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: Off Topic but HELP!!!  ( 4276 )
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« : April 26, 2015, 09:19:38 AM »

Y'all know that we adopted Joe Cocker the end of January.  I need SERIOUS help here! 

We're signed up for obedience class but that's not until May 12th.  Not sure if we can survive that long with the boy.

Breed lines are lab retriever/blue heeler and it's the blue heeler that is causing the problems from my reading.  It is in their blood to herd.  How do they herd?  By nipping/biting the heels of cattle until they herd in the proper direction.  Joe has no cattle to herd so he is trying to herd Bob & I.  Also jumping on Jimmy's very bad 12-1/2 year old hips.  That is an attempt to become the alpha male IMO.  Jim is not a dominant dog.  Carly was the alpha when we had the two of him.

Joe is super smart.  Learned sit in three tries.  Housebroken in about 10 days.  While he was teething, I went through a large box of band-aids in less than a month and it wasn't from my upholstery work.  My fingers, back of my hands, arms up to my elbows were a bloody mess.  Down, stop, no have no effect on Joe.  I've popped him on the nose (something I abhor doing) with no results.  That was not a hard pop, just enough to get his attention.  He's now through teething but still is nipping/biting and much to my chagrin has learned to pinch my skin between his teeth.  Hurts like the devil and immediately bruises.  So now it looks like Bob is grabbing me hard and dragging me around.  Great! : (

Bob's kid brother has taken his two mastiffs through the course and came over to give me some pointers.  I bought a choke for Joe.  Works wonders on walks.  Before the choke chain, I was just about being drug by Joe if he saw another dog, bird, squirrel, blowing leaves, you get the drift.  Now, he'll do that once or twice early on in the walk and then settles down and we have nice long walks.  I walk him afternoon and early evening to help him blow off steam.  I'm also doing tear-out in the mornings on our patio table in the back yard so that he can get the squirrliness out of his system.

George told me that when he does a negative behavior, I should grab the chain and pull hard enough to get his attention.  Did that when he insisted on pinching my arms yesterday while I was dusting low-level.  Worked like a charm and he stopped in his tracks.  Later, out in the yard, he decided to dig a 3 foot hole in 2 seconds flat.  I blew over to where he was digging so that I could pull the choke while he was transgressing.  He saw me coming and began to jump at me mouth open.  Please remember that I was attacked by a chocolate lab 3 years ago and while I've come a long way since the attack, this sends chills down my spine in addition to flashbacks of the attack.  Reading says that when they do this, you turn your back to the animal and continue to do that until they quit leaping at you.  I did that last night for at least 5 minutes and he just kept charging me.  I don't think he was attacking me just didn't want me to choke him and he's very high-spirited but ....

Any tips out there or is this just a losing proposition?  Bob is ready to take him back but we have a deal that Joe goes through obedience training and if we don't get the desired results after training, then he goes back.  Despite all of his negative behaviors and scaring the crap out of me when he does the jump thing (he's done it before last night but last night was the most extreme it's been), I love him to pieces and when he's not in "crazy train" mode, he can be so totally loving and affectionate.  I cannot stand the thought of taking him back but this isn't good for any of us.

Thanks!

Virginia
brmax
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« #1 : April 26, 2015, 11:23:29 AM »

 First is no jumping on anyone, anything, unless you are in total control and at least 2 years of training with that dog.
Second was the dog aggressive with the mouth open jumping and or wanting to give affection/lick.

  Dogs need training extensively just as we do ?, That sure stung and stuck when my Grandad said that to me.
He was an accomplished and awarded trainer with the pro circuit, Another was a devout bird hunter with dogs that went to the Dakotas yearly.

  I am only a past best friend of a special dog named Max, was very lucky to have pic with support of the litter over the phone with a special dog handler "my brother" the litter from a breed line related to Nilo farms. From his Chocolate and the other owned by a special painter who I received a signed copy of the Nevada 1993 Common Goldeneye Stamp picture, H.S. Hopkins - Steve.
  This was a very exciting part of my growing family, this dog was was all real lab and large.

The swipe of the tail alone could knock my young girls down, so that calming tail training was due also " ya wow".
He was also taught after ward to play with them to the side not standing over/on them and this took me being dominant "whatever it takes".
  I used each and every page by someone smarter than I,  a writer of the books Gun Dog, Water dog, Richard Wolters.  I used these from day -one and the 200 miles traveling with dog in my leather jacket to home.

The above training is old school regimental with very minor treat food crap, yet the more important word from you good, great, thanks.

This was my dogs ( mine ) college training, and its Tops I recommend the consistent effort it works.

