Working with Chance again. He broke his owner's hand :/

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Working with Chance again. He broke his owner's hand :/

This is a discussion on Working with Chance again. He broke his owner's hand :/ within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Chance is a 3 year old German Shephard/border collie mix. I used to walk him regularly before I got Shamas but stopped because he and ...

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Old 01-15-2018, 08:20 PM
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Working with Chance again. He broke his owner's hand :/

Chance is a 3 year old German Shephard/border collie mix. I used to walk him regularly before I got Shamas but stopped because he and Shams don't like each other. He's strong, and high energy and is owned by a lady down the street. I started walking him a little over a year ago after his owner loaned me a leash to catch a couple of little dogs running loose so that I could find their owner.

He's really strong-strong enough that I'd seen him around, dragging a 180lb man at a 45degree angle, while on a choke chain, with no regard for cet choker! He was also very dog-aggressive when I started with him but I soon learned that he was simply unsocialised, and has had bad experiences with other agressive dogs. He will now threaten any dog who doesnt come in obviously friendly.

The first thing I did was provide her with a prong collar so that I could walk him without him choking himself. That done, I set about training him basic commands, and teaching him to "Walk By" He's a lot better now, but still pulls badly for her, as she simply doesn't have the strength to handle him, and I didn't have the skills to teach him to heel while I walked with him. SO she lets him out full leash, and he's generally so distracted with every tree, bush and footprint that he doesn't give her too much trouble......until now

I got a call last night asking for help, because Chance pulled her over, and she'd damaged her hand. Today I walked him, and his housemate, a little white fluffball while she went to emerge, and discovered the hand is broken.

I want to teach him to "Heel" while she heals I think I should be able to do it now-I've been working a lot with Shamas, and he's picking it up alright. It'll come down to that personality I guess: Chance is into everything, and pays little heed to his walker.....Shamas is reactive, and looks to me. I can easily use a Martingale with Shamas, whereas I don't know if Chance will ever come off the prong. It's almost like he doesn't feel the signals of a normal collar through his thick mane.....

Still, I'm rolling the idea of picking up a cheap martingale to try on Chance, if he takes well to training with me again....his owner's hand is unlikely to have the strength to handle the heavy clips of the prong and the martingale can slide over his head. For now I just made my unused prong bigger so it can go over his head and left it with her. His was looking pretty snug with all his winter growth, and she couldn't find the spare links to make it bigger.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:24 AM
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While it's awesome that you are walking him and working with him while she heals, have you suggested that she get a trainer for him and her? He sounds like a handful of a dog and sounds like he pays not mind to the handler with or without the prong. The prong just stops him from pulling because it hurts. He needs to be taught to focus and have some self control and impulse control. This sounds like it goes FAR beyond just teaching the dog to heel and back to the dog not being taught the basics. She probably would benefit from a trainer working repetitively with both her and the dog.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:05 AM
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There's little point suggesting a trainer. Unfortunately, this person is on assistance, and barely has the funds to own the dog, let alone pay for extras. She did not buy him for herself, rather he was a gift as a puppy from a well-meaning daughter who did not consider the financial burden that this gift would have on her ailing mother.

She has done her best, and always manages to vet him when needed..even if it means begging family for money. but trainers are very expensive here. For the type of work they'd need, she'd be looking at a few hundred, minimum. The dog doesn't respect her. She argues with him. He's an 80lb shap mix, and she might be 140 soaking wet.

He doesn't drag me, or his other walker while on the prong. and I can sort of walk him on a flat buckle. I have tried, because I'd like him to graduate to a normal collar eventually. I tried to get her to consider Easy walk harness or Gentle leader but she hated the harness, and flatly refuses to let me put anything on his nose.

Before i started walking him Chance hadn't been taught anything. Past boyfriends had always trained past dogs. The lady only knows what I have taught her and I only know what I learned through research and my dad's trainers. I'm a little more knowledgable now having a trainer of my own for Shamas....but he's a reactive dog, not a confident leader. Chance isn't happy unless he's out in front.

I took him out this morning, and came to the conclusion that I'll need to take off the prong if I'm to teach him not to pull- he won't pull with the prong(obviously). So I'm going to pick up that spare Martingale that I wanted to keep around the house, and use that. It's got the Chain, so he'll get the "pop" he's used to if I need to correct him, and if it works for him we can leave off the prong.

I need him to learn the difference between tight colar and loose collar so he knows when he is going to be allowed to walk. Tight collar=stop"no pulling" loose collar=heel"good boy" walking

This is how I'm doing it with Shamas-he waks only when his Martingale is hanging loose, but if it's pulled taught, we stop and sit
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:47 PM
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After walking Chance tonight, I am coming to the conclusion that the progress that I've made with him may be as good as he's going to get without a trainer, and have told the owner as much. As I tried the stop and go approach used to teach a dog not to pull, he went into full rebellion dropping low to the ground to drag me forward. My way or no way.

He'll listen to my instructions as we walk, take my directions and corrections. But he Will NOT submit to walking on my terms. Part of me sees this as a failure on my end, but when I think back to everything that i have accomplished with him I have to realise that I took an unwalkable dog, and brought him to the point of being merely difficult when wound up. He no longer randomly attacks. He knows "Walk by" He takes correction if he does lunge. He can be taken into crowds, and has been to dog parks without incident.

