Dog Site - Dog Stuff
Dog Forum | Dog Pictures

Go Back   Chazhound Dog Forum > Dog Discussions and Dog Talk Forums > Dog Training Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-22-2005, 06:29 PM
bonster's Avatar
bonster bonster is offline
Disappointed :(
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 622
Default "Hassle" from little dogs - what to do?

Now here's a question

I saw with interest the thread about the little dogs sometimes being agressive towards the bigger dogs, and this does happen with some of the "little guys" that Bonnie occasionally encounters. I've started this other thread as my question comes from the 'other' side - the bigger dogs side -- to avoid "hijaking" the other topic.

Problem is that she wants to be friends and will often watch with bemusement as little dogs woof at her and dart around - some almost want to provoke a chase (which would be a very daft move!)

This is actually worsened though - she has sighthound blood so is often leash-walked, and can get pretty stressed out if a loose little dog is being agressive or too playful off-leash whilst she is on-leash, and sometimes me 'shooing' the little dogs away will make it worse (as if she feeds off my agitation).... especially if the little dog is roaming or its owners are too far away/not watching out.

She NEVER barks or snaps back.... just shows signs of stress, dancing + whining on the end of the leash as if 'over-wound' - constantly wanting to keep the other dog in sight. When she gets like this I'm sure if I was waving a string of sausages beside her she'd still be more intent on watching the other dog!

Maybe something I have to live with and just try and avoid this situation - easier said than done here in Spain where very sadly dogs are often allowed out to wander lose/unwatched outside of their so-called owners properties and even around whole village areas.

Anyway, kind of similar thing happens with cats - the cats don't come to her but if they don't move (eg sit pretty on a balcony or similar) she won't strain towards them, bark or anything, she'll just want to keep them in sight the whole time which can make heading along a sidewalk very challenging!

Maybe she should stand up for herself a bit!! or just needs more time to gain confidence. Fresh out of the shelter she was very nervous of many things - people included, but has come on amazingly. With this though I'm not sure --- any ideas ???
__________________
-
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-22-2005, 07:11 PM
CreatureTeacher's Avatar
CreatureTeacher CreatureTeacher is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,445
Default

Oh my, what an absolutely BEAUTIFUL dog! I can't wait to see more pictures of her.

This is a problem I see all the time. First of all, there is nothing wrong with your dog! This kind of situation can develop into a problem called leash aggression, but it doesn't sound like your gorgeous pooch is there yet and from your description I doubt she will. The problem is with the other dogs. Unfortunately, there are many dog owners who seem to think that their dog's social behavior is not their business. They reason that whatever their dog does in his interaction with other dogs is "natural". This is like allowing your toddler to leap all over a stranger without any reprimand. And it makes me CRAZY!!

The first thing you ought to do is get some obedience training if you haven't already done so. I highly recommend positive reinforcement or "clicker" training for sensitive dogs like Bonnie. Dogs with sight hound blood tend toward emotional disorders such as anxiety and apprehension without good cause. It is my belief that anxieties and obsessive behaviors in dogs such as these can be prevented completely by providing mental and physical stimulation to a dog with almost infinite energy and mental acuity. Obedience training is the first step to building Bonnie's self-confidence and self esteem, and reinforce her bond with you. Once you have the basics down, move on to any other activity you'd enjoy. Try agility, flyball, or schutzhund; find an activity the two of you can participate in without competing with other dogs. Anything that will amuse her brain and body will improve her outlook and keep her sane.

Second, if you don't already, feed Bonnie a natural raw meat diet. (Check out http://www.barfworld.com and http://www.njboxers.com/faqs.htm for information or write me at [email protected] for help preparing the biologically appropriate raw food diet.) You will be astonished at the difference it will make in her concentration, temperament, attitude, and health. I would recommend this step to any dog who is displaying early signs of prey obsession, such as wanting to keep smaller animals in sight at all times. I trained a standard poodle once who had actually torn open a wall due to prey obsession over mice; the raw diet calmed him down to a point where he could accept therapy. I'm not saying Bonnie's at that point, but I certainly don't want her to get there!

I'll reiterate: this is not your dog's problem. I've never visited Spain so I don't know if this will work for you, but I am NEVER shy about scolding other dog owners for their pooches' abysmal manners. If you can spot the owner of the little brat, you go right up and tell them that their dog is being extremely impolite, and suggest they seek professional help to get their dog under control. If nothing else, you will embarrass the owner badly enough that he'll keep a better eye on his dog next time. You don't need someone else's dog giving your sweetie a complex. You don't have to put up with it!

There IS such a thing as rude social behavior between dogs. Most dogs, having been raised primarily by humans, don't have much of an idea of how to behave around others of their own kind. It is the responsibility of the owner to properly socialize their own dog and make sure he behaves himself in the presence of others.

I hope this helps!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-23-2005, 05:50 AM
bonster's Avatar
bonster bonster is offline
Disappointed :(
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 622
Default

Hey, thanks Emma for the compliment and comments - much appreciated. I'll get more pictures up soon.

To follow up on your comments - obidence, yes I firmly believe in and practice the positive reenforcement technique. This dog gets very withdrawn even if spoken to harshly and is very emotional that way - she gets anxious even if she thinks she's done something wrong.

Training practice is great fun - when I started randomly awarding a treat for good off-leash recall (something I definetly want to have 100%) she figured it out very quickly and on the off-chance now (maybe 1 in 10) of getting a titbit you should see the way she'll race back, galloping like a greyhound!

As for diet, its common here for dogs to be fed dried food, but Bonnie was put over to a natural meat diet (special product from England) as soon as we got her. After just a few days of upset tummy (from the change over) she had calmed noticably - and it has done wonders for her coat.

You mightn't have seen earlier posts but Bonnie was poorly looked after as a pup and was in the pound for almost a year before i got her - so she hasn't developed much idea of how to play. She has a stack of toys now but still hasn't got "fetch" etc yet. Interesting you mentioned agility - I'm working on being able to jog with her on a lose leash and have practiced a few basic agility moves - like jumping over a bench etc - and she loves it, although tends to get a bit excited at first! That's the kind of thing that I'm keen to pursue - like you say non competitive and fun for both of us.

When she was 'brand new' to me it was almost as if she was a little overwhelmed by wide open spaces (perhaps from being kennels so long) - but rather than being withdrawn would get hyper (like a "kid in a candy store" as someone on here rightly put it!), but we're 99% over that now.

Beleive me I have no problem at all about shouting at another dog owner who'se dog is behaving badly - but sadly you'll see dogs here just left to roam well away from their owners, seemingly acceptable behavious especially in more rural areas, although things are changing and there are a lot of animal charities working out here. This country has a very bad dog care reputation (just search the web) - anyway that's another matter. I won't go on about it here, bad things go on everywhere, lets just say that here you don't have to look too far ! As far as possible I avoid the kind of places where Bonnie might be approached by this kind of dog - but its impossible to avoid it altogether.

Thanks again!
__________________
-
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-23-2005, 02:08 PM
CreatureTeacher's Avatar
CreatureTeacher CreatureTeacher is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,445
Default

It sounds like you're a spectacular puppy parent! Why not try shooting some quick commands at Bonnie when she gets excited? It seems to work for my hyperactive Border Collie; when she gets worked up--whether it be a little dog yapping at her heels or someone playing ball over in the next county--we go "Sit, down, sit, over, go out, come, heel, sit, down...." which burns off a little energy while forcing her to focus her brilliant little mind on something more productive than being insane.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:17 AM.


1997-2013 Chazhound Dog Site