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*sigh* after a year on the gentle leader...

kigndano
June 9th, 2008, 03:39 PM
so i used to visit here a lot, used to have all sorts of problems with my malamute being agressive on our walks. back then i alpha rolled him a good amount of times basically because nothing at all would calm him down or distract him.

for the last year ive been using the gentle leader to train him. when he starts acting up i pull up very firmly on the leash until he sits down and then we continue walking after he is calm. it seemed to be working until this morning.

I was walking him this morning as usual, doggie backpack on and everything, walk was going great, wasn't pulling at all or anything. Then we walked back up maple ave and saw a woman walking a dog (who was acting aggressive towards us) and two runners. Cash (my pup) as usual got extremely fixated on them and started getting anxious. SO I tried to correct him by pulling up on the head harness and making him sit. He eventually ended up sitting but wasn't pleased at all. Then when the people actually passed us he jumped up, put his paws on me pushed off and did it so hard that he pulled himself out of his head harness. It was ridiculous, so I had to grab him to put his thing back on obviously, and he flipped out, and starting turning his head towards my hand and put his teeth on my arm so I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and put his butt in the ground. He started flipping out again, trying to touch my hand again with his teeth, he was flipping over - literally like rolling over in somersaults -- while I still had a grip on his neck, so try and imagine that. Eventually when I could get one hand off his neck (maybe 15-30 seconds of the initial fight) I put the other hand on his side and held him down firm, he still struggled for a bit and calmed down after. I went to put his harness back on and he exploded again, and again I put his butt in the ground until he totally submitted to the situation and to me. Eventually I was able to put the harness on, with him laying on his side, stand up and wait, and have him stay laying on his side until I said it was OK to get up.


The dog clearly has issues. And I know my dad nurtured them by allowing him to jump on people and to lead the walk. And I know its scary when he jumps up, but backing away only empowers him, by giving him space you say "OK boss, im moving out of your way" and I think that all that stuff has built up in him. as I didn't want to do the dominance ritual to him again, he brought it on himself. i tried using only the head harness to correct him but I mean clearly the message wasn't getting across.

After that whole ordeal we passed by a biker, and all it took was me saying "DONE!" in a very firm voice and he didn't try a thing.

i feel absolutely horrible about doing this to him again, but my alternatives were pretty slim at that point:

1. let him take off and possibly bite the runners or other dog
2. let him bite me
3. have him run away
4. not address his behavior

i seriously have no idea what else to try with this guy, he just gets in this zone and he is completely ignoring me, wont respond to his name, or treats or sounds or anything. just fixated on anything walking by. i am considering a prong collar as another "last resort".

can anyone please offer me some more advice for getting this problem corrected?

he is the sweetest dog in our house, he is obedient for the most part, and he never has a problem with people inside our house whatsoever. im just clueless at this point.

he does have other issues too, anxiety with stairs and water come to mind off the bat.

HELP!!!!

14+kitties
June 9th, 2008, 04:55 PM
I wish I could help. I am not too savvy when it comes to dogs being aggresive. Have never dealt with that issue. Just wanted to say welcome back, good luck, and I am sure someone will come in soon with ideas for you.

TKW
June 9th, 2008, 05:10 PM
For the part that he slips out of the harness, the Halti I am using(similar to Gentle Leader), has a safety link connects the harness to the collar which keeps the leash remain connected in case the dog slips out. I'm sure Gentle Leader has something like that to offer. Its just a six inch long strap hooking between the slip ring and the collar.

For the other part of your problem, I am looking for some solution myself here.
My 2 1/2 lab is using the Halti the last year and half and its fur around his snout is starting to look funny. I think our problem is relying on a piece of equipment to control the dog. I thought about that when I first put Halti on him and asked myself if this is only a training device that will not be needed one day? Unfortunately, 1 1/2 years later, I still need it.

My dog is not agressive against people and animal except the dogs that had attacked him when he was a puppy and the black bear in the neighbourhood.
His problem is he's head strong at times and decided to go his own way. I let him get his way at times since that's his walk afterall. But if I wanted to stop what he's doing, I'd get him to sit and time-out just like you. It worked most of the time. Some nights when he got very excited with the scent around him when we got out, I just walk him with a short, tight leash for a block or two and then he'd calm down. I truly believe training is our key to get him out of the head harness.

I also wonder if your dog really wants to bite you. I know mine will pretend to when he throws his temper tantrum. But his mouth isn't wide open and he just barely touch me with his front teeth. What you did (grab him by the neck) is a lot of trainers advised me on except I am too slow for that. I usually get him to sit and told him off. I am hoping this is only adolescence behaviour and he will out grow it one day.

It looks like you handled the situation very well. And I'll keep watching for other suggestion here.

kigndano
June 9th, 2008, 05:47 PM
i agree about using the tool to control the dog. and my dog also has the funny ring on his snout. but i keep saying to myself...if he doesnt act up, i dont have to pull on it and then he would have no mark there, so i cant really feel bad i guess.

thanks for the tip about the connector to the collar link, i will def go to petco and look into that.

also, thanks for not flipping out at me for basically alpha rolling my dog, some people here got SOOOOOOOO angry at my. but i mean, the dog was putting his teeth on me, scratched me, jumped on me was misbehaving, ignoring my commands etc etc etc.

all i wanted him to do was ignore the damn runners and the dog, i mean jeez.

one thing i am going to try is taking some treats with me when we walk now, and when i see someone coming i will hold it up and see if i can catch it early enough to where he doesnt zone in so to speak, and completely shut me out.

i would love for him to avoid other people and dogs on our walks, i have almsost been pulled into traffic by his antics, hes a 90 pound sled dog and i mean im a pretty big guy - 6'0 and like 190 but still, he is rediculously powerful and i also have a recently disloacted shoulder that is makign my right arm very weak, so today i was not only dealing with him, but basicaally with 1.5 arms.

i think i may have been trying the treat too late in the game, hopefully that will work. i figure a prong collar is just as bad as what ended up happening today.

my concern is him getting scared of people/dogs when we walk, i dont want that. i want him to ignore them, and just keep walking calmy at my side like he does when we are alone.

you can argue it different ways...if you correct him at the sight of people/dogs because of his reaction he may associate the correction with the person/dog and not the reaction. who knows....its all very confusing.:shrug:

TKW
June 9th, 2008, 08:27 PM
I guess our dogs have a lot in common. They are about the same sizes and I am a smaller guy than you. I had been drag down on my knees unexpectedly before we got the Halti. DW refuses to walk him until recently.

