|Barked: Sun May 25, '08 1:01pm PST |
|Hey, hopefully I can get some help with this!
For almost a year now, Kreuzer has discovered the joys of ATVs, motorbikes and the like. Cars, trucks, bicycles, etc, have never really gotten this reaction out of him, and still don't, so I'm not sure what his exact attraction to the ATVs is. I'm 99.9% positive it's a prey drive thing, rather then a fear/aggression thing, since he's giving his high-pitched play yips and a fast tail wag (not to mention playbows and jumping around the same way he does when he's playing a good game with other dogs or humans), and he generally has his attention grabbed by anything that moves fast.
I've been able to make some improvement, but he'll still occasionally revert into a fit of lunging towards, then jumping back from the ATVs, like a maniac. On his "good days" he'll be responsive to me, I can put him in a sit or down, but he never takes his eyes off of the ATV, and sometimes he'll continue with the high pitched yipping or this horrible whining/moaning that sounds like he's having his toenails ripped out.
I'd much rather revert his excitement to a game of tug or something, but he refuses all toys and treats when those distractions are nearby. This is one of the biggest problems because most of the threads I've found on here talking about barking and lunging at vehicles are
focussed on dogs that are being aggressive or fearfull to them, while this is definitely not either...the ATV, to him, is greater then any toy or treat imaginable, apparently, so I'm having a hard time rivalling that.
For the most part, I'd say that 75% of the time with me, he's just very distracted and
whiney, and the other 25% of the time is when he's yipping or trying to lunge or go in circles.
I'm really trying to be proactive in always having him at my side when the ATVs are out and about in my area, so that I'm always there to reinforce prefered behaviors. I have to move quick though as he starts "searching" as soon as he hears the distinct engine sounds in the distance.
Oh and he does know "quiet", I'm working with getting him to actually be quiet for extended amounts of time around high distractions yet though. At the moment, it's only lasting maybe 10 - 15 seconds on average.
Any input would be greatly appreciated! I think I'd mainly like some tips on getting his focus back on me, as a priority... How do I make myself more interesting then the ATVs for him?
PS: Techniques I use:
Rewarding good behavior/behavior I like
Using alternative/incompadible behavior as distractions
I'd prefer using a flat buckle collar, but I have used prongs in the past when absolutely necessary for me (i.e. not getting dragged right off my feet at the first sign or sound of an ATV)
I'm open to hearing about any sort of methods though, of course!
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