Harvick

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Harvick

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Old 06-11-2009, 08:31 PM
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Harvick

Ok I have spent some time around here and see many people dont criticize but actually try to help, so let me introduce my second dog, the big boy, lab/border collie mix, 70lb Harvick. Harvick has done puppy class, intermediate class, and advanced class, so he is very well trained. The issues..let me begin.

Harvick started growling and showing off his mohawk at children who started toward him. He is very frightened of strollers. When children hollar he freaks out. Our trainer said some dogs stay fearful of children (he has been ok with older children who remain calm and dont rush at him). When this happens we just tell him "quit" and make him sit stay and ask the kids to stay away.

He barks/growls at people walking by the house, down the street, at the door, etc. BUT when we take him out to pet stores and to my parents he is still somewhat fearful but not aggressive. When this happens we tell him "quit" and again put him in a sit stay or even a down stay, but he does continue to growl.

He can be leash aggressive at times, especially with males so we stopped letting him meet dogs on the leash (offleash works very very well).He is protective over toys but getting better with that except sometimes at the dog park. If this happens I take the toy tell him share and give it to the other dog to play with for a little bit then give it back to him. This has worked fine with no issues and was suggested by our trainer.

The BIGGEST ISSUE is unfortunately our dog was "violated" by a husky with an irresponsible owner...the husky mounted Harvick and he started to scream....the dog would not get off of him and my 6' 200lb Boyfriend tried so hard to pry the dog off himself, finally shoving the dog off and grabbing Harvick rushing him off to a corner. Since then everytime he gets spooked he circles around and licks his rear...he also frequently releases his anal glands when he gets spooked.

Sorry so long... any advice would be amazing. Thank you.

Michaele
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:02 PM
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Nice long post... I'll give you a nice long answer.

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Originally Posted by pawzaddict View Post
Ok I have spent some time around here and see many people dont criticize but actually try to help, so let me introduce my second dog, the big boy, lab/border collie mix, 70lb Harvick. Harvick has done puppy class, intermediate class, and advanced class, so he is very well trained. The issues..let me begin.
What kind of class were these? Were the correction based (if so what tools were used, like chokers, ecollars etc), positive (praise only or treats/toys?) or a mix of both?



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Harvick started growling and showing off his mohawk at children who started toward him. He is very frightened of strollers. When children hollar he freaks out.
Mohawk...cute lol... the hair standing up is simply arrousal, it could be good or bad. Your dog if definetly terrified of lots of things.


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Our trainer said some dogs stay fearful of children
To me this sounds like a trainer cop out honestly, I've heard trainers give all sorts of excuses "dogs just that way" "its the breed" "your dog is stuborn" "dogs to old/young" etc...all that translates too is "I don't know how to fix this but since your paying me I have to pretend I know everything so heres an excuse" A good trainer will not say som'thing is not fixable, they will simply refer you to a more knowledgeable trainer, or a specialist. If a trainer says that your dog will never be 100% thats fine, but saying nothing can be done at all is bogus.

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(he has been ok with older children who remain calm and dont rush at him). When this happens we just tell him "quit" and make him sit stay and ask the kids to stay away.
I would stop telling the dog anything for now, correcting him simply increases the arrousal of the dog. I know hes stopping so it seems like that works, but its honestly a visious cycle, you just may not see it until next session.

if a correction takes more that twice its not effective.

Keeping the kids away is great, you need your dog to trust you to protect him, I've had to be quite rude to children in the name of training.

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Originally Posted by pawzaddict View Post
He barks/growls at people walking by the house, down the street, at the door, etc. BUT when we take him out to pet stores and to my parents he is still somewhat fearful but not aggressive. .
My fear would be a fear bite type reaction from a dog like this, he may never go beyond growling, then som'one he doesn't know well, steps on him accidentally, or a kid corners him and reaches for him, make sure hes never alone with people he doesn't live with. I know som'one with a dog like yours and a kid tripped and landed on the dog and it almost got her face when it reacted.

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He can be leash aggressive at times, especially with males so we stopped letting him meet dogs on the leash (offleash works very very well)..
They call that "leash reactive" hes basically overreacting because hes "trapped" on a leash...I find it helps to call it reactive in your head because just the thought of a dog being "aggressive" can stress us because of the obvious connotation. Looking at it like a dog that is stress and reacting to stress rather than aggressive is a good mindset to have when dealing with this (you'll have less frustration).