I found start the walk with a tight leash worked best to show him I want his best behaviour or I'm the boss.(I know, my leadership is nothing to write home about) This is from the Dog Whisperer TV show.

A friend of mine uses a prong collar on their GSD after she chewed up a couple of Halti's. She comes from champion bloodlines and supposingly high energy and more dominant. She kicks my dog around even she's younger and 20# smaller. They claim the prone collar doesn't hurt her. It may worth a try.

MIA
June 9th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I strongly suggest getting on a malamute board or yahoo group as they aren't your typical breed and dealing with them isn't the same. They are stubborn, independent and there are tricks to dealing with them. You handled the situation well and kept your dog under control, nothing to be ashamed of there!!! Good job!!!!

Get in with some breed experts as I know they will help.

kigndano
June 9th, 2008, 10:00 PM
i read that they werent the dog for first time owners...which i am.

but i had always handled other peoples dogs so well, i figured i would be able to do it.

on top of that, my parents have been watching him for about 5 months, and in that time ive read both of cesar millans books so i thought i was so ready to take control of him. guess not yet.

i will defintiely repost this on a malamute board if i can find one.

and thanks again for the encouragement.

LavenderRott
June 9th, 2008, 10:30 PM
Let me start by saying - you did what you needed to do in a very volitile and somewhat dangerous situation and you should be commended for that.

Halti's, Gentle Leaders, and prong collars are great tools to HELP you to train your dog, but remember - they are just tools to help you train your dog. The problem with them is that we often forget the HELP part and subconsciously decide that because they behave with the collar on they are trained. They are not.

The other thing that it is important to remember is this - when your dog is already agitated or ampped up, when you physically correct you are upping the agitation. Think of it like this - if you are angry with someone and they start yelling at you, do you calm down or get angrier? You get angrier. Same with your dog. He was already agitated so when you tried to physically correct him - he transferred his agitation to you.

If you like the Gentle Leader - that is fine. But go out and get yourself a new one that attaches to his regular collar.

The next time you see something approaching that catches your dog's interest to this extent - turn and walk in another direction. This will get the "target" out of his line of sight and enable you to regain control without a hard physical correction.

angeldogs
June 9th, 2008, 10:38 PM
The link that comes with the halti can interfer with a proper correction when dealing with aggression.the halti is better as it can be used to close the mouth alot better then the gentle leader.when pulling up on the collar to make the dog sit.pull up only enough so it looks like he/she is howling.to keep the head halter when we are working with aggression or just basic OB.after the head collar is on the snout we wrap the ends around a flat collar so it doesn't come off the snout.the pull the extra hair and skin down so everything is at the top just below the ear and check again to make sure it doesn't come off.and if for some reason it come off the snout it's still wrapped around the collar so you still have a hold of the dog.

kigndano
June 9th, 2008, 10:48 PM
man oh man.

after reading the malamute message board i feel like im doing a really good job.

i felt like iwas the only dog owner in the world that had a dog do stuff like that i guess.

maybe im not such a miserable dog person after all.:D

angeldogs
June 9th, 2008, 10:56 PM
Knowing your dogs body language will help you avoid or keep the situation under controll.

kigndano
June 9th, 2008, 11:07 PM
i am fully aware of his body language, problem is that he sees the people and dogs at the same time i do. the roads here are flat and straight.

angeldogs
June 9th, 2008, 11:13 PM
i am fully aware of his body language, problem is that he sees the people and dogs at the same time i do. the roads here are flat and straight.

Oh ok.i know with my boy i can tell something is going to happen before we see anyone or wild life.if someone or something is coming and it's not in view i can tell by the way his body becomes tighter and his tail goes almost straight up.so i know to keep an eye out.and there is other signs.if sitting doesn't work but him in a down and settle.

kigndano
June 9th, 2008, 11:23 PM
Let me start by saying - you did what you needed to do in a very volitile and somewhat dangerous situation and you should be commended for that.

Halti's, Gentle Leaders, and prong collars are great tools to HELP you to train your dog, but remember - they are just tools to help you train your dog. The problem with them is that we often forget the HELP part and subconsciously decide that because they behave with the collar on they are trained. They are not.

The other thing that it is important to remember is this - when your dog is already agitated or ampped up, when you physically correct you are upping the agitation. Think of it like this - if you are angry with someone and they start yelling at you, do you calm down or get angrier? You get angrier. Same with your dog. He was already agitated so when you tried to physically correct him - he transferred his agitation to you.

If you like the Gentle Leader - that is fine. But go out and get yourself a new one that attaches to his regular collar.

The next time you see something approaching that catches your dog's interest to this extent - turn and walk in another direction. This will get the "target" out of his line of sight and enable you to regain control without a hard physical correction.

awesome post.

i am definitely going to do all of the above.
what ticks me off is that i thought about crossing the road too, but i have been reading (millan) that in order to correct behavior you have to encounter it again, and that makes sense. im not always going to be able to cross the road. but i suppose while still working at it, if the option is there i should take it.

thanks again, i felt like i did everything wrong there.

kigndano
June 9th, 2008, 11:28 PM
i also want to say that i know he didnt want to hurt me at all. a mal could seriously f-you up if they wanted to he pretty much just touched me with his teeth. didnt break the skin even.

also he is about 16 months old, close to the notorious time when dogs start to challenge you again as alpha.

i also practice NILIF training with EVERYTHING.

luckypenny
June 9th, 2008, 11:30 PM
Welcome back kigndano. Great to see you here again :thumbs up .

LavenderRott's post was excellent! Please read it carefully. If you can't find a safety link for the Gentle Leader, we use the Newtrix with our Lab (also with aggression issues). It works pretty much the same way except I feel it's somewaht safer on her neck in case she lunges.


one thing i am going to try is taking some treats with me when we walk now, and when i see someone coming i will hold it up and see if i can catch it early enough to where he doesnt zone in so to speak, and completely shut me out.