Sorry for all the hot air and I hope it works out, the plan you try as it sure is easier with a tip now and then.

Good Day there
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #2 : April 26, 2015, 12:29:26 PM »

If Joe had wanted to knock me down and rip my throat open, he would have.  He was; however, letting me know that he doesn't like being disciplined.  It was extremely threatening to me, probably because of the attack.  Even without having previously been attacked, he's just much too big of a boy to run amuck like he wants to.  Thus, obedience classes.

George (kid brother-in-law) was over this morning with his daughter's prom dress for me to steam wrinkles out of.  He ran Joe through some stuff just to reinforce it.  Hopefully it will help.

Virginia
Darren Henry
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« #3 : April 26, 2015, 04:34:22 PM »

Spare the rod and spoil the child, they say. We had a golden lab that was as bad or worse than Joe. He was 6 weeks when we picked him up[too early but already separated from momma] and all attitude. He would not listen to Winnie at all and I had to resort to treatment most would find abusive to get his attention and let him know that he was not in charge. By Joe's age the only thing that didn't just get laughed off was a sound thrashing with my belt until he yelped. I hated doing it ---but the other option was a one way walk in the bush with a gun. At 9 months he was  a good dog when we lost him. He got into some rat poison that I didn't know about while we were working on an island down lake.

Do not let George be the alpha; Joe is your dog---YOU need to kick Joe's "mind" into step. He knows that he is in charge and that you won't retaliate from being bitten. At the next sign of aggression to anyone---BEAT HIS ASS till he fears for his welfare!!! tough love is exactly that---TOUGH, but if you want to save his life you have to be  that forcefull  to save him.

Winnie and I anguished many a night about having to treat Bear that harshly, but we had to do it and it worked. I'll always miss the years we could have enjoyed with him----and the love that he learned to share with us. 

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
lizzieb
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« #4 : April 26, 2015, 07:04:52 PM »

Blue heelers and border collie are bread to be herding dogs they like to work and if they have it in their nature, you can't change the behaviour.  I had a black lab/ border collie cross who had more lab than collie. I bought a border collie out of working parents and had to sell him after 3 months because he would try to turn my daughter b back home when she was at the bus stop. The man who bought her owned a sheep ranch and he was amazed at this dogs inherent ability and instinct.  Get this dog a job of you want to keep him.
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #5 : April 27, 2015, 07:00:28 AM »

I know blue heelers are workers.  That was obvious from the first moment Joe was in our yard as he started trying to "herd" Jimmy (older dog).

Darren, it was interesting yesterday afternoon.  I have "kneed" Joe in the yard for jumping to no avail.  George kneed Joe yesterday for jumping.  I told George that I've done that with no results, thus the turning my back on him (read it in a web page) and didn't find that particularly effective yesterday.  George said that you just keep kneeing while putting your hand out and down to signify that they need to get off.  At any rate, early afternoon I was crossing the living room and Joe came up and jumped on me.  Without thinking, I kneed him, must have got his solar plexis and knocked his wind out.  He dropped in his tracks, Bob said the look on his face was of total shock.  Absolutely no crap out of him for the rest of the day.  No chasing cats, no nipping when we went to pet him.  He did start to get into trouble in Sew & Sew.  I gave him a chance to correct himself, he declined, I took him to the stairs and told him to go upstairs and lay down and to my absolute amazement, he did.  That is absolutely the first time he has listened to and obeyed me (other than housebreaking him which was so easy).  We went for our after dinner walk last night and he spent the evening playing quietly with his toys.  He did start chewing on something that he shouldn't have and when I told him no, he stopped.  Very encouraging to say the least.  I'm sure that the battle isn't over but at least now we know that he can and will listen to us.  Was very nice to have a positive day/evening for a change.

Virginia
kodydog
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« #6 : April 27, 2015, 08:31:37 AM »

Don't know if this is an option for you but when we lived in Charleston I got into obedience training. In Charleston there were two excellent dog training clubs. I joined both. The nice thing about this is if you volunteer you get the training for free. And the folks there are experts with years of knowledge. I put in my time and attended every class I could. To the point that after about 2 years my German Shepard (in my profile picture) had his first AKC tittle and soon after that I was teaching classes. If you live in a fairly large town go online and see if there is a dog training club. You'll make a lot of good friends.

The thing about obedience training is the dog learns who's boss. Who's Alpha. This sounds like it may be your problem. Even if they don't address your problem specifically the dog will fall into line once you start the training. This takes a commitment. You are going to have to put in the time. Besides the classes you will train at home about 15 min a day. Always end the session on a good note. The final command should be one that he is very filmier with. NEVER start a session when your not into it or in a bad mood. Its always tempting, when your having a good session to keep going but this is the perfect time to knock off for the day.