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He is protective over toys but getting better with that except sometimes at the dog park. If this happens I take the toy tell him share and give it to the other dog to play with for a little bit then give it back to him. This has worked fine with no issues and was suggested by our trainer.
Once again I hate to pick your trainer apart but this is bad advice... dogs have a social system for figuring out possession of objects. Possession is 9/10ths of the law. If a dog #1 is growling at dog #2 over a bone, dog #1 is being NORMAL and is simply communicating that the bone is theres. If dog #2 was socialized correctly (understands dog language) it will know what this means and back off.. If Dog 2# doesn't stop trying and it escalates the dog with the bone is actual the one doing the right thing. Its not his fault that dog #2 can't read his body language.

When you take the toy away and give it to the other dog your dog litterally can't put 2 and 2 together. All he knows is the other dog now has his toy and he can't figure out how he STOLE it from him. There are rituals for toy exchange, without them the dogs are very confused.

Its like us yelling "hey get away from my car" and the person goes to sit on your car anyway.... you probably would yell louder and perhaps even push the person away from your car when they start to get in it and drive away with it....

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawzaddict View Post
The BIGGEST ISSUE is unfortunately our dog was "violated" by a husky with an irresponsible owner...the husky mounted Harvick and he started to scream....the dog would not get off of him and my 6' 200lb Boyfriend tried so hard to pry the dog off himself, finally shoving the dog off and grabbing Harvick rushing him off to a corner. Since then everytime he gets spooked he circles around and licks his rear...he also frequently releases his anal glands when he gets spooked.
To be brutally honest your dog doesn't belong at a dog park anytime in the near future. It may not be his fault but its still a very bad idea....bad situations happen and until he can learn to bounce back from things better your only adding to his anxiety and every bad encounter makes it worse.



Ok now here would be my plan if this was my dog...

No more corrections....dog is scared of too many things, he needs to trust you 110% and thats can't be accomplished if hes obsessing internally about getting it wrong. Manage behavior for now (don't take him to places where his triggers are inexcapable) and work on installing a new behavior.

I know you mentioned telling him to sit when hes reacting to things...thats a good start...I'd alter it to a "sit and keep eye contact with me" If he can still see the trigger the sit is useless...have him sit and face you.

Go heavy on the rewards...If you don't want to use food, then making the scary thing go away can be the reward (and a strong one i might add)...the second he does what you want mark the behavior (''yes" or clicker) and move away from the trigger...

If hes reacting to the point you can't get him to stop then hes "over treshhold" which means basically your tooo close....dogs are incapable of learning when over treshhold so back up a few steps and try again. Ignore him when he reacts or ask in a happy voice for the behavior you want...if he ignores you then your over treshhold, so don't get frustrated with him, you might have to start 100 ft away, but if the dog "gets" the game you can go from 100ft to 10 in one session.

If the dog is not "getting it" stop and try again in 2 hours. It takes a dog 2 hours to process som'thing new. Better to do lots of short sessions then one long one.

Theres a game called "look at that" where the dog looks at his trigger instead of you from far away and you click/treat for each look...this is counterconditioning, your changing the dogs association from thing=scary to thing=food....this game is VERY effective, remember to start far away just like before.

well my hands hurt...lol if you have any specific questions don't be afraid to ask...I own a reactive dog too...so i know what your going through.

Crystal



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Old 06-12-2009, 09:58 AM
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Wow thank you so much for the response! I am a bit upset that my dog has been doing normal things (such as toy possession) and I felt it was his toy so back off but the trainer said its not good.

The training was just simple learning the basics, and then putting distance to it and more focusing (which he is not very good at LOL) so pretty much praise/reward.

I feel bad because he was like this when we got him, so its not like I was being a bad owner but sometimes people make me feel that way.

We took him to the dog park to swim because it had a lake... He loves to swim, not sure what else to do other than put a little kid pool in the backyard.

And dont get me wrong we dont let him meet people in settings that arent comfortable and I do NOT let children near him at all other than the older ones that were in the training room. My niece and nephew do not get to see Harvick and I am ok with that for their safety.

So lets use a senario that we will be in frequently... I am walking Harvick around the neighborhood and a man with his dog are coming down the street. Do I take Harvick to the other side of the street? In the grassy area closeby (there are MANY in my neighborhood and I love it!). Do I simply take him a completely different direction to avoid it? Do I try and get his attention away from it by trying to play with him?

As for treats he loves them and his system is not super sensitive to them so I will carry treats with me broken up in little chunks.

