Deterioration of trust

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Spooky Mulder
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 11:35am PST 
I think I've made a post like this before, but something of a breaking point has been reached and I'm starting to feel very weighed down by it.

I've tried very hard to keep things even between the dogs- Ridley has OB and Tracking, Mulder has Agility and Protection. For a while this was working out fine, and there was a sort of harmony to everything.

But due to miserable luck, literally all of Mulder's activities have been canceled (every agility meet since the beginning of the year almost has been rained out, and the ones that haven't I've had something else going on... and his PP trainer has taken on a lofty contract with a kennel that eats up most of his time). At first I figured Mulder was just bored, so I started working with him more on my own, more one on one hikes, more personal time training. But I still get this feel from him... that he somehow knows I'm still working Ridley (OB is indoor and tracking is rain or shine), and resents me for it.

Mulder's obedience has deteriorated to pathetically bad levels. He doesn't even want to listen to me anymore. Things that usually are a no brainer for him, he blatantly disregards. I've tried to tighten the reigns on him more, go back to reinforcing EVERYTHING, not letting the little things slide like I used to... but that just seems to be driving him farther away. If he refuses a recall, and I physically walk over to go get him, he turns away from me and wont even look me in the eye. If I put him on a long line and do the same thing, I literally have to drag him to me, and the next time I call he doesn't even acknowledge I've said anything.

I know getting back to working him would make things better, but I'm not a magician... I can't make the rain stop, and I can't dissolve my PP's other contracts.

Ridley is doing so marvelously, from a training standpoint he is marvelous, his tracking instructor thinks he will be ready to trial and title by the fall, and my OB trainer is very impressed with him. He has become the golden child... but while I love Ridley immeasurably, he is not my Mulder... and I find it hard to live with myself knowing Mulder doesn't want anything to do with me right now.

I'm sure that's a stupid sentiment to be having this late in the game... Mulder will be 5 in the summer, we should be past this. But I walk in this dog's shadow, to have him sore at me hurts in a way I'm almost embarrassed to admit.

Its more a personal vent of my own sadness over this issue. I don't know if there is a "fix" to any of this besides getting him back to work, but maybe someone has other ideas of how to at least cope with the feeling.
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 11:44am PST 
I'm so sorry, Mulder. I have two dogs who are very difficult to work with, and one of them hardly acknowledges me --- he is all about my bf only.

The only thing I could suggest is that you take up some OB with Mulder -- I'm sure he would be good at it or maybe if that's possible, agility.

He really needs something to do, and he would be fantastic at OB.

Spend lots of time playing with him too, if he likes to play. And hikes and such.

Member Since
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 11:53am PST 
You're ascribing anthropomorphic attributes to him. He's not being disobeying out of spite.

Likely it's that he needs a high level of direction/work or it's a case of idle paws are the devil's playthings, or that there's a medical reason for his change in behavior and compliance levels. I'd get him checked out.

If you feel that he trusted you, and you didn't do anything to cause him harm or fear, then it's hardly likely that he's suddenly dropped his trust in you.

Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 11:55am PST 
eek You've just made me want to try and get my deposit back on the puppy!!
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 11:57am PST 
Take it for what it is. Don't feel sorry for yourself. He has rights to his opinions of the moment.

Advice here is to do something DIFFERENT with him. Try to regain his interest. Dog emotions aren't quite like human emotions, I don't think. He could be figuring you need him less which makes you seem like more of a drag, for all you know. You may simply be boring him, his general interest at one time stemming from him figuring you needed him. You really don't know. So don't vibe off how you think he is feeling, but rather off how he is acting. You are projecting your feelings, and for all you know are simply missing the mark.

Even if there is stuff you do with him that he enjoys, you may be reinventing yourself by tackling something different that holds an appeal.

Can dogs have midlife crises? Sure, why not! wink The kid is grown (you) and now life is a mundane, so he's a little grumpy. Why not go and try to find him that proverbial red sports car?

More Bored- Collies
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 12:00pm PST 
I've been going through a similar situation with Cobain and Rigby.
I can't do agility over the winter - which Cobain excels at. Yet, I am going to weekly OB classes with Rigby. (Cobain despises doing OB or Rally work)
So these past few months especially I have been getting a "mopey" vibe off Cobain. And he too has been pulling similar behaviour with recalls.

It's interesting, because those unfamiliar with these dogs may not fully get the level of understanding these dogs have. And the level of connection that many of us have with our "heart" dogs.

Are there possibly any indoor agility facilities in your area? Or other trainers that you may be able to work with for the time being for PP?

Or, this may sound odd but it seemed to work a little for Cobain...is there a way to pay special attention to Mulder whilst blatantly putting Ridley aside? I know it sounds harsh; but working Cobain in the same room as Rigby, but having her confined or in a "stay" off to the side seems to work to perk Cobain up a little bit. Sort of like an "in your face Rigby, I'm still number one around here"
This wasn't a 100% fix of course, but it seemed to give him back some of the characteristic Cobain attitude that I am accustomed to.

I understand wholeheartedly how upsetting this situation can get. Hopefully you can get back on track with agility and PP soon
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 12:00pm PST 
Excellent advice Tiller! Wish I could have put that so nicely!
Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 12:20pm PST 
Oh, Mulder... I have exactly _1_ dog and we get into this when she can't work. Our agility is indoors... but my schedule can cut into our classes. Not sure if it fits for Mulder, but I do directional cuing when we walk or play. That is, I'll send Charks on a fetch, and then cue her to run by me left or right or to go back out as she comes flying back. She loves the game. Otherwise, we work on verbal and hand directional cues as we walk. It keeps her engaged... and REALLY pays off in our distance work... which I have to have since the big bus is fast... I'm always looking for ways to send her wide so I have some hope of cutting the corners to catch up wink

Both amusing and frustrating that dogs have a sense of numbers laugh out loud

ETA Tiller is right... be careful what YOU telegraph relative your own feelings. In the realm of agility, I have become aware that my feelings leak. The darn dog reads my emotions even when I think I'm concealing them. The only solution has been to feel exactly what I want to project thinking I know that there is a Yoda quote for this.

Edited by author Mon Feb 25, '13 12:25pm PST


bitches love- pantaloons
Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 1:14pm PST 
I was also going to suggest finding some other activity to do with him in the meantime. If there are any places that will allow you to pay for classes week by week, that would be perfect since your original class schedule is a bit unpredictable at the moment. It could simply be that he is acting that way because his schedule is off, and not necessarily because you are spending more time with your other dog. Nick gets a bit put off on the weekends because I do things differently than my parents who pupsit him during the week.

Edited by author Mon Feb 25, '13 1:18pm PST


Barked: Mon Feb 25, '13 2:12pm PST 
Just letting you know that you're not alone!

I'm going through a bit of a slump with Kato. I haven't been working with other dogs. I've just been busy working for $$. I haven't done really any formal training in...like a year maybe. Recall isn't horrible, but calling him off a chase is darn near impossible now. Just me slacking off. I feel a bit detached when we hike now. Whereas he used to check in by coming close or even nuzzling my hand, now he barely checks in...a quick glance and then off to roam around by himself. Not as enthused to have me partake in the activities.

Maybe it's him, maybe it's me (I've felt rather drained), maybe it's both.shrug
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