Debo and his friend- didn't go well

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Sad Debo and his friend- didn't go well

Post by jola139 on Sun Jan 08 2017, 09:17

I'm so angry with myself! All was going great. So we decided that they would be OK for them to play. Rocco is just 1 and very playful, jumpy dog. He wanted to play ruff with Debo, so Debo told him off once, twice, by the third time he just lost his cool and wanted to pin him down. But Rocco didn't back up as we thought he would. It all happened so quickly. We reacted at the first telling of, but Debo was in a zone. After that, Debo felt sorry, tail down. We walked back home, both dogs fine walking on the leads ignoring each other. I know we've made a mistake, massive one. I think we need a third person help.
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Sad Re: Debo and his friend- didn't go well

Post by -Ian- on Sun Jan 08 2017, 10:57

The way I would look at this is a massive learning curve for everyone, Rocco now knows not to be so full on and Debo knows he overreacted. I would go back to the start and walk together only on lead again but do it for longer this time. Rocco is still very young and is bound to be more full on so that's the area I would concentrate on.

Work on Rocco's recall so that as soon as something starts to kick off he will come away immediately, this will not only be good when he's out with Debo but also when he's around other dogs. Might be worth brushing up Debo's recall work too, you can never practice enough really.


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Sad Re: Debo and his friend- didn't go well

Post by LizP on Sun Jan 08 2017, 13:36

Hmmm... not sure I'm totally with you on that, Ian. I don't think dogs view their actions in terms of how they should be with others in that way. If Rocco had been worried, he might have learned that being so full on got him into a fight so to avoid the fight he should avoid playing with Debo. Debo for his part probably looked sorry to the human eye but was probably more upset at having been told off and picked up on your emotions. I doubt he'll see that he overreacted and my guess is that he'd do the same thing again.

On the plus side, it's very good that they were fine walking alongside each other again. It's probably worth doing more of that, with loose leads to encourage relaxation, but at the same time being ready (without tension) to call/pull them away if necessary. Don't wait for the 2nd warning, create some space straight away and let them settle again.

The idea of a third person, a professional trainer, is the best though. They will be able to give you targetted advice based on what they see on the ground, whereas we can only advise based on what we think is happening.

Above all, don't beat yourself up. It happened and you can't change that. Dogs live very much for the now, they don't hold grudges and it's likely that they will put it behind them.


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Sad Re: Debo and his friend- didn't go well

Post by -Ian- on Sun Jan 08 2017, 19:48

I guess each situation is different Liz. In my own limited experience with Flo and the Bloodhounds, she initially told the younger male dog off with quiet some vigor when he was pestering her. It wasn't a fight but definately a telling off, he has never bothered her like that again. Now the older female hound told Flo off for going near her food and Flo has never done it since.

The thing I get from this is that Flo only ever see's them a few times a year yet she remembers what the rules are as do the hounds (and in my opinion Bloodhounds are quiet dim compared to Staffies Laughing ). This why I suggested that they may have learnt from the experience. I certainly agree with not giving up and the fact that they don't harbour grudges too (except Flo's complete distain for anything collie like Rolling Eyes )


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Sad Re: Debo and his friend- didn't go well

Post by LizP on Mon Jan 09 2017, 08:58

Don't get me wrong, Ian, they absolutely do learn from experience but I think we need to be careful about seeing how they perceive experience and learn from it. Dogs are more straightforward in their thought processes than we are. X happened, the result was Y. If I like Y I'll do X again, if I don't like Y I won't, if I really don't like Y I'l avoid X like the plague. I know that's very simplistic and real life is more complex than that but concepts like moderating behaviour and overreacting are taking the complexity too far the other way.

You also need to factor in the strength of the pull of X. If it's no big deal (sniffing that tree) it won't take a lot to put you off it. If it's a major event (getting the girl), you might be prepared to put up with a lot.

In this case, Rocco's instinct to play is probably very strong. He does need to learn how to behave in a way that gets the right response but I think that will be in a more step by step way - if I run at that dog he'll run with me, if I knock into him he'll push back in a way I find fun but if I bite that dog's ear he'll bite be back harder and hurt me, so I'll do the running and pushing but not the biting - rather than learning the global concept of moderating his play from one experience. Back to this case, if the whole experience of playing with Debo had scared him, Rocco would probably avoid playing with him altogether. As it didn't, my guess is that he'd try it again, possibly avoiding doing what he may have perceived as being the trigger for Debo pinning him down if that bothered him enough, or maybe not.


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Sad Re: Debo and his friend- didn't go well

Post by jola139 on Mon Jan 09 2017, 09:31

Thank you both. We know what to do with Rocco now, whenever he gets too full on with Debo. My question is, shall I correct DEbo for telling Rocco off, when he growls or shows teeth? Or it's just he's( doggy ) way of dealling with it? We for sure going back to the beginning and all of us agreed on getting someone to help/
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Sad Re: Debo and his friend- didn't go well

Post by LizP on Mon Jan 09 2017, 10:39

No, don't tell him off. He has to be able to express his feelings, and you (including Rocco) need to learn to listen to him when he says he's not happy. That way you'll be able to work within his limits and not push him to the point that he snaps. At the same time, he will hopefully learn to interact with this little bundle of energy.

For me, the key at the moment is to call Rocco away before he gets too full on. You want Debo to not feel annoyed with him, to not have to get to the point of showing teeth. Keep a close eye on him and pick up the 'that's enough' signs that come before that point. You might see him turn his head or even his body away, for example. At any point that you see/feel him wanting to back out of the conversation, allow him to. If he knows that his small signs are being listened to, he shouldn't need to resort to anything bigger.


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