Feeling discouraged and frustrated!

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Training and Behavior

Feeling discouraged and frustrated!

This is a discussion on Feeling discouraged and frustrated! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; My friend has a puppy, about 5 months old, that she wanted to take to the dog park for the first time. She asked if ...

User Tag List

Like Tree11Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-26-2015, 06:01 PM
  #1
cos
Senior Member
 
cos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: The beautiful Pacific Northwest!
Posts: 1,022
Mentioned: 76 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Feeling discouraged and frustrated!

My friend has a puppy, about 5 months old, that she wanted to take to the dog park for the first time. She asked if I wanted to bring Cosmo along and I agreed, so I drove the two of us down to let them play.

Cosmo is usually really good with other dogs, and I have no idea what happened today but for some reason he was extremely rough with Angel (the Husky puppy my friend owns) he played inappropriately and didn't accept her cues of being uncomfortable and nervous like tail tucking and cowering. He was using his growly style of play and chasing her down and bowling her over, so I called him back to me and leashed him immediately. I let him settle down and tried again, but he did the same thing! I wanted to use it as a training opportunity because I've never seen him be so rough with a nervous dog who isn't into it before, so I leashed him and kept him on this time. I asked my friend if it would be okay if I let Cosmo approach on leash and, if he started playing inappropriately, would promptly pull him away from Angel and walk off and then try again a couple minutes later.

I thought this was an okay method, and it seemed to be working alright - but there were these two other ladies there with their dog and, while their dog was playing beautifully with Angel, they were really snotty and rude about Cosmo's behavior. My friend had no problem with me training Cosmo while Angel played with the other dog, but these ladies were, in my opinion, very rude! They kept making comments about how aggressive my dog was, how their dog was trained properly and played nicely, and they said "the difference between our dog is that he doesnt growl and bite other dogs like yours" even though Cosmo was on a leash at this point and I was trying to train this behavior out of him! The verbal punishment for his behavior was unending and I tried my best to ignore them and just train my dog.

Eventually they asked "have you tried those pinch collars?" and I told them no and explained I wouldn't use one especially for this situation as walking on leash isn't the problem, it's his rough play and if he's already excited and agitated adding pain and pinching won't help. They told me its like a "mothers bite" and my dog needed to learn some manners the "correct way". I got so frustrated and felt so put down that I just left and my friend followed with Angel. She apologized for how I was treated and told me she thought I was doing fine and the right thing but now I'm just so discouraged!

I know that I won't use pinch collars but can anyone give me any ideas on what to do when he gets over rough and over excited? He growls and barks when he plays and today he continued doing so even when the dog wasn't into it. I don't like this at all and I'm at a loss! Is keeping him on leash and walking away every time really going to work? I can't just catch him every time he does this, and if I always use "come" (because he does have good recall) and then leash him and end his play I'm worried he will stop coming to me.

Help!
cos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 06:18 PM
  #2
Dog Forum ModeraTHOR
 
Shandula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Windsor, Canada
Posts: 4,608
Mentioned: 1383 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Aw, that's so crappy. I hope you told them he's still a puppy! He's only 10 months old if I remember correctly? One thing that always helped Levi was going for a good walk before going to the park. A lot of people use dog parks as primary exercise places, so the energy level tends to be super high, and the dogs are so jacked up.

Levi plays very rough as well, and while most dogs seem to match his play style, I use to walk over grab his collar and bring him to me, and make him do some basic obedience. This seemed to bring his energy level down. I would do this every single time he played too rough. Now if I say "Levi..." when he's playing, he runs over for some obedience.

Hang in there, Cosmo is SO young!
jclark343, myrottenones and cos like this.
Shandula is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 06:24 PM
  #3
Senior Member
 
PoppyKenna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,875
Mentioned: 715 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Don't feel too bad. I've found it's really, really easy for people to judge when they haven't had to really deal with certain issues themselves.

I include myself in that assessment, by the way. I always had impeccably trained dogs and would judge those who had unruly or reactive dogs...until I became the owner of a reactive dog myself and realized just how hard it can be. There's no one size fits all dog training, and when someone is trying out a method (as long as it's not cruel or aversive) it's FINE. Good, in fact. Even if I don't think it will work, no sense in criticizing or doing anything beyond offering a helpful pointer or compliment - at least the person is trying!!

