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-   -   Snappy dog stops walking. (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=62544)

colekar May 4th, 2009 07:14 AM

Snappy dog stops walking.
 
Hi, we now have another rescue collie to go with the first (who is now coming along in leaps and bounds!).
She spent her first 24 hours with us staying in her crate before she decided to come out and see us and is now generally quite cautiously friendly but tends to retreat back to the crate.
This isn't a problem as it is early days yet but we do have 2 very specific problems with the new dog that have been attributed to fear aggression:
Problem 1 is that she will quite happily allow a lead to be fixed on to her collar but with a harness she will allow it to be placed over her head OK before becoming snappy and bitey if we attempt to fasten the side straps, or then remove the harness.
Problem 2 is that at random points whilst going on short walks (we are deliberately not going far) she will just lie down and refuse to move or try to take you in a different direction. We have no intention of dragging her or manhandling her as this will probably make her worse.
Suggestions on how to handle and address these issues would be welcome as so far she hasn't responded to distraction or coaxing with treats or encouragement.

Melinda May 4th, 2009 08:46 AM

for the walking, would it help if maybe there was another dog in front of you?? and as you're walking along reward the dog...if she stops, no reward.....could you also maybe reward her when you undo one strap? treat, undo, treat, remove....??

tenderfoot May 5th, 2009 02:48 PM

She stops and you stop with her - her goal is to stop you and not go further so who is winning? and what is she learning?

Granted she is probably very fearful and no you don't want to toss her into greater fear, but she also needs to learn to trust you and get past her fear. A confident leader has a confident pack.

If you stop when she stops then she learns that creating pressure on the collar works and she will do it more. Dogs do what works. We need to teach her that giving to pressure feels good, keeping up with you feels good and her new confident leader would never put her in an unsafe situation.

Think of this - you are a new skier. An instructor has taken you to the top of a hill and you are scared. You stop in your tracks refuse to go further. The instructor comes over to you and you start creating drama about how scared you are. He says 'okay, get back on the chair lift and we won't do this" Did the instructor help you face your fears at all - no. What did you learn? nothing - except that refusing to copperate works with this wimpy instructor. But if that instructor encouraged you to try. He simply asked you to move 1 foot forward on the snow and you succeeded - then you began to face your fears, learned that you could succeed and then actually each foot forward that you went actually started to have fun - you would keep trying and end up totally successful.

So simply face her and gently pull her forward until she gives to you even 1 inch then immediately praise her and create a loose leash. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Within 3-5 tries she should start coming towards you more readily and you can continue your walk.

It would also be really good to have her on the leash in the house attached to an adult. You become a leader and she is a follower. This keeps her from fleeing to her crate and avoiding her wonderful new family. The more time spent together the faster she will learn to trust you.

BenMax May 5th, 2009 02:59 PM

I presently have a foster GSD/Lab. He was tied and beaten for 4 years and always lived outdoors. I too faced the same problem but initially it was just to walk period. He would 'crawl' on his belly to get from point A to point B. I had to carry this big lug to the car.

When putting on the leash I was faced with the alligator spin, followed by screaming and excessive lashing and then panting. Basically, I just let him tire himself out and then would try to walk. No go.

That same day I decided to use my little helper, that being a min pin. Julia has helped me re-hab about 5 dogs to date and has always been my 'ticket' to success. Once I had her outside with him, things took a dramatic change. Julia would walk and bark, and he would take another step forward. It took about 15 minutes and though he was not completely up right - he was moving. I would stop when he would and when Julia wanted to move forward - he took her lead. We then worked on 15 stairs - which is now a no brainer.

If you can use another dog to assist you - it really is the best method in my opinion. Dogs mimic one another and their trust is alot more effective. (please no one come down on me for saying this - but it is what I experience).

Try another confident dog to help you accomplish the walk. My foster has been with me for 3 weeks now and he is not the same dog at all. All my neighbours cannot believe the difference, and I must say that Julia played a big part in 50% of the training.

colekar May 6th, 2009 01:50 PM

Thanks for taking the time to reply but we have tried the suggestions so far.
When she stops she just drops on her belly and steadfastly refuses to budge. Treats and coaxing do not work and the only way to move her with the lead would be to drag her. It's almost come to this but it wouldn't do her or me any good to go down that road!
It doesn't seem to make any difference to have the other pooch with us - he is very confident and loves to go out but she just seems to decide she has had enough and thats it. In fact she has decided since that she doesn't want to leave the house either.

The last thing I want to happen is to be dragging a dog like a stone behind me or letting her get away with dictating what happens and when. However, I am not sure if this behaviour is a reaction to some bad experience or just plain stubborness and bossiness on her part so the more suggestions the better as nothing is working so far.

luckypenny May 6th, 2009 02:50 PM

How do you get back home?