Either turn in another direction and snowball him with treats if he complies, and/or ask him to sit (only if the object he's apt to get fixated on remains a safe distance away) and give him a tonne of treats one after another if he can keep his attention on you. If he is unable to, just walk him another way until he is no longer agitated. Repitition and consistency is the key. With time, you'll be able to pass other dogs at a closer and closer distance.

i think i may have been trying the treat too late in the game, hopefully that will work.

It's never too late to try something positive.

my concern is him getting scared of people/dogs when we walk, i dont want that. i want him to ignore them, and just keep walking calmy at my side like he does when we are alone.

you can argue it different ways...if you correct him at the sight of people/dogs because of his reaction he may associate the correction with the person/dog and not the reaction. who knows....its all very confusing.:shrug:

Wow, I'm impressed ;) . You've come a long way since you first posted here :highfive: . That's exactly the problem with corrections and some dogs. Corrections may work for some but not others. We learned quickly with our Lab that that's exactly what happens ie. she associated the corrections with the object of her aggression which just made it that much worse the next time she came across a stange person/dog. Luckily for us, we found out really quick before we made the problem worse. Now, when we pass strangers on the street, I pop special treats in her mouth (before, and only when she doesn't react negatively to them) so she learns to associate strangers with nothing but pleasantries.

Keep up the great work kigndano, you've come a long way :thumbs up .

rainbow
June 9th, 2008, 11:43 PM
Kigndano, I just noticed your post now and welcome back. :thumbs up

Luckypenny's and LavenderRott's replies were both full of excellent information. I also found the Newtrix Easyway Headcollar much better for both my dogs. It restrains them from the back of the neck so therefore you are not pulling their head to the side which could cause neck injury.

Here is their website....

http://www.newtrix.ca/docs/ourproducts.php


Also, we would love to see some pics of Cash in the photo forum here. :lovestruck:

kigndano
June 9th, 2008, 11:45 PM
i appreciate the kind words, and i have always had nothing but the best intentions with my doggy.

sometimes though he just gets into friggin Cujo mode where i feel like he would readily kill anything that messed with him. too bad when people come over he attacks them with ears back and tail wagging instead of a warning bark.

i just want to not mess him up if i havent already. ive been questioning myself all day if i created his behavior with the corrections or earlier alpha rolls or whatever. i know that dogs live in the now, but they DO have associative memories after all.

i do have to find a new head collar that has the safety incase the dog pops out.

and not to be a jerk here, but people who say you can train ANY dog with completely positive methods needs to seriously try to walk my dog. id love to hear the logic behind giving him a treat for doing a standing pushup off my chest.

kigndano
June 9th, 2008, 11:48 PM
i will take some pics this week and post them for you guys.

he is quite the big boy now. ill get one for sure with his doggy pack on, and with the gentle leader that i oh so carefully fitted properly.:angel:

LavenderRott
June 10th, 2008, 06:16 AM
I am not a fan of Milan, so I haven't read his books. While it may well be true that you can't teach him to behave in certain situations if he doesn't encounter them - he really didn't learn anything in this situation. If he is behaving, and sits willingly to let someone pass, GREAT. If not, go the other way. Once he gets past that point of being willing to listen, removing him from the situation is removing any chance of his getting as out of control as he was in this situation.

This is your first dog. You are going to make mistakes - it is part of learning. But I highly doubt that you are going to ruin your dog. Some things may just take a little longer to teach. ;)

As for positive training - yeah, it is great and preferable but I also happen to think that you can treat the positive until you are blue in the face but if you don't correct the negative, you are only half training your dog.

kigndano
June 10th, 2008, 06:25 AM
update on todays walk:

things went GREAT......until i ran out of treats. i swear he knew when i ran out. poor planning on my part....a male downfall really.

he popped out of his head collar again, and i didnt have time to go to petco last night, it was closed by the timei found out about the link collar to his neck. luckily we were by a field. he ran in a circle like a maniac and instead of panicing i dropped to my knees and threw my arm (would have done both arms but i dont have full motion with my right one yet) above my head and he came back...no idea why that worked or why i did it but hey, ill take it.

so he came back and actually lay down at my side but when i went to put the harness back on he went to buck up and i had to hold him down again to relax him..no somersaults today, only took a few seconds.

i clipped the bottom of the leader to his collar, saying screw it if i cant correct him. i dont want him running off bottom line.

he also flipped out when we saw a runner after that, and i DID cross the road...didnt seem to matter much at all. i just stayed there until the runner was out of sight and he relaxed a little...i do have to go to work soon couldnt wait til he was completely calm id be there til lunchtime..(6:25 am here).


but the good note is that the treats seemed to be a great diversion provided i waved them in front of his nose a bunch of times and whistled at him. when he focused on me for a second or two i gave him the treat and we moved on.


mental note: NEXT TIME BRING MORE TREATS YOU IDIOT

kigndano
June 10th, 2008, 06:25 AM
As for positive training - yeah, it is great and preferable but I also happen to think that you can treat the positive until you are blue in the face but if you don't correct the negative, you are only half training your dog.

great quote

bendyfoot
June 10th, 2008, 09:53 AM
Is there a reason you're hesitant to use a prong collar as a corrective tool?

kigndano
June 10th, 2008, 09:58 AM
a couple of them:

1. he was 100 percent immune to a choke chain, i would pop it so hard he would lose balance, but still not even flinch with his behavior one bit.

2. the thick fur i have read makes it hard to get a proper fit and proper corrections.

3. leading him by the head seems to definitely help with the pulling problem, and i dont know if trying to retrain him from scratch with a prong collar would be beneficial or a huge setback at this point.

LavenderRott
June 10th, 2008, 10:05 AM
A choke chain and a prong are very different creatures and the reactions are also. I have had more then one dog that would pull on a choke chain until their tongues turned blue (well, not exactly, but you get my point) and walked beautifully on a prong.

You fit a prong snuggly and high up on the neck behind the ears.

Next time you go to the pet supply store - try one for a minute and see how he reacts. Just fit it on him and walk him up and down an aisle or two. You should not have to correct with it - it auto-corrects when he gets too far from you and tightens the collar.

My concern would be that he sounds like he is reactionary and may react negatively to the pinch that the collar gives. But trying it for a minute should give you a good idea as to how he will react to it.

kigndano
June 10th, 2008, 10:30 AM
A choke chain and a prong are very different creatures and the reactions are also. I have had more then one dog that would pull on a choke chain until their tongues turned blue (well, not exactly, but you get my point) and walked beautifully on a prong.

