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

(39 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)?

OP’s posts: |
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.

needastrongone Fri 23-Aug-13 08:50:33

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.

OP’s posts: |
littlewhitebag Fri 23-Aug-13 08:52:05

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

OP’s posts: |
needastrongone Fri 23-Aug-13 08:53:54

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.


needastrongone Fri 23-Aug-13 08:56:38

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.

OP’s posts: |
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.

OP’s posts: |
Scuttlebutter Fri 23-Aug-13 09:33:23

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,

daisydotandgertie Fri 23-Aug-13 09:44:35

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.

OP’s posts: |
DaisyandGary Sat 08-Apr-17 02:10:33

Daisy is her name. Sweet, loyal, loves me and I her. I have hit her, not hard, but hard enough to make me just sit down and cry. Why? Daisy didn't deserve it as it wasn't her fault. Just lost my temper. More than once.
Trust me, if you hit your dog once, you will hit her again. And again. Get help and talk to someone before your dog gets hurt - or worse.
Please get help. Your dog will love you for it. And you will, too.

DaisyandGary Sat 08-Apr-17 02:22:05

If your dog doesn't listen to you or doesn't come back when you call, it could either be "selective hearing" or your dog may have a hearing problem. Ear infections are a big cause of this. Take your dog to a vet IMMEDIATELY for an ear exam. Instead of telling Daisy to come back, I now ask her, "Daisy, where are you?" She'll pop up someplace so that I can see where she is. Then, it's either "OK" or "Get back here." They're much smarter than we are. Learn from them. I've had Daisy for over 16 years and she's all I have. I'm all Daisy has, too.
Many, many times I've yell or something else stupid and Daisy just comes right up to me as if saying "That's OK. I know it's your fault and I'm not mad at you." Really!
Daisy was adopted at 1 1/2 year and is almost 18 today. She has learned when to ignore me until I calm down. She knows me. As people say, "Did you adopt Daisy, or did she adopt you?" We know each other so well now. It takes time. If I'm working on the Harley and yell at it, Daisy will walk away. I go hug her and say "I'm not mad at you." Then she's so happy again. She understands.
Your dog will be the best friend you will ever have - and the one who lives the shortest. Make every day count.

BiteyShark Sat 08-Apr-17 05:37:19

OP it was just shear frustration and god they can test you. Mine circled a tree when a squirrel ran up it and took me about 5 mins to get him back and it's only because he is still young he came back that quickly.

Forget the incident and just concentrate on recall. After reading a tip on here I am experimenting with having one or two superb duper treats that are special that he gets randomly on a recall. I do several recalls on a walk and occasionally I give him one of these ( usually if he has come back with great enthusiasm). I am hoping this will help realise that coming back to me might mean even better things than the usual sausage and cheese.

Personally I won't use a long line as I can't see the point. My dog will come back if he is close and there are no distractions. If I see a distraction he is put on the lead and we work on ignoring the distraction. In time I will build up to recall with distractions but we go to regular training sessions outside with other dogs so we will learn that in a controlled environment before putting it into practice on my own.

Lastly forgive yourself as you are only human. Yes you will get the odd person telling you that what you did was unforgivable but ignore them ( and no I don't think because you hit her you will do it again because otherwise you would not be on here trying to make sure it doesn't happen again) and just concentrate on being your dogs best friend and owner.

Broken11Girl Sat 08-Apr-17 05:53:03

Ffs. I can't believe most of these replies.
You abused an innocent animal. That is disgusting.
You should rehome the poor dog tbh. You can't even control her.
Fucking right you should feel bad, don't forgive yourself. Would those posters saying what you did was fine justify hitting a DC? (Actually, probably some would).

BiteyShark Sat 08-Apr-17 06:00:03

Broken11Girl No hitting a child isn't acceptable but do you really think someone who asked for help because they lightly smacked their childs arm (not beaten) would be told by SS that the child should be removed for adoption. Or do you think they would help them to understand what happened so it would not occur again hmm

picklemepopcorn Sat 08-Apr-17 06:16:50

Someone here once described a game, peekaboo, to help with recall.
Try a whistle/call when you put her meal down. She'll associate it with good things.
Practice in the house, with the whistle and call. Randomly call her and treat her. Never call her for something she won't like (to be put to bed, ear drops), just go and get her.

Peekaboo game: people with treats hide around the house, call 'peekaboo', and when she comes make a big fuss and reward her. My dog hurtles around looking for us. As soon as someone hears him being fussed, they pause a little, then call peekaboo again. It's a fast moving game. When you are out and need an urgent recall, peekaboo works. Peekaboo was the call word as it is distinctive and doesn't change tone when you are distressed, apparently.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Sat 08-Apr-17 06:38:26

ZOMBIE THREAD, PEOPLE! L! it was in 2013.

BiteyShark Sat 08-Apr-17 06:44:29

Arghhhhh bloody hell why can't that zombie thread message come up each time you go to post sad

blueskyinmarch Sat 08-Apr-17 07:09:52

That was my post and my dog! She is nearly 5 now and can hardly be arsed chasing rabbits now. She is utterly wonderful and that one incident has been long forgotten. She is most definitely not an abused dog. Here is a picture of her taken yesterday looking very relaxed!

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