Big issues with the dog :-/

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by yohan520, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. yohan520

    yohan520 New Member

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    We're also having big issues with the dog escaping. If she escapes, she will keep running away and we have to run after her. We call her name but she ignores us and keeps on trutting away. If we eventually find her and get close enough, we have to lure in close with treats. My parents are the primary caretarkers and I know that they won't always have time to go after the dog. It's getting ridiculous! In one instance, both of my parents spent two hours trying to convince the dog to come back. I'm beginning to worry that our neighbors think we're abusing the poor dog! What is going on? We always give her treats when she comes and we call her and she has a big backyard that is hers to roam in, so why does she always insist on running away? Just the other day, when it was raining and cold, our dog found a way to escape and I almost caught a cold running after the poor thing. We can't continue to do this!

    Also, she is scared to death of the clicker! I tried to use the clicker and as soon as I did, she ran outside and when I dragged her in, she was shivering! I tried the clicker again in my room she ran under the desk and wouldn't come back out (needlessly to say, the clicker lies in a desk drawer now). She had the same problem with a bicycle horn. What is going on? Is it normal for her to be so afraid of certain sounds? How can I convince her that it's ok?

    Thanks!
     
  2. AndrewF

    AndrewF MIiA

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    Hi Yohan,

    Firstly, clicker-training isn't the only way to train a dog...and definately not the way to train your dog from the sounds of it.

    The first thing I'd do if I was you would be to teach your dog to come. To start with, find a quiet room with no escape and have a seat on the floor. While your pup is checking things out, tap on the floor and say 'come'. When she does, give her the verbal praise and a treat. Do this for a while. When your pup's proficient at this, work on it in the house. I found tapping on the floor first always brought Jake but I'd always say 'come' as well - and always reward her when she gets it right.

    Once your pup's got the 'come' command inside, put her on a long leash (16 or more feet), take her outside and do the drill again, over and over again, until she's got it without question and without delay. Once that's been sorted out, try her off the leash. The main thing you have to do is make sure your pup knows what you want, and that you're serious about it. She has to understand that by listening and performing the nessessary task, good things (ie, treats) happen - and only when she listens. The whole premise behind this is a dog has to learn to trust his/her caregiver first. Once that's down, they then need to earn your trust. If you don't earn her trust/respect, you get nowhere.

    Because your parents are the primary caregivers, they have to be made a part of this. Once your pup's got the 'come' command down with you, you have to have them issue the commands and give the rewards - it does them no good if she only listens to you and not them.

    Also, don't start her out off the leash too soon. Make sure she'll come when she's sniffing something interesting or sees a bird or other distraction. Otherwise, it's all for naught. However, once she's got this down, if she does get out of the yard, she will come when called - saving everyone a headache.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Quick question as I'm tired. :)

    Is she spayed?
     
  4. homelessdog

    homelessdog New Member

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    How is she escaping? You need to address this issue first. Escapes happen, but they should be rare, and you should learn from them every time they do happen. If she's continuing to escape over and over again, you or your family is not doing something right. Find out how she's escaping, and then make sure it's not possible for that to happen again.

    If she's darting out the front door, you can take steps to make sure that doesn't happen. If she's escaping from her collar on walks, you can use a Martingale Collar. If she's jumping the fence, you can keep her on a tie out until the fence is secured. If the gate to the fence is open, you can add a lock to it.

    After you've got a handle on her escaping, then you can work on training her recall, and acclimating her to uncomfortable noises (never sooth her, instead act happy).

    Does she like going for car rides? I've found that in the rare times when my dog escapes, it's best for me to just go get the car, drive around and open up the door and my dog will jump in the car. If that's not possible, then you need to make yourself more interesting than whatever the dog is chasing. If you're just running after the dog and yelling for the dog to come, she's going to keep running because she feels like she's leading the chase and it's a fun game for her. Play dead, start juggling treats, turn around and run the other way, clap and sing, whatever works to get her to come to you, instead of you trying to get to her.
     
  5. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Yohan, some questions: what kind of dog is she; how old is she; have you raised her from a pup or was she a rescue?
     
  6. yohan520

    yohan520 New Member

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    She is a mutt (who looks like a manchester terrier or a min pin), she's 2 years old. We got her from a rescue and she is not spayed yet. Thanks for all the advice
     
  7. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Well, she's probably running away because she is not spayed and she's probably going to return with babies in her belly if she hasn't already. Are you going to get her spayed?
     
  8. yohan520

    yohan520 New Member

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    yes, we are (going to get her spayed)
     
  9. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    I'm sure that will help some. :)
     
  10. Agility23

    Agility23 New Member

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    if u really want to try clicker training you can buy a clicker with quieter tones witch she might not be affraid of

    But i wud not use a clicker for this problem..
     
  11. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    um... clicker training, i had not herd of it before a week ago, very interesting, all our dogs are just taught with treats and verbal praise... what is the great advantage to using a clicker?
     
  12. Agility23

    Agility23 New Member

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    clickers are the best thing for trick training and stuff all the top obedience and freestlye people use alot of clickers
     
  13. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    where abouts would i get one in a small australian town? would i have to order?
     
  14. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    a clicker i mean
     
  15. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    mrose_s I'm sure you could find them at any pet store. You can order them as well. And I've even heard of people using snapple bottle tops because they also make a clicking sound. You know the ones?
     
  16. CreatureTeacher

    CreatureTeacher New Member

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    Mrose, a clicker is a little box that makes a noise when you press the metal tongue inside. A lot of people know that "clicker training=good", but they don't really know what it is and why it works.

    The clicker itself is basically a signal to the dog that means, "that's right". Easy as that. Because people are such verbal animals and we reinforce--or encourage--behaviors we like in so many different ways, a clicker (which makes the exact same noise every time) is a way for the dog to cut through our primate communication "static" and understand what we're trying to tell them. Once a dog knows what the clicker means, he will have a very clear concept of what you do and do not want him to do. It requires pretty impecable timing to work properly; you have to click at the right moment for the desired behavior to be reinforced. A clicker trainer with bad timing can actually slow training.

    The click is what behaviorists call an "event marker"; something like a camera that catches behavior at the exact moment it occurs. They work on the behavioral science concepts of operant conditioning and positive reinforcement. You condition the dog to associate a previously meaningless sound (the click) with reinforcement, encouraging the desired behavior to happen more often. Eventually the clicker itself becomes the reinforcer, and can be used to train behaviors and then abandoned once the behavior is learned. A good clicker trainer can teach the desired behavior without ever touching the dog. It's a very exciting science that encourages cooperative relationships. The traditional sort of training--with all the physical punishment and abuses we grew up with--is obsolete.

    Positive reinforcement training (clicker training) is faster, easier, and more humane than traditional techniques, but it's very important to understand the behavioral science involved before you attempt clicker training. http://www.clickertraining.com is Karen Pryor's website. She is a pioneer in the field and she has a lot of information about the training process. Her book, "Don't Shoot the Dog", is also excellent. If you want a quick and easy breakdown of clicker training, get "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training" by Pamela Dennison. (I make a lot of my clients get that one before we start obedience lessons.) I have a lot of other book recommendations, but those two are the best to start with to learn about positive reinforcement.
     

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