then if calm and stays that way, then give the attention. Keep reapeating if neccessary be persistent, she should learn, calm behaviour gets rewards, hyper attention seeking and jumping doesnt.

    With the situations in the street, you could try a head collar, this will give you control of her head, making it easier to break eye contact and focus on what she is fixating onto. You could use a harness and double end training lead with clips both ends, one on the head collar and one on the harness for double security and control. Timing is important, left to late she will escalate and get too far into the behaviour. Turn her 180 degrees to break eye contact, teach her watch me, use high value treats, cheese chicken hot dogs liver cake, cheese spread in tubes is good as they tend to be obsessive trying to lick it out the tube.

    You need to start by giving yourself and her a wide margin at first, starting in quieter roads, with less people and dogs to set yourself and her up for better success, If you can get away from the road as much as possible, or start at a greater distance from the people and dogs to put the training into operation first, as you get success then you can up the anti, and narrow the margin and try it nearer and nearer.

    It will take time and persistence and you will have to take your time and go at her pace.

    Hope this will give you some ideas. Ps ditch the vibrating collar, if she is doing it out of uncertainty and fear which is likely as on lead they havent got control and cant practice flight (Running away) or avoidence and their body language is hampered they can feel at a disadvantage, thats why many then go to fight lunging, snapping chasing off, as they feel its their only alternative then a vibrating collar is only going to excerbate it, its just another unpleasant thing to associate with an already stressful situation in her eyes. Offering an alternative behaviour and then rewarding when she complies makes a positive good association instead.
     
  8. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    You're welcome and as others have said, going slowly, so the dog is not over-whelmed is important. As it's almost certainly fear & excitment based, you really need to be calm and avoid feeding (or even causing) the emotions.

    Training treats, don't need to be large, just small smelly platable things, dry training treats can be convenient but small pieces of hotdog, chicken etc tend to be stronger. What suits, depends on your dog though.
     
  9. Lucas1233

    Lucas1233 PetForums Newbie

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    Iv'e seen this being done on the TV I think it's called Dog Bostel ? Anyway, walking her today was a little better she went bit out of control with some guy doing his gardening in the village today. However I made her sit and held a treat in front of her and kept grabbing her attention until she calmed down.

    I will buy head collar also just to break the eye contact because that's what im having trouble with, once she see's another dog she wont bark unless she is looking over for awhile.

    Picked up some training treats yesterday from Wilkinson store which come in beef / chicken / cheese ? LOL ! Anyway I bought all 3 and mixed them up and she loves them ! :)
    At this stage im going to start walking her around the village alot more often.

    Again, Thanks for all the help

    Regards,
    Lucas
     
    #9 Lucas1233, Apr 10, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  10. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    As you can get her to look at you, a nice tug toy she can take, give, heave on ought to work well; it should be easy to get a Collie to be mad keen on the game.
    Remember though, you're trying to calm her and help her become unafraid, actually start her to associate strangers with getting treats & play.

    Head collars need habituating to, otherwise you're likely to find she fixates on getting the thing off. And for safety (due to the car/village reactions) the double ended lead attached additionally to traditional collar is best.

    Be paced by ya girl though!! If she's spazzing out she can't learn any more. This is all about keeping her under threshold and calm enough to get used to the situation.
     
  11. Lucas1233

    Lucas1233 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the Input Rob :)

    Walking her today was better because she knew I had treats on board. Everytime I seen a car come through the village I told her to Sit / Paw / Keep her occupied by waving the treat.

    She is still slightly unease with the cars. I can tell she wanted to just lunge at the car and she tried so hard not to. Anyway's once the car had passed (she didn't lunge to chase it). I rewarded her with the treat.

    Would you think telling her to sit might make her think she is being rewarded for sitting on command rather than not running for the car ?

    Regards,
    Luke
     
  12. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Yes! That's why I used "Ignore!" after some experimentation to train my pup out of chasing joggers, cyclists as well as getting used to the noisy heavy traffic. I could give it as part of a turn away whilst walking for example.

    Dog sees the "bandit", breaks focus, handler manages depending on situation. But the unwanted behaviour is avoided, and the dog learns nothing bad happens.

    My pup got frightened of sitting at roadside, due to a loud truck, so was really reluctant to sit on paving for a while. However sitting or lying down, does have the advantage that it's easier to avoid the dog jumping or lunging. You can reward the "Sit!" with soothing words, or a slow calming stroke, and then have food reward for "Ignore!". There's nothing wrong with asking for a sit, after you reward the ignore, after all it's about teaching her behaviour you prefer to the natural instinct to chase the moving object.

