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wants to run home!

raingirl
April 8th, 2005, 05:19 PM
ok...I have this odd problem with Odin that is getting worse and not better. He wants to run home as soon as we get to the walk leading up to our entrance to our building. It's about 30 feet.

We talked it over with our trainer last week, and she suggested two things. One: get a Snoot Loop (like a halti, but different, and they have special ones for short nosed breeds like bulldogs) http://www.snootloop.com/page3.html
Two: turn around and walk in the other direction so he learns that pulling does nothing.

Well, the snoot loop is on order.

I tried the last 4 days the stop and turn around thing. Doesn't work. He literally tries to crawl out of his harness, or he lays on the ground, or he sits...either way i don't feel comfortable pulling him as I don't want his feet to scrape on the pavement or to strangle him or crush his ribs (he is in a harness).

He is learning to heal really well so far though, but as soon as we hit the that last 30 feet to home, it's all hell breaking loose.

The trainer also suggested to try and find something that he will eat no matter what is placed in his face. Something that is SOOO tantelizing and amazing that he will not ignore it. I have tried everything short of buying a raw lamb steak and dangling it from a hook to slow him down!! Cheese, dried fish, veggies, french fries...

I think it's some kind of territorial thing, because he just wants to get in the lobby, see who's there, and he calms down. When he gets to the glass doors he paces back and forth looking for people, even if there aren't any. He has to get in and see down the halls before he calms down.

Unfortunately there is no other entrance to our building so it's the only way in.

I'm hoping the snoot loop will work, because if he pulls, he will just be pulling himself around to face me!

The trainer even said that one of her bulldogs needs one, even though it's well trained. Some are just stubborn about stupid little things.

mafiaprincess
April 8th, 2005, 05:37 PM
I found pieces of chicken hot dog worked well in areas of distraction, so did lil cubes of raw meat.. but if Cider wants something badly enough she can ignore even tantelizing food, so those suggestions may not help either.

BMDLuver
April 8th, 2005, 06:04 PM
Most dogs will do just about anything for liver treats. You can make them and freeze them so you just defrost a few at a time. hmmm a recipe for them. I am not sure if there's one on the site or not. I'll look and if not find one.

Homemade Liver Treats - Courtesy of LR!

Put 1 lb. beef liver or cooked chicken liver through a grinder or blender together with three cloves crushed garlic. Add to bowl with 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, an egg, and a little water to bind it all together. Mix well; it should be very thick. Spread about 1/2 inch thick on cookie sheet lined with lightly greased aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then turn down heat to 200 and continue baking another 20 minutes, or until treats are fairly dry to touch. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Use fingers to crumble into bite-sized pieces, or cut with knife for larger treats. Makes several cups

twodogsandacat
April 8th, 2005, 06:04 PM
Sliced hot dogs do seem to be up there on the list around here too. :thumbs up

I'm not a trainer but I don't know about getting into a tug of war with a dog. I mean it's not a trade in "push pull or tow it in".

I'd go with the food, a foot at a time if need be. Let him know good things happen beyond that walk way.

tenderfoot
April 8th, 2005, 09:54 PM
He is young and lacks patience, so it must be taught.
I would practice his stops. When you are walking with him have him stop and stay. Count to 10 before you continue or if he is showing impatience then wait until you see him calm down. Then continue on. Do this throughout the walk. As you near the building do it frequently - about every five-ten steps. He must stop and stay at the gate and every few steps until you get to the door. He must also wait at the door as you open it and sit there until you release him through. This should help him to learn that he doesn't get to go where he wants - when he wants - without good manners.

raingirl
April 8th, 2005, 10:31 PM
The problem we have with treats is he has food allergies, but we don't know what he is allergic too. the foster said he got hives after having beef, but they never really went away. He is on a fish and oatmeal food, and gets veggie treats. We introduced lamb treats and turkey treats, and his itchiness didn't get worse. So..we are warey as to what we can try on him. No liver, no hot dogs..nothing like that. He really likes beets, but I prefer not to try that as I don't want to carry a baggy full of wet staining purple bits. I would rather carry raw meat!

