Hello - just wondered if anyone could possibly offer any advice..bit long sorry!
We picked up a rescue dog in June this year. He is a New Zealand Huntaway and he is just over a year old. Not many people seem to know about this breed, basically he is a sheep dog type and I do think he has some Collie in him.
He hasn't had the best start in life, mistreated by previous owner etc.. He has a thing for chasing cars which we discovered soon after getting him. He managed to escape from a friends garden (heart in mouth moment) - and got hit by a car. He dislocated his hip which meant two operations and no proper walks for around 3 months. This was so frustrating for him as he soon forgot about the accident and just didn't understand why he wasn't being exercised as usual.
He's fixed up now and he is a super dog, very socialised and very affectionate - BUT - he is SO SO disobedient and stubborn. He knows he is being naughty as he will jump off the furniture when we walk into the room and hide under the table. He steals food from the kitchen side, he runs upstairs and he knows he's not allowed, he CONSTANTLY pulls on his lead. He started to come to call but when he's decided he wants to do something else - he just WON'T listen!
We've tried treats, spraying water and lots of praise. We have a lead that goes around his nose and neck which stops the pulling for a while but if ever he is on a normal lead he is straight back to his old ways. Sometimes he will ignore cars which he gets LOTS of praise for but if he's feeling naughty, every car that goes by he will crouch ready to chase - it's a nightmare! My DH is self-employed and used to take him to work but he barks constantly. He'll be running around the garden and he'll bark, he sits in the van and he barks, he'll just be milling around my DH as he works and he'll be barking.
It's becoming a real problem as Loki (my dog) adores my husband but because he is such hard work my husband is really struggling to bond with him. We had a beautiful ridgeback who we sadly lost at Easter, my DH had a lovely bond with her. She had her moments but she was just so easy-going. I think my DH probably looks back through rose-tinted specs to a point but compared to Loki, she was an angel!
I love Loki to bits and there are moments where he will be obedient. We've got crossing the road down, he will sit and wait to be told to cross but if he was off the lead he would be straight across - so he's not really learning is he? If we can crack this he will be an excellent dog but at the moment we are really struggling. I do know a lot of the problem is his age and he hasn't been 'done' yet (booked for January). Really, really hoping this might calm him down a bit but who knows...also have considered training classes but never been to them before..I've heard mixed reports...what do you think?
We have borrowed a very calm and lazy mastiff called Molly for a couple of weeks to see if this will have any effect on Loki and it actually has helped a bit. He does seem to copy in her some aspects which is good but he is mostly still a very bad boy. I'm a firm believer in the sense of doing everything you can for an animal you have accepted responsibility for so I am determined to soldier on - just running out of ideas and am resorting to shouting at him in frustration which I know is not good
Hi, must be brief but I would suggest getting a good apdt trainer to help. Nzh's are highly active and were bred to run miles and miles, be strong willed and confident enough to move livestock, and, I'm sorry to say, bark! You won't stop the barking but with training you'll make him more manageable.
Could he have a job? Agility? He'll never be a mastiff I'm afraid, however much he hangs round with them!
Meant to say that my Mum had a rescue similar to you and she was on the edge of her nerves with him. She got outside help and it worked. Took time but he is wonderful now. A fresh set of eyes and knowing someone can help made a huge difference
Thanks guys..I think you're right..classes it is! If that doesnt work we'll get a behaviourist to help.
We did do some research before getting him so knew he needed a lot of exercise. We live in the country so do spend a lot of time out and about and my DH takes him beating on a Saturday which is 6 hours of constant walking and running.
Just thought perhaps another dog's influence might help teach him to calm down a bit but maybe that won't really work. I think what you both said is the answer then, get him to training classes and maybe find an agility class or something that's regular to keep his 'working dog' brain active. Thanks for responding so quickly.