You fit a prong snuggly and high up on the neck behind the ears.

Next time you go to the pet supply store - try one for a minute and see how he reacts. Just fit it on him and walk him up and down an aisle or two. You should not have to correct with it - it auto-corrects when he gets too far from you and tightens the collar.

My concern would be that he sounds like he is reactionary and may react negatively to the pinch that the collar gives. But trying it for a minute should give you a good idea as to how he will react to it.

what do you mean by reactionary?

is this something i can read up on?

bendyfoot
June 10th, 2008, 11:37 AM
Yeah, I guess you're right about the reactionary thing.

But generally, a prong and a pinch don't work the same way at ALL, and I'd personally never use a pinch, I think they're very dangerous.

FWIW, our older dog, on whom we use a prong, has a very thick, long, double-coat, and the corrective signal gets through just fine.

LavenderRott
June 10th, 2008, 12:57 PM
what do you mean by reactionary?

is this something i can read up on?

He reacts in a negative manner towards serious correction. You can try to google it, but I am not sure what you'll get. :D

Bendy - could you please tell me the difference between a prong and a pinch collar. I googled both and got the same images. Personally, pinch, prong and force are interchangable names for the same thing in my house.

kigndano
June 10th, 2008, 01:06 PM
oh i gotcha now.

its true though, he doesnt seem to like physical corrections very much at all.

kind of a rebellious one id say.

the treat thing was encouraging this morning, the scent seemed to be what distracted him more than anything, but once he got the treat he started fixating again...thats why i ran out so fast.

if i was really good id use his morning meal as the treats on the walk, but im not sure they hold the same value, and i dont really care to find out based on the last two days events.

bendyfoot
June 10th, 2008, 01:35 PM
ooops, my bad, I meant that choke chains and prongs are different collars (my fingers got ahead of my brain there, sorry). Prong/pinch are the same thing techinically. It's the chokers I would never ever use. The chokers can and do pinch skin though, can cause damage to the throat/neck etc. Prong collars, used and fitted properly don't "pinch" so much as apply even pressure.

LavenderRott
June 10th, 2008, 01:53 PM
Ahhh. Ok.

And I agree. Choke collars are not allowed on my dogs. My two current dogs wear martingales.

Stacer
June 10th, 2008, 09:11 PM
I agree totally with LavenderRott's and Luckypenny's posts.

We just adopted a rottie mix 2 months ago, she has some walking issues and our trainer recommended the gentle leader, it has worked wonderfully with the training that we've implemented.

In addition to what others have said I would also recommend not allowing him to get into his "red zone". When you see that he is at his threshold, or the limit of how close you can get to his trigger without him "going off", stop and make him sit and feed him treats like crazy while he's non reactive, the key here is timing, being very alert to his triggers, and stopping before his triggers get too close.

I spend alot of time on walks turning around and going the other way, like Lavender said. I keep a pouch of treats on my belt and just fire them into her mouth when she's calm around her triggers.

As for the pulling itself, we were told to change directions abruptly alot, if he's pulling in one direction, quickly walk in the opposite direction. It definitely makes walks boring and longer than you'd like sometimes, lol.

kigndano
June 11th, 2008, 08:42 AM
I agree totally with LavenderRott's and Luckypenny's posts.

We just adopted a rottie mix 2 months ago, she has some walking issues and our trainer recommended the gentle leader, it has worked wonderfully with the training that we've implemented.

In addition to what others have said I would also recommend not allowing him to get into his "red zone". When you see that he is at his threshold, or the limit of how close you can get to his trigger without him "going off", stop and make him sit and feed him treats like crazy while he's non reactive, the key here is timing, being very alert to his triggers, and stopping before his triggers get too close.

I spend alot of time on walks turning around and going the other way, like Lavender said. I keep a pouch of treats on my belt and just fire them into her mouth when she's calm around her triggers.

As for the pulling itself, we were told to change directions abruptly alot, if he's pulling in one direction, quickly walk in the opposite direction. It definitely makes walks boring and longer than you'd like sometimes, lol.

so a little update after this AM's walk

as usual things were going great, i started off last night introducing the HALTI with lots of treats and simple on/off cycles, repeated this morning too before we started.

first 15-20 of the walk were fantastic -- no distractions so he was good. so i think the association of the tool w/ corrections has been off to a good start. his prey drive was pretty locked in too. started looking UP at a bird flying overhead, treats seemed to work to distract him.


my problem with treats is that right now he focuses on them just long enough to get them and then he literally snaps RIGHT back into his kill mode of fixation. i left with a good 40-50 little bits of treat in my pocket, and i ran out by walks end again because of the amount of distractions i have to offer.

he was really good comparitively when we walked past a dog in its yard barking at us...took a lot of treats and "HEY!" and whistling at him but he did very well.

but when we walked past a woman walking her dog towards us it was GAME OVER for treats working, couldnt turn and walk the other way - he just went bonkers again.

i have to admit after that i could tell i was losing my cool and being VERY strict with how we were walking. but i knew i was doing it and trying to control myself. he got a little excited when we walked near some kids going to school but i used a physical correction for that and he seemed to adjust to it pretty well.

should i maybe try mixing physical corrections and treat distractions? like physically correct him to get him to focus on the treat?

seriously any advice would be great, but my timing was pretty damn good today with the treats and everything but he just locks in and says "screw off buddy, im gonna go mutilate this dog real quick"

side note: the dog walking towards us was by no means submissive, but wasnt barking, lunging or showing teeth or anything. and we also walked by a dog who was literally looking the other way sniffing in the ground and peeing and cash started to go a little fixated...took 3 physical tugs on the leash to get him to stop, but it worked.

another idea i have is instead of stopping when we see the people and dogs, maybe just keep walking right by and correct him and hold treats out?

could be that stopping is maybe allowing him to fixate??


HELLLLLLPP!!!!!!!!!!

angeldogs
June 11th, 2008, 09:44 AM
When you give him a correction give a the leash a pop to the side not a hard one that moves his head.tell him never mind with me.

When you are walking where is he.?.is he out front of you behind you or beside you.?

LavenderRott
June 11th, 2008, 09:50 AM
What are you using for treats? And are you giving them the minute he complies with your wishes?

