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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:14 AM
colekar colekar is offline
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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.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 08:46 AM
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Melinda Melinda is offline
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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....??
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Old May 5th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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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.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 02:59 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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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.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 01:50 PM
colekar colekar is offline
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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.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Old May 6th, 2009, 02:51 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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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?
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