Bad influence, lousy human?

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Postby call2arms » June 13th, 2011, 12:30 am

Bah.

New dog, (now named Iggy) was P-E-R-F-E-C-T (or at least so I tought) when he came to live with us. Walking like a dream on leash, paying attention, sitting when you stop and looking at you and all, not caring for other dogs on the street, listening vey well.

I'm quite clearly turning him into a poophead, with Jack's help. When we're walking outside, just me and Iggy, he's pretty good. He'll pull a bit for a cat,a dog or a squirrel but will happily walk by my side on a loose leash once they're out of sight (he didn't do that before).

If Jack is there, I don't exist anymore (I have that issue with Jack too). I call his name, he rarely even turns his head. If I have him on say, 3 feet of leash, he'll be at the end of it, looking at nothing and pulling, not crazy pulling but definitely putting good tension on the leash.
Cats and squirrels, forget it. Another dog? He'll whimper and cry and want to go see it, when before he could care less. Actually Jack seems better with this when Iggy is there - I don't get why. I KNOW I should have mastered this with Jack before another dog came along, but he was getting mellower and I never tought his excitement would influence a dog who's super well socialized with dogs like Iggy (he used to live in a house with 6-7 other dogs initially and was a charm, then again the rescue person knew a lot more about dog juggling than I do). Now he's even started whimpering and running in our corridor when he hears the upstairs dog going down the stairs of the building...

Anything I ask is now more time consuming - simple commands that he seemed to know well before now take some convincing - Iggy sit... Come on!... Iggy!!! and then he sits. Just like Jack who sometime seems to tell me to f*ck off, I don't have a ball in my hand so whatever.

I have a hard time exercising them together - Jack can only run on soft surfaces, and now he'll only run to fetch. Iggy won't fetch, and Jack is too focused on his toy to take Iggy's invitations to play and ignores him. So I have to cater to both, so throwing a toy and keeping Iggy from eating gigantic amounts of grass clippings, so he ends up with not much exercising in the end. It's hard to separate walks on some evenings, and I want him to exercise too, I'm extremely lucky he's a low energy guy.

He used to be like 1000% food motivated, and now during excited moments (i.e, asking him to sit when there's a dog in the vincinity), even waving the food in front of him will not work. I have this same problem with Jack, it MUST be something I'M doing wrong.

Mainly I have a hard time keeping his attention outside. With Jack too. I find that when I carry food, let's say to encourage them to walk on a loose leash, they do it, I treat, and then they just pull again. They seem to have to pull to be able to get back to not pulling, and then have a treat. Or like when Jack wants to play, and I'm trying to get him to poop first - he knows that if he picks up a stick and chews on it (not allowed, he sallows it and pukes), I'll tell him to leave it and THEN I'll throw the toy and he wins.

I don't know what to do with the two of them anymore...

They're much smarter than I am, and I feel like a lousy owner - being handed a dog made out of gold on a plate and screwing him up. Meh it seems like every post I make in this section is a giant complaint! :oops:
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Postby TheRedQueen » June 13th, 2011, 11:36 am

Here's a great booklet for you to read:
http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Outnumber ... 1891767062

It's a Patricia McConnell booklet, so it's fairly cheap.

Multi dog households are always more difficult...because they feed off of each other in so many ways. I'd start by separating them for walks and playtimes so you can really train and reinforce what you want from each one. Or take them out with a ration of 1 person to 1 dog.

Work on training at home on busy evenings...the mental exercise will be great for both of them, and you'll have better trained dogs. Attention, sits, downs, etc...all easy enough to train from the couch during commercial breaks!
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby plebayo » June 13th, 2011, 11:48 am

TheRedQueen wrote:
Multi dog households are always more difficult...because they feed off of each other in so many ways. I'd start by separating them for walks and playtimes so you can really train and reinforce what you want from each one. Or take them out with a ration of 1 person to 1 dog.


This x10.

Also it might help if you exercise them in the yard first. If Iggy is somewhat tired before you go on a walk, he might settle down more.
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Postby call2arms » June 14th, 2011, 11:18 pm

Thanks! Looks like a good read, and maybe it's short enough that Mr. boyfriend can use his short attention span and actually absorb it too... They definitely feed off each other, and like the "page 3" says (the only part you can read) I feel like Iggy definitely has bonded more to Jack than me, they definitely need more one-on-one time.

There is no yard (call me crazy). So exercise happens in the park or on long leash walks, and the leash is part of going to the park. This is part of what drives me nuts - as soon as we are outside even for a potty break the circus is in full swing, even at 5:30 am.

We were supposed to move July 1st, but then stuff happened and we're sort of not looking anymore for now (we were looking into buying something, and it's not possible right now, and moving into another apartment with 2 pit bulls - tried with 1 last year and NO ONE with a decent place with a yard in a non-sketchy neighborhood would let us even visit).
“Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct.” Chuck Palahniuk


I love pus but I hate people.

I can say words like undifferentiated gonads now!
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Postby TheRedQueen » June 14th, 2011, 11:34 pm

Puzzle has a lovely new habit, that she's picked up from Inara. She now does her bark/howl/moan while crated in the van with Inara, who is fear aggressive and bark-screams in her vam crate when people are in view. If Puzzle is in the van by herself, or with anyone *other* than Inara, she's quiet and settles easily. If Inara and her are in the van together, all hell breaks loose. Since Inara has a high-pitched bark-scream...and Puzzle sounds like someone tried to de-bark her but stopped, it's a lovely noise. Makes me want to tear the "trainer" sign from the sides of the van. lol
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby furever_pit » June 24th, 2011, 10:34 pm

I agree that separation and individual training with each dog will help you gain control. Personally, I would stop feeding the dogs from bowls and put their daily ration aside in a tupperware and have them work for it in short training sessions.

For what it's worth, I think what you are seeing with Iggy is normal. The honeymoon period has come to an end, it happens.
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Postby call2arms » June 26th, 2011, 2:28 pm

As far as the honeymoon goes, he was "perfect", the whole 3-4 months he was with the foster home, and also however long he was with the previous foster home. I know he can consistently be they way he was, I apparently just can't make it happen. He was with 6 other dogs, in the countryside in the 1st foster home (the rescue), and single dog in the city with the 2nd foster, so it's all a different setting as well.

I've been doing single walks with both - Jack is more calm without Iggy, there's nothing to say bad about him. He just goes about his business and sniffs and walks by or behind me, I think he's probably more tired than he used to be because they play a lot. He is really happy to get to play just with me, as well. At 9 he still goes for his toys like wen he was 2!

Iggy is better than when he is with Jack, but he still pulls for things that are unseen by my eye - wind blowing, cat shadow... But at least he'll eventually get back to me, and I bring food so I'm much more interesting. I still can't really let him run loose in a fenced in area, he'll get the crazy zoomies for a minute and then go on a search for something to eat - if there's nothing fun to eat he'll settle on grass, and he tries to eat A LOT of it quick, I actually have to go in his mouth and get handfuls out. He's got very short interest for toys (unless they're filled with food), so I got to start biking or running with him for exercise because he isn't getting enough by just long walks.
“Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct.” Chuck Palahniuk


I love pus but I hate people.

I can say words like undifferentiated gonads now!
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