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Very dog orientated dog & castration query

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Ellie74, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Ellie74

    Ellie74 PetForums Newbie

    Sep 25, 2013
    Likes Received:
    We have a sort of rescued dog - Rex (through family, he was on his way to Battersea dogs home, when we got him).

    Rex is about 13 months old and we are not sure about his early months, I think he was living in a pub. We got him at 9 months old. He is a big boy - wolfhound x mastiff x german shephard.

    We are going to training classes with him. Having trouble on walks. He just loves other dogs so much and wants to play with everyone. Which means if he see a dog, he tries to drag you over there. He walks to heal quite well mostly otherwise. He is not nasty with other dogs, but some owners (and dogs) are put off by his size.

    I would love some advice on how to calm him down with other dogs. I try and walk with people who have friendly dogs as much as I can. But the more he wants to get to other dogs in a crazy excited way, the more it puts people off him :-(

    His recall is quite good if there are no other dogs around. But the dog trainer says we are giving him too much freedom. So now he is back on a lead/long line.

    I would also like to know what people think about having him castrated. We are planning to do this, but have had mixed advice as to what difference it could make and when to do it.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. BenBoy

    BenBoy Banned

    Aug 31, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Hi, welcome to the forum

    In terms of the long line, this is a good idea but you will need to constantly practice the recall command with VERY tasty treats. Start off in quiet areas and when you have the recalled nailed, move to more busy areas with a few dogs around and practice practice practice. Does he like a ball or something as you could use this as a reward if not keen on treats. I have a lab so just assume its all treats! Its a good idea to socialise him with dogs as you are doing but you must practice your commands and not just let him run around wild as he will just learn to expect this in the company of other dogs. The classes will help him to learn to behave and listen to your commands around other dogs as well.

    In terms of castration, this may well help with his attention on you. My friend recently had her lab castrated at 12 months and his recall and attention span has improved

    Any pics? :)
  3. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

    Nov 2, 2011
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    Personally I would hold off on castrating until he is mature. Given his mix at least 2 years old, 3 would be my preference. At 13 months he's more than likely into the adolescent phase or about to go into it where it can be a bit like living with canine versions of Kevin and Perry :rolleyes:

    My Lab was absolutely obsessed with other dogs during adolescence, nothing else compared to them and if he was off leash with one the only way to get him back was to call the other dog back and grab him when he came with it. If we passed a dog on a walk and I let him off 5 minutes later he'd go running back to see if it was still there. And when passing one we had screaming, lunging and spinning if he wasn't allowed to say hello.

    Spencer is now nearly 2 and a half and MUCH better. We do still have a problem with him wanting to go and introduce himself to dogs within a certain distance but we no longer have the screaming or lunging if he can't say hello. And if we meet a dog off leash he's happy with a quick sniff, perhaps a few minutes of play and then carrying on with our walk. We go to a dog meet once a week which has helped since other dogs are no longer such a novelty and it's given me the chance to work on Spencer paying attention to me around other dogs in a real life setting. Same with walks with people and their dog, rather than just letting him run around and do as he pleases I take the opportunity to reinforce working with me. Solo walks also involve a lot of training and play with me rather than him doing his own thing the whole walk. Some people who know us think I'm too controlling but their dogs just run riot which I don't find acceptable so...

    I have actually used releasing him to play with the other dog as a reward a fair bit. Started out asking for something fairly easy for him to do like a sit, as soon as he did "off you go". Obviously can only do this when the other owner and dog are happy for them to interact though, it's not something you should use random dogs for.
  4. leashedForLife

    Nov 1, 2009
    Likes Received:
    How much does he weigh?
    What sort of collar do U currently use?

    Given that the any-breed average dog is 3x the strength of a human, pound for pound, & muscle-breeds
    [Rott, APBT / AmStaff, AmBull, etc] are 4x human strength, pound for pound, plus dog's faster reflexes,
    4-on-the-floor traction, & lower center of gravity, humans are outclassed.

    Do U use a 6-ft leash, of nylon-webbing or leather?

    I'd get a sturdy H-harness of any brand that's decently made, with at least 3 adjustment buckles & preferably 4,
    & it should fit him SNUGLY - flattening his coat, & squushing hair out to bristle slightly at the strap edges.
    It shouldn't SLIP when tugged 2-handed to one side, with 1 hand on shoulder / neck strap, & 1 on girth.

    I'd clip the leash to his forechest; it's nice if there's a metal ring, but no big deal if there's only fabric.
    Just go to an outdoor supply & buy a locking carabiner, of apropos size & burst strength for his
    weight; ask the staff, if need be, for help.

    Slide the carabiner under the junction of all 3 straps on his chest, diagonally; LOCK it; & clip leash to carabiner.
    Leave the carabiner on the harness, locked - unclip the leash, rather than remove the carabiner. That way, it's
    a lot less likely that someone forgets to LOCK it, & the dog is off... :eek:

    the front-clip harness improves YOUR body mechanics, & reduces HIS leverage; just remember to keep
    Ur hands _Low_ & wrists / elbows fairly straight: Use Ur torso, turn at the waist, & don't go chicken-winged
    [bend wrists & elbows, at acute angles] - that leaves U weak & helpless.
    U can't have him return when called "sometimes". :eek: He needs to practice recall consistently.

    U can clip a 30-ft long-line to the chest-ring or carabiner on the H-harness, & use that to bring him in,
    hand over hand if U must - just remember to REWARD HIM, no matter how he gets there! :D
    He's over a year. I'd do it ASAP; it will make training simpler, & reduce his distraction.

    There have been so many pups desexed before puberty, literally billions of them by this time, it's been
    over 40-years, & there are very few issues connected to desex - despite DVM Zinks & the oft-quoted k9-athlete!

    Please note Dr Rosebrock's letter here
    Early Spay/neuter

    He breeds Irish Wolfhounds, & desexes all his pups before they leave for their buyer's home,
    if the buyer wants them neutered; they've had no issues.

    Millions upon millions of pups have been desexed before adoption, in thousands of shelters & rescues
    around the world; he's past a year old. If a 2# pup at 56-days can be safely desexed, i think he's fine. :thumbsup:
  5. Ellie74

    Ellie74 PetForums Newbie

    Sep 25, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Thanks for your advice. I have added a pic now. He is a gorgeous boy :)
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