Tenderfoot, we tried that. We have been doing that for 3 months, still doesn't work. He is a almost perfect angel for the rest of the walk, but as soon as we cross over the entrance to the underground parking lot, and to the path to our door, he turns into the devil. He could be sitting nice and listening to me, totally undistracted, right at the edge of the path, but as soon as we move one step, he dart forward, practically knocking me over (leash is tied to me around the waist, so he only gets about 2.5 feet of leash), and nothing I do will get his attention. NOTHING. He may sit and pretend to be nice (although he will not look at me as he does all other times when we call him), but as soon as he feels the leash get loose or me moving at all, he lunges again. And it gets worse the closer we are (at this point we are still 30 feet away). He hates having his ears cleaned, but when he is like this, I can stick my finger in his ear as though I am cleaning it, and he doesn't even flinch or care (maybe I should clean his ears while i'm at it!! j/k).

If I could just get him to walk normal for one step, that would be progress. I can't even take a step without him dragging me three feet (and he is only 50 lbs!! I need to workout more!)

Oh, and it's worse when there are people there as he just whines and whines to get closer, and I worry that he is wanting to guard his territory and may get agressive.

I really wish we had a back entrance to our building.

Prin
April 8th, 2005, 11:19 PM
Is there another way to get to the door? I mean can you walk across the lawn instead of walking straight down the walkway?

What I would do is not treats. I would walk back and forth in front of the door for a while. If going near the door is not a guarantee of him actually getting to go inside, maybe he'll calm down. Like if 4 out of 5 times you walk by the door, you don't go in, maybe after a while he'll stop expecting it. The problem is that going inside is a reward for him for some reason, so you just have to make the chance of getting the reward more random... Just an idea. I don't know if it'll work..

raingirl
April 8th, 2005, 11:27 PM
I actually tried that today. THe only other option is to walk on the other side of the roadway to the door, and he just kept trying to bolt across.... I tried walking past it, but he is so out of control, I literally needed to pick him up, as I could not get him to budge!!

tenderfoot
April 9th, 2005, 11:53 AM
Treats, avoiding the entrance and the new halter won't teach - they avoid dealing with his willful challenges against your wishes.
Think well-behaved teenager until he wants to go to a party - then all respect for mom's word goes out the window - and he's off.
So I think you need to work on your overall relationship and his level of respect for you.
It sounds like he is great at the High School range of manners but that going into the building is college level for him and he's not ready. Right now every single time you go for a walk and this routine of poor manners shows up we are reinforcing failure (bad manners) on his part, because he wins. He has learned it works and it works really well. We need to repeat, repeat, repeat - until we have success and then repeat it some more. The only chance you have to change his patterns is to end on success not failure. You have to keep asking him to choose better behavior UNTIL he does and then reward the heck out of it. This could take a while the first couple of times.
I would encourage you to do your obedience drills within the boundaries of the building and not go for a walk - you need to break the habit he has of returning from his walk and losing his manners - so don't go on a walk. He can get just as much mental work out by doing his drills at home. Plan on spending an afternoon just hanging out at your building. Some of it can be spent doing drills, some playing and some just hanging out - all with good manners. He needs to get to the point where the building is no longer a big deal.
Good idea Prin - do what we call a 'clover leaf' around your building - lots of little circles away from the entrance and back to the entrance, but don't go in. Just keep making your circles larger and larger as you are successful and eventually you will being able to go on longer walks and returning will be no big deal. It's what we do with 'barn sour' horses - they want to tear back to the barn so we do 'clover leafs', back and forth, back and forth until they learn that they are not in control of the ride and that only good manners gets them truly back to the barn.

Beetlecat
April 9th, 2005, 12:31 PM
I agree with walking by the building and not going in. And by not reinforcing his behavior by going in (ie giving in) when he's being a brat.

Just remember that with a behavior like this, it has been going on so long and working so well that it's become habit. So be consistant. It's a fact that a sometimes rewarded/ sometimes punished behaviour will continue until it is no longer rewarded. Ever.

Also remeber that it will get worse before it gets better, as Odin tries to redouble his efforts at what worked for him before, until he realizes you've changed the rules and that his old behaviour won't work anymore.

Lucky Rescue
April 9th, 2005, 02:06 PM
He hates having his ears cleaned, but when he is like this, I can stick my finger in his ear as though I am cleaning it, and he doesn't even flinch or care (maybe I should clean his ears while i'm at it!! j/k).

He's a bulldog!:p Once they get "zoned" like this, it's hard to redirect them. You need to get him before he goes into this mode. My Chloe is like this too - does everything 110%.

If I could just get him to walk normal for one step, that would be progress. I can't even take a step without him dragging me three feet

The instant you follow him, willingly or not, he's won and he will continue to do this.