Again thanks for the advice! Glad to know I dont need to be "punishing" my dog all the time for being a dog.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:23 AM
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Wow thank you so much for the response! I am a bit upset that my dog has been doing normal things (such as toy possession) and I felt it was his toy so back off but the trainer said its not good.

The training was just simple learning the basics, and then putting distance to it and more focusing (which he is not very good at LOL) so pretty much praise/reward.

I feel bad because he was like this when we got him, so its not like I was being a bad owner but sometimes people make me feel that way.

We took him to the dog park to swim because it had a lake... He loves to swim, not sure what else to do other than put a little kid pool in the backyard.

And dont get me wrong we dont let him meet people in settings that arent comfortable and I do NOT let children near him at all other than the older ones that were in the training room. My niece and nephew do not get to see Harvick and I am ok with that for their safety.

So lets use a senario that we will be in frequently... I am walking Harvick around the neighborhood and a man with his dog are coming down the street. Do I take Harvick to the other side of the street? In the grassy area closeby (there are MANY in my neighborhood and I love it!). Do I simply take him a completely different direction to avoid it? Do I try and get his attention away from it by trying to play with him?

As for treats he loves them and his system is not super sensitive to them so I will carry treats with me broken up in little chunks.

Again thanks for the advice! Glad to know I dont need to be "punishing" my dog all the time for being a dog.

Your welcome. I hope it helps, I really do.

Perhaps your dog park is much larger than we have here. If you feel you can keep him away from others who are problems (almost impossible in the tiny parks here) then your probably ok. If a dogs an Issue LEAVE. I know it sucks, and I've learned this the hard way. Take a walk and come back.

For now, I would cross the street and ask for behaviors from him once you get there. Making him pass another dog is asking for failure right now (but it should be your goal evetually to pass near each other), so its ok to manage his enviroment so he doesn't practice the fearful behavior anymore.

Basically you need the number of times good behavior practiced to outwiegh the number of "bad" behavior... this is why the longer the dog has done som'thing the longer it can take to fix (not always true tho)

If your ever in doubt he will fail, or not obey you, abort what your doing and go back a few steps in the training. You never want the dog to fail.

Since he loves treats you should progress well, provided you don't move to fast for him

If hes resource guarding with humans there is a way to fix that (my hands were to tired to go into it) theres a book called "MINE" by Jean donaldson you can get it on amazon.com for like 6 bucks used....it can walk you through the rehab for guarding in detail.

Yup no need for corrections. There are a lot of trainers moving this direction. If fact Chili is being raised 100% correction free and the results are amazing.

All behavior I don't like is redirected (and thus eliminated VERY fast) and people's jaws drop when I tell them his age and that I trained him myself.



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Old 06-12-2009, 12:08 PM
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Good thank you! I will try that. When you say ask for other behaviors what exactly do you mean? We cross the street and then I ask him to do things such as sit? maybe his favorite (shake)? "tricks" for example?

BTW my brother came out of the room and into the kitchen (we are in the livingroom) and he began his growling and getting overwhelmed so I simply said "Harvick come" in a happy voice and he came right over and sat and focused on me! Normally it is "Harvick quit...come...lay down...quit...quit..." lol which i know repetition is not good as far as constantly repeating the same command.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:23 PM
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Good thank you! I will try that. When you say ask for other behaviors what exactly do you mean? We cross the street and then I ask him to do things such as sit? maybe his favorite (shake)? "tricks" for example?

BTW my brother came out of the room and into the kitchen (we are in the livingroom) and he began his growling and getting overwhelmed so I simply said "Harvick come" in a happy voice and he came right over and sat and focused on me! Normally it is "Harvick quit...come...lay down...quit...quit..." lol which i know repetition is not good as far as constantly repeating the same command.
Sorry...yes I meant sit and such by "other behaviors" tricks work too (they are all tricks to the dog) pick som'thing he really likes..

Glad your seeing a difference already...keep it up!



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Old 06-12-2009, 10:52 PM
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Sorry...yes I meant sit and such by "other behaviors" tricks work too (they are all tricks to the dog) pick som'thing he really likes..

Glad your seeing a difference already...keep it up!
I really appreciate your advice and knowledge. It worked again when my brother came out Harvick did he normal thing and I got happy and called him over and he stopped. Will work on the distraction next time we run into anybody on the street.

Today, however, I had our alarm guy come out and even tho Harvick was in his crate, I said "quiet" in a very calm voice and made him lay down in his crate and he barked maybe two or three more times then was silent!!! again this never happens. Must really be the difference between getting stern and asking politely or staying calm as silly as that may sound... I am so excited to see such a sudden change
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