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10 month lead reactivity(10 Posts)
Collie x huntaway cross, 10months old. We’ve had her since 9weeks.
She’s very flighty and has poor recall. We’ve gone back to square one with recall training in the house and garden, going well but not ready to use on walks.
So on walks we have her on a lead/long lead.
She did love to play with other dogs (previously had her off lead but didn’t feel right as her recall was not good enough) but is very rough and tumble and with a long lead attached we can’t allow it - she/other dog/owners get knotted up, becomes a danger.
On the lead she is becoming more reactive to other dogs, barking and lunging. I think if she were off lead she’d play nicely but then wouldn’t come back to us.
I am worried that her lack of playtime and negative interactions (on lead reactivity) mean her Socialization for the future is suffering.
I’m tending to walk her at quiet times/areas to minimise incidents on lead, but worried about lack of Socialization.
Are you doing anything with her that fulfils her natural drives? Huntaways are pretty full-on dogs - absolutely lovely, but they're bred for serious activity and have a lot of working drive. If you can work with her to get out some of her mental energy, she should become easier to handle (this is my experience with working-bred gundogs: if you can engage the brain and ease the urge in them to Do Stuff, other things fall into place.)
Do you have any friends who have a dog or dogs with really solid recall? If your dog can play with them and they recall, she will probably come with them, especially if you have her favourite treats or toy and are ready to dish out loads of praise and then release her to play again. That way obeying a recall doesn't become the end of all the fun.
She will get easier as she matures, but as you have realised you do need to keep on top of her behaviour in the meantime.
Hi - we’re doing low arousal games on our walks - finding the ball or finding treats, hand touch training, short ball throws - if we do long range she gets more hyper.
But again I’m struggling to know if this is enough as she’s not ‘burning off’ the energy. We have a neighbour who clearly thinks we’re bonkers we should be letting ng her off lead, running to burn off the ‘pent up’ energy. And also he’s a let them know who’s boss, a tap with a rolled up newspaper school of thought.
First time dog owners here and we are seeing (virtually at the moment) a great behaviourist who we have confidence in. But it’s myself I doubt!!
And the friends we have with dogs are cocoa/cabs poi’s with not great recall. But they’re smaller and I guess a bit more manageable maybe?!
When she’s playing with another dog has no interest in treats/toys it’s hard to get her attention.
That should read cockapoo and cavapoo!
I wondered what a cocoa/cab was 😂 Do you have a friend with a dog you could have doggy play dates with?
I've had a look and there are a couple of FB huntaway groups which might be useful or at least reassuring.
Have you tried long stays (in either sit or down)? Use your longline and build up from a few seconds to ten minutes or more. I have a high-drive dog and this exercise means she has to concentrate (brain work) and it's also quite chilling. You can end it by either calling the dog to you (again, loads of praise etc) or by going to the dog (praise etc then too). As the dog gets better at it, build in distractions, throw balls, walk around the dog, etc etc. Aside from being good to calm and focus a dog, it's a great skill for a pub garden (at some distant future date...)
Work on recall on the longline, too. There is an exercise called paper plate recall (search it on Google, you should find it) which you can longline as well. It gives you stay, send out and recall in a single package. If you make this stuff fun for your dog, she will focus more and more on you and recall should become less of an issue.
I think the problem is likely high arousal and frustration.
I am not a professional, just an owner but I have a working bred collie and collies and huntaways are both typically very high strung sensitive breeds, extremely easy to overexcite/overwhelm.
It doesn’t always take much to send them over.
My collie for example, with calm, peaceful walks is a dream.
Very calm and lazy.
Anything ‘stimulating’ or ‘stressful’, even if it’s a so called ‘good’ stress like agility, training sessions more than 10 minutes or so, anything more than an occasional and brief game of fetch etc overstimulates her and she gets whiny and anxious and downright unpleasant.
I would keep her on a long line and just walk.
Nice, calm, pleasant walking.
No brain games, no interacting with other dogs, no fetch etc and see if she improves.
I bet she is stressed and overwhelmed.
Excessively rough play I believe can be a sign of stress and anxiety.
Generally speaking, once mature, herding dogs like collies and huntaways don’t tend to be very dog social like say, cocker spaniels or labradors tend to be.
They tend to be aloof and focused on ‘their’ people and doing their ‘own’ thing.
Thankyou for taking the time to reply, some interesting signposts - will look up the hunt away groups and the paper plate recall - and points made, that ring true.
Out trainer is also going with the overstimulated line of thinking. It’s true she is really easily wound up
Will try and have confidence to carry on down the calming route!!
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