It is so very hard to really help without putting hands on the dog, sorry to say.

If you see that he is starting (and I mean the minute you feel it coming on) to get fixated on something - say something like Acckk or Out in a deep, quiet voice. If he complies, he gets a treat - as soon as he looks at YOU.

You really need to work on keeping his attention on You and not what is going on around him. It is YOUR job to make sure he isn't going to walk into something and he needs to trust you.

Start someplace quiet, where you know you aren't going to have any dogs going by. Talk to him in a quiet voice and tell him "watch me". When he watches you he gets a treat. If he looks away, Ack, Watch me and treat. Personally, I would use his regular food for this, especially if you have started using it to treat on your walks.

Now, when you go for a real walk with distractions, you are going to need a really lovely smelly treat to get his attention. Not something he gets all the time, but something extra special. Maybe take a stick of string cheese with you and give him a little piece as a special treat. I know several people who nuke hotdogs until they are truly dead and unedible and the dogs just love them. (Cut them into small, bite size pieces before sucking all the life out of them!)

kigndano
June 11th, 2008, 10:10 AM
When you give him a correction give a the leash a pop to the side not a hard one that moves his head.tell him never mind with me.

When you are walking where is he.?.is he out front of you behind you or beside you.?

when we walk he is always at my side, NEVER EVER in front of me.

the most i ever have him out in front, if you could call it that, is his front paws even with my feet. anything beyond that and he gets pulled back.

kigndano
June 11th, 2008, 10:16 AM
What are you using for treats? And are you giving them the minute he complies with your wishes?

It is so very hard to really help without putting hands on the dog, sorry to say.

If you see that he is starting (and I mean the minute you feel it coming on) to get fixated on something - say something like Acckk or Out in a deep, quiet voice. If he complies, he gets a treat - as soon as he looks at YOU.

You really need to work on keeping his attention on You and not what is going on around him. It is YOUR job to make sure he isn't going to walk into something and he needs to trust you.

Start someplace quiet, where you know you aren't going to have any dogs going by. Talk to him in a quiet voice and tell him "watch me". When he watches you he gets a treat. If he looks away, Ack, Watch me and treat. Personally, I would use his regular food for this, especially if you have started using it to treat on your walks.

Now, when you go for a real walk with distractions, you are going to need a really lovely smelly treat to get his attention. Not something he gets all the time, but something extra special. Maybe take a stick of string cheese with you and give him a little piece as a special treat. I know several people who nuke hotdogs until they are truly dead and unedible and the dogs just love them. (Cut them into small, bite size pieces before sucking all the life out of them!)


i am just using normal training treats, and i give them as soon as we make eye contact. i do try to hit it the second he starts, i usuallly go "UH UH", i use it alot in the house when he breaks a stay or starts bugging me when im eating.

for getting him to look at me, i just do the same whistle all the time, high pitch to low pitch, im pretty good at it so its not like when i need it i wont be able to or anything. i figured a special noise instead of a word might work better.

i will try string cheese, he really loves cheese actually, and maybe kibble to train instead of little treats too. but when there is no distraction, and i do the whistle he looks RIGHT up at me like in the snap of your fingers, so i know the association is there. i have also been doing things like stopping randomly on the walks, making him sit/down during the walk, zig zagging across the road, and if he gets in the way i just walk through him too so i am trying to get him to know to pay attention to me at all times.

i really appreciate all the tips too, maybe it was all his time with my parents who arent really into gaining knowledge about the situation, they just wanted him not to pull so they could handle walking him.

and for the other post re: the kind of correction i do tug/pop to the side he isnt facing - if hes looking behind, i pop forward, if hes looking left i pop right etc.

the thing that steered me away from it was not to EVER tug or jerk on a head harness, but i find it to be effective at times and he doesnt yelp really. in fact i think pulling up on it really firmly hurts/bothers him way more.

it seems like when hes in the zone and i wave the treat in front of him he is thinking..

"treats are cool, but not right now" he acknowledges that i have it but chooses to look at the dog instead of at me.

also, at the end of the walk today when i was running low i was unable to give him the treat the second he looked away, i had to try to milk it cuz i was running low...know what i mean?

angeldogs
June 11th, 2008, 10:18 AM
when we walk he is always at my side, NEVER EVER in front of me.

the most i ever have him out in front, if you could call it that, is his front paws even with my feet. anything beyond that and he gets pulled back.

That's good.the best place to have proper controll if anything happens.

jessi76
June 11th, 2008, 12:33 PM
personally, I'd stop using treats. I learned the hard way that bribery doesn't always work. Respect does though.

I live in MA too, and know of a great training place if you're interested. They offer classes nights and/or weekends, and the one trainer I used is FANTASTIC. I took every class he offered at the time, worth every penny too. I can give you the info if you want it, just PM me for it. this training place ONLY uses positive reinforcement techniques, I highly recommend it (even if it's just for a "refresher" course ;))

Stacer
June 11th, 2008, 04:33 PM
I think you should avoid passing or coming into close proximity of other dogs period. When we're walking Skylar, as soon as we notice that she's seen another dog, whether its 50 meters away or whatever, we stop and give her lots of treats until the dog is out of her site. We avoid passing other dogs on the same side of the street at all costs and if we see one approaching and we can't cross or can't avoid it, we turn and head in the opposite direction so that she never has the opportunity to go crazy, then when we're at a manageable distance we do the treat thing again. It is slowly but surely working, the distance that we can get between her and another dog is dicreasing as the weeks go by.

I realize you're problems are not exactly the same as mine, but the principles of remedying them are if you're using positive reinforcement.

Also, we were also told to never to do corrections with the Gentle Leader on. The Gentle Leader is supposed to be a positive training experience for the dog. We're at the point where Skylar gets excited when we pick it up and will even bring it to us when she wants to go out. Sounds like he really hates the head harness, which really sucks for both of you.

kigndano
June 11th, 2008, 06:20 PM
I think you should avoid passing or coming into close proximity of other dogs period. When we're walking Skylar, as soon as we notice that she's seen another dog, whether its 50 meters away or whatever, we stop and give her lots of treats until the dog is out of her site. We avoid passing other dogs on the same side of the street at all costs and if we see one approaching and we can't cross or can't avoid it, we turn and head in the opposite direction so that she never has the opportunity to go crazy, then when we're at a manageable distance we do the treat thing again. It is slowly but surely working, the distance that we can get between her and another dog is dicreasing as the weeks go by.

