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Discussion Starter #1
Zooey has the behavior and a few incidents where she will chase kids who run from her and scream. Tonight in the front yard a little girl zoomed by on a razor scooter and she bolted after her.. we have a Dog IQ e collar. she has been professionally trained for 6 weeks and she still wants to chase cars on walks and any kid who is on something wheeled, bike, scooter, etc. Its like if they move fast she goes after them. I walked her down to them after leashing her up and she barked and growled at them...I was hoping she would react differently after calming down, she didn't. What do you think is going on? The collar goes up to 100 and I had it pegged and she just kept going. No contact or bite, but non the less a chase that looked scary. I need advice, I know its hard to diagnose from this info, but am wondering if this is fixable???
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We will have too, even in the yard, I get that thanks for the insight. I was wondering more of the "why" do you think, is it a prey drive, defensive aggression, etc. She has an e collar and can do a down and stay at 100 yards and place for hours at a time with steak a foot from her nose. Its not as simple as a leash, its a behavior issue that I wanted advice on. She was playing with a 12 week old puppy on the lawn, she is 7 months old and still has a lot of puppy in her. Wondering if anyone else had a similar issue with this wanting to chase things moving fast...any help or advice would be great. I dont want to have her whole life be at the end of a rope, I want her to be able to have some freedom, just not at the expense of safety.
 

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She's a puppy and her training isn't solid enough for her to be trusted off leash. It could be a prey or herding type thing, but hard to tell over the internet without actually seeing the dog. Dogs like to chase.

What kind of training have you done with the e-collar? How is it used? How often to you work with her with it? You're probably going to have to adjust your techniques if a full blast of the collar isn't getting results.

For now, it is as simple as a leash. If she was on a leash, would this have happened? If you really insist on her being off leash, can you build a fence? To you, she's just a cute innocent puppy that wants to play. To a stranger, she's a big german shepherd running full speed after them. For now, she's proven she's not ready to be trusted off leash.
 

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mine is the same way with anyone who sprints off suddenly, passing bikes, scooters ect. The worst for me are the dummies who bring their toddlers to the dog park and let them run free, ive actually gotten into several verbal altercations over this. Mine went through an off leash e collar course and is very responsive to i nowt so it hasnt been an issue lately but for her I think its prey drive.
 

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It could be anything. It could be prey, herding or fear aggression all combined or just one.
A dog at the shelter i work at, chased cars. He would run at, lunge and bark at the cars going by. So we worked on having him sit and focus on us when a car went by. Eventually he would automatically look at us for a treat when a car went by so the unwanted behavior stopped, eventually i would have liked to wean him of the treats and just have his attention to my eyes when a car went by. Soon after he got adopted. A couple volunteers and I worked on this consistently. He wasn't aggressive though, so perhaps this method will not work for your case. But it might be worth a try! Just have a very high value treat and work with a clicker so he knows he gets a treat. This is assuming that you have already been clicker training him.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
she is on it all day and we practice multiple times a day. She walks perfectly on left, automatically sits when you stop. I can drop her leash and walk 100 yards away, she will be in down and I can recall her back to me. We are building a new house with a big backyard which we will fence, but it wont be done until mid December. I agree that it had to be scary for the child and parents, heck my heart sank we she rounded the corner out of sight...I apologized and she is now back on the 30 foot training lead, no more freedom. Im just wondering why??? She plays gentle with puppies, people she lets them pet her, groomer handle her, etc. She just likes to chase things. She is more obedient with me than my wife. Im wondering if its a defensive behavior or super prey drive. She is a Xenox vom Frankengold daughter and Xbox granddaughter. Not a BYB dog, so I'm feeling her temperament is solid, but lots of schutzhund titling in her pedigree maybe high drive that I need to be extra careful with? She is crazy smart and watches everything, I mean everything. This incident scared the heck out of us, to the point Im airing it here trying to understand why. Its not a proud moment to admit you lost control of your dog, its humbling and embarrassing that we made the mistake of not having absolute control over her. I just wondering is this really abnormal? is it her working line background that makes her want to chase something down? Can we break her of this behavior?
 

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She's still a puppy. It's unreasonable to expect absolute obedience out of her. A puppy is going to act like a puppy.

Just keep doing what you're doing. Keep her leashed in these type of situations because it probably will happen again given the opportunity.

As she matures mentally, which can take years, she'll become more and more obedient. Just don't expect it to happen overnight.
 

