Rescue - Training Advice Please

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Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by punkydingo on Tue Apr 12 2016, 12:49

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Hi everyone!
My name is Natt and I'm new to the forum. My Fiance and I rehomed a 6 year old staff called Sox three weeks ago and he is just so perfect..!
I say perfect...until we leave the house. At home he is great, responsive and affectionate, listens first time (mostly) and has settled in really well.
Now, the moment we leave the house, Sox is all over the shop. He has never been walked off a lead and as he has previously been walked in city centers, I feel that all of the open space/fields/smells/wildlife etc is very overwhelming and Sox is unresponsive as soon as something catches his eye. If he spots other dogs he 'zones' out and won't listen to me..treats don't work either as he is totally uninterested if he's 'zoned' out.
Meeting other dogs is hit and miss, sometimes he' fine, other times he's snappy but I'm not sure if I'm making things worse as I'm not sure what to expect and could be passing my anxieties down through the lead.
I'd be really grateful of any advice, I spent the last few hours reading through some posts and there's a great sense of community here.
I should mention that Sox is yet to come off a lead and won't do so until Chris and I can trust him, however long that may take. We have a short lead and a longline and try to keep the lead as loose as possible....when he isn't pulling! He has come from another family so we have very little information as his previously family no longer had the time for him.
Thanks guys,
Natt & Sox
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by punkydingo on Mon Jul 11 2016, 08:05

Morning Liz

We tried clicker training for about a month when we first rehomed him and it was unsuccessful. When he spots something it's like he's in some kind of trance..I know that sounds silly but it's the only term I can think of that best describes it.

The appointment is Friday evening, we have an initial slot of two hours.
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by smudge95 on Mon Jul 11 2016, 09:56

don't give up -I am sure the behaviourist will help but Buddy used to do this all the time every time we saw a dog he would lay down and then jump up and lung for it -in fact anything that moved - if someone walked towards me he would pull towards and jump as they went by - I got a trainer who brought her dog with her and we spent a good three hours with her dog sitting and me walking buddy up towards it giving squeezy cheese as a treat when he looked at me and turning away and starting again if he looked at the dog - it took a long time till he got it but he did and then I moved onto clicker training him to get him to look at me when I clicked and squeezy cheese as the reward - it was hard work and a lot of cheese! but now when a dog is close he will sit and look at me and his reward is a lot of fuss when the dog moves off while I was training him I kept walks short but often that way neither of us got stressed with each other and the chance of seeing too many dogs was cut down - if he lunges at dustbins that could be a good starting point to try the watch me and squeezy cheese as the dustbin wont move or get hurt if he gets too close... - Buddy still criss crosses when we walk at times and we are working on "close" as a command with the clicker to see if that works and he will still try and lunge if I am not paying attention on our walk but it is getting better - I can remember being in tears at his behaviour thinking I will never be able to take him any where but it does get better please stick with it you have come so far with Sox -what do you walk him on ?
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by punkydingo on Mon Jul 11 2016, 10:18

Your experience sounds very similar to mine Carol. I often get very teary and fustrated when we get home which isn't good for either of us.

I walk him on a harness as I find it easier to hold him. I've thought about muzzling him when we're out so he can hopefully learn that other dogs are a positive but be in a safe situation.
I don't know much about muzzling though, I need to read through some posts on here.
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by smudge95 on Mon Jul 11 2016, 10:54

