Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Help Alpha Dog

LittleZoo
October 17th, 2003, 08:44 AM
Hello,

My name is Jodi , and I live in Binghamton and Do animal Rescue. This past week a person surrendered a 18 month old Lab, Female Unspayed to me. I knew I was going to have my hands full when I first met her, she was"crazy" jumping up high nipping, ( not biting). She lived in NJ, on a Concrete slab, and Has had NO training whatsoever. Within the First 3 days, I was able to teach her SIT, ( and keeping her on a leash controlling her jumping) She did not listen to her other master whatsoever. But I would really like Ideas, to put her in check in reality she thinks she is Alpha , and I WIll not stand for that.To make MATTERS WORSE SHE IS EXTREMLY SMART! Does anyone have any ideas or training sessions that will further advance, her in listening.I can't afford to bring her to a trainer, And eventually I would like to adopt her out, Eventually is the key.. Not before she has Basic commands and become the lower dog on the Todem Pole.


It is actually quite scarey, when she gets into her Puppy craze ( I think she is also a Puppy trapped in an 18 month old body) I can't believe that someone would pay $450.00 for a 2 month old pup and then let her sit for 16 months without ANY training , or commands.

This is my First RESCUE that is Totally uncontrollable, off the leash, and will lunge at cats on the leash.

Any ideas please help and if need be please cross post to other boards. Please Email me At LittleZoo4You @aol.com Thanks:)

I wish Every Dog I brought in was like my own, dog. ::hehe::

:D

Carina
October 17th, 2003, 01:22 PM
This WILL work:
http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

:) The Nothing In Life Is Free approach gives structure and boundaries - this will help show an unruly, bossy dog the light :) and will also give confidence to shy dogs.

I'd try exercising her as much as possible - labs are such high energy dogs! Especially young ones - if she was field bred she'll be ecxeptionally driven. Actually that much energy and drive can be wonderful - once she starts learning the ropes, she should be a very willing pupil.

Bless your heart for fostering. I used to do that, it was very rewarding. Is the rescue paying for her spay?

LittleZoo
October 17th, 2003, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by Carina
This WILL work:
http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

:) The Nothing In Life Is Free approach gives structure and boundaries - this will help show an unruly, bossy dog the light :) and will also give confidence to shy dogs."

"I'd try exercising her as much as possible - labs are such high energy dogs! Especially young ones - if she was field bred she'll be ecxeptionally driven."

Yes, she is I am thinking that her genetics are made for Hunting and Agility. Really she is SOO Smart, ( almost smarter then me...wink wink:: ) exercise, Yes! about half hour in the morning, noon and then again at night, I did learn when I first got my Lab, a tired dog is a good dog.. LOL

"Actually that much energy and drive can be wonderful - once she starts learning the ropes, she should be a very willing pupil."

I am Hoping, Because I would like to keep her for myself, really and not adopt her out, but alot of things have to check out first. It
seems as if one mintue she is great and the next mintue I want to strangler her! LOL And just give up , I don't want to but I know that I am not a Dog trainer,and maybe her bahaviour is not something that I can personally do on my own.

"Bless your heart for fostering. I used to do that, it was very rewarding. Is the rescue paying for her spay? [COLOR=darkblue][I]"


I am the rescue!LOL I do my own rescues etc, and pay for everything,( I do daycare also ) and all that money I make goes to the DOGS hahaha.. literally. :") I am just beginning to branch out in some areas, alot fo people Know me already which I think is good, BUt ofcourse she is getting SPAYED No SPAY no Adoption are my rules! If it is a Puppy that I have for adoption well then Spay/neuter agreements are a must!

Wow, Right now she is calm and laying by myside, this is the moment where I want to kiss and lovy dovey her, but I KNOW I can't till she knows me as the BOSS! GRRR....