I realize you're problems are not exactly the same as mine, but the principles of remedying them are if you're using positive reinforcement.

Also, we were also told to never to do corrections with the Gentle Leader on. The Gentle Leader is supposed to be a positive training experience for the dog. We're at the point where Skylar gets excited when we pick it up and will even bring it to us when she wants to go out. Sounds like he really hates the head harness, which really sucks for both of you.


my problem with that is that you end up avoiding the problem instead of tackling it head on. i actually had a great deal of success today givingg corrections when i really focused on my timing, as soon as his ears and head perked up and turned towards a dog/runner/biker i gave him a firm tug and said "ALL DONE" and kept right on walking. there were a few moments of near escalation, but not nearly as bad as when i would stop.

like i said the treats only worked when no one was actually coming at us, they worked for dogs barking from inside, but the sight of another dog sends him into fixation big time as i described earlier.

im going to keep plugging away, malamutes are a very stubborn breed. and ive read a lot of message board posts the last couple days of people with extreme dog aggression issues as well.

thanks for the advice, but it gets to the point of blocking out treats, sounds, smells, me and anything else sometimes, i think in order to block him i have to do physical corrections.

pitgrrl
June 11th, 2008, 09:40 PM
Like Stacer I'm actually really surprised to read that you would be giving corrections with a head harness. It's not what they're meant for and frankly strikes me as a recipe for a neck injury. :shrug:

Perhaps I'm missing some background, but it seems as though you're adding too much distraction to quickly. It's been my experience that if you don't work slowly and steadily you risk having the dog undo the progress you've made everytime (s)he flips out at another dog.

I know it can seem like avoiding the problem, but have you ever temporarily eliminated contact with other dogs and then worked back up to coming in close proximity, always careful not to go too go past her/his threshold of remaining calm?

rainbow
June 12th, 2008, 03:41 AM
I live in MA too, and know of a great training place if you're interested. They offer classes nights and/or weekends, and the one trainer I used is FANTASTIC. I took every class he offered at the time, worth every penny too. I can give you the info if you want it, just PM me for it. this training place ONLY uses positive reinforcement techniques, I highly recommend it (even if it's just for a "refresher" course ;))


I know lots of us told you to take Cash to obedience school when you first joined here but you balked at the suggestion at the time. I was just wondering if you ever changed your mind and decided to take him?

kigndano
June 12th, 2008, 07:35 AM
Like Stacer I'm actually really surprised to read that you would be giving corrections with a head harness. It's not what they're meant for and frankly strikes me as a recipe for a neck injury. :shrug:

Perhaps I'm missing some background, but it seems as though you're adding too much distraction to quickly. It's been my experience that if you don't work slowly and steadily you risk having the dog undo the progress you've made everytime (s)he flips out at another dog.

I know it can seem like avoiding the problem, but have you ever temporarily eliminated contact with other dogs and then worked back up to coming in close proximity, always careful not to go too go past her/his threshold of remaining calm?

i have definitely worked with him a lot on obedience on his run in my parents backyard, and trust me when i say that his head rarely moves when i correct him. if his head was flailing all over the place you think i would keep up with it?

this is the one part of this board i always could not stand, people thinking that im physically mauling my dog when i say im popping the leash, or whatever. i offer you an open invitation to come walk my dog around our neighborhood and use treats to calm him down, or to avoid every living creature in our town somehow, and still get his 2-3 mile morning walk in.

seriously people, i live in a busy town, i cant find a 2-3 mile stretch to walk without distractions. i dont know about you guys, but i work 40+ hour weeks too, i have a life of my own as well. and i devote myself to my dog with whatever time i have left over, thats all i can do.

how you can say to limit his exposure to other dogs is completely absurd. let me just ask every house on our block to lock their dog in the basement while i walk mine?

i mean honestly, what kind of suggestion is that? when im walking down the road with a biker on one side coming at me, a woman running behind me and 3 dogs barking from inside their houses you want me to do what?

fly up into the air to avoid? jeez you guys are ridiculous sometimes.

a head harness is a great tool for controlling a dog, and whatever it was intended for is great for a nice golden or a lab or a 30 pound dog. i have a headstrong, dominant 90 pound malamute.



rainbow - i firmly believe obedience training around here is a joke. i have been to petco and watched and all they do is teach you basic commands, which cash practices numerous times DAILY and listens 95 percent of the time without me even so much as repeating myself. i dont think thats the problem. all i have to to for a down is point at the ground, a stay hold my palm to him, and a come i can pat my leg or wave him towards me. i practice NILIF training with him for everything from a chew toy to water to treats to petting. i havent checked the phonebook here for personal trainers, but i still dont have the money to hire one, i would love to be able to afford the best training and everything but i just cant. and respect to all who can and do for their dog.






and i no longer live in MA, im in NH now.

pitgrrl
June 12th, 2008, 08:57 AM
i have definitely worked with him a lot on obedience on his run in my parents backyard, and trust me when i say that his head rarely moves when i correct him. if his head was flailing all over the place you think i would keep up with it?

this is the one part of this board i always could not stand, people thinking that im physically mauling my dog when i say im popping the leash, or whatever. i offer you an open invitation to come walk my dog around our neighborhood and use treats to calm him down, or to avoid every living creature in our town somehow, and still get his 2-3 mile morning walk in.

seriously people, i live in a busy town, i cant find a 2-3 mile stretch to walk without distractions. i dont know about you guys, but i work 40+ hour weeks too, i have a life of my own as well. and i devote myself to my dog with whatever time i have left over, thats all i can do.

how you can say to limit his exposure to other dogs is completely absurd. let me just ask every house on our block to lock their dog in the basement while i walk mine?

i mean honestly, what kind of suggestion is that? when im walking down the road with a biker on one side coming at me, a woman running behind me and 3 dogs barking from inside their houses you want me to do what?

fly up into the air to avoid? jeez you guys are ridiculous sometimes.

a head harness is a great tool for controlling a dog, and whatever it was intended for is great for a nice golden or a lab or a 30 pound dog. i have a headstrong, dominant 90 pound malamute.