what kind of harness - I use one that was suggested on here and 9 out of 10 times he is ok - but I am going to get a mekuti harness so that you can pull him slightly off kilter , as it has a back and side d ring , when he pulls and this stops them pulling so much it is more an aid and will not stop them pulling in the same way training will but if you are having serious issues just getting him walking ok is what you are after training can be done alongside it , - I use a double ended lead on my harness that allows me to be able to have a good hold on him but also to simulate the movement of pulling him off balance if I need to it does work he turns round with such a dirty look at me but it stops him pulling! When I compare his walk today and he was naughty today ! to 6 months ago he is a different dog - it will get better but it sounds like you need little steps to get there - it sounds as if the walks are overpowering his senses and he is becoming agitated wanting everything he sees as soon as he sees it - I would go back to basics put the harness on and treat him - take him to the front door and if he doesn't pull treat him open the door if he pulls shut the door take the harness off no treat - then try again later until he gets through the door without pulling - same to the gate - then to the corner etc - every time he does unsocial behaviour turn him and take him back , he will learn his behaviour is causing him to be taken away from what he wants - use the watch me as a command with the cheese once you have that locked on attention you will be surprised how quick they respond to it without even realising .. let us know how you get on
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by TwoSocks on Tue Jul 12 2016, 16:13

Hi there, I'm in the same boat with Una. I don't know much about her early months but she's fearful and reactive with new things. A behaviourist, clicker training and the BAT method that Liz posted about have been very good and I am seeing improvement, less tears from me and Una's getting braver. Our walks are still carefully thought out routes though Smile
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by TwoSocks on Fri Jul 15 2016, 06:21

Hope your appointment goes well tonight Natt
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by punkydingo on Fri Jul 15 2016, 09:55

Thanks for your advice ladies, sorry i haven't responded ..it's been a crazy week!

Will update you following our appointment later :-)
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by Mia05 on Fri Jul 15 2016, 12:38

a shorter lead helped me loads and the training I received from the puppy classes I took mia aged 3 Laughing best of luck with the behaviourist Smile

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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by punkydingo on Mon Oct 31 2016, 14:25

Hey everyone!

Hope all and pooches are well :-)

Sorry for the sudden disappearing act, life got very busy all of a sudden.

The last few months have been a journey of discovery. We started seeing the behavourist but I really felt like it wasn't bringing anything to the table so we haven't continued with her. In all honesty, Sox isn't as big of a problem as I've made out - I've had a reaaal struggle with generalised anxiety disorder and have realised that as my mental health is improving (hurrah!) so is Sox' behaviour so the link is pretty evident!

The new plan of action is identifying when I feel anxious when out with Sox and what I can do to help myself, which in turn will hopefully have a positive effect on Sox. One of these situations is coming across other dogs that aren't on leads. I think to muzzle him so that I can be more reassuring with him and so he can also learn to enjoy other dogs company safely would be a great way to build both of our confidence. His body language is always positive, it's just the reaction that needs work.

Can anyone suggest how to introduce a muzzle? I've bought a Mikki material muzzle and so far I am just holding in front of him with a treat the other end so he had to put his nose in to be rewarded. Seems to be going well so far but I don't want to rush as I understand that getting this bit wrong could be a game changer!
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by LizP on Tue Nov 01 2016, 09:03

What a brave post. Well done on being honest about yourself, to you and to us.

Firstly, I'm afraid I don't like those fabric muzzles as they don't allow the dog to open their mouths to take a treat or pant. You're better with a Baskerville ultra.

This is a good video for muzzle training.

https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/dogs-and-muzzle-training

But, I would say to have the muzzle as a back up but mainly focus on calling her away nicely, avoiding head on meetings where possible and really work on relaxation for you both.


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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by Dukes Momma on Tue Nov 01 2016, 13:21

Good luck with the muzzle training.
I have just ordered the baskerville one as I have decided to muzzle train Duke, then if he ever gets injured or has to go to the vets with trauma then it won't be traumatic for him to have to muzzle him. I will make it fun for him and not rush it.
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

Post by punkydingo on Thu Nov 03 2016, 11:20

Good luck to you too Shirl!

Thanks for the advice Liz, I'll check out the one you recommended as the introduction to the Mikki muzzle is going better than I expected.

It's amazing the revelations you can make when you're totally honest with yourself huh!?
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Re: Rescue - Training Advice Please

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