I Have A Confession To Make

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Postby BigDogBuford » February 3rd, 2010, 1:18 am

I hate my foster dog. No, no not Alfred......he's awesome. I mean Farrah. *sigh* She does three of the things that I hate the most: plays keep away, jumps all over me and will bolt at the drop of a hat. I feel bad because I know she's not getting the exercise she needs, but if I walk her I'm terrified she'll take off and I'll never find her. She'll play keep away for oh four or five *hours* in the yard so I've resorted to putting her on the tether which works fine but then she doesn't get the exercise she needs. I can't put any of the other dogs out with her in the yard so I can't just leave her out there. Plus she barks and jumps at the door, but then play keep away and I just want to kick her. She's smart enough that you can trick her once but then she won't fall for the same trick twice.

She doesn't fetch and when I go out there to play with her she just jumps all over me and that *really* pisses me off. She's not terribly friendly with strangers and has nipped at (but not bitten) my bosses wife when I had her in the office with me. She barks and growls at people when she's in the car. The very moment she knows she can escape she will, but she doesn't climb or dig out. She reminds me very much of a nordic breed mix and I really don't like nordic breeds.

Because I feel like I've told you all the bad here are some good things: she crates nicely and is really smart. She plays well with Patrick and seems to be cat safe. She's pretty quiet and very clean.

I need help, people. I'm really frustrated and I know that I need to think outside the box when dealing with her and training. What can I do? Suggestions?
~Jeanine

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
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Postby BullyLady » February 3rd, 2010, 1:28 am

The jumping all over people..... I struggle with that with Shelby, one suggestion that (when I do it :oops: ) works really well is to put a drag line on her and step on that dragline when she gets to jumping. That way the correction isn't coming from me, but also her collar is getting pulled on.
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Postby fenella » February 3rd, 2010, 1:40 am

I like the drag line suggestion. Erin gave a good suggestion in our class...if you think she can handle it, make a game out of grabbing her collar when you AREN'T trying to catch her. catch and release, catch and release, catch and treat and release, etc. This can help with evading the collar grab.
Also, when she comes back in, does she go into her crate immediately? My guys are pretty quick to pick up on things. Murphy would play keep away with me in the morning before work :mad2: I realized that he knew the routine and figured out that coming in meant no more fun outside, going in a crate, and me leaving. Now we play a little when he comes in and he gets a super goopy peanut butter kong when I leave. Now he will crate himself in anticipation of the kong.
It's tough since you don't have a long history with her. Try to hang in there! Sending good dog vibes your way!
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Postby amazincc » February 3rd, 2010, 2:44 am

How old is she now?

I have "hated" my own dogs on occasion for playing that stupid "keep away" game, too. lol It's so damned frustrating - and they know it. For a while I spent more time in the yard, at three in the morning chasing after one or the other in the dark, than I care to remember. :rolleyes2: :nono:

I finally resorted to a long lead when I knew I didn't feel like getting aggravated, and when I had the patience we practiced recalls a LOT. Now I always, always reward them for coming to me... even if they are filthy, or stink, or have dug up my flower bulbs, or whatever. >(
If I have to I will "fake happy" for coming to me, no matter what.

As for more exercise - when Faust gets a hair up his butt and will absolutely not settle down, he gets to do his all-time favorite thing... running/walking on the treadmill.

Is there any way you could put up a zip line in your yard? Why can't she be out there w/the other dogs... will she fight? Do you think she might like agility? What motivates her... other than making you crazy on purpose?

I feel your pain... puppies are so damned cute, but such huge PITAs at times when it comes to training them. :hug3:
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Postby Violet » February 3rd, 2010, 4:16 am

Wow..I was going to send you an app on her but um..sounds like she is more than this family is bargaining for.

The brat in question is under two.

Jeanine, I'll be back to this. I wish I had a dog we could trade because I have more time to work with her.
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Postby Malli » February 3rd, 2010, 2:22 pm

I totally get it. I feel this way about a lot of the dogs at work. Whats different with me is that I just have to learn to accept it better - there will be no training.

IMO, bad behavior can blur the personality of a dog, so all you see is the behavior.

What about treating the keep away like a recall :| Treat for coming to you and letting you take her collar?

Jumping ticks me off enough that I'm apt to suggest a punishment for it, so I'll leave that to the others...
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Postby furever_pit » February 3rd, 2010, 2:47 pm

I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time with Farrah.

For the jumping you can do the drag line thing like BullyLady suggested or you could also try the knee to the brisket or squeeze her two front paws. I have had success with all 3 methods with different dogs.

When my dogs play keep away I find the best thing I can do is make a bunch of noise and run in the opposite direction. Then they want to know what I'm doing that is so fun that they are missing out on. haha.

