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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-19-2014 12:42 PM
autopsy_survivor Got busy with work and whatnot again and haven't been able to log in... just wanted to give a bit of an update.

Bruce is getting better with me but not with my so - which is his fault, he doesn't really work with him much outside of the house, especially in the winter. We've had quite a bit of snow lately and very frigid temperatures on and off, that combined with my work schedule and the poor boy isn't getting out for exercise much.

I've been using the techniques that were recommended on here and have definitely seen improvement, hopefully it will continue as the weather gets nicer and we are able to get out more. He went a little weird the other day when we were walking behind a man and his dog, he was trying to pull to get closer to them but once we got close he was trying to hide behind me. The man and I ended up stopping and talking for a few minutes, his dog was in heat. By the time we started walking again, ~5 minutes later, Bru had calmed down significantly and was just sitting beside me.

We still have quite a way to go but are definitely seeing improvement. It's supposed to be nice out this afternoon so I'm going to try to take him out with one of the dachshunds for a walk.
02-17-2014 08:42 PM
DJEtzel
Quote:
Originally Posted by autopsy_survivor View Post
Sorry, I misunderstood - I'll read up on it tonight when I get home from work. Just a quick question (feel free to ignore if it'll be answered once I read up on LAT training) but if I am treating/marking the behaviour that I don't want, won't that just reinforce it?
Sorry, I didn't see this previously.

The way LAT works, is that dogs are given a positive association to seeing the thing that triggers them without reacting verbally, whether it is because of fear, as in this case, aggression, or excitement.

Eventually, he will...

1. Stop worrying about what's behind you because you've made him realize that there's nothing wrong with those people and they make good things happen.

2. Look to you when he realizes there's a person behind you because people behind you = treat from mom or dad.

Instead of asking a dog to ignore the object/person/dog completely, you're teaching them to accept that it's there, and turn to you for guidance after acknowledging the stimuli.

LAT training is most commonly used with reactivity or preventing it. With my puppy, every time he glances at another dog, I click/treat. I don't want him staring at other dogs long-term. But he figures it out and eventually I can wait for him to glance at the dog and look right back to me immediately expecting a treat. Then he starts getting the treat for looking to me when he acknowledges the dog very briefly/subtly.
02-17-2014 07:47 PM
PurpleLulu
Quote:
Originally Posted by autopsy_survivor View Post
I will definitely try this! I don't care about looking odd - you should see some of the people around here, lol. It's kind of funny, we take different ways to get places that we go to all the time - one of the benefits of living in an urban centre, if one light is red you can just turn and take a different street. No matter which way we take, he always knows the way home AND takes the most direct route - which we rarely take.

One example is a store we go to that's about a 15 minute walk away. He loves the girls that work there and they love him (but he still won't take treats from them). Anyways, normally we go down our street, left turn at the next street and continue for about 5 minutes, then right turn at the main street and continue for 10 minutes until you get to the store. Anytime we say "Bruce, go home" he takes us straight down a different street, through a park, along a length of train tracks and then down our street. We have NEVER taken him that way. It's interesting because if you look at it on a map, it's literally the most direct route. Sorry for getting off track, he's an incredibly smart boy but oh so stubborn and nervous.
It worked for me, I give this advice my recommendation! My rescue girl was scared of the leash and had horrible manners when walking. It took some harsh yanks (she doesn't like crossing the street much either) and a close eye over the next couple weeks, but she had made a huge improvement within fifteen minutes of doing it.
I'm also a fan of redirection. I reward and praise whenever my dog looks me in the eye while something distracting is happening (like cars going by or dogs barking).
01-21-2014 08:26 PM
JackandMattie
Quote:
Originally Posted by autopsy_survivor View Post
Sorry, I misunderstood - I'll read up on it tonight when I get home from work. Just a quick question (feel free to ignore if it'll be answered once I read up on LAT training) but if I am treating/marking the behaviour that I don't want, won't that just reinforce it?
The treat Danielle describes isn't for reinforcement, it's for redirection. So the dog's focus is shifted (redirected) from the "stranger danger" back to you. Same concept as constantly changing direction loose leash training. Keeps the dog focused on you. Working on this with my rescue as well My trainer is big on Attention, and it has helped my Jack make great strides.

Also, have you tried an English slip lead? Anchor it tightly, high on the neck right behind the ears. It has been a lifesaver for me with both my GSD and my Weim. That and the shifting direction loose leash walking practice has cut down the pulling immensely. They Have to be focused on your next step! We still have a way to go, but I already have such a sense of success and relief


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01-21-2014 12:58 PM
autopsy_survivor
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
Keep in mind that look at that training does not actually involved a cue from you. No verbal. No need for confusion.
Sorry, I misunderstood - I'll read up on it tonight when I get home from work. Just a quick question (feel free to ignore if it'll be answered once I read up on LAT training) but if I am treating/marking the behaviour that I don't want, won't that just reinforce it?
01-21-2014 12:45 PM
DJEtzel Keep in mind that look at that training does not actually involved a cue from you. No verbal. No need for confusion.
01-21-2014 12:36 PM
autopsy_survivor
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
I would ditch the prong and the head halter (honestly I'd use the prong over the head halter in this scenario but neither are really helpful here). Back up several steps, he sounds like he's just not ready for walks of this nature quite yet. I would take him somewhere where there will be other people, but he's not walking. Like a baseball field with a game going on, a college campus. Just stand/sit there and don't walk. Do the LAT game as Danielle suggests. He needs to know that it's OK, you have things under control and make a more neutral or even positive association with people walking around him.
The prong was mainly so that he can't drag me away, he weighs 10lbs less than me and is very strong. Off leash, we don't have this problem at all. He's right by my side, focusing on me and will do everything I ask him to. Unfortunately, the minute he has a leash attached to him, we have this problem. We've tried with a regular flat collar (when he was about 60lbs) and he nearly pulled me down the street trying to get away from something. Having the prong or the head halter on seems to make him think he can't get away, which is probably part of the problem but I don't know what else to do to make sure that I can control him.