My own Dog Is Mild not submissive or Dom. , a good mix, but they haven't met yet till she actually can learn her manners on her own. No sense in going crazy with them both.. LOL


What are your ideas on when she know sher basic commands, would it be okay to use a shock collar? she is not Agressive, I heard they work on alpha dogs...??, I used it on my own dog , for a brief time but then every couple of months gave him a refresher course for about 2 days. but he is also smart and doesn't wait to get shocked he hears the sound, and look at me .. like ma I am coming stop it.. LOL


Do you have any more sites or info.. :) I's loved to hear your thoughts.

Ohh here is my little homepage with what I do etc.. if you are interested LOl or woudl like to see a picture of her:).

http://hometown.aol.com/littlezoo4you/LittleZoo.html

Lucky Rescue
October 17th, 2003, 01:57 PM
What is this dog doing that makes you say she is Alpha? Is she challenging you - showing resource guarding, food aggression....?

To me, she sounds like an untrained, undersocialized and underexercised young dog. You say she has had "No training" at all, then you say she "didn't listen to her other master."

If she has had no training, she would not understand what was being asked of her! You can't expect her to obey commands she has not been taught.

"A tired dog is a good dog". This is a dog who needs a lot of exercise. Tire her out a bit before you start working with her. Keep the training sessions short, and always end on positive note. Labs are high-energy and eager to please, once they know what you want. This dog needs to learn to focus, but that is very difficult for her to do until she gets the exercise she needs.

The fact that she is extremely smart would be a plus to most people, not something that "makes matters worse"!

I think a trainer would be very helpful - could you contact one who might be willing to show how to handle this dog? One session would at least give you an idea, and some trainers may be willing to discount their rates to help a rescued dog.

LittleZoo
October 17th, 2003, 01:57 PM
The site is really great!":) Thanks for sharing it with me..

LittleZoo
October 17th, 2003, 02:11 PM
What is this dog doing that makes you say she is Alpha? Is she challenging you - showing resource guarding, food aggression....?


Showing her Alphaness by Jumping up on to my back and HUMPING ME. That tell me that she is being the alpha dog. Looking at me then running full streamhead when I am calling her.She doesn't have food agression at all , but what she does do is the nipping to get a treat, or jumping up ( which I am trying really hard inside to keep her on a leash )

( today I hooker her up to a check line ( she did OKAY not great) when showing her the come command.

To me, she sounds like an untrained, undersocialized and underexercised young dog. You say she has had "No training" at all, then you say she "didn't listen to her other master."

I don't think training is teaching a dog to sit. What happend to teaching her NO! STAY! DOWN! humm .. the list can go on on on ..LOL


Untrained yes , the only command her former master taught her was sit. And she did not listen to that.


If she has had no training, she would not understand what was being asked of her! You can't expect her to obey commands she has not been taught.

Ohh I know that.. I would not ask her to do a command if I didn't show it to her previously.



"A tired dog is a good dog". This is a dog who needs a lot of exercise. Tire her out a bit before you start working with her. Keep the training sessions short, and always end on positive note. Labs are high-energy and eager to please, once they know what you want. This dog needs to learn to focus, but that is very difficult for her to do until she gets the exercise she needs.

Okay YEs I do do that.. I wait till after play time, to "train" and such, But since day one evertime I have her out which is alot,I try and teach her how to properly receive a treat, because she was so snappy , that I was like gee.. what is up with that, she is doing really well by licking my hand first then taking the treat.. EASY....

The fact that she is extremely smart would be a plus to most people, not something that "makes matters worse"!


Ohh, No I love it that she is so smart, but sometimes it is a hassle ,

"instance" - she never has been crate trained, no matter if I get in it, put treat in is somehow , toys etc, by loring her in to it, the next time is comes to her having to go back in I have to walk away from the crate and "pretend to do something" other than watching her, then she will go in and grab the treat , then I have to close the doors. So No I don't mind her being SMart, To make matters worse is I KNOW she is smart and have to think out of the box sometimes !

I think a trainer would be very helpful - could you contact one who might be willing to show how to handle this dog? One session would at least give you an idea, and some trainers may be willing to discount their rates to help a rescued dog.


