Behavior problems

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The Wise Cracker
Barked: Thu Oct 18, '07 1:54am PST 
I have a thread about my dog's possible fear aggression. I'm wondering if any of you guys has experienced anything like I'm going through. http://www.dogster.com/forums/Behavior_and_Training/thread/456522

Thanks smile

Barked: Wed Oct 24, '07 1:04pm PST 
I used to have the same problem with my dog, but I learned allot from watching the "dog Whisperer" on the National Geographic channel. I have now been able to help many others with this same problem.

There are so many things you can do to help your dog.

You need to be the pack leader. When the dog knows you are the pack leader he will feel more calm and confident because he will feel he can look to you for guidance. To be a pack leader you must always stay calm but be assertive. Assertive does not entail being mean, it is just you need to be firm and self assured. Also remember that dogs, especaily sheepdogs, are very sensitive to a persons feelings, so being calm is important.

It is very important to give a dog many walks. It is believed that dogs need more than just exercise, they need to get out and smell new things. When walking a dog though, it should be by your side or behind you. This establishes that you are the leader and will look to you for direction.

You need to correct bad behavior when it is happening. This can be done with a slight touch to the neck and maybe a small noise. Watch your dogs tail and posture for early signs of the fear/aggerssion. If you just simply get your dogs attention before it starts getting upset it can break it our of that high excitement level it is getting into.

It is so hard to try to explain what is needed online, and I know this is not much, but I promise it is what is needed (being pack leader, being calm and assertive, daily walks, and correcting bad behavior when it happens).

Good luck.

The Wise Cracker
Barked: Mon Oct 29, '07 1:41am PST 
She gets around 3 hours worth of walking per day. We go different routes so she doesn't get bored. We play games in the house and I'm teaching her to track (she just finds babies, toys, and her dad and I right now). She doesn't get to chase cows and goats anymore, but she does get to chase rabbits and squirrels (much to my displeasure) so the urge to run things down does have an outlet. I've tried the Ceaser "SSS" and poke, but that doesn't work with her. It makes her more aggravated and stressed. I typically just tell her to "shhhh" and to look at me. Most of the time that works. If it doesn't work I ask her to go find me a varmint. She starts hunting so it distracts her. That's probably not ideal, but it keeps her from barking and acting a fool. A lot of her reaction depends on the behavior of the other dog. If the other dog is calm and cool, then she'll chill out and want to play. If the dog is friendly but very excited it makes her nervous. Poking her and hissing at her has only made it worse. We also practice NILIF to help put us into the leader role. On TDW, the dogs at the end of the show always behave well on leash, but I rarely see them actually go up to a strange dog who is excited and meet them calmly. I can't recall seeing that at all. The dog will behave calmly walking past a dog, but the meeting of the dogs is the bigger issue. I want my dog to be able to meet the other dogs without feeling whatever it is she is feeling. Thanks for the help!!big grin


the fetch is- strong in this- one
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '07 12:44pm PST 

Unless it is really hot out, walking does not tire out my Aussie one bit. They are pre-wired to work hard 6-8 hours per day. It sounds like your Aussie moved from that environment to a much calmer one, which is probably a difficult change. I'd consider some agility, frisbie, kongs, or more rigorous activities. You did find that search instinct, isn't it cool? I sometimes hide tennis balls out of her reach and Basia will sit right where it is until I get it for her. The harder you make it the happier they are.

Once in a while my Aussie decides she doesn't like another dog and will lunge at them. Usually huskies because one bit her ear at a park by accident. This mostly happens if she is leashed or if it is dark out.

First I stand between them to stop the lunging and let the other ownder know I'm in control (usually they aren't). Then a firm "no" and the "down" command. She has been trained carefully since she was a puppy with the alpha roll technique. At this point in training (8 years), I can pretty much give her the evil eye and she'll lie down. The best thing about this technique is that once they are down, as Ceasar would point out, you start relaxing too. The con of this technique is that you have to be careful that other dogs around don't come over and take advantage of the vulnerable position.

I have to say that a properly used cholker seems like the best bet for you. I used one with good results for two years, but when I learned to put it higher (behind their ears), !bing! it was a beautiful thing. When used properly you'll end up walking your dog with one finger, no pressure, with a showy strut, and not the typical sniffing search and destroy mode.

Ceasar is right, keep them distracted, and try not to get anxiety yourself. I don't like how they show some of the transformations in 30 minute episodes as it isn't very realistic. I've tried EVERYTHING to get our Weimaraner's food anxiety down, and it just isn't going to happen. I'd gladly pay Ceasar to come visit, but it isn't that bad.

I've got those roller skates Ceasar uses on my wishlist for after Christmas. wink