He spends a lot of time in the warmer weather in a park close to our house - it's very similar to what I think you're describing as a college campus, lots going on but still quiet areas. He's fine there, watches people and sleeps usually, he'll even eat there (we split a poutine quiet often, lol), but the second we get up to go somewhere (different group of people, to the bathroom, going home), he's hyper aware of where people are and is constantly looking behind him. It's like he can't relax on a walk if he's on his leash.

I guess I could start using a command like look at that (I don't want to use that because we already use look at me) at home and then follow up outside once the weather gets a bit better and we can be out longer at places like the park. Maybe I'll also see if I can get a lighter, longer leash and see if that helps too?
01-21-2014 12:07 PM
autopsy_survivor
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzymama View Post
There was a method at one time, that was popular on here with rescuers and owners with young pups, it actually was to modify pulling, but might work in this situation.
You get all the attention on you, how you do this is you constantly change, direction, side of the street, maybe you walk 5 feet and turn around and walk the other way 10 feet, turn around again. Yes, you will look odd. Especially in an urban area, but it takes the dog off balance so to speak, you become unpredictable with where the walk is going. Especially herding dogs, take the cue off the handler, so abrupt changes, the theory is, the dog will watch you much more intensely. The dog does not have time to think about anything other than what you are going to do next.
I will definitely try this! I don't care about looking odd - you should see some of the people around here, lol. It's kind of funny, we take different ways to get places that we go to all the time - one of the benefits of living in an urban centre, if one light is red you can just turn and take a different street. No matter which way we take, he always knows the way home AND takes the most direct route - which we rarely take.

One example is a store we go to that's about a 15 minute walk away. He loves the girls that work there and they love him (but he still won't take treats from them). Anyways, normally we go down our street, left turn at the next street and continue for about 5 minutes, then right turn at the main street and continue for 10 minutes until you get to the store. Anytime we say "Bruce, go home" he takes us straight down a different street, through a park, along a length of train tracks and then down our street. We have NEVER taken him that way. It's interesting because if you look at it on a map, it's literally the most direct route. Sorry for getting off track, he's an incredibly smart boy but oh so stubborn and nervous.
01-21-2014 12:06 PM
Liesje I would ditch the prong and the head halter (honestly I'd use the prong over the head halter in this scenario but neither are really helpful here). Back up several steps, he sounds like he's just not ready for walks of this nature quite yet. I would take him somewhere where there will be other people, but he's not walking. Like a baseball field with a game going on, a college campus. Just stand/sit there and don't walk. Do the LAT game as Danielle suggests. He needs to know that it's OK, you have things under control and make a more neutral or even positive association with people walking around him.
01-21-2014 11:59 AM
autopsy_survivor
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
I would NOT use a prong in this case for a correction. There is another thread right now about someone doing this for alertness to strangers and their dog developed reactivity/aggression because of it. If he is already shy and/or previously fearful, you don't want to give him a reason to think that people are bad.

I would do LAT (look at that) training with him in this case to change the association. He turns around to look, you mark/treat. Because really, he is being good. He's aware, but NOT reacting, which you are going to start seeing if you keep telling him he's bad for doing it. Mark/treat each time he turns around. Marking it is going to turn him back to you for a reward. People will start becoming his cue to look at you and you can reward him for looking back at that point, and do a lot of rewarding afterward/before he turns around as well, once his attention is forward.

Good luck!
We don't have the prong on him anymore, we only use it for training at home now and even then, not often. He is not aggressive at all, he avoids. If he is put in a situation where he cannot avoid, he deals with it and relaxes after a few minutes.

He knows look at me, he does it fine at home, in high distraction areas, etc but will not do it when someone is behind him. If you are suggestion that we mark the unwanted behavior and treat for that - we did that with him jumping up and it worked well. He doesn't jump up anymore unless we say "Bruce, Hugs". The problem with marking and treating him when he's turning around to see whomever is behind him is that he won't take treats when other people are around - it took 3 months of the guy at the hot dog stand offering him pieces before he'd even take one, he won't take treats from the people at the beer store and we're there pretty often, he knows the girls that work there, he won't take them from pet stores either. It also doesn't help if I have the treat and try to give it to him, he won't take it then either. I've tried taking his ball on walks with us and getting him to focus on it because at home he would do anything for it - but nope, not even the slightest glance from it. I don't know how to mark it for him when there doesn't seem to be anything that I can treat with.

I realize that part of it is an exercise issue - it has gotten worse over the winter since we haven't been able to have him out as much. He's going a bit stir crazy at home and acting like a wild beast if you don't tell him what to do. I do OB with him for 20 minutes before I go to work in the morning, usually on my lunch break and then in the evening we'll do about 45 minutes to an hour of OB mixed with play. BF also does a bit of OB throughout the day. I walk him on my lunch when I have time (if my break is only an hour we just do OB, most often it's 2 hours) and in the evening. If BF is going out during the day he usually brings Bru with him, so that's another walk. During the winter, he's just had the OB and one walk/day - the weather was exceptionally cold on and off over the past couple of weeks so it has been less.

I guess in short - we don't use a prong to correct him, he won't take any type of treat to reward the mark with.
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