I guess I mistakenly thought that since I've dealt with two DA dogs, living in the middle of densely populated area I might be able to help you out a bit, but if my suggestions strike you as ridiculous and not worthy since I don't have Malamutes, well, so be it :shrug:

kigndano
June 12th, 2008, 09:09 AM
I guess I mistakenly thought that since I've dealt with two DA dogs, living in the middle of densely populated area I might be able to help you out a bit, but if my suggestions strike you as ridiculous and not worthy since I don't have Malamutes, well, so be it :shrug:

ok miss know it all, how do i stop dogs from barking from the inside of their houses?

how do i stop people from jogging their normal morning routes?

how do i stop bike riders from going to work?

what do i do when people approach me from all sides?

and how do i exercise my dog without walking him?

pitgrrl
June 12th, 2008, 09:17 AM
ok miss know it all, how do i stop dogs from barking from the inside of their houses?

how do i stop people from jogging their normal morning routes?

how do i stop bike riders from going to work?

what do i do when people approach me from all sides?

and how do i exercise my dog without walking him?

The 'tude is seriously uncalled for.

aslan
June 12th, 2008, 09:21 AM
Now, now, we mustn't lose our tempers... When you ask for advice you may not always agree with what you're being told, doesn't mean they are right or wrong. Yes you have a headstrong malamute,,, they aren't a novelty. Where you got the impression goldens and labs are perfect is beyond me. Weighed mine lastnight and he's just under 100lbs and he does have a mind of his own. Pitgrl and the others are just trying to help. Most of us live in big cities too, i myself am in Toronto so i understand busy. Take the advice you can use, throw away the rest but don't get angry if you're still having a hard time. I myself had to switch to the prong collar to deal with my ever so perfect golden.

jessi76
June 12th, 2008, 09:22 AM
This is the place I mentioned, and they have a class that suits your need....

http://www.geminidogs.com/obedience_RR.htm

Paul Emerson is the instructor, incidentally, that is the trainer I was speaking highly of. He's wonderful, and he does make house calls.

also, please don't be snippy. Pitgrrl was trying to offer some help, and never presented herself as a "miss know it all". Speaking just for myself, i've always found her posts helpful. Sarcasm isn't taken well on this board, and will probably result in your thread being closed. it really doesn't help anyone to be snarky (I've been guilty of it myself from time to time!).

good luck.

kigndano
June 12th, 2008, 10:15 AM
i should probably apologize, but its a very frustrating problem and advice that i cant seem to be able to do makes me :wall::wall::wall::wall::wall::wall::wall::wall::w all::wall::wall::wall::wall:

(most pictures i am allowed to use)


plus im at work getting slammed from all angles.

so apology offered.

and i have said i appreciate the advice many times, but i will re-iterate.

THANK YOU EVERYONE I KNOW I CAN BE A ROYAL PAIN IN THE ARSE

DoubleRR
June 12th, 2008, 10:21 AM
IMO training classes are vital for socialization and prevention of over - reaction of your dog to other dogs. They are not meant to be where you do all your obedience training, rather they are meant to teach you how to handle your dog with lots of distractions from other dogs and still have it obey. Skipping classes when the dog is young often results in the kind of problems you are experiencing now.

As my forum name suggests, I have two Rhodesian Ridgebacks. They are just as headstrong and stubborn as a Malamute. I take my dogs to training classes as pups--usually at least two series so they are well immersed in training around other dogs they never see on a daily basis.

Once adult, I can walk two or three RR by myself anywhere. I am 5'5" and 140 lbs, and 50 yrs old. My two dogs weigh 175 lbs together and are in good physical shape. I find when they are young [up to 3 yrs of age] that it works best if I can play with them or hike with them to tire them a little before walking among serious distractions such as loose dogs in the neighbourhood, if they have not been out often. You can also use the weather to help--walk during a hot spell, and your dog will be more compliant.

I would not, at this stage, stop when you are dealing with a distraction your dog has trouble ignoring. Correct, and continue walking, as you have said you have done a few times, will work better. Dogs can only directly focus on one thing at a time, so needing to follow your direction in the walk helps keep thoughts of eating other dogs at bay. Good luck!

kigndano
June 12th, 2008, 10:26 AM
:shrug::cry::sad::shrug:


maybe i will use the old credit card :sad::sad::sad: and sign up for an OB class today.



im in debt up to my frickin eyes and i scrape by barely week to week.

even though the petco class is crap i think, there are other doggies there and maybe it will help.

my impression of OB class was to teach commands, but i guess the other dogs being around will be key.

pitgrrl
June 12th, 2008, 11:48 AM
I'm going to try this again because I know it can be a very frustrating problem. You can ignore what you don't like, but to give you some context I'm writing from the perspective of having used physical corrections, head harnesses, treats, the whole 9 yards, so it's not that I just have a fanatical obsession with pure positive training methods.

First let me explain why I eventually gave up on any sort of physical correction. Though both my dogs are, at this point, somewhere in the middle of the dog tolerant spectrum, Streets particularly used to be extremely focused and reactive to other dogs. We're talking total flip out, fixated, psycho nut job style.
Physical corrections did nothing but amp him up more, so the situation would be escalated instead of bringing him back into a calmer state.

So this is how we went about getting Streets to the point that he could behave in public and ignore passing dogs, it was basically a 2 pronged approach.

We found a park where a lot of dogs were walked, but had lots of room around the perimeter. We started from across the street and basically camped out and practiced obed commands. Streets could see the other dogs, but they were far enough away that he could still focus on doing what was asked of him. Over weeks we slowly decreased the distance, always backing up if I started to loose his attention.

The other part was, temporarily, doing our best to limit any close interactions with other dogs. Obviously I can't control everyone else walking their dog around or whatever, but I can do a 180 and walk the other way, go down an alley, cross the street, walk the dogs during less busy times of day in areas were we are less likely to run into dogs.

In the event that we did encounter dogs, I would do whatever I needed to to get maximum distance from them and then basically act like a treat slot machine, handing out dehydrated liver until the dog was out of sight. Obviously you need to start doling out the treats before you loose your dog to fixation.

