|Barked: Wed Oct 10, '12 7:35am PST |
|Well done for taking Felix on, he will teach you a lot about dogs which you will pass on to other dogs in the future. I have had several dogs like this, the worst was Merlin my ex racing Greyhound, even after 6 years he would scream if someone moved their hand fast over his head.
You have to go at his pace not the pace you would like to go, he has to learn that you are not going to do things to him that have been done in the past and that takes time.
Try not to put your hands over his head, not even reaching over him, he is quite new to you and still learning about you. Also DO NOT GET HOLD OF HIS COLLAR, especially from the back of his neck, to a dog th t is an aggressive act and many will bite especially if they have problems. I always put a house lead on any dog I take in until I know them better and they know me. This means I have control of the dog but don’t have to get hold of his collar, I just pick the end of the lead up and encourage him to follow me as I lead him to were I want him to go. Much kinder to the dog and safer for me. I do take the handle off the lead and take it off when I go out for safety. To put the lead on only clip it on from under the dog’s neck not from above and if necessary get down to his level to do it.
For taking treats start with high resource treats like bits of cheese, as you walk past drop a couple on the ground and let him pick them up, gradually he will look forward to them so then you can show them to him before dropping onto the floor. You will find that eventually he will start to move to your hand for the treats. Once he takes the cheese from you hand you can start to offer other treats.
If you see him bumping into the crate or anything else and when he bumps into you, smile at him and tell him he is a silly boy in a happy voice. It is very important with a dog like this that you smile a lot with them, this softens your body language. You can test this by frowning, look at how your body is then immediately smile and see how different you body is, more relaxed.
Don’t force him to walk, if you have another dog will he work with him/her? Just let him stand and stare when he goes out, take to him in a happy voice so he doesn’t think anything is wrong, gradually he will gain confidence and start to walk with you. You can encourage him to walk as well.
This sort of behaviour has nothing to do with his breed, he has been abused on some way or other,
Don’t be too quick to do serious training at the moment, that doesn’t mean you can’t do any, if you want him to learn to sit or down on command, instead of luring him when he sits or lies down on his own put the command onto it and reward him, he will work out what the commands mean but it will take longer than luring.
Of course he will come round with time and patience, it is early days and he has been through a lot, it may take a year or 2 to get him to the way he should be but well worth the effort. It took my Greyhound 2 years before he got onto the sofa were he grew roots, once on he stayed on.
English Setters have been bred to obey us so he will learn quite quickly once he starts to gain confidence, that is what you really need now. Just accept what he offers and don’t push him to do more, he will learn a lot quicker if you do, he will also gain more confidence as he learns that he gets rewarded but not punished.
How old is Felix supposed to be? Big dogs don’t stop growing until a lot later than small dogs, some dogs can take as long as 3 years to grow to full size but I think English Setters can grow until the are 18 to 24 months old. Beagles are often big chested which could account for the harness fitting Felix as English Setters can be more like a Lurcher in the chest.
Just because Felix looks like an English Setter doesn’t mean he is, he may have another breed there, Dolly looks like a Cocker but is a Cocker/JRT, the person who bred her must have been crazy.
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