The second he starts to pull you towards the entrance,(or when you know he's going to) you abruptly do an "about face" and go swiftly in the opposite direction. He should learn that pulling gets him the opposite of what he wants.

raingirl
April 9th, 2005, 10:47 PM
The second he starts to pull you towards the entrance,(or when you know he's going to) you abruptly do an "about face" and go swiftly in the opposite direction. He should learn that pulling gets him the opposite of what he wants.

Any suggestions on how I do this because I can't get him to move in any direction but towards the building without physically harming him. I can't pull him or anything...if I try, most of the time he lays down on the ground. Should I pick him up and place him ten feet backwards maybe?? He pulls so much and if I try and pull back or sideways, or anything, he becomes a block of cement, unable to move no matter what we do. He may only be 50 lbs, but he is super strong, and I don't want to drag him across the pavement and hurt him... If I move at all he pulls me as well, so if I did walk towards him to try and pick him up, he would pull again and be out of reach.

I drew this quick pic in paint. The left side is a fence and the top is a railroad track, so we can't enter from there. The red is the path coming from the west parking entrance, the blue from the east. The red and blue X's are where he starts to pull (i.e. the point of no return). The green is where we are required to take him off property to pee/poop...so we always have to get past his point of no return to do his business several times a day. As you can see, there really isn't any other place to walk him to the door, as it is a garden beside the building to the right of the path, and a road to the left, and we can't walk on the road, and there is no space on the other side of the road near the fence. And it's a with people and taxis constantly coming in and out of the roundabout in front of our building. There isn't much space to walk past the door unfortunately either, as there are only a few parking spaces, then the fence in front of the rail road track. It's like walking into a dead end, and walking a dead weight!

tenderfoot
April 10th, 2005, 01:53 PM
Drag his big butt! You are not going to hurt him (are you using a body harness on him?). Picking him up is not teaching him a thing and could hurt your back terribly. And the layout of the building is really not the issue - it is all about bad manners - though I do love the drawing.
You need to have the attitude "the bus is leaving and you(Odin) better be on it".
The first thing to teach him is not to pull!
We start this inside - by standing away from the dog (facing him) and gently pulling on the leash just enough to create a little pressure. If he resists the leash then you keep gently pulling just so he is set off balance - the micro-second he takes a step towards you - you release the pressure and go to slack leash and praise him. Do it again and again and again - until there is no pressure on the leash and he seems to follow you about the room. Now he is learning pulling doesn't work - folllowing the leader feels much better than arguing with her. Now take it outside and, as you are successful, to areas that might be more challenging for him - always working from success to the next challenge. & YES! we have worked with many bullies (and other bullheaded dogs) and you simply do it until it works - some just take longer - but few take longer than a few minutes.
Also think of this - if Odin lived at the front door of your building - say he was the doorman's dog, he would quickly tire of all of the commotion of people and cabs. The more time spent in this area the better - bore the heck out of him. Pretend you are waiting for someone who is hours late- take the opportunity to teach and to desensitize. Plan on being there for a few hours. Walk him from the door to the entrance (red & blue crosses) and back as much as you can stand it - until he is exhausted and bored. Time well spent now will make all the difference for the coming years.

Lucky Rescue
April 10th, 2005, 02:18 PM
The more time spent in this area the better - bore the heck out of him.

Yes, make it boring and make it so he does not get what he wants.

I inadvertantly taught Chloe that reaching the entrance of my 80' driveway on our return from late walks was a signal for her to explode like a charging bull and race to the back of my property.

She decided that it was okay to do this even if I didn't take her leash off or give her the "GO!" command. The result was my arm being nearly yanked from the socket and a nasty spill on the ice.

All my fault, but I had to correct it. Now when we come home, if she shows the least sign of thinking of bolting I just stand at the end of the driveway, holding her leash and doing nothing until she gets bored and sits down. Then I let her go. She has now learned that politely waiting gets her what she wants.

puppup11
April 10th, 2005, 05:16 PM
I don't know if this would work for you but I've tried it for the past couple of walks for pulling and it's done absolute wonders.

