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Progress yet one major issue left to try and correct..

Colubridz
February 13th, 2007, 02:12 PM
Hey guys,

As everyone knows Duke has been going to a puppy socalization class for the last 3 months to help him get used to other strange dogs, as he has always taken an extremely long time to get used to anything new. We've had alot of progress since going as he went from growling and eventually snapping at any dog that walked up to him at the class ( oddly enough outside on walks, he's great with new dogs he meets:shrug: ), to sniffing them back.

He dosen't really like to play with most of them besides one big 8 month old lab ( which he is maybe an inch shorter then) which he likes to run around with and jump on. I'm not complaining as I know some dogs simply aren't intrested in other dogs, he does have a very strong working drive and it almost seems like he likes to be more serious then goof around with other dogs. This is fine and I have started to adapt to this by offering him more complex and longer training sessions every day ( even though we religiously practice nothing in life is free) as well as playing soccer which he loves as he tries to herd the ball and everytime I kick it, it's his job to go catch it and make sure it dosen't get away. ( lol and he takes it pretty seriously as if the wind starts to blow and it moves he growls and nips it to make it stop:goodvibes: )

I do intend on doing agility with him as well as skijoring and possibly shutzhund down the road after he passes his good canine citizen test and completes all three levels of obidence ( which he's going back to start in a week and a bit) to keep him mentally stimulated as I have never seen a dog with such strong drives and know he needs something to do to keep him mentally ok.

The one problem which has arisen out of his character however is that while at puppy club if any of the dogs piticularly the smaller ones ( which is practically all of them seeing as he outgrew most of them a few months ago) starts to chase another dog he tries to herd them and will chase after them while letting out loud deep vocalizations and has on occasion tried to nip them on the heels to make them go where he wants. I have started keeping him on lesh there as It's not fair to the other puppies as I am sure it is pretty scary for them and he's already made a lot of enemies among other owners their who think he's trying to kill their dogs.

The trainers their who supervise it have suggested letting go of his lesh and attaching it to his harness and then anytime he begins to chase to step on it say AH AH and take him to a quite corner of the park and making him sit staring away from the other dogs for a few seconds and then letting him go back to play. We have started trying this but it still hasn't made much of a difference, even worse is if the occasional dog fight breaks out between two puppies he tries to charge over letting out a deep deep growl and bark ( which makes him sound much larger and much more aggressive then he is). I'm unsure if this is because he wants to break it up or if he wants to help join in with the attack, but either way I haven't given him the oppurtunity to find out.

It seems like he gets over stimulated when this happens as he will also get like this when two dogs are play fighting and letting out play growls. I again do not let him go over but it really makes me wonder if he is trying to attack or break it up or what.

The last thing that we very badly need to work through if we ever want to compete in agility is that I cannot run next to him, as the second as anything starts to move he begins growling and chasing after it and occasionally will try and jump up and nip me. This I have had an easier time fixing as I try and get him rilled up in the house and then run away screaming and the second he gets close I stop, fold my arms up and stand away facing him. This usually stops him in his tracks and the second he does I click, treat and then throw a rope toy for him.

Still I don't understand the base cause for these problems, is it the herding instinct in him or is the stimulation from seeing and hearing two dogs fight making him want to attack as well? The only dog he actually likes to play with is my best friends dog, Gypsy who is a 2 year old cattle dog cross and about his size and they see each other a few times a week and have a blast togther.

Thanks
Kayla

OntarioGreys
February 13th, 2007, 02:54 PM
I had a greyhound do te same thing, and she was no herding breed, it as simply over stimulation and chase instinct, nipping to make the other dog run so she could chase.

When you run and he does the same to you, and nps right away verbally and sternly correct EH EH or NO Nipping(timing is important so he can associate what part of the act you don't want him doing , then fold your arms turm your back and ignore him the game is finished, at least for several minutes, try again redo the same, eventually it will sink in that you find the nipping behaviour unacceptable.

mafiaprincess
February 13th, 2007, 03:08 PM
The last thing that we very badly need to work through if we ever want to compete in agility is that I cannot run next to him, as the second as anything starts to move he begins growling and chasing after it and occasionally will try and jump up and nip me. This I have had an easier time fixing as I try and get him rilled up in the house and then run away screaming and the second he gets close I stop, fold my arms up and stand away facing him. This usually stops him in his tracks and the second he does I click, treat and then throw a rope toy for him.

There's a Belgian Shepherd male who is like a yearish old in our agility class. Excellent dog when he is listening, very drivey with specific tasks. Sometimes he jumps up and grabs his owners arm while they run together. She stops tells him a stern no bite. It's working. He's improving and moving past the behaviour.