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Old 11-24-2010, 06:20 PM
PeaceLoveRescue's Avatar
PeaceLoveRescue PeaceLoveRescue is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 73
Default Chasing people.

Our yard isn't fenced in so when the boys go out Woof goes on his chain as he's a runner and Boone is allowed to free roam as he's always stayed on the property except for the occasional trip to the house next door when the neighbor or his dog is outside which wasn't a problem. We've been here for 5 or so months now and he's never done this and now in the past couple of weeks its become a problem. He chased two senior ladies down the road that had been walking past the house and then chased our neighbor's son all the way down their drive way right to their front door. The poor kid is now scared to death of Boone and understandably is not happy and also made us aware that not too long ago Boone wouldn't let his wife get out of her car. So now Boone gets put on a chain as well if someone isn't outside to supervise which while not the best option right now is the only one and the safeset one.

Nothing's changed that I'm aware of to make him suddenly start chasing people. The boy hasn't done anything harmful to either dog, he's a very sweet kid though Boone has a strong dislike of children anyways he has never openly chased them just usually growls and tries to avoid them. He did have severe fear aggression but I've worked with him since day one of adopting him and now its mild to almost non exsistant or so I thought anyways. He's a different dog then when I first adopted him people don't believe me when I tell them he has fear issues and is very high anxiety. His anxiety is another issue... I hate leashing or tying him up, his anxiety goes through the roof and he just goes in circles non stop until you let him off. He'll do it all day every day, I've seen him stumbling like he's drunk he's so tired but just won't stop. So him being on a chain is not the best option either but neither is fencing in our property.

Any ideas what might have caused this sudden chasing? Fine for months loose and now all of a sudden he's a hell hound to anyone walking near the house. He won't try it if I'm outside with him, but he will if I'm not around or inside even if someone else is outside with him. I hate to chain him up and see him so high strung but I don't want to get in trouble with the town and have Boone get in serious trouble.
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Old 11-25-2010, 06:47 PM
Paul Bright Paul Bright is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 122

oh no...I've got a picture of your dog chasing 2 senior ladies down the street. lol

I know chasing for dogs can fairly instinctual, where they can find it fun. A major problem is when a dog chases a child who then runs out of fear, which then excites the dog even more, which eventually could cause the child running out onto the road in front of a car.

Something you could try is putting your dog on the leash and roll a ball infront of him while giving a command like "off" or "leave it". What will happen is he will try and get the ball, when he does pull on the leash and give the command again. You don't want him to get the ball.

With repetition you'll eventually get to the stage where a person will run past, or something like that and you can say the command which will stop him from chasing.

Hope that helps.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:10 PM
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Kayla Kayla is offline
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Location: Northern Alberta
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A similarish situation happened with my friend's dog awhile ago. They live in the country with a huge property but it is not fenced in. They have two dogs, both with great recalls, great temperments, no fear or anxiety issues and up until this one particular incident had never shown any signs of territorial gaurding.

However one day a jogger was going by, and the younger of the two dogs, bolted, my friend was right there supervising both dogs, but her dog's recall went out the window as her dog barralled after this jogger. Her dog chased down the jogger and punctured the women's leg.

My friend was devistated and was facing a muzzle order as the jogger filled a police report.

My friend and I ended up talking, and we both agreed it doesn't matter what was different in her dog's mind that caused the behaviour, the fact that it happened meant things had to change.

That's the bottom line here, if your dog has shown tendancies of chasing people, it doesn't matter what's changed, you need to take the proper precausions to make sure from this moment on, boone does not have the opportunity to reinforce this behaviour.

It sounds like you've done a wonderful job helping Boone gain more confidence.

It's unfortunate that he feel's so anxious on a leash/ tie out situation. I'm not sure if it would help change his perception, but if after working through some type of counter conditioning program for him wearing a long line, perhaps you could start playing frizbee while he's attached to a 100 foot long line. It would be a great physical and mental work out for him and if he's a high driven dog he might find it absolutly addictive, and it would be a powerful motivator to help counter-condition his reaction to being on a leash.

In the meantime is making a relief yard/ exercise pen a viable option? Just trying to help brainstorm. You could use 2 x 4's and heavy duty chicken mesh. If you made it 6' tall you could make a roof, so that it's escape proof and it will be tall enough for you to go in with him to play games like chase a basketball or tug.

Originally Posted by PeaceLoveRescue View Post
So now Boone gets put on a chain as well if someone isn't outside to supervise which while not the best option right now is the only one and the safeset one.
It's awsome of you to be taking the responsibility where so many dog owners don't. I just want to quickly add (only because it's freash in my mind because of my friend's incident) that you may want to consider never having him offleash, even if you are there to supervise, because once the chase begins, even the best of recalls tend to fall out the window.

Some people might recommend a shock or spray collar, if you do go that option, deffiently the spray collar would be a better choice for a dog with anxiety, but I will still caution, that when a dog is really engaged in chase, it would take a pretty strong aversive to stop them, and again I really don't think a shock collar is a good option for most dogs, but especially not for one with high anxiety.

One more thing to consider is to begin conditioning him to wear a muzzle. You can target train him to touch his nose into the muzzle, put the muzzle in his food bowl during breakfast and dinner for a few weeks and slowly put it on, feed, take it off, etc and increase the time gradually.

As long as the muzzle is fitted properly you could eventually have him off-leash, but ideally not until you've done alot of work on counter conditioning the sight of joggers/ people going by your property (try and enlist friends, but set up the situation so everyone stays safe). This means high value treats like chopped up steak if needed and dish out tons of it when people appear. The treats stop when the people disappear out of sight. You can eventually teach a down or a touch hand, but in the beginning phases, just dish out tons of treats while he is safely on leash (you may need to first work on counter conditioning being on leash first). This will slowly change his reaction to the sight of people appearing by having him expectantly looking at you as he starts to put togther:

people appear on my property- I get awsome treats- hey human where are my treats?

With a dog with high anxiety and with most dogs, using aversives to correct chasing isn't the most effective option.
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Old 12-05-2010, 10:16 AM
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milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
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You could definitely use conditioning to get him to enjoy the leash/chain, too, but it might be hard while actively chaining him for an extended period.

I'd start by taking the leash, and handing him a high value treat, then putting the leash away. Do this a number of times until he becomes excited when he sees the leash.
Work up to just clipping the leash on (or even just pretending to) and immediately taking it off, meanwhile handing him a treat. If you can clip the leash on and give him a few treats, that's great....if he starts to get nervous, immediately put the leash and treats away. Eventually you should be able to walk him a few feet, all while treating, then a bit more, etc. It will take a lot of time if his anxieties are severe or deeply routed...
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