Give about 2' - 3' of leash (keep it consistent, don't let it out and pull it back) and walk briskly, and as soon as the leash goes taut because he's pulling ahead start slowing down. The more pulling, the slower you get, until finally when he's pulling the most you come to a dead stop and don't move again until the pulling lets up a little. Even if it lets up just a bit, start walking (slowly) and the looser it gets, the faster you walk, totally slack means full speed ahead. If he stays there just pulling, you can give him a minute then try taking a small step, if the leash goes a little slack start walking slowly until he pulls again. If you did this throughout the neighborhood just to teach him the principle and did the same thing when coming home he should eventually realize that pulling won't get him what he wants, which is to get to the building. A slack leash will get him what he wants and to do that he has to wait for you since you hold the leash.

dogmelissa
April 10th, 2005, 11:34 PM
raingirl

I'm going to suggest two things; 1. vary your walking route. Take him to different places, maybe even get in the car and drive 3 blocks from home, then do your half hour walk (or how ever long it is) then get back in the car and drive home. The suggestion about turning and going the other way is valid too, but do it WHILE you're walking as well, just to keep him unsure about what's going on--will teach him leash manners as well as making him unsure about where he's going so he'll have to pay attention to what you want him to do. If you do this during your walks, and make it fun (turn around, run the other way and try to get him interested in a game of chase, a toy, a treat, etc), he is probably going to be more likely to do this ANYWHERE, not just when he isn't near his house. Make being with YOU (rather than being in the building) the best thing in his life.
2. My dog also has food allergies that are as yet un-diagnosed. I am feeding him Nature's Recipe Venison and Rice. I read about a trillion articles about dog allergies and all of them suggested that he needs to be on a completely restricted diet for a MINIMUM of 6 weeks before I introduce new things. One article suggested 12 weeks with nothing but the restriction diet (ONE protein, ONE carbohydrate that the dog had NEVER eaten before, either homemade or commercial). Regardless, I personally think that it is VERY important that you stick with the fish & oatmeal food and possibly the veggie treats--better if you can find a fish & oatmeal treat. I know for a fact that there are Nature's Recipe Venison treats, because I buy them for my dog. He's not that picky about treats, but he really likes these (which is great since I think it may be beef that he's allergic to and all other treats that he likes contain beef!). They're expensive, but they are worth it for NOT making his allergies worse.

This is one of the best articles I found on the topic, partially because it was posted in a similar forum to this, partially because the response is from a veterinarian rather than a company saying "most veterinarians recommend this"...
http://www.vetinfo4dogs.com/dallergy.html#Determining%20Food%20allergies

Hope that helps, at least with the food allergy part of it. I know I've seen a *world* of improvement in my dog since I took him off a "regular" dog food and put him on the venison diet. I wasn't able to find Fish & Oatmeal, can I ask what brand that is? I know Eagle Pack also makes a Duck & Oatmeal diet if you want to try that--might work as treats!

Good luck,
Melissa

raingirl
April 11th, 2005, 10:15 AM
So I should just drag him? What about his feet? He has allergies and his feet are already not in the best shape because that's where his allergies bother him a lot (between his toes). He also has some deformation on his feet from birth (two toes cuve up and he doesn't walk on them).

He doesn't pull except during this time, and rarely when people of dogs are near by (depends on his mood). he is doing much better than he used to be, so that is nice. He heals 90% of the time, which he didn't do at all 2 months ago. I can't try that pulling thing with the leash, as that might confuse him with his obedience school training, as we are using that for the stay command. They use his natural instinct to pull against resistance to teach stay.

Maybe I will drop by my landlords office today and ask it it's ok to put my beach umbrella in the ground in the front of the building, so I can sit under it with Odin today for an hour and he can watch people come and go the whole time. I would sit in the lobby, but I have issues with the supers wife who hates my dog, and I really don't want to put up with her BS for an hour. I would walk him back and forth but I am afraid he might get a sunburn or get overheated as it is going to be quite warm today. He also needs to sit and be patient when people walk by a little better. Yesterday we rode the elevator for 10 minutes, up and down, just to get him more used to it, as he was starting to freak out a little in it.

Beetlecat
April 11th, 2005, 10:51 AM
They use his natural instinct to pull against resistance to teach stay.

This is a bit OT, but could you explain that a bit for me? I admit I havn't done alot of formal obedience, but that seems to be a different and maybe counter productive method to teaching stay. It just seems that it would teach him that he *should* stop when pulling on a leash and that that's a good thing. I'd just like a bit more information about this method of training so I can understand it :)

dogmelissa
April 11th, 2005, 03:00 PM
So I should just drag him? What about his feet? He has allergies and his feet are already not in the best shape because that's where his allergies bother him a lot (between his toes). He also has some deformation on his feet from birth (two toes cuve up and he doesn't walk on them).
He doesn't pull except during this time, and rarely when people of dogs are near by (depends on his mood). he is doing much better than he used to be, so that is nice. He heals 90% of the time, which he didn't do at all 2 months ago. I can't try that pulling thing with the leash, as that might confuse him with his obedience school training, as we are using that for the stay command. They use his natural instinct to pull against resistance to teach stay.

