the delicate balance

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Postby Malli » April 18th, 2013, 10:27 pm

this was shared on fb :
http://www.naughtydogge.com/blog/contro ... erfect-dog

I read it. I agree with it. I'd like to do it. Now, how do I do it?

Uzi finds a lot of things in his world "alarming", this causes him to need a lot of management on-leash. I cannot let him off completely.

But before this, I liked for him to have freedom. Now I would like that even more.

I have been trying to work to a place where I do not have to use a correction collar, I can't seem to get there. I can't have a dog that pulls a lot, I have postural issues which are really aggravated by this.

We do a lot of walking in our neighborhood, my latest strategy has been to allow him freedom from an imaginary line at my legs and back, with the idea that if he keeps me in his peripheral, he will learn better leash manners.


We try for Look At That with all things that he finds surprising, shocking, or alarming, and there has been some slow improvement, but nothing substantial yet.

that was a bit of a jumble, but thoughts?
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 19th, 2013, 5:15 pm

For the LLW, I'm a big fan of Freedom Harnesses - they won't train Uzi for you, but they take away a lot of their power when pulling. I prefer them over other front clip harnesses because they don't hinder shoulder movement. They also have a velvet-wrapped girth strap so they don't chafe.

Also for LLW to actually teach him, we've had a lot of luck using the method taught here. It's a little strange at first, but it's the method we use in our classes and when we taught at the prison and it works really well: http://www.trainyourdogmonth.com/events/webinars/10/

Lastly, for Inara, who obviously can't be off-leash, I went to Home Depot and spent like $15 to make her a strong 50 foot lead. I take her to the park and let her run in the ball fields when nobody else is there - with me holding one end she can get a 100 foot run in before having to turn around. Doing that has been so much fun for her but it still gives me plenty of control to reel her in if necessary. I also use it as a time to practice recalls.

Now, what does he react to and how does he react? LAT was good for Inara, but honestly BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training) by Grisha Stewart has made a world of difference. There is a book that is very clearly written, and videos that I haven't seen yet. But getting the book would be an outstanding investment.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby Malli » April 19th, 2013, 11:07 pm

he reacts to, odd objects in odd places, almost all dogs, deer, deer and other animal *scents* (yep, scents), also skateboards, other loud noises

You think freedom harness for "no work" walks? I have a couple long lines so thats no biggie. But I feel like I'm being permissive of the habit(of being shocked and being unable to do much else) if I don't try to redirect the action each and every time it occurs.

sometimes this easy going happy boy feels like an overwhelming project! :rolleyes2:
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
_______________________________________
"You didn't know of the magical powers of the break stick? It's up there with genies and Harry Potter as far as magic levels go." SisMorphine 01/07/07
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 20th, 2013, 10:02 am

I love the FH for "non-training walks." You can still reward him when he gives you attention or has a loose leash, it just helps take the pressure off the pulling.

Scents are hard to work with so I'm no help there - we can't tell at what scent level they're reacting to it. Noises are tougher to work with, but they make CD's you can play - start them very low, so you can barely hear it, and as he starts relaxing, you turn it up more and more until it's loud. This is a slow process, weeks and months, not hours or days.

Everything else, BAT would be great for. I know I kind of push it like a cult, but it really has made such a difference for Inara. She's able to ignore dogs freaking out at her now (for the most part, she's not perfect!), and be a decoy/trigger dog for other reactive dogs. It's really pretty amazing for me. The book simply shows you how to use negative reinforcement at a very light level to teach the dogs that they have the ability to move away from things that are bothering them, and that you'll LISTEN when they ask to do so.

