Postings by Betsy

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Plott Hound > How do I keep my Plott hound rescue happy?

Betsy

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Barked: Sun May 27, '12 3:45pm PST 
I wonder if either of you have resolved your Plott hound issues. I hope so. I rescued/adopted Betsy, a Plott, 5 years ago and no idea what she was. I suspected some type of hunting dog (the way she chased/caught/ate squirrels, and went after possums and raccoons was a decent clue.) She was soooo sweet. But she displayed a problematic dog aggression issue, threatening to kill one of my others. I suspect her ability to kill may be why she was at the pound.
I considered putting her down for this aggression (I didn't want to pass it on to unsuspecting adopters), but she is very smart and so eager to please, and I was somehow able to convince her to stop.
Here's how I stopped the aggression: I worked with her on the word "Stop" and "Halt" (which seems easier to shout when I'm in a panic.) Then, when she fought one of my other dogs, I kept yelling that along with her name. It worked. Then I put her in isolation for a half-hour and she knew she had displeased me. (I also know her triggers and watch for her ears to go forward - her fight posture.) I also used these words to stop the barking.
Plotts are very sensitive, and hitting/striking or even yelling negatively will cause them to withdraw and shut down. Then you have lost the point of the lesson and spend hours/days/weeks earning their trust again. Positive reinforcement/praise is the way I can train her. She learns so fast and has made it clear she wants to please. She can be loud, but stops if I tell her, or with a touch to her body. Once I acknowledge her alarm, she settles down. She is a serious minded watch dog - the only time she is serious. Otherwise, she is a hoot and I'm so glad I kept her. She even has a Facebook page. I love this dog!
P.S. She was clearly raised with cats. She is perfectly content with my 2 cats, but will chase if they eat her food. And, she is fantastic and friendly with all people.
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