Aww sounds like she made a bit of progress at the training class then. Have you watched the Dog Whisperer? I quite like that programme
My dog is around 6 or 7 years old, we're not totally sure as he was a rescue dog, but he has calmed down a lot from what he used to be like and is really good at following instructions. Apart from running and barking at cats in the garden!
Thanks, have had a look through some and I have to say that once explained like this, Cesar Millan's methods do seem a little like bullying I'm glad I've read this, I always thought what a good job he did with dogs on the tv but I guess there's a lot behind the scenes we don't see and it does sound like he's trying to rule by fear and placing too mugg emphasis on domination
Here's a list of the problems she has:
Anxiety in crate when we leave (will destroy anything we leave in there as soon as we leave)
Breaks out of crate
Jumps on hubby when he comes home from work
Pulls on leash when walking
Eats and drinks so fast that she chokes
Growls at strangers (although this seems to be going away)
Growls at other dogs
Will not defecate when I take her out, only hubby
Nips and bites when we try and play
Gets overexcited when we play
Whimpers for no apparent reason, both in and out of crate
Jumps on furniture (rarely, but it does happen)
Jumps on counter (also rarely, but it has happened twice)
Bolts out the door (it happened the first time she broke out of her crate and I didn't know; as soon as I opened the door, she ran out, and I couldn't catch her. Luckily, there was someone outside who got her.)
My greatest concerns are that she will:
Hurt a child that tries to play with her
Hurt herself trying to escape the crate (she has already chipped her nails and makes herself bleed)
Destroy the furniture if we are not watching her every minute
The things we have tried:
Three different crates (this last one, Kong brand, seems to hold her in the best)
Stop That! spray (doesn't seem to make a difference)
Bopping her on the nose/butt (only works for a short time)
Switched to harness rather than collar (made a tiny difference, but she still pulls when we walk her)
Leaving her out of crate (obviously didn't work, so we haven't done it since the first time she destroyed everything)
Her good attributes are:
She is fully potty trained (except for the one time she had bowel issues and defecated in her crate when left alone)
She is lovable
Loves to be pet
Eager to please (sometimes)
Kess, yes, we did associate the click with a treat before even training her with it. She knows she gets a treat every time she hears it, which is good. We use her kibble, baby carrots, and dog bones for treats. As far as why she won't listen, my guess is that it's a combination of not listening/focusing and being uninterested. She gets extremely hyper sometimes; even the trainer noticed it today (said she went through extreme mood swings and had periods of hyperactivity and periods of calmness).
We had the second day of class today, and it went MUCH better, for the most part. She sat even when other people were around, let them pet her... it was great. We also bought her a Thunder Shirt and a Kong ball that we can stuff with peanut butter. We are going to try to leave the peanut butter Kong in the crate with her to see if that keeps her distracted.
Bevzii, she doesn't like cats, either, but I don't scold her for trying to get at them. If the cat is stupid enough to come close, it's their own fault.
As far as the Dog Whisperer, I've never seen it. Many people on Facebook suggested that I watch it, but I never did. I will definitely look in to why he is not a good trainer, which is surprising, since so many people rave about him!
Anxiety in crate when we leave (will destroy anything we leave in there as soon as we leave) Breaks out of crate Sounds like separation anxiety. Talk to the trainer, or look for positive solutions online (I've got no real experience or knowledge of this), but you can also try a DAP diffuser, spray or collar? It's a synthetic pheremone normally made by a bitch to settle her puppies down, and it works well on all ages of dog to reassure them.
Jumps on hubby when he comes home from work Teach a sit and pre-empt the jumping up with getting her to sit. Hubby needs to ignore her until she's calm, so she gets attention when sitting nicely but not otherwise.
Pulls on leash when walking Have you tried a Halti headcollar? They work well as a management tool whilst you work on more serious stuff, then once she's doing better overall you can focus on the pulling with the clicker.
Chews furniture There's a spray you can get that tastes bad that you put on things you don't want chewing. If you catch her chewing, can you say, "Ah-ah" (not sternly, it's just a 'no-reward' marker, i.e. a sound to tell her she's doing something you won't reward her for) and redirect her onto a chew or a toy? When she chews something appropriate, praise or click/treat. Stag Bars are supposed to be great chews, though I've never used them (been meaning to get some), but I'd get her a variety of chewing options - rope toy, squeaky toy, tripe stick, pigs ears, etc. Chewing releases calming hormones so she needs to do it, you just need to direct her onto appropriate stuff.
Eats and drinks so fast that she chokes Have you considered scatter feeding? Spreading her kibble all over will slow her down (works with my gobbley one ) and provides a bit more mental stimulation too. Or feed from a treat dispenser ball. Drinking fast I have no idea, sorry. She might be eating fast if she wasn't certain when the next meal was coming, or if she was used to competing with other dogs in the home for food. Maybe predictable mealtimes will help? Predictable routine can help nervous dogs in general, according to Scaredy Dog.
Growls at strangers (although this seems to be going away) Growls at other dogs
Seriously, read both Scaredy Dog and Control Unleashed and talk to the trainer. These are too big for me. I do know IF it is fear-based, she needs to learn to associate good things with the things that scare her, so if you can get to a certain distance without a growl, point out the scary thing and as soon as she sees it, click and treat. You gradually get closer and closer over time as she becomes desensitised. Also, never punish a growl - it doesn't get rid of the feelings making the dog growl, and it doesn't lessen the chance the dog will take it one step further and bite, it just teaches them not to warn you!
Will not defecate when I take her out, only hubby How odd! What happens if you both take her out together?
Nips and bites when we try and play Gets overexcited when we play
These two, you need to reward calm play and stop when biting/hyperness happen.
Whimpers for no apparent reason, both in and out of crate General nervousness? Read Scaredy Dog
Jumps on furniture (rarely, but it does happen) Jumps on counter (also rarely, but it has happened twice) No idea what to suggest except every time she does it turf her off. None of mine have ever been agile enough to get onto counters, and they're allowed on furniture as long as they get off when told to.
Bolts out the door (it happened the first time she broke out of her crate and I didn't know; as soon as I opened the door, she ran out, and I couldn't catch her. Luckily, there was someone outside who got her.) Honestly I'd just not give her the opportunity, and teach a solid recall so if she does slip out she comes back when you call her.
In general, you could try more high value treats for the clicker. I use small pieces of cheese (really small) or chicken, or Coachies or Wagg Training Treats. I'd avoid hitting (in any form) as it won't foster trust or teach her to trust you and be calm around you, which is important.
Control Unleashed Clicker videos Learning about dogs.
Anything by Karen Pryor.
I have more resource links saved on my other computer if you're not bored stiff already! Let me know if you want them.
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