I think you handled the situation well. Does Cosmo have a leave it, and/or have you worked on any impulse control exercises with him? Sometimes dogs are just pushy and rude..especially young, male dogs. Some progress I think will come with maturity (*knock on wood* for me & Chisum) but I do think impulse control exercises help too.
jclark343 and cos like this.
PoppyKenna is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 10-26-2015, 07:01 PM
  #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 316
Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Well first, sorry about the ignorant people. They are everywhere, and it's almost never useful to try to engage in educating hostile strangers while also trying to train your dog through a difficult moment. Walk away, and take comfort in knowing they gave perfectly TERRIBLE advice!

FWIW, one thing I have learned (frequently the hard way) is that not everything is a training opportunity. A situation where I am surprised/shocked/frustrated/embarrassed by my dog's behavior, where my dog is at-or-over threshold, and where other people are turning the emotional pressure up to eleven is not one I would try to train in. Don't beat yourself up over one bad day, but maybe next time, leave the park and take both dogs for a nice, long walk together. Walking with other dogs, without the emotions play can elicit, can be a very good way for dogs to feel comfortable together. Or leave the park with Cosmo and go sit somewhere & just do some relaxation/calming exercises, so both of you can regain your composure and end the experience on a more positive note.

If you do decide to get the dogs together to play again, consider going for a walk first, and only letting them play together when (a) both are relaxed, (b) other dogs are not around, and (c) you're in a different park or yard. And be prepared to walk away from that too...maybe they just aren't at a compatible age/stage right now, and need a break from playdates. I don't know how old Cosmo is, but it's normal for most dogs to grow out of the dog park at some age, and prefer playing just with a known set of familiar friends who have compatible play styles. Maybe he isn't a great fit for a nervous puppy...that's not a judgment about his overall fabulousness, just a responsible thing to assess and try to accommodate in the future.
cos likes this.
SnackRat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2015, 09:53 PM
  #5
Junior Member
 
Schnecke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I'd love others feedback too - Asha (5 months old mixed large breed) is a REALLY rough player. Like you describe with Cosmo's actions with Angel, it's what I see Asha doing.

She doesn't wrestle with older, more mature dogs who do not wish to wrestle back, but she is still very "in their face" which is very rude.

I try to discourage her, or call her back for some down time and a basic commands run through, but as soon as her focus is on playing with the other dog, I am nowhere in her mental thoughts. If I go over to them to try and break up the wrestle, she splits from the other dog for 2 seconds and right in front of me, will dart back to them, leading away from me so I can't actually "catch" her.

I am trying to achieve polite, respectful play and although I understand that this will come with maturity, I do not want to limit her off leash access to other dogs too much because she is not listening and being rude, as I believe that will only make her more unruly when the lead is off as she matures.

Following for some tips to the original OP that will no doubt be useful for me too.

Thanks everyone.
cos likes this.
Schnecke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2015, 06:45 PM
  #6
cos
Senior Member
 
cos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: The beautiful Pacific Northwest!
Posts: 1,022
Mentioned: 76 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Thank you everyone! The thing is that we walked the nature walk trail by the park because I don't ever take him at full energy because I know that's a bad idea.

I took him today and he was perfectly fine! No issues and there was even a nervous pittie there and he didn't bother him at all. I considered just not taking him anymore which would be fine it's just a bummer because he enjoys it.

Anyone have any ideas as to how, if this were to happen again, I could train at least the barking out of his play? If he gets too rough I decided to leash and leave, but I want to end barking. Any ideas? Thanks!

Also @SnackRat the dog was my friends dog not the people who were being rude, and she was fine playing with the other dogs and wasn't shut down by Cosmo or anything and I had him leashed and I asked my friend if I could try training with him in the situation and she agreed.
cos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2015, 06:51 PM
  #7
cos
Senior Member
 
cos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: The beautiful Pacific Northwest!
Posts: 1,022
Mentioned: 76 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyKenna View Post
Don't feel too bad. I've found it's really, really easy for people to judge when they haven't had to really deal with certain issues themselves.

