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Old November 15th, 2004, 10:08 AM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
Senior Contributor - Expert
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Posts: 1,249
You absolutely did the right thing by seeking out help, and wanting to improve your relationship with Casey so that you can both feel good about being together. Casey has just learned that snapping at you works but he can also learn it doesn't work, in a heart beat, without you ever being at risk.
I have been telling everyone how difficult it must be for you in Korea. I do not envy your situation at all. Having dogs is a challenge no matter what and to be surrounded by people who don't understand the concept of training must make it that much harder.
I am so sorry to come off as judgemental. I did not mean to condemn your choice not to teach that day, but was trying to help you recognize that it was an opportunity to teach. Many people whose dog might have a tissue obsession just put all of the tissues in the house up at a level the dog can't reach it - to avoid having to deal with it. We say put tissues all over the floor with good toys inbetween and teach the dog good vs bad choices. Create the opportunity to teach and then its done.
It must be so difficult to walk a dog through the smorgasborg you have described and scary too - who knows what he could pick up. So in my mind it is that much more vital to get the 'drop & take it' down pat.
Keeping him healing at your side would also help you see things he might be tempted by before he does. The "leave it" command would be perfect for this situation. Again teach it in the house first. Get him to "leave it" with all of his favorite toys, treats, etc. This tells him to back away from the very thing he might be interested in - before it becomes a 'drop it' issue. Drop things intentionally on the floor infront of him and have him on the leash to ensure success. Tell him to 'leave it' in a firm tone and if he goes for it step towards the object with a stomp (throwing energy at the object and towards him - to get him to back off), and/or a correction on the leash as you say 'leave it' again. Pretend in your mind that the object is a baby bird and he absolutely can't have it. Use whatever energy that evokes in your voice and body language to get him to leave it alone. Then, while he is still on the leash, place the object between you and call him to come. He should put his own imaginary circle around the object as he comes to you. Now he is repecting your word and understanding that everything is not his to grab, but you call the shots and he needs to repect you.
Catching him before he rushes to something can make a huge difference. It's easier to stop him before he makes his move than to have to stop him in mid-stride. This gives you a greater vocabulary to use with him aswell. Which gives you the chance to 'talk' him through his choices. Besure to praise him when he makes the good chioces - so he is clear when he has done the right thing.
I am honored and thrilled to be able to communicate and hopefully help you create the best relationship possible with Casey. How amazing is it that you can reach out for help and others can reach back from thousands of miles.
If you can forgive me for my faux pas (not being more clear in my meaning), I would love to keep in touch and help as much as possible.
I wish you the best.
Love Them & Lead Them,
~Elizabeth & Doug
Dog Training the Way Nature Intended

Last edited by tenderfoot; November 15th, 2004 at 10:31 AM. Reason: typos +