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Issues off the lead barking etc
9

NewYoiker · 05/10/2018 03:30

Do reacue dogs ever 'get over ' their quirks?

10 year old rescue terrier, he's a parson Russel terrier, border terrier, Airedale terrier and border collie cross. He didn't meet another dog other than the one he lived with until he was 5. Very sad life living in a bathroom totally alone other than his little friend.

Now- we have him as a rescue and we've got a dog walker. He doesn't leg it and piss off on walks he's generally happy off lead but when he's with the dog walker and she's walking te lab and pointer etc, he chases.

Like dogs play chase.. but he barks incessantly it doesn't stop. He gets totally fixated on the other dog, I don't know how to fix this. He doesn't do it with chihuahuas which is what his room mate was.

Do we just accept that his behaviour will never change and not put him in any situation were he can exhibit this behaviour? He won't chase little things it's just big ones and it's like he's trying to herd them. I want him to be happy. The dog walker says he is happy but he does get fixated.

This is long. Sorry!

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IntensiveCareBear · 05/10/2018 04:01

If I were you I would take him out alone and do some intensive bonding.

Treat him like a puppy. Start over.

Get a clicker and start by commenting with him again with that. Say his name, he looks at you : click and a really tasty treat
Tell him to sit, he does : click and a treat. Basically ANYTHING positive especially with him looking you in the eyes : click and treat.

After a few days of doing that in the house take him for a walk.

You want him to connect with you not any distractions about. Keep him on the lead.

So walk, if he looks at you : click and treat. If he sees a person walking by and he looks at them then ignores : click and treat. Make the walk about him being focused on you then getting rewarded for it.

Then do the same after a few on lead walks off lead.

If he goes even a few metres away from you and turns back : click and treat. Reward him for connecting with you.

Try not to recall him as it's best if he learns on his own that staying close means treats. But if he does wander shout him. Click and treat him for returning.

Keep doing this and especially if he sees another dog and looks at you after and returns. Click, treats and tonnes of praise.

You could also get a whistle and do a recall programme as a whistle can be a good distraction to snap them out of any incessant behaviour.

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IntensiveCareBear · 05/10/2018 04:01

Commentating: should read connecting!

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NewYoiker · 05/10/2018 04:07

Ah thank you! He didn't have a name when given to the rescue. We're trying with Hugo as that's what they called him. He does sadly respond really well to dickhead so thats clearly what he was called! He is a gorgeous little thing! We thought he might chase because he's not used to other dogs? It definitely makes sense to go back to recall with some tasty awesome treats he'll never get unless he's off the lead and comes back like sausage?

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IntensiveCareBear · 05/10/2018 04:11

Yep! Cut it up small so he can have a piece everytime he does something good. Cheese is also good. Cheap ham.

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IntensiveCareBear · 05/10/2018 04:14

A really good one is baked lamb or chicken liver. Gross but they love it.

If you reserve that for JUST recall it can work really well.

That's what my pup gets every day when we do whistle training. She now knows that 3 short pips on that whistle means come to mama and you get the tasty liver! It's the only time she ever has it to make it extra special. Ok we are on week 2 and still only doing it inside the house. Its a long process but hopefully it sets her up for always returning to the whistle, no matter what else is happening.

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IntensiveCareBear · 05/10/2018 04:17

If he's only just learning his name you can teach him by having treats and clicker.

Stand in front of him and if he looks you in the eye then click, HUGO, treat.

So : eye contact, click, say HUGO, treat.

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Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten · 05/10/2018 08:21

DO not use a clicker to associate to name!

Just name and treat, name and treat, name and treat.

If you use the clicker your are weakening the classical conditioning response to the name as they are responding to the clicker not the name.

I would not even be asking for eye contact, dont confuse the issues just name treat name treat name treat

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IntensiveCareBear · 05/10/2018 09:00

Its worked fantastically for us and it was a very good sought after trainer that gave us that tool.

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Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten · 05/10/2018 14:44

Interesting but a very basic beginner trainer mistake.

Teach eye contact and reward

Teach association to name and reward

Do not mix the two.

You want to teach them as a classical conditioning response not as
an operant conditioning response.

The idea of charging a clicker is now pretty much debunked.

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