I include myself in that assessment, by the way. I always had impeccably trained dogs and would judge those who had unruly or reactive dogs...until I became the owner of a reactive dog myself and realized just how hard it can be. There's no one size fits all dog training, and when someone is trying out a method (as long as it's not cruel or aversive) it's FINE. Good, in fact. Even if I don't think it will work, no sense in criticizing or doing anything beyond offering a helpful pointer or compliment - at least the person is trying!!

I think you handled the situation well. Does Cosmo have a leave it, and/or have you worked on any impulse control exercises with him? Sometimes dogs are just pushy and rude..especially young, male dogs. Some progress I think will come with maturity (*knock on wood* for me & Chisum) but I do think impulse control exercises help too.
Thank you for the suggestions! He has a leave it but that doesn't work at the park lol :/
I'll definitely be working on impulse though! Thank you
cos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2015, 04:37 AM
  #8
Senior Member
 
myrottenones's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 531
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Aww, I'm so sorry about the people that were rude.

My rescue was/is very reactive and I had to hear all kinds of nasty things about how a dog like her should just be put down.

I can't really add to the great advice give, except maybe suggest a PI noise?
My boys have good recall but the PI noise works better if there are strong distractions (working on it).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvPaqMZyo8 - positive interrupter noise.

Sounds like you have a good friend though so don't let these strangers keep your spirits down!
myrottenones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2015, 10:47 AM
  #9
Dog Forum ModeraTHOR
 
jclark343's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 9,229
Mentioned: 1658 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cos View Post
Anyone have any ideas as to how, if this were to happen again, I could train at least the barking out of his play? If he gets too rough I decided to leash and leave, but I want to end barking. Any ideas? Thanks!
I honestly notice a lot of aussies are very vocal. The noises that Forbes makes when he is playing with Roxie are insane. I have also noticed that aussies a lot of the times come into thing at an energy level of 15 when everyone else is around a 5. What I have found with Forbes is walking away, like you did. What I probably would have done would have been put him on a leash and leave the park. Go out into another place in the park where he is going to focus and WORK on some obedience. I mean Work HARD. Pound it in. I would do puppy push ups, heals, stays, long stays, down stays, sit stays, recall (close enough that you can grab the leash), come to side, etc. Work every trick that he knows til he is zoned in on you. If you can't get his 100% undivided attention, you don't go back in. If you do, then you go back in. If he IMMEDIATELY goes back in at a 15, pull him out again. He sounds like he has to be taught to calm. I'm working on teaching Forbes this as he comes out of the car at a 12, when I really need him at a 5. Aussie are pretty intense dogs. I can imagine Forbes would have the same problem if I let him play with other people's dogs.

Also good for you for ignoring those 2 women. They don't know you, your dog, or where you are in your training.
cos likes this.
jclark343 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2015, 11:12 AM
  #10
Dog Forum ModeraTHOR
 
Shandula's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Windsor, Canada
Posts: 4,608
Mentioned: 1383 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclark343 View Post
I honestly notice a lot of aussies are very vocal. The noises that Forbes makes when he is playing with Roxie are insane. I have also noticed that aussies a lot of the times come into thing at an energy level of 15 when everyone else is around a 5. What I have found with Forbes is walking away, like you did. What I probably would have done would have been put him on a leash and leave the park. Go out into another place in the park where he is going to focus and WORK on some obedience. I mean Work HARD. Pound it in. I would do puppy push ups, heals, stays, long stays, down stays, sit stays, recall (close enough that you can grab the leash), come to side, etc. Work every trick that he knows til he is zoned in on you. If you can't get his 100% undivided attention, you don't go back in. If you do, then you go back in. If he IMMEDIATELY goes back in at a 15, pull him out again. He sounds like he has to be taught to calm. I'm working on teaching Forbes this as he comes out of the car at a 12, when I really need him at a 5. Aussie are pretty intense dogs. I can imagine Forbes would have the same problem if I let him play with other people's dogs.

Also good for you for ignoring those 2 women. They don't know you, your dog, or where you are in your training.
Cannot agree more. Levi starts whining the moment we open up the SUV (thankfully he has a good wait). Then he drags us to the gate (it's a work in progress), then runs through and gets all the dogs to chase him. He does, thank goodness have a good drop and stay so we can get him to chill. It's hard when other dogs pounce on him though.

Aussies are an intense breed, and some people think that their intensity = poorly trained.
jclark343 and cos like this.
Shandula is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.