Archive for May, 2010

Stopping a Dog from Jumping the Fence.

I am surrounded by yellow Labradors. First we have my precious Windy who I adopted over 4-1/2 years ago. Than I have two boot campers. The first one is Isaac an absolutely wonderful sweat laid back and stubborn 2 year old Lab.

This was a reflector collar so when I jumped, People could see me.

This was a reflector collar so when I jumped, People could see me when I jumped the fence and ran away.

Who will counter surf if given the chance and get into the garbage. The biggest reason that his owner drove in all the way from Indiana is that Isaac is a fence jumper. Of course he doesn’t walk well on a leash and come isn’t part of his vocabulary.

The second boot camper is Duke. He is a neutered male who was given up by his original owner to the rescue group Sanilac Scoopers. He is 2 years old and is absolutely wild. Because of his behavior, he spent most of his life chained up.

Bong! How High Can a Labrador Jump?

Bong! How High Can a Labrador Jump?

He can spring in the air and reach heights of 5 feet (horizontally) without any effort and of course jumps on people just as high if not higher knocking them over. He is completely out of control. When you put him on a leash he either drags you or knocks you over by jumping on you. He does have a great temperament and is good with kids, just no manners.

Isaac’s update:  I know why you love him so, he is a sweetheart. He is very loving and somewhat calm in the house.  He loves chasing Windy around the backyard. Eclipse (my old Lab.) and Fire duck and hide as soon as they see two blonde streaks racing towards them. He is doing very well with coming when called and I would say after 3 days he is coming 85% of the time. Initially when he was called he never showed any indication that he heard you. At least now he may come to you, but he tends to walk right past you. As if to say, “Here I am but don’t expect me to stick around.”

Look how good I can walk.

Look how good I can walk.

He now walks very well on a leash and today we were working on Sit & Sit-Stay. You can really see his stubbornness when you try to get him to sit. When you say sit he calmly stands there as if to say, “You can’t possibly talking to me.” Even when you show him a cookie his whole demeanor is one of, I don’t have to. Once you get him to sit he has an eternal clock that told him that after 30 seconds he could and should get up. By the time we were done with the morning session he would hold the sit-stay for 3 minutes and I went 10 feet away from him.

As I stated in our first conversation the trick is correcting him for fence jumping, because we are doing the training at my house. So far he has not tried to jump my fence. He got real interested one time when a squirrel was just on the other side of the fence. He ran up to the fence and put his front paws on the fence. Of course he was corrected. Now I did forget to ask you how he jumps the fence? Does he clear the whole fence, put his front paws on the fence and push off with his back paws or does he climb the fence?

Right now I am continuing to work on walking, sit & sit stay so that they all become more habitual and that he will do them even with distractions. Tomorrow we will also work on down. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Duke’s update: I must admit Duke is wild, he has no self control, no manners and is very busy. He is the AD/HD kid of the dog world. You put him on a leash and he goes into instant pull mode. If I didn’t know any better I would say he is part Husky & kangaroo.

I want to go East, West, North, South, Up, Down etc.

I want to go East, West, North, South, Up, Down etc.

If he isn’t pulling he is trying to jump all over you. Some of his jumping is just from his exuberance and love of people. The other reason is that it is a way to control people. He thinks, “I keep jumping on you, putting my paw around the leash, mouthing you and than you can’t make me listen.” Of course the first thing that I did was to teach him to walk on a loose leash. To be honest when I first started working with him it was amazing. I never knew a dog could go 10 different directions, right, left, behind, in front, up, down and sideways all at once. I have never tamed horses, but it was almost as if I had a bucking bronco at the end of a leash. After about 15 minutes he figured it out and was actually walking by my side. We have had several lessons to work on his jumping. Actually every time he gets out of the crate we have a session or two on jumping, because it is so natural to him to exhibit this behavior. The important part is to remember that even though he is corrected for jumping, when he is calm and not jumping (even if it is for 2 seconds) that he gets a good boy. Often times people only give their dog attention when the dog act up and never give them attention when the dog is calm. Remember negative attention is still attention. By praising when he is calm will teach him what we expect from him.

Duke is an affection starved dog who didn’t know why his owner tied him up outside and from there he went to a kennel to await being adopted. I have only had him for a day and a half and already he is jumping less. He is walking almost perfectly on a leash and will sit.

Wow! Duke Can SIT STILL.

Wow! Duke Can SIT STILL.

Duke is a field Labrador Retriever. He was bred to run in a field all day long and is always looking for something to do. He needs a job and if he isn’t given a job. He will become bored, destructive and very nervous and hyper. We have had 2 little training sessions and I already notice a calmness about him. He is actually very intelligent and will learn quickly if given the right guidance.