After you are sure the dog understands the commands introduce distractions. Take him to the park and do your training there.

We used a lot of verbal praise when the dog was correct and a correction when the dog strayed. Don't be tempted to train off leash till the dog thoroughly understands the commands. At least 6 weeks or longer. I also used food to train my dog. You gotta find a treat the dog is just nuts about (dried liver) and use it ONLY for training. Some dogs aren't chow hounds and food does not work. His favorite toy or a ball will also work. Timing is everything. The moment the dog "gets it" he gets the reward. Your instructor will show you when to give the reward, when to give praise and when to give the correction.

There are many methods to training a dog so pay close attention to your instructor and do exactly as he/she says. Your instructor may not like my methods and that's fine. Do it his way. A good instructor does not train the dog. A good instructor will teach YOU how to train your dog.

Taking a dog to a facility and leaving it to be trained makes absolute no sense to me. You are the one that needs to train the dog. IMO the instructor should never grab your leash to show you how its done. This could actually set the dog back weeks. You should be the only one to train the dog during the course. Not your husband, not your kids, only you. Although they SHOULD go to the classes with you.

And a big PS. Have you ever considered herding training. Your dog would love this. If thats not an option agility training would channel his thought process in another direction.

When we first got my German Shepherd Dog he wanted nothing to do with me. By the end of 6 weeks we bonded like no other dog I have ever owned.
« : April 27, 2015, 09:11:01 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #7 : April 27, 2015, 08:59:16 AM »

Thanks for the info!

Yes, we are signed up for obedience classes.  They do not start until May 12th.  2 weeks from tomorrow - not like I'm counting the days or anything ; )

Joe definitely wants to be in charge of everything. 

I think yesterday was very important in that he for the first time listened and obeyed me.  He was only out of line a couple of times the rest of the day and I was able to get him to stop and divert his attention elsewhere.  Joe came in a little after 5 and woke me up.  Both dogs are very good about waking me if they need to go out before the alarm goes off and I'm thrilled that they both do that.  In today's case, I would have been getting up in about 10 more minutes so no big deal.  At any rate, he's not chased the cats at all, despite one cat doing her best to entice him.  I've told Bob that about half his problem is the cats as I feel they know how to push his buttons and they also know that he will get "in trouble" for it.  Grrr.  Anyway, he ignored Cass.  He and Jim were outside for 10-15 minutes and he didn't divebomb Jim or jump on his bad hips so his good behavior is still going strong.  However, the day is young.

I don't expect perfection at this point.  Just thought it would be nice every once in a while if he would listen and respond.  He has and I'm thrilled.  Do hope we continue on this string of good behavior though.  15 days from the start of training can be very long when he's being a toad.

Thanks again for all of your tips!

Virginia
brmax
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« #8 : April 27, 2015, 10:19:34 AM »

 
  I think some of the methods you used over the weekend are a step forward, and the basic regimented training that the books and ongoing obedience with exercise training are going to strengthen "your rule".

  Pups are seriously needing a professional item to call a training toy for you to use consistently.
I found some of these at the pet shop others I made with canvas bags with different amounts of sand heat sealed at the kitchen counter of course. A reason I am mentioning is a training for chewing, biting, aka Hard Mouth or Soft, and a growing pup requires one to get bigger toys.
 You really don't want the news paper as it has little pieces to pick up, a soft leather and or canvas throw toy are perfect, initially a soft toy equals soft mouth or bite and I think a preferred method for pets.
Once the training is established it will be locked in short order, imo.

 Enjoy the outings I totally agree, and with a consistent schedule.

Good Day There
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #9 : April 27, 2015, 04:43:10 PM »

We had a little over a day of Joe being well behaved.  Bob & I had to pop over to our lawyer's to sign some stuff related to his Mother's estate.  Joe didn't want us to leave.  Got squirrely when we got back.  I sent him upstairs.  He came barreling downstairs and started jumping, nipping and barking at me.  Took him outside to let the steam off and he jumped me.  I kneed him a couple of times because he kept jumping.  The last jump I got the spot that he responds to and he's good as gold again.  He definitely does NOT like this behavior modification tool but so far it is working.  :fingers crossed:  But as I said earlier, I didn't expect that one good knee and he would turn into the perfect dog.  I'm just pleased that he will now respond to commands from me.  Also gives me hope that the obedience training will give me some more tools.

