How do I stop this behavior?

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Postby iluvk9 » October 5th, 2006, 5:46 pm

I would like suggestions on how to stop this behavior from my 3 dogs. Do I train them individually or as a group? Also, how?

These are the players: Darlene- 4 yr old Pit Bull, very docile and not a dominant personality in the house. (As you can see in my avatar, I dress her up a lot.) Harleybird- 6 year old Lab/pit and new leader of pack since Bearman passed in April. I think he is the biggest instigator in this. Truman –3 year old 140# Lab who is a doof. Always a follower, never a leader.

The problem began a few weeks ago: They are in the house, see a squirrel outside and want to chase it. I can barely open the sliding door because they are frantically trying to get outside to chase the squirrel. Once I get the door open it is like letting them out of a racing shoot. They have never caught a squirrel and I don’t think that is really their goal.

My part in this: When Bearman was the head of the pack; I never had to train any of them. I would just direct Bearman to do what I wanted and they all followed him like the Pied Piper. When there was a squirrel outside, I would tell Bearman, “No. Easy.â€
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Postby 04100824 » October 5th, 2006, 5:53 pm

Well...

The way I see it...

if you send Truman to me, 1/3 and 140# of your problems are over with.

....:tomato:

:D

I love that big guy!
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Postby iluvk9 » October 5th, 2006, 5:54 pm

Oh Amy!!! :greenWave:

I doubt he would fit in the UPS truck!
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Postby msvette2u » October 5th, 2006, 6:23 pm

Harley is the "leader" at this point, it sounds like, so if you can get him to quit maybe the others would too? What does he respond to? I would not let them out until they all sat for instance, and waited quietly. Would that be possible in this situation?
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Postby iluvk9 » October 5th, 2006, 6:36 pm

I could get Darlene and Truman to sit with voice and hand commands. I think if I looped a leash around Harleybird, I would get him to focus and listen. It is like he goes in a "zone".
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Postby jlewin » October 6th, 2006, 7:48 am

you had it to easy with your other dog lol, it is not likely that you can get that good of a reaction with Harley. Most people never experience owning a truly "born to lead" type dog. Sounds like you did. It's rare, challenging and rewarding. There are a few ways to try and work this out depending on what style of training you generally like to go with. How do you normally train your dogs?
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Postby SisMorphine » October 6th, 2006, 8:09 am

I just wouldn't let them out when they saw the squirrel. If I let Wally outside everytime he saw a deer well . . . well I would have only let him out once and then he would have been gone for good!
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
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Postby jlewin » October 6th, 2006, 8:20 am

lol sis. Brie my pit would run out to that deer, realize it is bigger than her, and then run like hell back to me. My greyhound on the other hand would run out sink it's teeth into it devour it and then rampage the country side, uncatchable at 45 mph, for years to come. He's crazy, and fast. It's funny Brie met Farmer when she was a tiny pup and she is not afraid of anything but he put her on her back a few times so while she is not afraid, she definately respects "big" and lets me handle it.

I would definately not let them out, you can even crate them for a few minutes every time they start to flip. Show them that crazy behavior leads not to a fun chase but to a restricted environment for about 5 minutes.
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Postby SisMorphine » October 6th, 2006, 8:54 am

On October 06 2006, 8:20 AM, jlewin wrote:lol sis. Brie my pit would run out to that deer, realize it is bigger than her, and then run like hell back to me. My greyhound on the other hand would run out sink it's teeth into it devour it and then rampage the country side, uncatchable at 45 mph, for years to come.

Wally ignores most small prey animals, but there is something about deer and wild turkeys that just get him crazy!! I know I would lose him in a millisecond if he ever took off after one. But hey, at least he'd be eating good ;)
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Postby iluvk9 » October 6th, 2006, 11:29 am

On October 06 2006, jlewin wrote: There are a few ways to try and work this out depending on what style of training you generally like to go with. How do you normally train your dogs?


Honestly, I never HAD to have a training plan. Again, I had it easy because Bearman seemed to understand so much that if I taught him anything, he seemed to keep the others in line, and "teach them". Housebreaking included. I was very spoiled.

I "train" if you call it that, by having a short session with each dog and using a treat. Once I get the behavior I want, I alternate wtih praise. Then I just use praise. They all do the basic commands pet owner's use (sit, stay, paw, roll etc.)