After we'd kept all this up for a number of weeks I basically merged the two parts, making Streets work for the treats when a dog came into sight, rather than being a slot machine, and decreasing the distance (again, while being very sensitive to any sign that he was starting to tense up and adjusting our distance accordingly) we kept between us and other dogs. I also added a command to cue settling down if he did start to focus on the dog instead of me.

The end result is basically that he still isn't a huge fan of most other dogs, but he'll ignore them to the point where we've had dogs come running up to us, ram their noses in his behind and he can stay focused on me. I still try to protect his personal space, but it's like night and day compared to the crazy dog displays he would engage in previously. It's a slow, slow process though and I really think that flipping out is like a self rewarding activity, which is why I'm suggesting not giving him the opportunity to keep practicing it.

The other option I guess is to find a trainer, learn to use a prong collar properly and go that direction. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I would urge you to get some skilled help with that so that you don't risk messing up the timing and amping your dog up even further.

bendyfoot
June 12th, 2008, 12:06 PM
Just a note about "leash" corrections:

I am personally a big fan of them with hard-headed dogs. Our oldest is a very intelligent, stubborn, dominant, and potentially dog-aggressive when not controlled. We used a prong collar, used leash corrections with the prong, and have had tremendous success.

That said, I would NEVER do a leash correction when a dog is wearing a head harness. They are NOT meant to be pulled on...the dog's own body motion/weight is meant to redirect the position of the head, and no more. They don't move, the leash is slack and the head is in the normal position. A PP said neck injury is likely, and she's 100%. Please do no use a head halter for correction. Find a better tool.

Stacer
June 12th, 2008, 05:50 PM
I'm going to try this again because I know it can be a very frustrating problem. You can ignore what you don't like, but to give you some context I'm writing from the perspective of having used physical corrections, head harnesses, treats, the whole 9 yards, so it's not that I just have a fanatical obsession with pure positive training methods.

First let me explain why I eventually gave up on any sort of physical correction. Though both my dogs are, at this point, somewhere in the middle of the dog tolerant spectrum, Streets particularly used to be extremely focused and reactive to other dogs. We're talking total flip out, fixated, psycho nut job style.
Physical corrections did nothing but amp him up more, so the situation would be escalated instead of bringing him back into a calmer state.

So this is how we went about getting Streets to the point that he could behave in public and ignore passing dogs, it was basically a 2 pronged approach.

We found a park where a lot of dogs were walked, but had lots of room around the perimeter. We started from across the street and basically camped out and practiced obed commands. Streets could see the other dogs, but they were far enough away that he could still focus on doing what was asked of him. Over weeks we slowly decreased the distance, always backing up if I started to loose his attention.

The other part was, temporarily, doing our best to limit any close interactions with other dogs. Obviously I can't control everyone else walking their dog around or whatever, but I can do a 180 and walk the other way, go down an alley, cross the street, walk the dogs during less busy times of day in areas were we are less likely to run into dogs.

In the event that we did encounter dogs, I would do whatever I needed to to get maximum distance from them and then basically act like a treat slot machine, handing out dehydrated liver until the dog was out of sight. Obviously you need to start doling out the treats before you loose your dog to fixation.

After we'd kept all this up for a number of weeks I basically merged the two parts, making Streets work for the treats when a dog came into sight, rather than being a slot machine, and decreasing the distance (again, while being very sensitive to any sign that he was starting to tense up and adjusting our distance accordingly) we kept between us and other dogs. I also added a command to cue settling down if he did start to focus on the dog instead of me.

The end result is basically that he still isn't a huge fan of most other dogs, but he'll ignore them to the point where we've had dogs come running up to us, ram their noses in his behind and he can stay focused on me. I still try to protect his personal space, but it's like night and day compared to the crazy dog displays he would engage in previously. It's a slow, slow process though and I really think that flipping out is like a self rewarding activity, which is why I'm suggesting not giving him the opportunity to keep practicing it.

The other option I guess is to find a trainer, learn to use a prong collar properly and go that direction. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I would urge you to get some skilled help with that so that you don't risk messing up the timing and amping your dog up even further.

This is exactly what I was trying to say before. This is what we've been doing with Skylar almost to the letter, and it's working. Like you said slow but steady. We're slowly working her tolerance up, we can get way closer to dogs now than ever before. We live in a highly populated area as well, on a busy intersection and we've found that timing is everything, walking before or after all the kids are walking home from school and after the roads are less busy with people coming home from work. Our trainer said the most important thing we have to do is stay alert for triggers and move accordingly.

Kigndano, have you thought about a one time behavioural assessment? About a month ago we had a trainer come to our home for an hour to assess Skylar in her own environment. We provided the trainer with a "behavioural history" from which she made a "training prescription" based on her specific behaviour problems. It's not as expensive as you would expect. We only paid $140 for the 1 hour in-home assessment plus 3 months of unlimited phone and email contact and advice. It was well worth it.

kigndano
June 12th, 2008, 07:46 PM
i am in contact with a trainer referred to me through this board actually.

i may take a week off from work, and sink myself deeper into debt to work with him for a week.

twodogos
June 13th, 2008, 10:52 PM
I have 2 Dogo Argentinos. My male is 14 months old, and almost 100lbs of pure muscle. He was always brutal on his walks from the day we got him - pulled like crazy and if he saw a bird or a squirrel or any other animal i could almost guarentee i was gonna be losing an arm trying to keep him back. We tried almost every different harness there is out there. We tried the Halti and all it did was make him learn how to walk with his head sideways and to use my crotch to try to get it off. After a disasterous day of me being dragged thru a drainage ditch in the ice (when he was 8-9 months old) i went and bought a prong collar. A few small tugs was all it took for him to get the idea i was on the other end. We also really started working on his command "leave it". So for a while i would monitor what he was looking at in anticipation and if he looked too interested in somthing i would tell him to leave it and if he attempted to go he got a tug on the prong and he knew i meant business. After a couple weeks he was doing amazing. Now when we are walking he walks really well and i keep him next to me and i just monitor what hes looking at and if i see him interested in something i just have to say "leave it" and he does - i still keep him on the prong as hes still a puppy and with me only being 15-20 lbs heavier than him and now walking 2 dogs i feel safer having it on even though i dont have to correct him with it. We also now have the other dog who is 5 1/2 months and i am working with her and the leave it to see if we can correct the problem before i needing to introduce the prong if i can avoid it (but chances are i will because she will be a big brute too).