I was told that he didn’t even know his name and to be honest, since he was never made to respond to his name when called. He learned that his name didn’t mean anything. If you say his name he hesitates for a second and than is off doing something else. I will have a lot of fun training Duke as under all that craziness he is a great dog.

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May 28, 2010 at 2:40 am Leave a comment

Maui takes Dog Training to the City

Maui’s update: He is doing great! I have taken him many places to work on his listening skills and ability to walk on a loose leash despite distractions.

When is the Light Going to Change

When is the Light Going to Change

I must admit when he first started seeing other dogs or a squirrel he got very excited and would try to lung towards them. He went from excitement to frustration. He became frustrated, because he couldn’t go where he wanted to go. This is when he would again try to jump up and grab the leash. Remember “Lets Go” means GO. So I just kept working him around the distractions.

I'm So Good!

I'm So Good!

He is now doing great.I took him to the training center while a class was running and he completely ignored the other dogs. Did sit and down stays while the class was walking around him. I have taken him to the city several times and he walks around like he has been doing this for years. On Saturday Karen Biddinger, a wonderful trainer that works with Alternative Canine Training took him to a dog event called Mutt Strutt Pet Expo.

The rest is her commentary of how he did:

Maui and I had a blast at the Mutt Strutt Pet Expo in Dearborn Saturday afternoon.  He’s a great dog and everyone kept coming up and complimenting us on how well behaved he was and on how beautiful he was. He was such a good boy and was so friendly with all the people and dogs. Maui made such an impression that he had his picture taken by the crew from the company  ‘Blue’ (makers of premium dog food) They put a ‘Blue’ bandana on him for the picture which made him look extremely handsome.  The pictures will eventually be displayed on Blue’s website.   So keep watching Blue’s website site for his picture! http://www.bluebuff.com/products/dogs/index.shtml.

Maui also had fun running the agility course set up for beginners.  He loved it!  Went through the tunnels like a champ and jumped through the hoops like he was an old pro.  He had so much fun and I truly enjoyed having him with me.  I fell in love with him.  He had a great day and was exhausted by the time we got home

May 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm 2 comments

Working with a jumping dog and nipping dog named Maui

Maui is a beautiful sensitive dog who knows how to manipulate the situation for his own amusement. I know he is supposedly part Golden and American Eskimo, but part of me thinks that maybe he might also have some Australian Shepherd in him. The way his back legs look reminds me of the back legs of an Australian Shepherd and he has the tendency to try to nip at your ankles just like the other Australian Shepherd I have worked with.

He is a little of a challenge to train in the fact that he actually likes getting into trouble. He feels this is how to get your attention and to feel needed. Yet if you correct him he may submissive urinate.  Another problem that Maui has is that he is a very high energy dog. I am very glad that you signed up to take him to the dog park. I really think this or taking him to doggy day care a couple times a week is going to help. I know you have been taking him for 2 to 3 walks a day, but this still isn’t the same type of exercise that he will get by running full out for an hour. The good news is that he plays very well with my dogs. Occasionally he has to be corrected for trying to hump my girls, but they do a very good job of telling him off. Otherwise he does very well.

Jumping, manipulating or controlling the situation is one of his biggest problems.

You want Me to do What?

You want Me to do What?

As soon as you try to put a leash on him or try to tell him to do something he doesn’t want to (like come into the house after playing.) Lets Go, sit stay etc. He tends to try to control you by taking his paw wrapping it around the leash and or jump on you.

Maui jumping

Maui jumping

He also occasionally takes the leash in his mouth. As you know the first thing that I am doing is working on teaching him to walk on a loose leash. Now walking doesn’t mean that he can grab the leash or jump on me. Let’s Go means GO. If he starts to jump he is corrected and I of course keep walking. The good news is that he is jumping less and less. He is now really only trying the nipping at the ankles during the witching time 7:30 – 8:00 at night.

"Lets Go" means GO!

"Lets Go" means GO!

So I am making sure that I work him at this time. The reason that dogs act up around this time is a natural carry over from survival. If you think about it, when do predators hunt for food? In the morning and evening, so dogs are more energetic at these times.

On Friday I started walking him off-leash in the backyard and he is not doing to bad. At the same time we are also doing many sit & down stays.

Maui on a Sit Stay!

Maui on a Sit Stay!

This week is when he will be accompanying me to many of my clients. By doing this we are following the natural progression of learning. That is you first need to teach them, than use this in your day to day routine (Proofing it under many circumstances) and finally you expect it.  I’ll give you another update in a couple of days. He is coming when called 80% of the time now and I still need to teach him place. Place is where you send them to their dog bed and they have to lay down and stay. This way you can actually invite guests into your house and they don’t have to worry about being run over by Maui. After they have said hello to you and they are dog people, then you can released him.

May 11, 2010 at 2:17 am 3 comments


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