Posts filed under ‘barking’

Biting and Growling Jack Russell Terrier

Mayo is an English Jack Russell. He is 6 months old and has already snapped at 2 people. He often growls when someone goes to pick him up and he might growl if you try to take something away from him. The scary part is that he growls at the 2 little girls that he shares his life with. On the other hand he is adorable.

Mayo showing off the Fall Colors

Mayo showing off the Fall Colors

Loves to play games with the family and is very happy. The good part is that Mayo’s family is awesome. In fact I would hate to see if anyone else had him as I am sure he could be a big problem.

When he was very young around 10 weeks old, they hired me to do a puppy consultation. Mayo or should I say the family were shown how to teach him to walk on a loose leash, sit, sit-stay, down and come. The family really got on board and practiced all exercises. They were also very good at putting in place the suggested structures. Unfortunately, four weeks later I received a call that Mayo was starting to growl, so I went back. Upon arriving I was quite impressed that the family were practicing all the obedience exercises. In that regards he was doing great. The problem arose when one of the little girls went to pick him up. He would growl. So I told them about time out and discussed several other options. I also went over the calming or settle command.

The puppy is now 6 months old and is a little better, but will still occasionally growl. On top of it he tried to bite 2 people and is still struggling with housebreaking. So he went off to Bonny’s bootcamp.

When I went to pick him up, I could see he was very nervous about me being in his house. He would run around playing with his toys, but would always keep one eye on me. To be honest allot of his aggressive behavior is based on fear. Once again when a dog is afraid they will either flee or fight. Jack Russells for the most part don’t flee.

Once I got him home he wanted to attack and bite my dogs. Even my 15 year old Labrador Retriever (Eclipse). So I spent a good half hour acclimating him to my 3 dogs. He finally was okay with them, but still cautious. The funny part is that despite the fact that after several meetings and accepting them. When I let him outside at night in the dark. He once again tried to bite my dogs. Don’t think little kids are the only ones who think that there are boogie men in the closet.

I spent the first 2 days improving his obedience skills. I also worked on teaching him to ring the bell to go outside. The next step was socializing him by taking him places. Our first field trip was to Pet Supplies plus in Royal Oak.

Who is faster a Turtle or a Jack Russell?

Who is faster a Turtle or a Jack Russell?

He did great with the obedience exercises in this distractive environment, but we were also there to socialize him. So I started having everyone give him cookies. The good part is that he would run up to people to take the cookies, but as even one of the staff noted. “That he seemed very nervous.” I kept the visit very short as I didn’t want to stress him out. The next day I took him again to the store and now he felt very comfortable and greeted many people. The next trip was downtown Rochester and once again he was nervous. It wasn’t hard to have people give him cookies as he is so cute. After a while he relaxed and stopped trying to bark at everything that he perceived as fearful. The more I take him around people the more relaxed he gets.

Upon one of the visits to the pet stores we were faced with his aggressive reactions to other dogs. A dog came over to say hello and he tried to attack the dog. So off we went to get him socialized around other dogs. He seems very comfortable being around little dogs his own size as he can try to dominate them. Bigger dogs make him nervous. He is making progress. To be honest in the beginning he wouldn’t even play with my dogs.

Mayo with Coco and Bella a foster dog

Mayo with Coco and Bella a foster dog

His first friend was a more submissive Golden Retriever named Coco. He did try to snap at her first and after corrected quickly warmed up to her. Mayo and Coco now play very nicely together.

I have 2 more days with her. I plan to continue to socialize her and to work on some of her other issues. Such as when she has something in her mouth and you go to take it away from her. She will growl. Housebreaking is another. Yesterday she actually ran to the bell. Rang it and as soon as I took her outside she peed for quite some time. Of course the hardest part is when she goes home, but I have full confidence that his family will follow through

October 2, 2011 at 11:07 am 1 comment

Solving Aggression in a Pit Bull Mix

Buck is an awesome dog. He is a big powerful strong affectionate Pit/Lab mix.