I will ask around here,see if anyone is interested in helping out.. guess it can't hurt. the going rate is 60.00 a class. Something I can't afford, Exspecially when I am vetting all the dogs I have. ( except for the little babies)

Carina
October 18th, 2003, 12:34 PM
Well - the humping thing isn't necessarily her being "alpha", it could just be she's TRYING to be - actually she is disrespecting you quite a bit when she does that. I would not put up with it for one second - let her know in very clear terms that this is unacceptable!

Ditto with the running away - you should never ever call her unless you know for a fact you can make her come to you. Every time she goes "haha I'm faster than you" and runs in the opposite direction, it's reinforcing the behaviour some more. Keep a light leash on her whenever she's with you, and only call her for good or fun things. If she doesn't come, matter of factly reel her in and praise her when she's at your feet.

$60.00 a CLASS!? Yikes. Most classes around be are $80-$100 for a series of 8 or 9 obedience classes. $60.00 would be about right for a private one-on-one lesson with a trainer, but from what you describe a group obedience class run by a good trainer using positive methods would be wonderful for the two of you.

Check here for good trainers in your area:
http://www.apdt.com/

LittleZoo
October 18th, 2003, 01:54 PM
Yes When She First did that Humping thing I DID put and end to it. I heard of Males doing it to the other pack Memebers,trying to tell the other dogs that THEY ARE THE TOP DOG. LOL So Automatically , I figured for her it was a Dominence Thing.


"Keep a light leash on her whenever she's with you, and only call her for good or fun things. If she doesn't come, matter of factly reel her in and praise her when she's at your feet"


Today will be my second time out with the long lead, I am hoping that see will "COME" , I am rather surprised sometimes at her "good" behaviour. Other .. My ohh my..

Maybe you can help me with this,
I actually get quite weary of her, exspecailly when it comes to the My Hand to her to face , or when I try and get something away from her.She'll take a stance postion, when I start walking over toward her to get the object AFTER SAYING NO! she runs , but I just wait , I Will not make it into a game, Or I try giving her a treat to drop it. Do you have any suggestions???


$60.00 would be about right for a private one-on-one lesson with a trainer, but from what you describe a group obedience class run by a good trainer using positive methods would be wonderful for the two of you."


I definitley KNOW she needs obiedence classes ,but my primary concern with group lessons, it that is it not all about her, and her "acting up " I think private would be the way to go, because of her ATTITUDE!I can't afford them though.I have a friend about 2 hours away that is a trainer, and she was saying , you are the boss and if the dog tries to Bite at you , take her down to the ground and show her who is boss.. I said to myslef YEAH RIGHT, that is not me, I am NOT OVERLY dominent, EXspecially with a dog I barely know still." And she has trained Many dogs and has 5 herself! EEEEKK!


Well I am off to go check out that site that you have given me. thanks for replying to my Message:)
"
[COLOR=purple]

Carina
October 18th, 2003, 04:47 PM
Well, if it helps any, my little 8 week old puppy tried humping my foot the day I brought him home! He's almost three now, and an extremely biddable dog, working on his second ob title... And my silly little female Rottie humps both "the boys" but they pretty much ignore her. And I guarantee, she is the low dog on the totem pole most of the time. I have never seen my very dominant male hump anything. :)

All three of my dogs went through the "haha, catch me if you can" phase. Doing the leash thing and never calling unless I KNEW I could get them to come did the trick.

That is NOT good advice, to roll a dog onto its back. This is called the "alpha roll" and was popular in the 70s & 80s. The guy who coined the phrase and suggested this (one of the New Skete monks) retracted it later, saying it really wasn't such a great idea. Lots of people have been bitten in the face this way...

The rationale was "Mama dogs do it to puppies, therefore we humans should do it to unruly dogs." Except a: Our dogs are not puppies. b: We are not mama dogs. And c: we have much bigger brains than dogs, and should be a bit more intelligent about figuring out how to train them. :)

Hope that helps! The NILIF thing really works. You'll get there. She sounds like a great, high spirited dog who will do veryw ell once she's got a few manners.

Lucky Rescue
October 18th, 2003, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Carina
I have never seen my very dominant male hump anything

I also had an extremely dominant male dog, who never tried to hump anyone or anything. Just a look from him stopped other dogs in their tracks.