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Random thoughts.

7 months old, off lead, e-collar full blast, perfect heel, automatic sits, practice multiple times a day, 100 yard recalls, does she live with the 12 week old puppy?

It could be prey drive kicking in. Sure. But I don't like the idea of a 7 month old pup barking and growling at kids, after the fact. It makes me wonder. Could it be that while she was chasing and getting zapped, she associated the zapping with the children she was chasing?

I have a six month old puppy right now, and we take some basic obedience classes. We are working on heeling with a sit when I stop. We aren't close to being there yet, probably because it simply isn't all that important to me. When she is closer to a year old, I will expect more out of her probably.

I don't think that the work you are doing with your pup is what is causing this. Just different priorities. If I needed an e-collar to get that level of obedience at that age, I think maybe I would wonder if I needed to have that level at this stage.

One thing is that if you are using higher level punishment for ordinary stuff, then when the big stuff comes along, like chasing down what she perceives as prey (= much bigger reward), you have nothing left in the way of punishment to levy at her.

I think if it was prey drive, when you walked down there where the kids were, not moving, she shouldn't have barked and growled at them. That really bothers me. Could it be more going on? She is fine with puppies and groomers, etc. So what is the problem?

If kids ride bicycles by her throwing stones at her, you might expect her to react at kids with bicycles, whether they are riding on them or not, because she remembers the stones. I wonder if your zaps are like stones.

In any case, the e-collar for this dog on this application is not effective. Time to try something different.
 

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Selzer brings up a pretty important point about possible superstitious associations with the E collar. It is a very common problem.

Is the dog only chasing things on wheels or will it take off after a kid and ignore you when the kid is just on foot? I've had dogs react badly to kids with wheeled toys but not to the kids themselves. If the issue is the wheeled toys then its a matter of desensitization to them through treats and toys at progressively closer proximity to the trigger. Barking and growling imply fear or anxiety and not just prey drive. It's difficult to know for sure.

How did you prepare the dog to do recall work before using the e collar? To prevent superstitious associations you usually have to go through a pretty hefty and complicated process of conditioning dogs to pressure before the e collar is used to provide the "finish." You sound like you already had a long line and I suspect you started with that, but you may have jumped ahead too quickly to the e-collar. We really need more info from you.

You sound like you're pretty advanced dog training wise, so don't think I'm accusing you of causing it, but its a question worth asking yourself too. Are you 110% sure the dog knows exactly why it's being corrected? If it does know and is blowing you off then ignoring a full blast from the e collar means that dog was very high in drive and that you would need a tool like a level 8-10 correction from a prong to bring the dog out of drive once it gets to that point.

Another thing to think about is are you waiting too long before you issue the correction? You may need to give verbal warning and correction before the dog escalates into a high drive state, correcting when the dog begins to fixate on the target. The higher in drive a dog is (and/or the harder the dog is) the harder the correction has to be to stop the behavior.

I consider giving commands to a dog in a high state of drive as almost separate commands from dogs in low states of arousal, and it is likely the dogs do too. Generalization of commands (getting the dog to realize sit means sit everywhere) also includes a drive or arousal component and not just an environmental component. So for example not only do you have to teach a dog sit means sit in the kitchen as well as in the living room and outside, you also have to teach the dog sit means sit even if hes super excited, groggy, or in prey drive. This is done through a distraction phase of training, and you probably already know all this on some level.

The process takes a while, often longer than your puppy has been alive, but to answer your last question yes it is fixable.
 

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It could be anything. It could be prey, herding or fear aggression all combined or just one.
A dog at the shelter i work at, chased cars. He would run at, lunge and bark at the cars going by. So we worked on having him sit and focus on us when a car went by. Eventually he would automatically look at us for a treat when a car went by so the unwanted behavior stopped, eventually i would have liked to wean him of the treats and just have his attention to my eyes when a car went by. Soon after he got adopted. A couple volunteers and I worked on this consistently. He wasn't aggressive though, so perhaps this method will not work for your case. But it might be worth a try! Just have a very high value treat and work with a clicker so he knows he gets a treat. This is assuming that you have already been clicker training him.
Good luck!
GREAT JOB!!! I have the utmost respect to those who take their time and train a dog through an unwanted behavior!!!! GREAT JOB!!!!!
 