Buck

Buck

The problem he has is that he is very reactive when he is surprised or feels threatened. Another words he will try to bite. Awhile back when he was being showed at an adoption event he lunged at a lady walking by and bit her. So for 3 years Buck has been living in a kennel, until last week when he was sent to Bonny’s Bootcamp.

My first impression of Buck was that he was not the killer that originally I was led to believe. I saw some trust issues and he got a little nervous when I reached for him quickly. The good thing is that even though he turned his head with a very serious look, he didn’t think about acting out. Driving him home was interesting. He would bark aggressively at people jogging, biking, motorcycles or if a car turned from a side street quickly.

Upon arriving at my house he was first allowed to explore his surroundings. The next step was to teach him too walk on a loose leash. I could see that the people at the kennel or someone had taught him the basic commands, but of course he was little stubborn about going in the down position. He had to decide if he really wanted to submit to me or not. After all when a dog does the down for you they are showing that they trust and will submit to you. I find some dogs even if you are using their favorite cookie will have a hard time with the down.

Day 2:
Worked on making sure that he knew he had to stay in the heel position. I also did a little brushing up on his basic obedience skills.

Day 3 & 4:
The rest of the training will be about taking him places. I needed to work on how he reacts to people and things in the real world. So I took him to pet stores and worked on his aggression in the car.

At the Pet Store

At the Pet Store

He did very well on his first visit to the pet store. You could see that he was a little nervous, but the previous training sessions paid off. Buck learned that as long as he paid attention to me and stayed in the heal position or did a sit-stay things were great. He received praise and cookies. Life was good. It was near closing time at the store and when they went around mopping the floor he got nervous and wanted to react. A quick correction and I could walk all around the people mopping the floor.

Our car rides at first were stressful. As I stated earlier he was very reactive and constantly wanted to bark, lung and growl at things outside the car. In the beginning he needed several corrections every time he barked, which for him was every time he saw something new. Another words, “I got corrected for the last person on a bike, but this is someone different. This person doesn’t know that they are supposed to be afraid of me.” The good news is that he hasn’t barked at anyone on the last 2 car trips.

Day 5 & 6:
Time to take him to the city. His first visit to Birmingham went pretty good. You could tell he was a little unsure of his environment. He was fine until a bike went by. I saw the bike before hand and so was ready in case he reacted. I placed him on a sit stay and worked with watch. He did great.

Hanging out in the City

Hanging out in the City

In fact the only time he tried to lung was at a motorcycle. The good news is that once he was corrected he ignored any other motorcycle for the duration of the training session.

Day 7 & 8:
Took him to the city and pet store to interact with people. For safety reasons I put a muzzle on him for this. To be honest I don’t think I needed the muzzle, because he was great with everyone. I can see that he is a little more nervous with men, but he dropped his guard very quickly.

I am a Lovebug

I am a Lovebug

It has been a little hard working him, because of the 100 degree temperatures. I decided to keep him for another 3 days so that I can continue to work with him around things that normally would make him lunged, growling and snapping. I have great hopes for him if he could go to a foster home or better yet a real home. I can only hope that because he is going back to the kennel that he won’t transgress to quickly. I will keep you posted on what happens.

July 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm Leave a comment

Training a Havanese, named Mojo

Mojo is a very exuberant little black and white Havanese, but also very sweet. Her owner lives half the year in Florida and the other half in Michigan. In Florida Mojo is the highlight of everyone’s day.

Spunky Mojo playing with Aggie

Anyone for a game of chase!

She is such a happy little dog, always wagging her tail and wants to say hello to everyone. Mojo only has a few flaws like: jumping on everyone she meets, pulling her owner around, running in front and tripping the owner, barks at everything she sees, hides under the bed and won’t come out. She also has a bad habit of chewing things. I had worked with the Daughter’s Wheaton Terrier several years ago and so they hired me to work with Mojo.

