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Well Cherry gave me a scare today..

She jumped over the fence in the back garden. She is supervised when she goes out, but she just leapt, it all happened so quickly. I've been saying for ages that the fence is too low and that she could get over it, but because we live in a council house, the fence is my neighbours responsibility, and he's not a very nice man anyway
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She just bolted, she ran into the road, all the cars were beeping their horns and I thought she was going to get hit. She then made it onto the path where she came across a group of kids, she put her hackles up and barked at them, which sent them running.
We were desperately trying to catch her, but people were running away from her. Which is understandable
She's never really shown any aggression, but she will put her hackles up and bark, which makes her look intimidating.

I think what really scared me was the fact that she just wouldn't come back. I thought that her recall was pretty good when we went out on walks, but this time she was so distracted she wouldn't listen. What can I do to make her recall stronger? It'd be nice to work on why she appears to be fearful of strangers too.. And something will have to be done about the fence too. Maybe if I ask my neighbour and offer to pay for it?

Thanks for listening!
 

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OMG how scary for both you and Cherry! If I recall she is young isnt she? I think you need to buckle down with the training. My Prinz used to get very distracted also but he is now 3 and really settling. But I remember those times.....its a liability nowadays and we must be so careful.
 

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Oh thank goodness you got her back.

If you cannot raise the fence you might need to put a tie out cable to attach her to inside of the yard. Just make sure it is short enough that she cannot reach the fence.

The recall----- train, train, train- with high rewards so that she finds it great to be with you. Start on leash and make it fun, play chase games with her, use lots of food. Then try it on a long line, then move out of the yard to increasing distractions while on a long line. I think you probably know all this just need to work at it with lots of praise, play and rewards.

Cherry is still pretty young and probably going through another stage in her life called adolescence.

As for the barking at strangers, has she been well sociliazed?
 

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Thanks for the replies

My Mum was the one who managed to get her back, she got close enough to Cherry and said "Jerky".. She came running
I'm soooo glad that she did, I can't imagine what I would have done if anything had happened to her! I don't even want to think about it.

I'm definately going to do a lot more training with her. We do obedience together at home everyday, but I think I'm gonna start doing some more when we go to the park, etc. She did go to a puppy class which was good and I had wanted to start another class, but I was worried that she would be too much of a distraction for the other dogs. She's a year old and is still very goofy, boisterous and puppy like.

I thought she had been well socialised.. I wonder though if maybe she's picked up my social anxiety. On walks she does bark at everyone with her hackles up and will pull me a lot. Though the latter has got better with the use of a gentle leader! I told my Mum that I'm struggling with her, so my Mum offered to walk her and see how she did. She came back and said she was fine
So now I'm wondering if it's more to do with me
 

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I live in a council house to, could you put up a fence up but it still be on your land he cant say anythink to that or asked the council before. i to have crappy neighbours, but what can you do? They are to old to know any better
 

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Kim it could be you feeding her your nerves, hard to say as I am not there to see it. They do pick up our emotional state.

After my Max was attacked by a pit bull I would tense everytime we passed another dog, he began picking up on that and he would bark and lunge, it got worse because it became a cycle of him lungeing, me tensing etc. I found the gentle leader worked for me because it gave me the confidence that I could control him. That calmed him when I was calmer. It took many months but it did work.

Sadly I found that it also affected my trust with Kayos when she was Cherry's age. So I had 2 that did that. But I used the same thing, the GL gives more control and your confidence increases and the dog's confidence in you increases.

If Cherry is barking and lungeing at people and pulling you there is the chance you could lose control of her. So I would really encourage the use of the GL or another product called the Canny Collar, which was developed in Scotland by an equistrian. I have a canny collar and I like it.

I would also encourage you to get out and work in public with her so she learns that she can pay attention to you in all places. Start slow, try a school yard on a Sunday or a shopping center after it has closed for the night. That way you are out with her but there won't be many people, then when she is better in those places go back when there are people there but at a time when it is not so busy.Then go back when they are busier so you are increasing her distraction level slowly in a place you know she can work.

Also enroll in obedience class with her. Most dogs are somewhat boisterous especially the first few nights. Use your GL so you know you have her in hand. That way you can be calm so she can learn to be calm. Think of yourself as the Queen, she is never ruffled in public, just clam and exuding confidence. If you picture yourself that way you will begin to act that way and your dog will reflect that.

There is a really neat little booklet and DVD out called "Really Reliable Recall". I am sure it is available in the UK but I would not know where. Perhaps you can do an internet search for it. It uses a principle your mother used - a catch word like "jerky" that got her to come. You train a near perfect recall with this catch word and then you only use it for urgent things such as when a dog gets loose.

I think every young dog goes through stages like this too. Havoc will be a year next week and he is occassionally hackling up and barking at people. This morning on our walk before I came to work he hackled up and barked at the neighbor. He has never seen her before because she is rarely out and it was 5 in the morning and we hardly ever see anyone out at that hour. She is also mentally ill and tends to let her 2 large dogs loose when she is out. As such I know I hesitated when I saw her so he immediately went on the defensive. I simply turned him around, took a deep breath and then turned him back and had him sit and watch her for a few seconds. He calmed himself and we walked to the house. I think they go through these stages as they discover themselves. The problems arise when we don't realize this and then handle it poorly.

Act confident and you will becoem confident.
 

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Thanks Kathy, you've been so helpful


I've found a beginners obedience class that looks good and I'm going to call today to book Cherry a place. They have a library at the centre too, so I think I'll be taking out a few dog training books/DVDs

I think that part of the problem is probably to do with me. I took her out yesterday and I tried not to focus on anything - in fact I pretended that she wasn't even with me and she walked a lot better! Hopefully it wasn't just a fluke and both of us can keep it up
 

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That is the idea!! The more you think about her bein there the more you worry over her bahavior. Just keep walking!!!!

Let us know how class works out.
 
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