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Thanks for the replies. She just has this incredible urge to chase things...if it moves slow she has no interest, if it moves faster she wants to chase it. I have a trainer to help. I usually have the e collar on 20, its a dogtra iQ 170. Hitting it at full blast was the only time its been higher than 30. She is stubborn and very head strong. I dont use the collar for punishment, just to get her attention. it is apparent that she is not reliable enough to be off leash again anytime soon. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it is weird that she just wants to chase faster moving things. Not sure if its a defensive motivation or prey drive. The 12 week old puppy lives down the street and they were playing. I take her to pet smart and she interacts with people, kids, the staff, all fine, in fact she was in a down and stay licking at the puppies through the xpen. Just not sure what to do at this point, she is like Jeckel and hyde...like two different dogs. She is a hard dog, lots of drive and very smart.
 

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Thanks for the feedback Bailiff, I think your right, I missed the timing on the correction as she was moving in a slow crouched position before she out and bolted. She wasnt sure if she should stay or run, I gave her a gentle "stay command" no nick on the collar. She started to trot then out right bolted. The girl looked back and started to scream in a high pitched voice and she ran and zooey was in full pursuit. She cant be off leash again. I have never felt sicker than I did when they turned the corner out of sight. Im convinced she was finally distracted by the strong constant "hit" of the correction of the collar and snapped out of pursuit mode. Once again I work closely with a trainer who is coming over and we are going to try the set up again and will work through the behavior and try to see if she has any ideas. I reached out to all of you to have some ideas to present to her. I have to admit I dominance rolled her when I caught her, which was counter productive and due to the fear and adrenaline of the moment. I appreciate all the feedback and ideas.
 

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I know my past shepherd had a territorial issue with other animals. I had always had him in the front yard off leash. Never a problem. Until two boys skateboarding with a dog decided to cross the street and come down our sidewalk. He took the dog out and one kid off his board. Scared the heck out of all of us. Thing is, he had sat there watching dog after dog go by and didn't budge an inch, as long as they were across the street.

Personal opinion here but all you can do is leash her for now and keep reinforcing what training your doing.
 

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You can go VTgirls route of click (or verbal marker I personally hate clickers) and treat if the dog is high enough food drive to take food reward over the prey drive target. There could be issues of competing motivators and if the dog is excited enough by the "prey" he won't take food at all. You might have better luck with a toy or tug in the place of the food so that the dog can immediately redirect the prey drives into a new acceptable target. See what your trainer has to say.

You saw the dog go into a stalking mode. It's a safe bet to say its coming from prey drive. The correction has to start at this point or slightly before it, otherwise the dog just goes into a tunnel vision state with fixation on the target and blocks out other stimuli. Getting a high drive dog to peel off and recall while in full pursuit is a fairly advanced exercise but is fairly straightforward. You can definitely train this in your pup and IMO every dog owner should teach their dog this. Your trainer will know what to do and if they don't I know a trainer near you that can..
 

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I just remembered another thing you can try that's kinda in line with what VTgirl was doing is to use a tug or treat to get engagement in the dog around triggers like running screaming kids.

You would start at a distance and on leash and whenever a dog starts to lock into a distraction or even when the distraction appears you would yank out the toy and go wild trying to get the dogs attention and play with them. The idea being you make yourself more attractive and fun than anything in the dogs environment, and instead of going for the trigger they decide to play with you instead. It is basically the same concept as redirection with a toy to stop puppy hand biting.

The engagement route is a good route to go because you train the dog to engage with you under possible distraction and in many different areas. Trainers use this to get the same level of attention out of their dogs as they would get in their house with their dog outside or in strange new environments.
 

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Excellent suggestions! Thank you. She is addicted to string cheese and tennis balls. Im going to incorporate these into the yard time training sessions in our front yard. For now she is on a light 30 foot training lead as we continue to work the down and stay and recalls. I think I just got a little over confident that I could reliably control her...she is spot on without distractions one on one, even with mild stimulation or distraction. For example the neighbors were kicking a soccer ball across the street. she went to the edge of the yard and sat and just watched, even to the point where the ball got away from them and rolled and hit the curb in front of her, however all I had to do is nick the collar at a low level and she stayed in place and I gave her tons of praise. Once again I caught it before she had a chance to like you describe got into full blown tunnel vision prey drive/chase mode. I really appreciate your feedback and ideas and am going to suggest the distraction with some favorites to try and expose her to some triggers and distract to recondition.
 
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