BenMax May 6th, 2009 02:51 PM

Ok let's try something else. Does your pup have a favorite toy? If not, play enthusiastically with him using that annoying high pitch voice to encourage 'fun'. Bring the toy and that voice with you on the walks.

Also, what type of collar and leash are you using?

tenderfoot May 6th, 2009 04:54 PM

You say that you have tried everything but what is really happening is you are saying why things wouldn't work or why you won't try them. I am not trying to be harsh with you but in all of years of working with rescue dogs and their people it is often the person's empathy for the dog that prevents the dog from forward progress. You feel sorry for her - not knowing what her past was so you assume the worst and don't ask her to behave like a normal dog. If you treat her like a normal dog that is what she will become. If you treat her like a hot house flower then that is what she will become.

At this point you have to think "I am so sorry for what happened in your past but today is a new day and I will never hurt you or cause harm to come to you. Trust me and things will be great." But living in the past, not even knowing what the past was, helps no one.

We worked with many Katrina dogs who were feral and had never been on a leash or even touched by human hands until they were captured. Within 30 mintues they were walking easily on the leash, and they learned to walk happily along and trust their people.

Often times people rescue a little puppy and resoundly say "this puppy was abused - that is why she is the way she is" We ask "do you know that for sure?" They typically say, "No, but she was abandoned and at the shelter, it must have been terrible, and see how shy she is?" In fact most puppies aren't abused they are just undersocialized and insecure - easy to fix. With an older dog it can often be the same - lack of socialization or lack of leash experience can look like abuse when the dog is fearful or refusing to move forward. In fact the dog is simply afraid of the unknown. It is your job to build trust and introduce the dog to the world in a positive way.

Start from scratch like you would with a new puppy. Put her on the leash in the house attached to an adult. Move about the house in your normal routine and she needs to be with you. Moving on carpet is much easier than a slick floor for a fearful dog - so try to keep things on carpet. Simply move around one room at a time - give her breaks to assess what is happening. Each time she moves with you praise her and relax. Then ask her to do a little more. You are building her trust in you, experience with the leash and confidence in the situation. Each time she moves forward and nothing bad happens she gains confidence.

When you feel she is moving easily on the leash in the house then head outside to your yard. Just the yard. Do not go out on to the sidewalk until she seems ready to move with you more willingly.

I promise you the faster you help her face her fears the better off she will be. I am not asking you to be unfair or mean, just a confident leader who knows that she is not asking anything unreasonable of the dog.

You are not going to drag her down the steet because she doesn't learn a thing and you just feel guilty doing it. She has to learn to give to the pressure of the leash. Dragging her offers no release of pressure. But you will need to pull gently forward and stick to your guns until she gives you a step forward. Then go to a loose leash instantly. Repeat, repeat, repeat until she learns that giving to the pressure of the leash feels good. Arguing with the leash does not feel good. It is up to her to choose.

Please feel free to call us to talk more about the process. 303-444-7780 - any day between 9am and 9pm Colorado time. I know we can help.

Scuba May 6th, 2009 05:33 PM

No need to drag her around when she lays down and refuse to move. Just gently but FIRMLY take hold of the collar or harness with your free hand and pull up slowly. Taking up the slack and the weight of the dog. Keep lifting until the dog is standing up on all four legs. The trick is to then short leash the dog, one hand holding the leash about 6-12 inches from the clasp and the other hand controls the rest of the leash. If you do this with a nice smooth transition and can hold that short leash, the dog won't have the slack to lay down again or even sit. Then just start walking.

The main thing is to not get annoyed or angry with the dog, they will pick up on that. Also, they won't understand why you are cross with them. If they act up and are difficult, just keep it firm (but fair) and all business like. That means, if a dog needs a 30 minute walk, you go for a 30 minute walk. Might not be very fun for either you or the dog but just get it done.

Bear in mind, this is a technique that has worked well for me but it is by far no means the only way to do it. Also, it might not work for you at all.

colekar May 7th, 2009 01:25 PM

Hi, I'm sure I didn't say I had tried everything but had found that the two suggestions (another dog to encourage her and gentle but firm coaxing) werent having the desired effect as she was disinterested in the other dog walking with her and was prepared to snap when pulled forwards or handled in a way that coerces her.
The speculation on her past treatment came from the rescue centre and I have no idea what might be going on in her doggy mind but personally I think she is trying to call the shots over things she dislikes (either from fear and uncertainty or just plain stubborness).
A long wait and plenty of patience is what has got her home when she has done this!
I am following the suggestion of using the lead around the house which is working well until we head for the front door or step more than a couple of paces from the back gate. I'll be persevering with this one and will be combining it the suggestion to get her to stand and move off.
When she is a little more trusting I will try using a harness with her - at the moment this is a non starter as she will sink her teeth into your hand when you try to do it up. I'm not for giving in to this behaviour but I am not sure if I will be trying to tackle too many problems at once by using the harness at the moment - it makes the whole walking experience unpleasant for both of us when it ought to be fun and enjoyable.
Thanks again for your ideas - I'll let you know how we improve!