Have you thought about any fluoxetine or l-theanine for him to help him stop reacting a little bit so he can learn? People often wait too long to try meds/supplements when often they can help tone the dog down JUST enough that their brain can function. Inara's been on fluoxetine for a few years and I'm thinking of trying to wean her off again. I think she can handle it on her own now, or with l-theanine instead.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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Postby Malli » April 20th, 2013, 2:01 pm

I know the scents because I we or sometimes just I will see the animal that the scent belongs to. I'll see him react to scent and then see the deer before he does, that kind of thing.
Noises he recovers from.
I haven't thought about meds, yet. I will keep that in mind. I know he has a hard time, but I'm not sure its severe enough for me to think his brain needs help. For the most part, I feel like he really recovers well (better then I had mentioned to you before, just thinking and it has been quite a while since we've had one of those walks where he obsesses about something he thinks is behind us for the whole walk.).
I'll check out the BAT video.
I wish I could just tell him to stick next to me and I'll take care of it for him.
Thoughts? C'mon, tell me like it is ;)
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
_______________________________________
"You didn't know of the magical powers of the break stick? It's up there with genies and Harry Potter as far as magic levels go." SisMorphine 01/07/07
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Postby FAB dogs » May 13th, 2013, 11:53 pm

Not sure if any of this will be helpful but thought I’d share a few things that have really helped with Fenway lately. I’ve tried LAT and some of the other CU suggestions with limited results. I’ve also read Fired Up, Frantic and Freaked Out by Laura Baugh but it really seemed to be just clicker training and mat work - both of which work fine at home, but the minute we‘re out of the house the slightest trigger would set him off.

He’d get into a frenzy over something he saw - person, dog, squirrel, etc. and have a meltdown. Once he got into meltdown mode, there was no getting him back. It’s hard to work with a dog that literally doesn’t even realize you’re there anymore. Took a while to figure out that everything I tried (Halti, Sensation harness, pinch collar, etc.) stopped his front end but he could still lunge to some extent. So he’d see a trigger, launch, come up short, get frustrated, and have a meltdown. Then it was all over. Waiting him out was pointless, redirecting was impossible, it was basically manhandle him until we got back home; which was physically exhausting for me.

So I got a Horgan harness (http://horganharness.com/) and it has been huge in maintaining control. Now when he sees something, he can’t get the energy going to lunge at it, he doesn’t come up short, so he doesn’t have the meltdown. No meltdown means he at least acknowledges my presence. Now when he sees a squirrel and starts freaking out I can get his attention back on me. He gets treats, and we continue with our walk. The key there being it’s a walk rather than me manhandling. He’s even got to a point where while we’re walking (and we’re not in a squirrel zone) he’ll come to a heel position and look up at me. This is a huge step in the right direction because now I have a dog I can work with.

I’ve also attempted a couple of other “sensory deprivation” techniques to help lessen his reaction to stimuli. I can’t come up with anything to block/limit scents. I attempted to block auditory stimuli by putting cotton balls in his ears when we go out, but all he does is shake his head and the cotton balls go flying. Since the sight of movement seems to be one of his triggers, he now wears Doggles when we’re out. They don’t block his vision completely, but they limit his peripheral vision and the smoked lenses make it a little harder for him to distinguish things at a distance.

I had also considered a prescription to mellow him out since the lavender oil and valerian root did absolutely no good. Pretty sure I wouldn’t have any trouble getting the prescription filled, at his last visit, the vet asked if Fenway had been raised by wolves. :-P Turns out melatonin has been very effective in taking the edge off. He gets 3mg in the morning and another 3 mg in the evening about a half hour before our walk. I’ve noticed a distinct change in his stress level since starting the melatonin and can tell when I’ve forgotten to give him his morning dose because he’s so wound up when I get home in the evening.

It’s only been 2-3 weeks but these little things have been huge. We’re taking it slow, so we’re still working on going to the park and facing squirrels. It will be a few more weeks before we start facing people and dogs. Although he’s no longer reactive when someone jogs past us in the park; I can get him focused on me before he sees the jogger and hold it until the jogger is past.

I know none of this helps with off-leash work, and I doubt I’ll ever be comfortable with him being off leash in public, but at least we’re lessening the meltdowns and increasing his ability to focus and work with distractions.
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Brogan - Southpawz Mystery Man, CGC - Ephelis Spaniel
Fenway - Southpawz 4 Yawkey Way -Bull Collie
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Postby Malli » May 14th, 2013, 10:28 pm

appreciate your input :)
I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day, tomorrow doesn't look good either.
_______________________________________
"You didn't know of the magical powers of the break stick? It's up there with genies and Harry Potter as far as magic levels go." SisMorphine 01/07/07
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Malli
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Location: CANADA EH?


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