Littlezoo, Carina is right. NEVER give a dog a command that you cannot enforce. If the dog is off-leash and does not have a solid recall, then calling it teaches it that it does not have to obey you!

Get a light clothesline and attach it to the dog's collar and let her wander off. Call her and give her two seconds to come. If she does not, then reel her in and give her a "Good dog" when she gets to you, then immediately throw a ball or toy for her. Many dogs learn that "Come" means the fun is over, so you want to teach her that coming is a good thing!

To get her to "Drop it" or "Give", get something better than what she has, or least of equal value. If she loves balls and has one in her mouth, hold another one in your hand and make sure she sees it. Put your hand on the ball in her mouth, and say "Give" as you hold the other ball in front of her nose. As soon as she releases the ball, stick the other one in her mouth and praise her.

Be consistant and fair with this dog. Always use one-word commands and always the same ones. Never repeat any commands, except the "heel' one. Two 10 minute training sessions a day would be good. This dog has never been given a chance to be a good girl and needs not only your training but also your patience and understanding.

LittleZoo
October 18th, 2003, 06:54 PM
I am trying my best, ..... I just don't know how to be overly dominent.Thanks for your advice..I guess I will have more updates! Soon, I am trying to find a diamond in the rough possibly asking a trainer/behaviouralist to come in and maybe take her, But I will keep working with her.

Luba
November 1st, 2003, 09:52 PM
Hey keep on trying!

I am in the same boat you are in. I rescued a female English Pointer about 10 months old. She's smart as a whip but very very excitable and does pretty much only what she wants to do.

I've been having a great deal of luck when it comes to exercise. Puppy needs play and a lot of room to run. Hard to do for us 'people' because they always seem to have so much more energy then we do.

I just recently purchased a Gentle Leader Head Collar for this rescue pup. IT WORKS!!

She hated it on at first but I'm telling you within moments of getting it on her properly and taking her for a walk she quickly realized that 'pulling' got her no where. It pretty much works how reins work on a horse. It can be used to control jumping as well, and you can use it in conjunction with teaching the dog to heel, sit, stay and down and so on.

The purchase was under $30 and well worth it. I can now give Honey some training without the stress and physical challenge she was giving me.

Here is a toll free number so you can find out where to purchase perhaps in your area:
1 800 666 DOGS

Good luck and don't give up!

Luba

LittleZoo
November 1st, 2003, 10:50 PM
Thank you for you reply!:) Will check it out I have heard that it does work wonders:)

melanie
November 3rd, 2003, 06:28 PM
the whole shock collar thing absolutly terrifies me. when considering these options think on this ' would you put one on an unruly child (sometimes one wonders.....)'. there is a really good dog psychology book out ther you may want a look at, it is called 'Think Dog' i cant remember the author but it is a unique name and shouldnt be hard to track down, it has solved some very tough problems for me and gives a great insight into dog psychology. please, please dont use any inhumane methods such as the dog collar, it breaks my heart to think that people would go to such lengths to control unruly dogs, try everything else before any horrid options, i would even put the animal down before going to this extreme, they are just so cruel.;) good luck and i hope things work out.

LittleZoo
November 3rd, 2003, 07:56 PM
"please, please dont use any inhumane methods such as the dog collar, it breaks my heart to think that people would go to such lengths to control unruly dogs, try everything else before any horrid options, i would even put the animal down before going to this extreme, they are just so cruel. good luck and i hope things work out."


They are only inhumane when in the wrong hands, I have heard many Things about the Shock Collars, Both good and bad. I have tried every option , and still haven't used it on her. But I must say that , I would never use something on my own dog, unless I tried it on myslef, And YES since I was going to use it on my dog, a long time ago, I had to try it out myself and pressed everything except for number 4 , ( because you can adjust the settings) I knew that #1 did not hurt at all I barely felt it, #2 is a tickle, and #3 is a Shock, And yes I held them down as long as I could for the 10 seconds, there was NO way I would use something on my dog without knowing exactly how is feels.So there would be no way in pressing #3 or for #4 on him.