If "heel is unattainable for me, it's more likely because I'm not really a trainer than because the dog himself is incapable of learning it. I'll keep trying, but it may be better to try later, after he's used to working with me again. It has been a couple of months, and he's been left to his own devices on the walk. He's accustomed to leading not following
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:15 PM
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"and flatly refuses to let me put anything on his nose." Thats probably best as malloser breeds cant breathe properly due to face shape so should never have something around their nose, such as gentle leader. I think its wonderful you are helping her and her poppit. Training is a huge expense! And sounds like shes prioritising food/bills.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:29 AM
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Yes, she is. By the time she pays her necessary expenses she has about $100 to last the month, or I believe that was what she told me one month. She does too. He always has plenty of food , is very healthy and due to her diligence in paying healthy people to walk him, gets some exercise. How much unfortunately depends on her walkers, but she tries...and such a dog shouldn't have been gifted to a disabled person who has trouble going around the block. She does everything she can for him within her means.

The behavioral issues come from the fact that both of us walkers are strong and don't tolerate unnecessary pulling or unruly behavior. She's more of an anchor on the end of his lead, letting him wander where he will. I believe that I could work with him again, teach him to behave better as I did originally(at one point he could be walked by children and my youngest was his paid walker) But the moment that I stop walking him again, he'll revert to how he is now. Only that prong collar keeps him from dragging his walkers down the street bodily. It's not the best alternative, but it's far better thant he old-style choke chain she had before, because he'd literally choke himself trying to drag you faster and faster. The first few times I took him out on that, I made him stop and breathe every 6 feet. I always wanted a pair of rollerblades so I could just run him out, and see how much pent up energy he has.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:12 AM
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That's awful that the daughter that the daughter didn't get her either an older dog, smaller dog or just lower energy dog. If the money wanted a big dog for protection there's plenty of low energy medium or large dogs that maybe are a few years old and not that strong and high energy.
Too bad the daughter can't help out with regular walking or exercising this dog she gave this poor woman, or at least she should pay for training.
My disabled mom insisted on taking my last dog during some of my long workdays after a relationship I was in ended (the bf at the time was self employed and used to take the dog with him to work a lot so he wasn't alone much). The dog was perfectly fine alone at home he had no separation anxiety but my mom bonded to him and felt bad that he was alone at home all day. She had a large yard and he was perfect loose and I told her never to walk him because he was too strong. I never would have inflicted him on her alone full time much as they loved each other.
Of course she didn't listen and walked him everywhere anyway but if he pulled she would drop the leash and he'd stop and wait for her and never run off or pull and knock her down or hurt her.
It's amazing how adults really don't think at all sometimes.
It sounds like you're doing great with him. Don't forget you're trying to retrain months or longer of him doing whatever he wants and not having to listen at all when on the leash. It's very hard to retrain ingrained habits. Give yourself a lot of credit for taking this on and helping this lady.
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Old 01-17-2018, 06:47 PM
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I try to remind myself that I worked with Chance for a year the first time around. His discipline slipped after I broke my arm last Christmas, and had to stop...his walking fell to his other walker, and some neighbourhood kids that weere hired for the job. Yes, I had him that well trained. By June when I started walking him again, he was harder to handle, and I was getting frustrated at how he ignored my daughter. It seemed as though he simply decided that chidren did not need to be heeded.

When I got Shamas, he needed ALL of my attention, so I told Chance's owner that I couldn't walk him anymore. It simply wouldnt be fair for me to apply the same standards of training and conditioning to Chance that I applied to Shamas at the time. He'd go into full rebellion.

What I may need to do with Chance is start back at the beginning. Teach Sit. Stop. Walk by. All in sequence as I did before. THEN try teaching him not to pull
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Old 01-17-2018, 10:39 PM
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Arrow I'd ask the daughter's help, & to assist in walking him as an ongoing habit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotten View Post

"...and [his owner] flatly refuses to let me put anything on his nose."

That's probably best, as malloser [edit: Molosser] breeds can't breathe properly due to [their brachycephalic heads], so should never have something around their nose, such as [a] Gentle Leader.
...
.

A Molosser is a mastiff type - SOME, not all, have accordioned foreskulls; others have full length muzzles [ex, Great Dane].

What brachy-breed? -- per the OP, he's a GSD x BC, not a Boxer or Brit Bully or any other brachy-type.

to say nothing of the fact that a headcollar doesn't interfere with BREATHING - a choke-chain, infinite-slip collar, or prong, all depend upon CLOSING their circumference to work; they all limit the dog's airway, to one degree or another.

brachy dogs have skulls, too, ya know. There's bone under the headcollar, not cartilage. It doesn't collapse.
Tracheas, larynxes, & esophagi are bendable, flexible, & under severe pressure, cartilage collapses - bone is stronger.

I don't see why he can't be walked in a front-clipped Y harness, if she's so dead-set on NOT using a headcollar.
She'd still need to learn to keep her hands LOW & avoid bending her elbows & wrists, to move from her shoulders & use her torso - but that's practice, no brute strength is needed.


Does the daughter live nearby? -- perhaps she'd be willing to help walk the dog?
AND to learn how to handle him, so she can show her mother it's possible?

- terry

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Old 01-17-2018, 11:51 PM
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Sorry to be so frustrating you terry. I am partially sighted in one eye and blind in totherand what i thought was sharp mix. When i get it up on big screen is the name of her bc/gsd lol
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