    But as you say, when you have a calm, pass by, when you missed a command, reward that to, because it's the behaviour you're encouraging (reinforcing) not response to cued commands, in the situation.

    Great thing about Collies, is they catch on quick, it sounds like she understands what you want. Soon she'll be eagerly wanting to go to your training spots for chance to earn food & play rewards! It's so long since I've used "Ignore!" with Freddie now, that I'd have to re-teach him it, if I need it again. Really great to see you're making so much progress alrady. I expected it to take a little longer really to get where you are now :)

    Because you have this experience, if you attend Agility classes in 6 months time say, and she gets worked up by dogs flying by, you'll know what to do, unlike the surprised owner, who just let her dog fixate on the end of the tunnel, and start lunging and barking when after a rumble, dogs would burst out of nowhwere seemingly. It was so risky for an accident, that I just kept my guy moving, and did a couple of jumps with him, rather than stop near the over-excited dog who was in the way.
     
    #12 RobD-BCactive, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  13. Lucas1233

    Lucas1233 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi rob thank again for the information ! I will defiantly take it on board !

    I walked her today and car's were a walk in the park, she even resisted chasing a noisy scooter !

    However we did bump into 3 peoples on which all 3 I just couldn't calm her down ! I had her on the flat collar with lead which she is just on her back legs pulling and pulling. Although i did keep calm and kept walking her she will constantly look back so I give her a little tug to walk with her head in front.

    Anyway afterwards I had 2 friends calling over so I gave them some treats outside and had them wait at the end of the road. I walked her down and they rewarded her with the treats. Should I keep putting this into practice ?

    I have the car situation under control and going smoothly but I'm really not sure about the people progress. Once these have considerably gained her confidence around both cars and people I will focus more on training her to socialize with other dogs.

    Thanks again Rob.

    Regards,
    Luke
     
  14. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    I agree with Rob. The best place for a choker or any sort of "training" collar is in the dustbin! Collies like to chase, and she needs to be distracted from that before it happens. I am not going to repeat what he said, just take it on board, please.
     
  15. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    You shouldn't use the flat collar as she pulls! The trouble is the pressure on neck tends to increase stress and take her further over threshold. That was point of harness recommendation (or head collar plus).

    Great on cars, working on strangers is going to go similarly and need managing the distance.
     
  16. Lucas1233

    Lucas1233 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone,

    Just really wanted to thank everyone especially you Rob :001_smile: !!
    I am making so much progress with Tess ! (Not yet started to introduce dogs)

    Im using a padded harness for her and it really does work wonders I'm actually ashamed of using the old slip lead !

    Just wanted to keep you updated Tess no longer chases cars AT ALL ! After teaching her a "Leave it" technique she brings herself to break her eye contact and carry on with the walk !

    She also doesn't bark / pull aggressively towards people ! (She might have the odd one little woof on a walk).

    Tess has made so much progress since iv'e posted this. I really did under estimate how intelligent Tess really is ! She really can pick up on things very easy when I can train her correctly !

    Anyway's again thank's Rob !
    I was also wondering if anyone has any tips on helping her socialize with other dogs ?

    My friend has a Husky who is very good with other dogs I was planning to Put both dog's both end of a field and walk them closer and closer when she has calmed down (both on a leash) rewarding Tess when she it not being aggressive ? Is this a good Idea ?

    regards,

    -Luke
     
  17. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    I did actually help a dog at training with one of mine, who was agressive with other dogs that was fear Based. He was fine with people, so I gained his trust first by feeding him treats, what we did was gradually get my one nearer and never over a few weeks, with me feeding him treats for him being good and not reacting. We than took them for on lead walks together, Gradually he learned to trust and accept Nanuq, and one day actually sniffed her and play bowed inviting her to play. From there he used to watch her interact and then could actually sit with other dogs and started to interact with them too. We took it really slowly and didnt rush it and did it over quite a few sessions, but worked on him. As long as the dog is calm and non reactive, it would probably be a very good idea.
     
  18. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Great to hear the news, so nice to have feedback to show that "treats" do indeed work and quickly enough for you to enjoy good progress!

    From my experience walking with rescues, my dog keeps a distance, and we go along in same direction, with the dogs gradually getting closer and accepting him. At first same principal as with the cars, look, stay below threshold and reward calm. My dog is polite and non-reactive, he does get on better with Collies in group situations at agility they're very friendly (in park they're too busy normally thinking of balls etc), some other breeds don't seem to signal too well.

    Not much time, so good luck and keep it up! :)
     
    #18 RobD-BCactive, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
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