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Recall problems when other dogs are in sight / dog obsession in general!

(6 Posts)
Itsnotahoover Tue 09-Apr-13 16:18:01

I have a 5 year old collie x poodle. She's nervy, hyper and behaves strangely at the best of times lol but is a fab dog in the house, brilliant with my ds and generally well behaved when there's no other dogs around.

However, put a dog in the equation and she's predictably unpredictable! Recall when we're on our own is 100%; she comes back immediately to her name or a whistle, very rarely wanders far from me anyway and is usually happy chasing a ball. As soon as another dog comes into view, she'll drop the ball and drop down ready to stalk. If it's far enough away and I can get her attention, I can sometimes get her back on the lead, but she does have a tendency to bolt for it.

Sometimes, she runs over to play. Sometimes she runs away as soon as the dog comes near her. Sometimes she will fight sad Her initial reaction is always the same; just pure concentration on the other dog, drop to the floor, then run for it. If we are walking on the lead and she spots a dog, she is immediately focused on it, to the point that she will walk into things through not looking where she's going! She will pretty much always lunge and growl when she's on a lead, but odd times she doesn't. I'm yet to work out the triggers as to what makes her want to play with some dogs yet bite others.

She's not food orientated in the slightest, loves her ball but couldn't care less about it once she spots a dog, and becomes completely selectively deaf when it suits her.

She's very well socialised with dogs; we regularly go to various friends houses who ave a variety of dogs, and there's 7 or 8 dogs who frequently visit our house. In this sort of situation, she's 100% and has never snapped or got silly. It's only ever when we're walking. We attended classes as a pup and she's very well trained apart from ths complete change of personality when she encounters a dog! Doesn't help that the village we live in seems to be overrun with dogs intent on killing her and I think sometimes it's fear, as she's been attacked many times before, and sometimes she tries to get in the first bite.

It just seems to be getting worse and I dread walking her in places where I know we may meet dogs as I have to keep her on the lead which is a shame. She's also recently developed a complete aversion to oing out in the dark - seems absolutely petrified! And she won't do her business on the lead.

Any advice would be welcome!

MrsClown1 Wed 10-Apr-13 09:19:05

I have a toy poodle who just ignores other dogs - wonderful! I also walk a neighbour's toy poodle at the same time and he is just the opposite. He focuses on the other dog then when it comes near he barks, runs over and attacks it (or tries to). It makes no difference what breed it is.

Anyway, a few months ago I was watching Its Me Or the Dog USA. The owner had a very similar problem. Anyway, I followed the advice with my neighbour's dog. As soon as you see another dog coming and your dog takes an interest, stop hold some fresh meat (cooked liver seems to work well chopped up into little bits because the smell is so strong) hold it to your eyes and say to your dog 'look at me, look at me'. Keep your dog sitting there looking at your eyes (hopefully). As soon as your dog even looks at the other dog say 'look at me, look at me' with the food held next to your eyes. When the other dog has gone past PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE and give the treat. It takes a few times but all the other dog walkers have said how well Lewis (the neighbour's dog) is doing. He isnt perfect but he is much better. There are times when Lewis looks at me the looks at the dog and I can almost read his mind because he is so tempted to run off! When you first start the training keep your dog on a lead but after a while you will be able to do it without him being on the lead. The key is to start doing the routine as soon as you see the other dog coming. I know your dog isnt food driven but if you use something like liver that smells really strong it may help. I must admit I have felt a bit silly holding pieces of liver up to my eyes Apparently, its the eye contact.

Good luck. Please let me know how it goes and if I can help any more just ask. It can work with older dogs because Lewis is 11 years old! By the way, I hope you can understand the instructions!

idirdog Wed 10-Apr-13 09:41:27

I am dashing out now but this to me sounds more like the collie herding instinctive rather than issue with other dogs.

You need to work on controlling or readdressing what she can herd. I can go into more detail later if you are interested.

Imnotaslimjim Wed 10-Apr-13 11:24:19

I have a similar issue with my 2 yr old rottie. We are working on the "watch" (same as Mrsclown's "look at me") and having varying success. I still daren't let him off the lead though as he bolts as soon as he sees another dog

Itsnotahoover Wed 10-Apr-13 12:29:09

Thanks for the replies smile I tried warm cooked sausages on this mornings walk with no success. I literally waved it under her nose and she just moved her head to keep sight of the other dog!

It's frustrating because if we're in a field with no dogs around, she'll quite happily chase her ball for 20 minutes or so, then we do some off lead work on sit, down, wait, come etc she will walk to heel in small circles, stay in the down while I turn my back and walk 100 yards away etc but as soon as another dog's around, I can't even get her to look at me; it's like she forgets I'm even there.

idirdog any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. I've had numerous border collies over the years and always managed to channel their behaviour into ball chasing or performing tricks for treats etc. This is the first collie x I've had and she's frustrating the life out of me!

Kleptronic Thu 11-Apr-13 00:36:27

I am marking my place, my dog's the same, I've a collie, walked (off lead, ball throwing/frisbee with 'long', 'bounce', 'backwards', 'golf', 'up' varieties of throw all in different directions, different route every single time, ducks to bother, ponds to lie in) 2-3 times a day, goes to advanced dog training (good as gold, does everything, down stay, stopped recall, figures of eight to heel/side, agility etc etc I am told he could go 'all the way', wherever that is), I cannot stop him stalking/herding dogs when off lead, despite the liberal application of hot dog sausages and 'watch me'. He has a cat to herd at home as well!

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