I have the bolting problem too so we're just working on the recall all the freaking time.
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 3rd, 2010, 4:39 pm

I have many dogs that come stay with me that I really don't like...it's a hazard when fostering or boarding dogs...lol. I've been down this guilty road many times...the vicious circle of bad behavior means not as much exercise, which in turn makes the bad behavior worse.

Okay, I'm sure everyone knows what my suggestions will be like...but here goes:

1. First and foremost...set some goals. What DO you want to see from her? Start thinking of the stuff that you'd want. Basic self-control, check. Sit on cue, check. Come when called, check. But when you make these goals, be specific...so you have an easier time reinforcing those steps on the path towards them. When I say "specific"...here's what I mean. I talk to my classes about goals. When someone says..."I want my dog to come to me"...that sounds simple, right? But it can be different for each dog and each person. Do you want the dog to merely come to you on it's own time...or do you want it to come quickly? Do you want the dog to stop and sniff something interesting on the way to you? Or do you want the dog to stop what it's doing and rush to you as fast as possible, not stopping for anything on the way, and sit within six inches of you once it reaches you? Having clear goals helps.

2. Start clicker training her. Start with some easy stuff...sits, downs, nose touches to your hand, etc. Get her brain engaged...that will help with the exercise issue AND the behaviors. Give her things to do, instead of getting upset about what you DON'T want her to do. This will help build a bond with the two of you, so hopefully the recalls will be better down the road. Clicker training is great for foster dogs, because ANYONE can use the clicker...and there is more consistency in that future home. Punishments and aversives can work...but will that new person be able to do it in the same way?

3. Keep her on a long line or leash when you're working with her...this way she can't run off and make you mad, or get hurt, etc. Prevent problems from getting worse! If she can't run in the yard safely yet (won't come, runs off, etc) then find a different way to exercise her...a treadmill like Christine mentioned, more walks, find someone for her to jog with, bike with her, etc. It sucks to have a dog that won't self-exercise easily...but it's not the end of the world.

4. Once you're working on clicker training, you can go far...work on recalls in the house and yard...reinforce heavily for coming near you...make it super fun. Same goes for the jumping...click/treat for four on the floor...ONLY for that. Be consistent, and make sure EVERYONE she meets is consistent about that too. Punishment CAN work for these unwanted behaviors...but often they backfire...grabbing feet on a jumping dog can lead to dogs that are foot-shy or aggressive with people touching their feet, kneeing a dog can teach them not to jump on THAT person, but doesn't generalize well, imho. But if EVERYONE she meets gives her a cookie when she's sitting, that goes much farther.

Some articles for ya:

Quick fix for a jumping dog:
http://www.clickersolutions.com/article ... umping.htm

Teaching a reliable recall:
http://www.clickersolutions.com/article ... recall.htm

Ian Dunbar's Jazz up and Settle down
http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/ja ... ettle-down

Shirley Chong's Doggy Zen
http://www.shirleychong.com/keepers/Lesson3.html
"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 BigDogBuford » February 3rd, 2010, 5:09 pm

Thanks guys for all the suggestions. Couple things:

Farrah will NOT come in for treats. She's not treat or toy motivated at all. Running and playing keep away are REALLY fun for her. I'm sure it's a self-fulfilling behavior. Making noise and running in the other direction doesn't work. Taunting her with her leash doesn't work. Sneaking her in the bedroom door doesn't work and neither does the ever faithful "Wanna go for a ride?" The only time she comes in on her own is when it's raining out and she doesn't want to be outside.

My dogs have structured groups they can be in. It's not that I'm afraid Farrah will start a fight, but one of mine might. She and Patrick seem to like each other so they go out together.

Kneeing her doesn't work. She likes it, it's like play for her and just makes her jump up and spazz out even more.

She's pretty snappy when you try to grab her collar (I don't think she's trying to bite, I think it's more of a herding dog thing) so I'd rather not play that game. Besides she will win every time.

She's slipped out of her prong collar twice at work so I've restored to two leashes; one on her flat collar and one on the prong so if there's a failure I have a back up.

Right now I've got her at work for a little time to decompress (for both of us!) and I have everyone working with her because she clearly needs some socialization as well.

*sigh*
~Jeanine

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
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Postby Jenn » February 3rd, 2010, 5:19 pm

:hug3: Just thought you needed that for your frustration. :wink:
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Postby BigDogBuford » February 3rd, 2010, 5:27 pm

Let me also say that she's wicked smart. Pretty sure she's smarter than I am. And not in the 'willing to please" Zena kind of way. In the stubborn, "I'm going to do what I want" kind of way.
~Jeanine

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
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Postby TheRedQueen » February 3rd, 2010, 5:33 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:Thanks guys for all the suggestions. Couple things:

Farrah will NOT come in for treats. She's not treat or toy motivated at all. Running and playing keep away are REALLY fun for her. I'm sure it's a self-fulfilling behavior. Making noise and running in the other direction doesn't work. Taunting her with her leash doesn't work. Sneaking her in the bedroom door doesn't work and neither does the ever faithful "Wanna go for a ride?" The only time she comes in on her own is when it's raining out and she doesn't want to be outside.