I agree with the previous poster--I don't understand how pulling works to teach him stay? The other thing to consider is that due to his stance--low to the ground--the head-collar (snoot-loop) that you said you were getting. Do you understand that the idea behind one is that it stops your dog from pulling because it is supposed to drop his nose so that he a) can't see what he wants to get to and b) feels your dominance (pressure on his snout) and is thus more responsive? That being said, a dog which stands generally below knee-height won't get a lot of benefit out of this kind of harness/head-collar because when they pull, the tendency is for their nose to go UP, and that's useless. You might want to consider something like this: http://www.companyofanimals.co.uk/halti-harness.php

I would NOT recommend dragging the dog along with you. This will just teach him that you don't really have the authority to tell him what to do and where to go. What you need to do is turn around and start walking the other way--pretend that you have ZERO interest in going home and that the only thing that's interesting is in the direction you just came from. You can't do this JUST at the spot where he starts to pull, you have to do this throughout the walk--it increases your control with the "heel" command, as well as teaching him that he MUST go where YOU want to go, not where HE wants to go. This works exceptionally well with dogs of all sizes, breeds and motivations--whether it's "get the squirrel", "chase the dog", "I want to go home" or anything. All you need to do is throw in two other commands: "don't pull" (for a split second before he hits the end of his leash or when he's walking on a loose leash), and "let's go" for when you turn around. When you start out walking, after any pauses (poop pick-ups, street crossings, mail pick-up), you just say "Lets go!" and then if want him to heel, say "heel" as well. My dog has gotten really good at this--I have him on an extendable leash and when he gets too far behind I tell him "lets go" and he rarely gets jerked by the leash being extended all the way. I can even tell him when he's OFF leash and he'll come running to catch up. It's a *very* useful command. I've found most articles say to just stand still and wait for your dog to stop pulling, but Stanley Coren (TV show "Good Dog!") recommended this technique because it forces your dog to do what you want as well as when you want it, and I've used it on 3 dogs and had immediate results.

I hope this helps.
Melissa

tenderfoot
April 11th, 2005, 03:24 PM
I think I was being more 'tough in cheek' in my 'drag his big butt' comment than people realize. It just sounded like he is calling all the shots and his people are too concerned with every little potential for his unhappiness - perhaps I missed the info. on his feet earlier (sometimes I read through things too fast). Do NOT do harm to your dog, but do not over sympathize with him either - If you are second guessing everything all the time then you aren't going to feel confident in telling him how to behave, and he knows that and will continue to take advantage of you and take control of the end of the walk.
I, too, don't understand how your traininer is teaching the 'stay' - I could use more information if you have the time.

dogmelissa
April 15th, 2005, 04:17 PM
After more thoroughly reading the posts in here from others--and seeing your drawing, I think that what would make the *biggest* difference if you get in your car and take him for a walk somewhere else. This will give you the opportunity to practice stopping, practice "no-pull" (in whatever method you choose), will also give you a chance to teach him "find the car" (which can be VERY helpful if you are in a busy parking lot around Christmas time!!), won't wear out your feet (or back) or his, and will stop making the building the reward at the end of the walk. Or do you not have a car?? Maybe you can get a taxi to get you, and only go a few blocks from home?
Honestly, with your limitations (can't linger in front of the building, can't go other directions, he HAS to go outside for bathroom obviously), it's really the only thing that I think will help.

I wish I could do more for you. Did you get that snoot loop yet?? Keep us informed...
Melissa

raingirl
April 15th, 2005, 04:21 PM
Well...it's going a little better. Not 100% but better. I don't think it's necessarily because of anything we did, it's just that he's getting better at healing from obedience school.

I do have a car, but would prefer not to use it that much. It's a 21 year old car, and I need it to last at least one more year till I can buy a new one.

puppup11
April 16th, 2005, 07:19 PM
How old is your dog? Until they are past four months old they have this homing instinct that's almost impossible to overcome and they just have to grow out of it. Although usually it's just as hard to get them to leave the house as it is to stop them from running home when they get close.

raingirl
April 17th, 2005, 11:39 AM
we don't know how old he is because he is a rescue dog. THey think anywhere between 1 year and 2 years.