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Old 12-13-2013, 06:53 PM
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Elrohwen Elrohwen is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
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Omg, thank you for your post! So many awesome things to think about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
the idea of using the squirt bottle in an agility setting is so aversive to me
Yeah, it was always something that I told everybody not to do, until I tried it one day with Watson when he got too rough with the rabbits. They can interact through an xpen, and the rabbits are very interested (probably too friendly, honestly, with no fear) and he lunged at my girl sticking her nose through the pen. My husband went in the bunny room and hid, and squirted him when he was inappropriate. There was an immediate shift in his energy and he was so much less frantic. He thought things through. This was the only reason I was willing to try it in class. And because I know he's never responded to any other correction in his life, ever.

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And because he lived out there, he knew the fence was secure and had no fear, so he would sit there and watch.
lol Groundhogs are so ballsy. We pulled Watson out of a GH hole when he was in up to his shoulders. I'm pretty sure he would lose that battle.

And Premack! We broke a plateau when I learned to use sniffing as a reward. This dog enjoys sniffing like he's a bloodhound. Nosework is so easy for him that he looks at me like I'm stupid. Playing the "gimme a break" game with sniffing turned around our obedience classes.

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As for what I'd do right now with a dog who was reacting like Watson - I'd make sure that play with other dogs was not an option while we were working right now.
Yes, I think this is really important. I think the other dogs need to be crated out of the ring and he will be sooo much better.

Quote:
Another thing to just keep in mind is to think about if he's stressed.
He does stress up. Like way way up. On the other hand, he also gets easily overstimulated even when he's not stressed. We have been to the vet where he's jumping around, staring at their birds in the waiting room, and being an idiot, but when they take his pulse, totally calm. I really do think he's just that hard of a dog. I have never met a dog like him. He responds to everything in life with a smile and a tail wag. You could hit him with a 2x4 and leash correct him until he's dragged on the floor, and he would not care. Not that he can't get stressed, and I've seen it. He will eventually shut down if he thinks you're being "mean" or unfair, but otherwise he is a bulldozer. Nothing phases him and he is always ready to smash into the next thing in his way. In a way it's nice because he's basically impossible to mess up, but he's also the hardest dog I've worked with.

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I wish you the best of luck with him. Gusto still makes me want to bang my head against the wall sometimes, but he also gives me moments of such genius that I want to cheer. There's a light at the end of the tunnel, I know it. He's still a baby at only 2 years old. I can be patient
Watson is 16 months, so not far off. And every Welshie person ever tells me that the males take forever to mature, so I hope things get better. As a pet he's awesome and the best snuggler and most tolerant dog I've owned. I love him to death, but sometimes I want to strangle him.
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Watson - Ch. Truepenny Olympic Triumph | Welsh Springer Spaniel | DOB 8.2.12
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