I showed up at the house and was soon greeted by a high pitched bark that I was told would continue for 15 minutes. I simply pressed the button on an Ultra Sonic devise and Mojo was instantly quite. Mojo was than lavishly praised for being quite. Because of the situation and circumstance (The owners 94 Mother was in the Hospital.) It was decided the best thing to do is send Mojo off to Bonny’s Boot Camp. The funny part is while I was explaining to them how boot camp worked. Mojo snuck in the bedroom grabbed a box of Kleenex, ran underneath the bed and chewed it up. It was almost like she signed her own enrollment forms. The sad part is that she was previously trained by one of the franchised training companies

Boot Camp was probably the best bet for Mojo. Havanese are very sensitive dogs and need a very positive approach to training. They need to have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. They need to be shown what you want, and feel comfortable doing it. The trickiest part is that they also like to act as if they are clueless of what you want.

DAY ONE: To be honest when I got her home I wondered if she even knew her name. I would say Mojo and there wasn’t even a glimmer of recognition. So we started with the name game and getting her to watch me. We had several sessions of this before I attempted to teach her anything else. Once I had her focusing on me it was time to teach her to walk on a loose leash. This was accomplished very quickly in the comfort of my back yard and with no distraction.

DAY TWO & THREE: It was very important to teach Mojo to walk perfectly on leash and so I spent a lot of time working on this. By the end of 2 days she was doing very well. She even accompanied me to one of my group classes and was worked around all the other dogs. I had worked a little bit on the control exercises like sit and stay, but my main goal was walking.

DAY FOUR & FIVE:  It was time to teach her down, work at her mastering the sit-stay

I can Stay!

I can Stay!

, work on come and of course all through out this we would do chew discrimination test. (You can see how to set one of these test up on my DVD, “Instant Solutions”)

DAY SIX THRU EIGHT: Continued working on all previous exercises except my main emphasis was on getting her to come. By day eight she would now come when called in the backyard or house with minor distractions, so it was time to start teaching her to walk off leash. Mojo is one dog that under the circumstances as stated earlier really needs to have good leash manners.

DAY NINE THRU TWELVE: Was all about working off leash taking her with me to client’s homes and proofing her on all her newly learned skills.

THE REMAINING DAYS:  had one new exercise to teach her and that was the place command. “Place” is where they learn to go to their dog bed lay down and stay. By the time we were done Mojo would stay in place for an hour and even held that position when someone came to the front door.

The real trick is working with Mojo’s owner to teach her what to do. What I really liked is how enthusiastic the owner was to learn. She keeps practicing the techniques and keeps bragging how she has a new dog. Originally the owner was worried that I would take the spark and spunk out of Mojo. The best part is that Mojo is listening to her and is still her spunky self.

September 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

Working on Territorial Aggression and Crate Aggression

Worked on territorial aggression and crate aggression

Continue Reading March 24, 2010 at 7:22 am Leave a comment

Meet TUCKER a Rescue Dog in Training

Meet Tucker, a rescue dog in training

Continue Reading March 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to Alternative Canine Training’s Blog (A.C.T.) Here you will find useful tips on how to achieve the perfect dog and how to solve behavior problems once and forever! Behavior problems such as housebreaking, jumping, barking, digging, stealing food, running away, aggression, separation anxiety and much more. As an added bonus you will learn how to speak to your dog in the language they understand. The exciting part is that you can follow along specific cases. See how individual dogs went from terrorist to loving members of society. Of course we always appreciate your comments and feedback.

My own personal mission statement has always been that all I ever wanted to do is train dogs and help people. Alternative Canine Training’s mission statement is that we want you to have a well trained dog that you can take anywhere, under any circumstance.Through this blog we hope to accomplish both missions.

A.C.T.’s blog will be both entertaining and educational for every dog owner. Look for upcoming posts!

February 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm 2 comments


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