When I try the sit/stay while a squirrel is outside, there is no way the command works. (Yes, I realize this means they aren't truly trained.)
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Postby iluvk9 » October 6th, 2006, 11:30 am

On October 06 2006, SisMorphine wrote:I just wouldn't let them out when they saw the squirrel. If I let Wally outside everytime he saw a deer well . . . well I would have only let him out once and then he would have been gone for good!


I could close the curtain on the sliding glass door. :|
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Postby jlewin » October 6th, 2006, 11:32 am

it doesn't mean they aren't trained. it means they aren't trained to that level of distraction. They are probably trained to sit/stay very well when there isn't a fun little furry thing outside. try separating all but one of them. keep him on a leash put him in a sit stay and keep your foot on that leash so that he does not feel pressure when he is in his stay but as soon as he tries to jump, bounce, roll, whatever he feels it and gets held in place. You should not be delivering corrections in this method, just taking away his freedom a little bit and working up the trust.
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Postby jlewin » October 6th, 2006, 11:34 am

closing the curtain will possibly give you management but not real world control. Some people choose to just "manage" certain behaviors all the time and that is fine. your choice, whatever you like. I'll tell you what, simple management is a lot less work.... lol. But it all goes away if you are in a situation you can't control.
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Postby iluvk9 » October 6th, 2006, 11:44 am

On October 06 2006, jlewin wrote:it doesn't mean they aren't trained. it means they aren't trained to that level of distraction. They are probably trained to sit/stay very well when there isn't a fun little furry thing outside. try separating all but one of them. keep him on a leash put him in a sit stay and keep your foot on that leash so that he does not feel pressure when he is in his stay but as soon as he tries to jump, bounce, roll, whatever he feels it and gets held in place. You should not be delivering corrections in this method, just taking away his freedom a little bit and working up the trust.


Thank you ~ I think I will try this method. I will put Harleybird on the leash, as he seems to be the instigator.

And you are correct about "trained without distractions". That is exactly how they are.

Now I have to wait for a damn squirrel to show up and try it!
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Postby Mind_doc » October 6th, 2006, 4:56 pm

I have a large fenced in yard so the highlight of my mornings is opening
the back door and letting my two "off to the races." I get a chuckle
every morning because they look like two cartoon characters scrambling
up the hill after the squirrels. I even rile them up before I open the
door. I wish I knew how to post mpegs so we could all have a good laugh.
I attribute this to pent up puppy morning energy as they are 12 and 15
months. Trying to stop this would be like stopping a little kid from
being excited on Christmas morning. I do get your point about gaining
control. They had the same excitement during feeding time so now I make them both "down" outside the laundry room as I am scooping out the food. Nobody gets fed until both are down and calm. I agree with
msvette2u, I guess you can use this as an opportunity for a discipline
exercise. For example, the door doesn't open until everyone is down
and calm. They get to chase the squirrels when YOU say its ok.
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Postby iluvk9 » October 6th, 2006, 5:51 pm

Yes, Mind-Doc, it sounds like the same thing that happens at my house! I think my biggest gripe is that I can barely open the door and it is like I am invisible. They step over me, on me and will knock me over. Truman, the mutant Labrador, out weighs me.

And I am still waiting for a squirrel to show up, so I can TRY my new technique of putting Harleybird in a sit/stay and making him wait. :popcorn2:
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Postby iluvk9 » October 7th, 2006, 12:59 pm

Eureeka! It worked! :bananaDance:

Sneaky Squirrel shows up in yard.

3 dogs start going nuts by glass door.

I loop a leash around Harleybird and tell him sit/stay.
I tell Darlene to sit/stay. I also use hand signals with both of them to remain still.

I slowly open the door and let Truman out because he just has no clue and forgot why everyone was so excited. He stands outside looking in.

I tell Darlene; out/easy. She walks out and stops on deck just looking towards woods.

I tell Harleybird: heel/easy bring him onto the deck and take the leash off.

By now the excitement seems to be over and 2 of them trot into the woods. Truman, of course, has already forgotten why he wanted to go outside.

Now, my question is: Should I do this everytime they want to go outside? Or just when they get in a frenzy seeing a squirrel?

Thanks ~
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Postby cheekymunkee » October 7th, 2006, 1:56 pm

I'd do it every time. But, what do I know? i just open the door & get the hell out of the way!
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