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Vallhala - I see you are giving advice....

(19 Posts)
kid Thu 16-Dec-10 22:14:04

.....so I thought you might have some good advice for me to?

Teddy has some annoying habits which you might be able to solve for me.

When I walk him, he drags me constantly. I thought making him turn back, walk 5 steps and then continue in the original direction was working, but after a week or so, I gave up on that method as I hadn't seen an improvement. My latest method is to pull him back towards me and stand still on the spot until he releases the tension in the lead and then we will continue walking.

He also jumps up at everyone we see. Not in a viscious way, but a big tail wagging puppy way. I try to keep him down by pulling the lead in a downward direction, but he is very strong. Its worse when he jumps up at men as he has caused them some pain recently!

He has stopped digging my rug so thats good.

During the night, he is sometimes chewing the top step or the skirting board so today, I put some white vinegar mixed with water on it. He obviously liked it though as he licked it all off!

He is still such a sweet pup. I have taught him quite a few tricks and he does them for some treats. He is definitely food motivated!

silentcatastrophe Fri 17-Dec-10 09:02:18

We are taught to walk along with lots of treats and hopefully the dog will be more interested in the treats than in tugging. I think that all of these things take time and practice. I have tried the only walking when the lead is slack. With practice it would have worked.

With the jumping up, it helps a lot to teach an alternative behaviour. If the rewards come from being in his basket and not from the attention of jumping up.

We are on a steep learning curve once again, having forgotten just how much work we put into training our 2 older dogs.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 17-Dec-10 09:18:12

There's a spray you can get to help stop chewing - forget what its called but its something obvious! Smells pleasant enough to humans but evidently vile to dogs.

When you're walking, praise him when he's doing it right, keep talking to him and keep his attention. If he's looking adoringly into your eyes while you're walking he can't be pulling ahead at the same time.

Vallhala Fri 17-Dec-10 10:11:51

Morning!

WRT the pulling, all I can say is keep at it. It took me AGES to get Chester to calm down using the turn around and go in the other direction method. Still now he will pull and I will have to stop, at which point he immediately self-corrects for a couple of --yards,-- the bugger!

Jumping involves training everyone else. Tell everyone, even strangers who fuss him in the street, that they must step away and ignore him if he jumps up - that the behaviour must not be rewarded. Then get him to sit and treat/click/fuss as a reward. As soon as his bottom is off the floor and/or his paws in the air, step back with a NO and ignore.

Time again is the big factor here. Chewing likewise, there are sprays you can buy and of course leave him with plenty of chewy toys. If it really becomes an issue you may consider a crate for overnight.

As I keep saying, I'm NOT a behaviouralist, and my own dogs are far from perfect! These are just things which have worked for me and which I have been advised to do over the years.

booyhohoho Fri 17-Dec-10 10:17:03

agree with others. lots of time and practise should help.

wrt the jumping, start at home with teaching him to go "down" when approached by someone and reward everytime. then try with neighbours or friends who visit, maybe ask some neighbours if they could spare 10 minutes everyday for a couple of weeks, then move outside and parctise with strangers, maybe stop a few friendly looking people and ask if they would mind approaching your dog to help train him.

if he is jumping at people who are just walking past then you need distraction. again, start at home with family, then friends then strangers outside the house.

its all about consistency and repetition

santascupcakes Sat 18-Dec-10 14:30:57

When we fostered dogs for our local rescue we took away all toys. We excerised them well and taught them that home was for rest. In older dogs this worked quickly.

Many would chew when we were out and so we worked on seperation anxiety issues with them.

Having said that pups will chew and it is more a case of management than cure at least for the first 6 - 8 months.

For walking you can buy a head halter which you can use if you strugggle to keep them by side.

He's not a labrador by any chance is he??

VallhalaLalalalalalalalaaaaaa Sat 18-Dec-10 15:38:01

Santa, no, Teddy is a nutter Springer.

I've never heard of a rescue telling fosterers to take away all toys before, not unless they were causing a problem such as possessiveness, at any rate. If I tried that with Fish, my long term foster boy, he'd be ever so depressed.

You said "when" you used to foster... did you give up doing so or did you become, like me, "a failed fosterer"? (Fish is a foster boy in name only, the rescue owner and I are good friends and he knows he ain't getting Fish back!).

minimu1 Sat 18-Dec-10 16:31:48

Not Valhalallalalalallal obviously! but I really really do hate head collars. I am sure I have gone on about this before. They can really damamge a dogs neck , a determined puller will pull on head collara anyway and just cause more pain to them (which = walking on lead is horrid!) it changes the dogs position and body lanquage which can cause issues if you meet other dogs.

I would much prefer to use a harness, If I were to use anything than a collar and lead, especially with a Springer as their default position is nose down!

Keep at it Kid - whatever way you decide, turning around, stopping and waiting for the lead to go loose etc. It can take months but as long as you are consistent you will one day realise that the pulling is less or you are stopping less often.

Also try and harness his instinct - have you thought about tracking with him, or working trials. He is obviously a genius at tracking! One annoying habit from your dog can gain you and him a lot of high accolades in other company!