Virginia
Darren Henry
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« #10 : April 27, 2015, 06:11:01 PM »

Quote
Bob said the look on his face was of total shock.  Absolutely no crap out of him for the rest of the day.

That was the same situation I was in with Bear. He was cocky and head strong and would just laugh off the usual corrections and punishments. I had to make him yelp for him to realize I was the alpha and wouldn't put up with any crap. I hated doing it---but it was a mercifully quick "enlightenment".

Buddy on the other hand was a totally different dude. To know that one of us was unhappy with him was the worst punishment he could get. He was more border collie than springer spaniel---but he never tried to "herd". He was constantly "counting his humans" though. I'd bring him in from the yard and the first thing he'd do was take a lap of the house (it isn't very big) and make sure everyone was accounted for. It was hilarious when we had a crowd over. He'd come in "Yup 2 kids playing on stairs--Momma's in the kitchen---4,5, WAIT A MINUTE" then he'd hear the toilet flush or the door upstairs to the patio open and go "6. GOOD". Then he'd have a drink and lay down.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #11 : April 28, 2015, 07:32:34 AM »

A new day and Joe is still being more good than bad.  One cat tried for all she was worth to get him stirred up and chasing her this morning.  He looked at her and you could see he was thinking about it and then he just yawned and went back to sleep.  I could not believe it.

He was still a little restless when we got back from our after supper walk.  Was trying to get in a little trouble.  Finally I told him that it was time to settle down.  He sighed as only dogs can and then crashed out and was sleeping so hard that he didn't want to be disturbed for last call.

So far more positives than negatives at this point.  Hopefully we will keep going in this direction and only get better after we've completed obedience training.  I'm really looking forward to it.

Virginia
kodydog
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« #12 : April 28, 2015, 12:13:30 PM »

Ya think one of the cats had a talk with old Joe about obedience class? Hmm.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
cajunpedaler
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« #13 : April 28, 2015, 02:11:35 PM »

Virginia,
I am in total agreement with Lizzieb's advice.  Too many people get a working dog for a companion and although you may beat him (physically or training) into submission..it is not fun for the dog.  Better to get a dog that is bred to do what you expect of him..whether it be herding, cuddling, taking down wild pigs, leading the blind....etc.  I personally think it is a huge dis-service, especially for what sounds like a demanding high energy level this dog possesses, to keep a dog in an environment that is not suited to their trait.
With a husband who has bad hips, and you, working in your shop all day, may not be the right environment for the dog to keep him occupied enough.  A tired dog is a good dog.  Too many people also anthropomorphize (assigning human thoughts and reasoning to canine thinking) and it just doesn't work.
Have I learned all this the hard way with previous dogs,  yes I have.
Perry

If at first you don't succeed, redefine success. If at first you fail, redefine failure.
Virgs Sew n Sew
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« #14 : April 29, 2015, 07:42:41 AM »

Perry, it is our 12 + year old dog that has bad hips, not hubby.  Once we get through obedience training, I am contemplating training him for herding (as brain exercise for Joe). 

Joe is not left unattended for long periods.  My shop is in our basement and as long as he's not being destructive or keeping me from working, he's got full run of it.  Often spends the morning crashing on his pillow in Sew & Sew.  If he's not dead to the world down here, he's crashed out upstairs.  He gets about a 40 minute walk after lunch and we take several "ball" breaks during the afternoon.  After supper we take about a 30 minute walk.  If I have tear out to do, I have been doing that in the mornings, on our patio so that Joe can be exploring his yard.  We are also going to have more of our yard fenced in so that he can get a good head of steam up when he starts running.

I think it would be more of a disservice, at this point, to take him back to the Humane Society then to get him trained to obey simple commands and find him a "hobby".  He absolutely loves both Bob & I as well as our 12 year old dog.  Not sure what he thinks of the cats ; )

On an aside, we're about 10 blocks from a park that has a lake.  The lake is where hundreds of ducks and geese congregate during spring and summer.  Some of the ducks wander around the surrounding area.  I have been surprised that Joe and I haven't run into any ducks so far this spring on our walks.  Last night we had our storm door open as it was a lovely evening.  Joe was just settling down from his after supper walk.  I have a vantage pint of the front porch from where I sit.  I heard a horrible ruckus and looked up to see 2 of the ducks on the front porch.  One was pecking at the screen with his beak.  The lab in Joe came out big time.  He was beside himself to get out and find those ducks.  He's not much on being outside alone but he did spend almost half an hour searching the back yard for his ducks.  The cats and Jimmy were oblivious to everything but not Joe.  Too funny!

Virginia
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