Dog Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, first post here and hope I can receive some advice. My parents have owned afghans before but it was before my time.

We have 2 afghans, 1 black masked red and the other a black steel blue brindle. Both are from families of international champion show dogs.

There are 3 issues we are facing :

1. The black masked red loves to play around in the yard chasing squirrels, and has never barked much or at all, up until she was 1.5 years old. The neighbor got a maltese or maltipoo of some sort that started barking at the mailman, then our dog started copying the behavior and barks at the mailman and other people and dogs that walk by. Pretty scary sounding bark too.

That being said, if the dog she was barking at were to come into the yard, she'll rush to a fury of puppy play UNLESS the other dog growls, then she seems to want to attack the other dog. At dog parks she's always submissive and is the one to be chased around by other dogs because she looks like.. well.. a goat lol. Very loving dog at home and loves guests.

2. The black mask red also tries to walk infront of me and tends to pull, and no matter what I've tried, book instructions, caesar milan tactics lol, she won't conform. She also doesn't eat treats of any kind, in other words, doesn't fall for bait and tricks.

3. The black brindle, we got her when the black mask red was 1.5 years old, and this one is 8 months old. We took her in from a reputable dog breeder but she seems to be quite unsocialized and shy/scared. Over the past few months she's gotten a lot better but has never licked us once. If you approach her, she will walk or run away unless you baby her and ask her to come to you. She's only recently started wagging her tail but is not playful with humans and tends to shy away. She used to semi-flinch and lower her head whenever you lift an arm but not anymore. She is a very good leash dog though, always walks next to or behind you.

She plays like crazy and a Judo master when playing with the other dog. They get along well.

Thank you for reading, as a break down, 1. How do I stop the barking? 2. Stop the pulling. 3. How to socialize the dog, will she ever be playful like the black mask red?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
1) For my dogs I've owned a firm no or change to something they don't like (crate time, going indoors)

2) This is what training collers are for. If you don't want to go that route then I'd suggest using an ezwalker or some such front facing harness

3) Socialization isn't something that happens in a vacuum. Find a dog park and go regularly.

Part b of question 3...Playfulness is not a sign of a happy dog. A timid dog may simply be a timid and more reserved dog. While there are breed standards, you've got to allow for doggy personality. My aunt had 2 golden retrievers, one was boisterous and crazy his entire life, the other was always more reserved, never initiated games, and always preferred quiet walks to the dog park. Don't force an "introvert" dog to be something they are not.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
579 Posts
Hello!

Welcome to the wonderful world of Afghans. I'm probably not the best person to ask for training advice with this breed. @animalcracker likely has more wisdom than I can impart.

We do own one 2yr old female Afghan hound and I cannot imagine not having an Afghan hound in my life - they are the most amazing of dogs. That being said they are really not like any other breed of dog that I have come across. They are very sensitive, very stubborn, and have a Princess complex.

When we got our girl at 8mo's she had not been socialized at all. Everything put her into a panic and it took weeks before she would willingly let me touch her. When I let her go outside to potty I would have to keep a drag line on her! otherwise I had to chase her around the yard which just made her more scared.

She has gotten to the point where she is almost like a regular dog now. We take her hiking, for walks around the neighbourhood, and caravaning in our RV. We do not take her to crowded places (petsmart, petco, ect) and I don't take any of our dogs to dog parks. I highly dislike dog parks for a number of reasons. Those are places she is uncomfortable going to and I do not see the point in making her unhappy.

She adores the dogs she lives with, she loves the people in the household and that is enough for me. I don't need her to be social with strange dogs or people.

Also and this is a little embarrassing: I don't think I've ever been able to get her to stop doing something that she has had her mind set upon. She still barks at the cats, she still jumps on me in the morning to great me, and she still won't eat actual dog food! she is fed raw because she refuses kibble. Oh and she still screams like a banshee if I go into the backyard without her.

That kind of attitude would likely drive most people insane. I kind of like it though but I'm admittedly quite weird.

