Corrected the dog for a wrong thing - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Corrected the dog for a wrong thing

Hi! The thread is about my gf's dog. It's a young(maybe 2 years old) GSD mix. I saw that dog in the local shelter about 7 months ago. I really liked it but couldn't afford more dogs and my gf took her home and named her Scarlet. Scarlet's coat was in bad condition and she was thin.
My gf's parents have something like a ranch. They live out of town and have some animals there(two horses, a donkey, sheep, goats and chicken). And Scarlet loves to chase some of those animals. She won't bite them but she scares them while chasing them like mad. She doesn't chase the horses or the donkey or even the adult goats. They don't start running away from her when she approaches. But the baby goats, the sheep and the chicken are really scared of the dog. So she can't run off leash in the yard because she can't ignore her desire for chasing animals. For those months she learned to play fetch. She wasn't very willing like my GSD rescued girl but after a lot of tries she became ball addicted and this really helped me(my gf won't train her by herself, we always worked together when Scarlet needed to learn something new) to teach her more things and reward her with a ball because she hasn't the best food drive. On a 12m leash she started to prefer chasing the ball rather than chasing animals.
I have always told my gf that Scarlet needs a trainer who could work with the dog and maybe she would be able to learn that she doesn't need to chase animals to be happy. I called the trainer with whom I worked when my boy had behaviour problems. He suggested e-collar training. I've worked with that trainer and he did wonders as he used an e-collar on my boy. He came to the ranch and worked with Scarlet and us 4 times in the first week and 3 times in the second week. The trainer chose to reward her with a ball because of her toy drive. When she ignores the animals we play ball, if she prefers to try chasing them the trainer corrects her with the e-collar.
Five days ago I threw Scarlet's ball and she started running to get it. My gf had the remote and was far away from me and hadn't saw me. She thought that Scarlet was alone and was going to chase an animal and later told me that she pressed the e-collar button 4 times till Scarlet got to the ball. She didn't call for Scarlet, she was just pressing the **** button! The last time when she pressed the button she told me that she increased a lot the level of the stimulation(we work on very low level because she's so sensitive). Nevertheless Scarlet took the ball in her mouth and started running towards me. She dropped the ball somewhere on the way back and never wanted to chase it again. When someone throws her the ball she expects some pain even when she's not with the e-collar on her neck...
Now 5 days later she shows interest in her ball and lies down and chews it but doesn't want to play fetch. She starts being afraid when someone throws the ball. The problem is not that she's afraid to chase the ball in the ranch or at home, she's afraid to chase the ball anywhere(in the park, lake, on hiking trips, etc). She's not motivated to work because she knows we're playing fetch after that, she is afraid to play fetch at all. I brought her one of my dogs' balls but she still doesn't want to chase it. She watched some dogs play fetch in the park a few times but didn't copy their behaviour.
Me and my gf had the biggest quarrel we've ever had because she is new in dog training and she wasn't supposed to touch that remote at all. Scarlet was doing great, she was able to focus all of her attention on the play-fetch thing and now everything seems ruined.
Is there a way to fix things. I tried with treats but she's not very interested and doesn't try that hard to understand what I want her to do. My gf refuses to call the trainer for now because she's still mad at me.

Last edited by dolf; 09-07-2016 at 03:00 PM.
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 03:14 PM
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You need to call the trainer. You created a "superstition" you corrected the dog for chasing the ball. Tell your GF to get over it and call the trainer. This can be fixed, but it can take time and patience.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 03:34 PM
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Try switching to a different looking ball yet?
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 03:34 PM
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If it were me I think I would carry on as if nothing had happened. Try to tease the dog with the ball to get it charged up for a toss. Will the dog hold the ball in its mouth? Catch ball in mouth if you toss it to the dog? Get a different type of ball, a rubber chuckit ball maybe.

The dog just needs to play a little so it knows the ball is safe.

And figure out amongst yourself how to prevent that from happening again.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 04:25 PM
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Use a sock or a stuffed animal to get her to fetch. I feel bad for the dog now
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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As I said before I brought her one of my dogs' balls but her behaviour didn't change at all. She could chew the ball in my presence or my gf's presence but she won't chase it when I toss it. When I try just to tease her with the ball in my hand she isn't the same willing to play dog, she is scared. And she gets even more scared when I toss it. She won't just 'forget'.
The other thing is that I think my gf's is lying about something. I asked her is she's sure she pushed the stupid button 4 times or maybe she pushed the button without letting go(she didn't know exactly how to use the collar and there was no need to use it because I have experience with this type of collars and can handle the situation when the trainer isn't aruond) and increased the level of stimulation after some time...and she got angry again because I don't trust her.
I found this thread. The case isn't at all the same. Scarlet is not a 2 months old baby and nobody has hit her for chasing the ball but could those methods work for her and help her get over it? Yes, she doesn't have the most incredible food drive on Earth but maybe we could try this when she's hungry and she might be more willing to work for treats. I hit my puppy and now she won't play fetch anymore
I'm very sad that now we need to find a way(and there is a chance she will never be the same cheerful dog when it comes to toys) to fix the things instead of continuing the work on her real problem with animals...
The dog is not mine, I can't just bring the trainer there to work with Scarlet when my gf refuses to listen. I had to carry the stupid remote everywhere with me so she wouldn't decide to correct Scarlet all by herself when she hasn't even worked with the collar before...
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Julian G, she isn't interested in playing fetch with other objects(sticks, stuffed animals, rubber chicken). Once I threw her a rock(she didn't see what exactly I was throwing) and hoped she would at least get there and see what it was but she acted like I had thrown her the ball - she was scared again.
I can't sleep well and think a lot about her and just don't know how to get things better. I'm afraid she will never get better...
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 04:39 PM
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Does scarlet like to play tug? Could you switch to playing a different game as her reward while she gains her confidence for fetch back?

How has she been about chasing the farm animals since this incident?
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 04:40 PM
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Good suggestions above. Next time, I'd recommend that the only person who holds the remote is the person physically interacting with the dog to prevent any misunderstandings. I wouldn't leave it around to let someone else assume control of a situation they aren't in, and I'm not sure I understand the purpose of wearing the e-collar if the individual interacting with the dog isn't in possession of it. An honest mistake was made - make-up, move on, and continue with the trainer for the benefit of your dog (and hopefully your relationship...)
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 04:40 PM
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It is a bummer that this happened but I would encourage you to try not to be too emotional about it. The dog will pick up on it and it won't help.

Can you toss the ball to the dog to catch it? If so you might be able to make the dog miss by a little and pick it up, and go from there.

Try not to get carried away with the "dog is ruined forever" stuff in your head.

Accidents happen. One of my now deceased dogs touched the hotwire in my barn by accident. It was down low to keep predators from digging under the barn wall. He was pretty upset. Wouldn't go down to the barn for a few months. It was a heck of a zap and he screamed. He got over it after a little bit.
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