Lost my temper with my dog. I am not proud of myself.

(16 Posts)
littlewhitebag Fri 23-Aug-13 08:34:54

I went out early to walk the dog (lab, age 15 months) as she was pretty frisky this morning. I walk her mainly off lead as we live by a golf course. Her recall isn't fabulous but it has been improving and she will usually respond to a whistle/treats.

It started well but i did notice she was stopping a lot to wee (no idea if it is related). As it was a lovely morning i added a bit on to the end of the walk but i forgot we had been avoiding that area as it is rabbit central. Dog went mad running after the rabbits and would not respond to me calling her or using the whistle. It took me about 30-40 minutes to get her back. I was actually sobbing as i did not think i would ever get her. When she saw me calling she glanced my way then ran off in the opposite direction. I did everything including just sitting down and pretending i wasn't bothered, walking the opposite way etc.

When i got her back i was both relieved and furious. Then i lost it big style. I yelled at her really loudly and hit her about 4 times over her nose with the end of the lead. (fabric type lead). She slunk home with me and would not make eye contact and as soon as we got in she went straight to her bed.

I am very, very upset about this. I would never harm my dog and i hate myself for doing this. I don't know how to make amends and i don't want her to be scared of me now.

What do i need to do now (apart from work harder on her recall)?

lougle Fri 23-Aug-13 08:43:26

she's at a brilliant age for looking straight at you and giving you two fingers when you call. Patch went through that stage.

You know it's your fault that she went over threshold and couldn't recall. Bunnies are just too exciting. You know it's not right to hit her.

You could try a long line if her recall is dodgy.

Nothing, it happens. We all do stuff that we are not proud of but you feel crap about it, regret it already and probably will never do it again. It was probably frustration as you had exhausted all your methods of recall and were at a loss. Your dog will still love and adore you, she will be fine. I lost it big time with my DS once, I learned more from doing it wrong once than doing it ok for the rest of the time.

As you say, keep working on the recall. Keep checking how often she goes to the loo as they go a lot if they have a UTI.

Forgive yourself biscuit

No doubt someone will be along telling you to rehome lol smile smile

littlewhitebag Fri 23-Aug-13 08:50:58

It's totally my fault. I just don't know how to repair any damage to my relationship with her or how progress from what happened. Her walk later will most certainly be fully on lead.

littlewhitebag Fri 23-Aug-13 08:52:05

I did wonder about a UTI. I will keep an eye on her.

ps - our Springer is doing the two fingers bit at the minute lougle! Agree it's not right to hit the dog but I have seen from littlewhitebags other posts how much she cares.

Just wanted to add this point smile

idirdog Fri 23-Aug-13 08:55:23

I disagree that it happens that you lose your temper and beat your dog however it has happened.

Your dogs recall will now be non existent or very slow for a while. Your dog did eventually come back to you and was rewarded by being hit so obviously your dog will be reluctant to come back to you.

You need to work really really hard on positive recalls, however you feel you must not so any negativity on the return to you. Games tuggies treats every single time for a long time to come. If you have a rabbit lovoing lab you can get rabbit hair treats that most labs will recall to at great speed.

Labs however are very forgiving bless them.

I don't think it will be damaged honest, DH can be very firm with our dog (verbally), the damn dog follows him around like a shadow, even sits outside the loo waiting for him!

Also, not sure about sticking her on the lead? Maybe somewhere off lead but quiet with no distraction where you can do the training?

littlewhitebag Fri 23-Aug-13 09:10:38

I wouldn't say I beat my dog. 4 whaps on the nose with the end of a lead is hardly beating her. However I agree that I need to really work on her recall so it is solid. I will look for the rabbit hair treats.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 23-Aug-13 09:18:43

Maybe invest in a training line for a while - so that is a long lead, do not have a flexi lead though, i had a rotty on one of those - BIG mistake grin

Don't feel bad, your dog knows you love her

TartanRug Fri 23-Aug-13 09:25:01

Yes you need to work on recall, so do I as our lab is just learning.

Oh and of course you feel bad, because you care and I don't think for one second that what you describe is 'beating' your dog. confused I think that saying that is just deliberately trying to make you feel worse than you already do, which is just unkind. Unfortunately I've seen many dogs through my previous job who have been genuinely beaten and it was nothing like what you did.

littlewhitebag Fri 23-Aug-13 09:28:01

I have a long lead. I will look it out later. Thanks for all the tips and support.

Lots of dog trainers do recall workshops - we did one for the Norty Minx and it helped enormously, as did going to classes with her as well (something else I'd recommend). We started using the various techniques that we learned at the workshop with our other dogs too, and their recall has also improved.

Bunnies are always going to be tempting though! grin

mrsjay Fri 23-Aug-13 09:43:03

your dog will forgive you she wil and god rabbits are much better than coming bACK OUR DOG IS 18 MONTHS he is a little shit naughty off lead especially if rabbits are around we just dont let him off we do take him to an enclosed park and let him off there but he has a 5 metre training line he wears that.

I hit my dog the other day by accident he was digging through to the neighbours I shouted no then went to slap his lead of the clothes pole and I hit him on the back I felt so guilty as he slunk in giving me the the how could you eyes sad he was back to normal half an hour later,

Blimey. I bet you really, really wish you hadn't done that.

My advice is to ignore what has happened. Don't overcompensate for your mistake by being any different with her.

Where is she with seasons? Spayed or entire?

She is at a fabulous age for learning to ignore your commands and it seems from your post that that is exactly what has happened.

Over time you've progressed from calling her once to calling her twice - she therefore learned that she doesn't have to listen to the first call, but can come on the second. Then you've gone from two to three commands, then three to four and on and on until she knows damn bloody well that she can come back whenever she fancies. NOT when you tell her to.

I'd have mine back on a long, very light line with knots tied in it and drill the recall until it was absolutely rock solid. Walk as normal and start a recall when you think it will go well. Make SURE it goes well by standing on the line or grabbing it as you call and reel her in. When she gets to you go bonkers with treats. Stuff them in while singing and dancing. Give her a go play command. Repeat, repeat, repeat. At this stage, don't set her up for a fall by recalling when she is distracted if you can avoid it - your aim is to teach her that what you say goes. And when you say jump, she doesn't even stop to ask how high.

I'd expect mine to get the hang of an instant recall on day 1, but for them to need at least a week of the immediate bit before they come to terms with the fact that I won't let them learn to ignore me.

I think you also need to sort out why you got so angry with her. Fear, for sure was a large part of it, but losing control is not a good thing. Her behaviour needs to have less of an emotional impact on you somehow.

littlewhitebag Fri 23-Aug-13 09:51:43

She was spayed at 6 months so no seasons.

I realise now that she has learned she can ignore my command for recall. We are going back to basics once i have had a family pow wow to make sure we are all doing the same thing.

What has happened in the past is that i have done the training and gone to the classes and everyone thinks they can reap the benefit without doing the work. I think we will also get back to class. We stopped over the summer as i didn't want to pay for 10 weeks when i knew i couldn't make most of them.

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