When I got her I knew that I'd have to accept her for being herself and she has blossomed into a fantastic family dog.

I am sorry for this probably very unhelpful reply!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
713 Posts
Well first off I'm pretty sure it's a forum requirement for you to post as many pics of your pups as you can ;)

Anyways I have 2 Afghans, a 6.5 year old named Barbie and a 2 year old named Pearl. Barbie has a wonderful aloof personality that is correct for the breed. Most people not familiar with Afghans or sighthounds in general would describe her as shy or scared, but the truth is she just doesn't care for most of the weirdos that we meet on the street and is not amused by their attempts to touch her. At home she is exactly as you've described your brindle girl. She comes to us for attention when she wants it, not when we want to give it. She gives us hugs when we come home, and will do whatever it takes to convince us to share our dinner with her, but kisses are not for her and she's most content just laying on the couch near us watching tv. The best indicator to determine an Afghans mood is their tail position. A tail that is up and wagging equals happy and playful, erect stiff tails are for alert dogs asserting their position or dominance, tails below the level of the back ae content, down tails are not amused, and tucked tails are scared or fearful.

Afghans do not take well to any sort of negative reinforcement. They are very independent thinkers and could careless about pleasing you. The major keys to training Afghans is gain thier confidence in you, make them think it was their idea, and don't be boring. If your Afghan doesn't trust you, you will never convince them to agree with your requests. They also get bored easily don't don't enjoy constant repetition.

Barbie was a year old when I got her, and while she wasn't a scarred or fearful dog she didn't know me and therefore didn't trust me. When I first got her I spent the entire week sitting on the floor, ignoring her and letting her come near me on her own time. For the first month I only walked her around my neighborhood and down to our local park. I knew those areas wouldn't have to many surprises pop up on our walk, but would have enough distractions(like kids playing or joggers) that she could gain confidence that I wasn't going to kill her or throw her under a bus. If she flinched or reacted to something I just kept walk like it wasn't a big deal. I did not cottle her or correct her. Cottling them only encourages the fearful behavior and shows them that they have a reason to be scared. Correcting them tends to cause them to be fearful of whatever they reacted to because it's going to "attack" them again, or it causes them to be aggressive towards it because they need to protect themselves form it. I would constantly talk to her on our walks and if she walked past something that she didn't react to then I would make sure to let her know she was a good girl without making a big deal of it. This would be as simple as saying " good girl Barbie", scratching her head, or patting her on the back.

My other Afghan Pearl is very a very outgoing social butterfly and will walk right up to unsupecting strangers for some attention. She used to pull whenever Barbie wasn't with us on walks. Barbie doesn't let Pearl walk in front of her and Pearl respects that position. Normally I like my girls to walk slightly in front of me, this is because I show them in conformation shows and I need them to move out in front of me when we show. However I do not like being dragged around, it's amazing how strong they are when they want to be, and I don't tolerate general stupidity on walks. With Pearl when she got big enough and confident enough to start pulling I had to nip the behavior in the bud. I would only allow her enough leash to walk just if front of me, this meant that if she used the full length of her leash her hip bone woul hit just behind my thigh. When she started to pull I would stop and wait for her to relax. If there was something to exciting in front of us for her to calm down then I would stop and walk the other direction until she ignored the distraction. Once she calmed down again then we could turn back around and finish our walk. You also need to make sure your leash is placed up high on the neck right behind their ears, this allows you more control of their head and doesn't let them get their full weight pulling with their shoulders.

As for the barking, sadly I'm not going to be of much help. Personally I don't mind if my girls bark at something worth barking at. If they get too rambunctious then I remove them from the situation, either bring them inside or putting them in their crates, until they calm down.

There are quite a few good and active breed boards on Facebook that have breeders who have been heavily involved in the breed since the 60's and 70's. I have old breed magazines from the late 60's and some of the breeders on those boards were editors or column writers for the breed magazines way back then. Hopefully some of this helps you. If you have any other questions or need clarification feel free to ask, and don't forget to flood us with pictures.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top