BenMax May 7th, 2009 03:02 PM

[QUOTE=tenderfoot;777187]You say that you have tried everything but what is really happening is you are saying why things wouldn't work or why you won't try them. I am not trying to be harsh with you but in all of years of working with rescue dogs and their people it is often the person's empathy for the dog that prevents the dog from forward progress. You feel sorry for her - not knowing what her past was so you assume the worst and don't ask her to behave like a normal dog. If you treat her like a normal dog that is what she will become. If you treat her like a hot house flower then that is what she will become.

At this point you have to think "I am so sorry for what happened in your past but today is a new day and I will never hurt you or cause harm to come to you. Trust me and things will be great." But living in the past, not even knowing what the past was, helps no one.

We worked with many Katrina dogs who were feral and had never been on a leash or even touched by human hands until they were captured. Within 30 mintues they were walking easily on the leash, and they learned to walk happily along and trust their people.

Often times people rescue a little puppy and resoundly say "this puppy was abused - that is why she is the way she is" We ask "do you know that for sure?" They typically say, "No, but she was abandoned and at the shelter, it must have been terrible, and see how shy she is?" In fact most puppies aren't abused they are just undersocialized and insecure - easy to fix. With an older dog it can often be the same - lack of socialization or lack of leash experience can look like abuse when the dog is fearful or refusing to move forward. In fact the dog is simply afraid of the unknown. It is your job to build trust and introduce the dog to the world in a positive way.

Start from scratch like you would with a new puppy. Put her on the leash in the house attached to an adult. Move about the house in your normal routine and she needs to be with you. Moving on carpet is much easier than a slick floor for a fearful dog - so try to keep things on carpet. Simply move around one room at a time - give her breaks to assess what is happening. Each time she moves with you praise her and relax. Then ask her to do a little more. You are building her trust in you, experience with the leash and confidence in the situation. Each time she moves forward and nothing bad happens she gains confidence.

When you feel she is moving easily on the leash in the house then head outside to your yard. Just the yard. Do not go out on to the sidewalk until she seems ready to move with you more willingly.

I promise you the faster you help her face her fears the better off she will be. I am not asking you to be unfair or mean, just a confident leader who knows that she is not asking anything unreasonable of the dog.

You are not going to drag her down the steet because she doesn't learn a thing and you just feel guilty doing it. She has to learn to give to the pressure of the leash. Dragging her offers no release of pressure. But you will need to pull gently forward and stick to your guns until she gives you a step forward. Then go to a loose leash instantly. Repeat, repeat, repeat until she learns that giving to the pressure of the leash feels good. Arguing with the leash does not feel good. It is up to her to choose.

Please feel free to call us to talk more about the process. 303-444-7780 - any day between 9am and 9pm Colorado time. I know we can help.[/QUOTE]

And there you have the very best advice and a phone number. Tenderfoot - you are one in a million.:thumbs up

colekar May 7th, 2009 05:51 PM

Hi Tenderfoot, tried calling you a few times but keep getting your answerphone. I've left a uk phone number, but if you fancy giving us a call, we will ring you straight back. If not then if you want to arrange a time for us to call you then we ca work something out. We want to get this pooch sorted and happy so would like to hear wht you have to suggest to us.

Thanks,
A & K

tenderfoot May 7th, 2009 09:27 PM

Hello there,

I am going to PM you so that we can schedule a good time for both of us.

colekar May 9th, 2009 04:41 AM

small victories
 
Hi there, thank for the chat yesterday - the moving 5 inches at a time suggestion has done the trick to get her moving. We've gone from 10 feet of this to 10 inches in two walks since last night. Now we are back on familiar territority and can get down to the business of teaching her how to be with us when we are out and about. We've not been in situation yet where she would normally snap but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Thanks for the advice - I guess I was being too soft to avoid hurting the dog so she was coming out on top!

Andy and Karen

btw, seeing as you asked you can see where we are in the UK by going to google.co.uk/maps. Type in our post code s32 4tu and click 'search maps'

tenderfoot May 9th, 2009 10:27 AM

YEAH!!!!!!

Kudos to you for trying one more time!! These baby steps can become giant steps so quickly so keep up the good work.

BenMax May 11th, 2009 10:16 AM

[QUOTE=tenderfoot;777970]YEAH!!!!!!

Kudos to you for trying one more time!! These baby steps can become giant steps so quickly so keep up the good work.[/QUOTE]

Kudos to you Tenderfoot for going out of your way to help once again. You amaze me!:thumbs up


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