That's fine...find another reinforcer for her...use running around like an idiot as her reinforcer. ;) Treats aren't everything. And Jenn has a point...if she always comes inside and goes in a crate, or something else that ends her "fun" then recalls aren't going to be "fun" for her anytime soon. Start working on recalls up close, in the house, in the yard...and let her go play again. Leslie McDivitt has a great game in "Control Unleashed" that uses Premack to get your dog's attention and have them WANT to be with you.

**Premack: Premack Principle: This is a principle of operant conditioning originally identified by David Premack in 1965. According to this principle, some behavior that happens reliably (or without interference by a researcher), can be used as a reinforcer for a behavior that occurs less reliably.

For example, most children like to watch television--this is a behavior that happens reliably (they learn to like TV all on their own and it is something they will do willingly without any interference from their parents)--and parents often use this behavior to reinforce something children like to do less such as washing dishes. So, some parents might condition children to wash dishes by rewarding dish washing with watching television. I'm not saying that is the right thing to do, only that it is an example of the Premack Principle.**

A cute video showing the idea of Premack for recalls:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6ANYW0DO-g

Kneeing her doesn't work. She likes it, it's like play for her and just makes her jump up and spazz out even more.


Which is why this is not something I recommend...see the article I posted for my suggestion on a jumping dog. :)

She's pretty snappy when you try to grab her collar (I don't think she's trying to bite, I think it's more of a herding dog thing) so I'd rather not play that game. Besides she will win every time.


I'd definitely work on collar grabs...this isn't a great behavior for that escapes...or for one that's looking for a new home! Start really, really slowly...this is not something you immediately run up to her and grab her collar. Desensitize...that's the ticket!
http://www.brisbeethewhite.com/id40.htm

Video of collar desensitizing...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_Oh-ktUpno

Let me also say that she's wicked smart. Pretty sure she's smarter than I am. And not in the 'willing to please" Zena kind of way. In the stubborn, "I'm going to do what I want" kind of way.


A perfect candidate for clicker training and not force-based methods! :D
"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 iluvk9 » February 3rd, 2010, 5:50 pm

I thought you were going to tell us you used permanent marker to make all your tattoos. :dance:
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Postby Hundilein » February 3rd, 2010, 5:57 pm

First off, big hugs to you. I've been there with foster dogs (and client dogs, and my own dog) before and it's no fun. Try to keep your chin up.

Secondly, I wholeheartedly agree with the following:
TheRedQueen wrote:
BigDogBuford wrote:Let me also say that she's wicked smart. Pretty sure she's smarter than I am. And not in the 'willing to please" Zena kind of way. In the stubborn, "I'm going to do what I want" kind of way.


A perfect candidate for clicker training and not force-based methods! :D

Farrah sounds a lot like my Renee. Erin can attest that Renee has a bit of that weird, northern breed quality to her. I tried for a while to work with Renee using a lot of positive punishment and got nowhere, and spent a lot of time screaming and crying and feeling like a failure. Once I really started using the principles of clicker training with her, things improved dramatically and I've never looked back.

I know you don't have a lot of extra time, but a book that I love for dogs like this is "When Pigs Fly" by Jane Killion.
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Postby ArtGypsy » February 3rd, 2010, 5:58 pm

AND OUTTA NOWHERE:::
BAM!
iluvk9 wrote:I thought you were going to tell us you used permanent marker to make all your tattoos. :dance:

LMAO LMAO LMAO
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Postby BigDogBuford » February 3rd, 2010, 6:03 pm

iluvk9 wrote:I thought you were going to tell us you used permanent marker to make all your tattoos. :dance:



I wouldn't have put that in the Training & Behavior section! :spank:
~Jeanine

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Postby airwalk » February 3rd, 2010, 10:56 pm

Geez Jeanine, I didn't know she was being such a problem child. In a wierd way she does have some of the Northern breed attitudes in her.

I don't have any training tips...all I can say is I feel your pain. Magic has at times, been a dog I absolutely hated and had a great deal of trouble dealing with constructively at any level. I know how hard it is to have a dog in your home you flatly don't like.

I did begin using some of Erin's tips and ideas and while he has a long way to go, Magic is so much better now that while he still isn't my favorite, at least I'm not ready to kill him half the time any more.
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Postby BigDogBuford » February 4th, 2010, 1:23 am

Soooo....where do I buy a clicker?
~Jeanine

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Postby TheRedQueen » February 4th, 2010, 1:29 am

"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 BigDogBuford » February 4th, 2010, 1:40 am

I couldn't catch what his name was but the dog in the collar desensitization video was super cute!
~Jeanine

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
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