Many people use the shock collar even some training schools for hunting dogs, and they really work wonders.It is all about getting thier attention by the sound signals, before the shock ,not shocking them over and over.If you are out hunting Ducks, etc, you really think that you have time to whip out treats for the dog so he knows his postion, most dogs when used on the shock collar get the whole idea of it and work dilegently and effeicently without having to be shocked after a 2 week period. I only had to do a # 2 on my own dog, that was it ever. so I don't think that they are inhumane, if in the right hands. The ones that everyone should be concerned about are the ones you LITERALLY shock thier dog into submission.


How do you feel about the Bark Collars? ( I don't have one) but they work just like the shock collars only a very little stimulant.

Luba
November 3rd, 2003, 08:55 PM
Did I miss something? Who said use a shock collar?

I hope someone didn't misread MY post cause I would not advocate for a shock collar.

The collar I infer to is just two straps, one goes over the nose the other around the back of the neck.

It's a wonderful investment. Honey is loving her walks now and the collar does not hurt her in any way. It's beneficial because now she doesn't drag me (my aching back) hahaha!

Best of luck to all

Luba

LittleZoo
November 3rd, 2003, 11:25 PM
NOPE I know what you said, About the Head leader, I know what you meant ! I was responding to melonies Post.LOL who said that Shock collars are Inhumane, etc. that is all Carry on Carry on !:) LOL Have a great night.

Carina
November 4th, 2003, 06:41 AM
I have to chime in here...

Shock collars are not inhumane for certain dogs & certain situations - they can be a wonderful tool _if used correctly_. I've done classes with a very well regarded trainer who uses them on some dogs. Her training methods are 100% positive and up beat (I wouldn't have taken classes with her if she worked otherwise.)
But for hard dogs, an electronic collar has apparently worked wonders.

Not every dog will respond to redirecting or gentle, happy training methods! I rescued a very dominant, intact adult male Rottweiler last year. He could not have cared less about treats or redirecting at first. Once he was in drive, he was unstoppable. I started working him regularly on a micro-pinch collar, and that really helped. Had it not, I would have gone to this trainer for help and sessions using the shock collar. And believe me, I don't treat my dogs inhumanely - they are pampered family members. :) They are also very honest dogs, and I am honest back. If this means that when I say something and mean it unequivocally, I'm not going to mess around by nagging them. :)

I've not put on on a dog - no need to, but I have wrapped one around my arm and tried it. There are a number of settings. The mildest is barely a buzz. The strongest is a bit of a shock, but certainly not inhumane or cruel! And the strongest setting is rarely used.

It would be inhumane to use one inappropriately, or on a fearful dog, or a young or untrained dog, I agree.

LZ, how is your dog doing?

LittleZoo
November 4th, 2003, 11:04 AM
"Not every dog will respond to redirecting or gentle, happy training methods! I rescued a very dominant, intact adult male Rottweiler last year. He could not have cared less about treats or redirecting at first."


I understand this part because not all dogs are either toy-food-happy voice motivated at all.LOL



Dog is doing well, getter better in some ways and worse in others. But I think she will be fine once she knows who is boss around here! LOL Or atleast I am hoping.

Luba
November 5th, 2003, 12:51 AM
Great for the toddlers don't you think???

They're always into everything just like a puppy...
give the suckers a little shock and they'd learn fast.... (kidding)

Actually reminds me of a lady.....brace yourself who actually
invented a contraption harness for her kids that had velcro on the back end of it. She had large squares of velcro adhered to her walls and when she wanted to do housework or a break from the kids SHE VELCRO'D THEM TO THE WALL!!!

Showed her on a daytime talk show once with this contraption, I at first thought it was a joke but heck no, she was seriously trying to market it!

HAHAHAHA

(Luba looks at the velcro in her sewing machine..thinking of it's many uses of puppy rearing.....velcro the dog to the wall!!)


I'll shut up now.