Batteryhuman Sat 18-Dec-10 16:49:48

A smear of washing up liquid on the woodwork might help. My pup hates it much more than the spray which he seems to like.

kid Sat 18-Dec-10 16:56:07

We do have a harness that I can use. I had to
buy it when he had kennel cough as the collar
was making him cough more.

I didn't take him out today. Instead dh took him to the park. Actually, teddy took dh for a walk to the park.
Being pulled along by a dig in this weather is a disaster!

I am going to stick with it a bit longer but I am also going to get a dog trainer to do a 1:1 session with us. I hate walking teddy, I really want to enjoy taking him out so I do need some support. I've had him for 4 months and his pulling on the lead is awful.

Thanks for the advice given. I will practice preventing him from jumping up at friends and family at home first. I know he is a clever dog, he just needs to be taught the acceptable behaviour.

minimu1 Sat 18-Dec-10 17:02:21

I do understand and it is horrid when you hate walking them. Don't despair you will get there and I know you are just the owner who can sort this Kid with your determination and natural empathy with dogs.

He sounds clever, lively and well socialised just the sort of dog you want (but also an off switch at times would be good grin)

lisad123isasnuttyasaboxoffrogs Sat 18-Dec-10 17:12:03

highly recommend a head halti, works well for our puppy doddle but you still have to heel train, but makes it easier.

kid Sat 18-Dec-10 18:22:34

What can I do about him being scared of things?
He was very well socialised by the breeder and stayed with his mum until he was 11 weeks old. He was able to go out as soon as we got him and has been out meeting dogs every day ever since. He has been exposed to traffic and all sorts of weather yet he still gets really spooked at times.

He is afraid of bin bags, a tree at the end of our road, other dogs, peeople in dark clothing or hats. Today he got scared of a snowman which he has never seen before so I could understand that one.
But when he gets scared, he just bolts and its so scary when he is off lead. I'd love to take him to the forest pr a big local park with a big pond but I'd be terried of him running away and never seeing him again.

He hasn't always been afraid, its been within the last month or so. He is just over 6 months old now.

silentcatastrophe Sat 18-Dec-10 19:28:50

Lots and lots of training. Keep going and get as much practical help as you can. Go to a good training class and learn and learn. You have a puppy. Dogs start growing up when they're more than one year old. Dogs are hard work. Persist and persist. One of our dogs was terrified of everything he saw. Now he makes our pup look like a nutter. We use a lunge line for the pup. Do not share your dog's fear. I wonder if anything has changed in the household?

We have lots of problems to overcome. Things changed a lot when we decided that the pup was going to stay with us and that it was for us to make things better. Lots of dogs get rehomed when they're about one, because they're full of puppy enthusiasm and the training hasn't bedded in. Keep going!!

kid Sat 18-Dec-10 20:58:14

Our pup will never be rehomed due to the unfortunate incident of our previous puppy dying in may. It has made teddy all the more special to us.

The puppy classes we attended only lasted for 6 weeks so they have finished now. I'm not if there are any other local ones that we could attend. I am going to contact the dog trainer that did the 6 week class for help and advice as she was very good.

minimu1 Sat 18-Dec-10 21:16:52

Kid do not worry about Teddy becoming suddenly fearful. It is nothing to do with lack of socialisation.

Dogs go through several fear stages in their lives and the second major one is 6 months ish.

During this stage there is a a fear of new situations and you just need to handle with the utmost patience. Let Teddy work things or on his own and for himself. If anything, it is better to ignore the whole situation than to reinforce the fear by praising the dog or petting him while he is afraid. When you "reassure" a dog with pets and "it's okay, fella", you are telling him it is okay to be frightened and you are creating a potential problem.

If Teddsy does appear apprehensivein a specific situation try to avoid the confrontation for a while.

Build confidence through clicker training - it really helps the dogs and their trust in you as only really nice things happen when you are about

He will come through this it is very very common.

Avoid any potentially overwhelming circumstances you cannot personally oversee or take charge off. So if you see a dog bounding over and Teddy getting anxious just calmly turn away and walk in a different directions. Equally things like dustbins just walk by confidently and maybe bribe with a treat if required.

The last fear stage tends to go at about 14 months so again do not be worried if over the next few months he gains confidence then seems to lose it again - he is jst growing up

He will come through this it is very very common.

kid Sat 18-Dec-10 21:31:46

Thanks minimu1, that's very reassuring as I did think I might have caused the issues. When he gets scared a bin bags on the street, I let him walk away from them and don't talk to him.
If I see him getting worried, like when a new dog comes near him off lead, I stick his lead back on and we walk away.
A couple of times, he has bolted when scared which really scared me. Other than those times, I don't react to his fear.

santascupcakes Sun 19-Dec-10 16:03:17

I am not suggesting you take away toys from garden, et but to help with your problem of chewing I suggest you remove them from the house. It sends mixed messages.

Not failed fosterer. We had over 200 cats and dogs. (not together though) ;-)

Then the kids came!

santascupcakes Sun 19-Dec-10 16:27:53

Valhalla, Think the dogs and cats were easier grin

I did keep one dog and two cats after the kids came. I think there is always that special one that you just cannot bear to see go. smile

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