LittleZoo
November 5th, 2003, 06:05 AM
"Actually reminds me of a lady.....brace yourself who actually
invented a contraption harness for her kids that had velcro on the back end of it. She had large squares of velcro adhered to her walls and when she wanted to do housework or a break from the kids SHE VELCRO'D THEM TO THE WALL!!!"



That is really funny!! I wish I wish.. I have a 6 and a 3 year old..::ponders:: Wait I probally go broke if I used it on my Husband! Hahaha..



Actually I think the harness that I see kids walking around in the malls, Or other places, with NOW that to me is inhumane, What ever happened to walking them by thiers hands and being a parent??or holding them on your hip?My son is 60 lbs at 3 1/2 he was born big and just is an overall big kids I still sling him up on to my hip! although I might be Dead by the time I reach 25. LOL

Luba
November 5th, 2003, 01:25 PM
Oh come on....wouldn't you want to say 'Giddyup' to your kid once and awhile LMAOOOO!!

:)

I actually wouldn't mind if I had a kid lettin them explore a little by way of harness. It really depends I guess on the kid huh. Much like puppies...if they're hyper spazzies the harness may help. But it they're pretty calm and responsive listeners then unleash the hounds!! HAHAHA!

Luba

LittleZoo
November 5th, 2003, 03:14 PM
But it they're pretty calm and responsive listeners then unleash the hounds!! HAHAHA!


I am cracking up over here, Imagine that scene At Chucky Cheese or something ( A place I dispise.. ::shutters at the thoughts:: That all the parents, walk in with thier kids on thier leashes, as so on as they get to the play area let' em rip!LOL
LMAO") Have a great day over there!

Kona Dawg
May 17th, 2004, 10:31 PM
I rescued my dog also when she was about a year old. A co-worker of mine has the sister dog, and when he discovered I was looking for a dog he led me to her.

Kona (I renamed her the first day) was literally tied to a dog house since she was a pup before I got her. She thankfully didn't show any signs of abuse, and she was fed regularly, just starved of attention.(golden/husky)
When I got her, she was alot like your lab that you described, no training to speak of, jumping, kind of nipping at the air, trying her best to chase down any animal that she saw.

Basically the way that I have gotten control of her is with lots of attention, exercise, games and lots of repeated training. It really does not take long to notice a drastic difference once the dog settles in, and realizes that she now will have what he has so desperately wanted- affection, attention, and a true master.

As for the electronic collar, you should NEVER and I repeat NEVER use one to train a dog something it does not already know, they are ONLY for re-enforceing commands that they have already mastered.

Think of it this way, I want to teach you a new language that you have never heard of, I tell you to translate this sentence I just wrote, ZAP!!
you didn't get it right. not too nice right, and you didn't learn a thing but to stay away from me.

start with the basics, sit, down(this one will take a week or two), stay, go, leave it, enough(very good one). Only train one thing at a time.
give each command two or three times a day for no more than 10min at a time, and only move on to the next once the command is
well understood. If you have access to a fenced yard you can start with retrieveing right away, and it is an excellent way to begin the bond between master and dog. At first give him a treat and then just toss a ball for him and let him go play with it.
(small treats work well for this) after a couple of days of this you can start by letting him see that you have 2 treats in hand, give him one, throw the ball and once he reaches it, say "come" and wave the other treat for him. He should come back for the treat.(helps if you only throw the ball a short distance at first)when he comes back to you say "give" before treating him. As he will have to drop the ball the eat the treat anyhow, this is a good time for it. after repeating this for a few days to a week, he should recognize what come means, and also how much fun retrieveing is.

As he starts to progress with his other commands, you can throw them into the mix by commanding him to sit, down, stay(this is a tuff one) before you throw the ball...

Trust me, it sounds like you have a wonderfull dog on your hands, and with patience and love, he will come around and be an excellent example of how wonderful a recue can be.

Best of luck, and any questions, I'll do my best
- Chris

Lucky Rescue
May 17th, 2004, 11:40 PM
The original poster hasn't been back, but your post has a lot of good info in it for anyone else reading this who has the same problem!:)