Questions on New Blue Heeler Pup

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by vkumbier, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. vkumbier

    vkumbier SSF Goat Farm

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    We have a new Blue Heeler puppy. He is 6 months old, house broken and very eager to listen. He sits on command and comes when called in the house and yard if "no distractions". However, we have large goat farm. 500+ animals and this week he got a hold of a young goat. Needless to say, he would not let go of the young doe, and did extensive damage to her leg. How and were do I begin training for outdoor commands, he seems not to even hear me.
    Are there any trainers for Blue Heelers avaiable in the SouthWestern Wisconsin Area?
     
  2. Angelique

    Angelique New Member

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    It's good to set a dog up for success. This was an unfortunate incident, but he is young. I would work on the "drop it" and "leave it" commands in addition to recall.

    Dogs are born with prey drive, but when taught to herd by someone who knows what they are doing, he could learn to inhibit his bite and switch to herding. I'd have to read up on the breed specifics of Blue Healers, but herding and driving is in their breeding, isn't it?

    Does anyone in your area offer a herding class? If not, any local farmer with herding dogs could probably help you. I'd check the internet and look for books, too. This way your dog will have a job to do, burn off energy, and learn to herd instead of hunt.

    Just a thought. :)
     
  3. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    Oh, Angelique! That's a fantastic idea! Go for it V, if you can find someone to help. I'm sorry about your goat. You'll really have to watch it for a while, I guess. Good luck. Let us know what you find out.
     
  4. Athebeau

    Athebeau New Member

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    I hope you find a person who understands heelers, do an internet search for a local animal behaviorist or blue heeler breeders. Talk to them and perhaps learn about your dogs natural drives and how to work "with" them.

    The basic sequence of motor patterns for a Heeler are: orient>eye stalk>CHASE>GRAB BITE...Kill bite is a major fault and bred against in heelers. The motor patterns in bold print are hypertrophied.

    What you want to do is not supress the natural enhanced drives of the dog, but, to redirect the drives to other objects (balls, toys etc.). A dog fullfilling it's natural sequence of predatory drives is internally rewarded. So, although the owner may think it's a horrific event that the dog may use it's natural drives towards another family pet or livestock...it's quite natural when not socialized properly with the animals.

    You need to socialize your pup around your goats and the young in a safe way. Pups that have natural drives cannot hold eye on an animal they have been raised intimitely with. For example if I brought up a border collie with sheep like I would a livestock guardian dog...when that border collie grows up it will most likely not be able to hold eye on sheep.

    You should also teach your pup an emergency down. A dog will down before it will come when showing eye and starting the chase motor pattern. When they still can "see" the "prey" object they are going to listen to the command that will not draw their eye away. I would probably purchase a basket muzzle and have the pup come with me daily while tending to goats. A young goat that moves away quickly of reacts in fear will be an object of predatory drift. Slowly desensitize your pup to your goats...you cannot suppress or "get" rid of the natural motor patterns, but, with the right help you can learn to live with them and direct them properly.
     
  5. Angelique

    Angelique New Member

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    Great information and some very good points, Athebeau!
     
  6. Athebeau

    Athebeau New Member

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    Thank you Angelique;)
    Predatory drives, motor patterns etc have been a huge study of mine since I rescued an unsocialized high prey drive dog 5 years ago. I went through some pretty difficult times with her. With study, time, patience and understanding she has now become a "normal" member of society:).

    I learned one of the most valuable leasons when working with a dog with set motor patterns...work "with" them, not against them. Punishing a dog for a natural enhanced behavior that has been bred into them for many years is useless and can esculate the problem. I think having a success story in this department is a great thing to share with other people.;)

    I know of one gentleman who adopted an APBT with extreme predatory drift towards small dogs. He "thought" he could solve the problem with an electric shock collar:( This esculated the problem and the dog went from bad to worse associating the pain with the small dogs and thus making him more frustrated when seeing these tiny prey objects.
     
  7. vkumbier

    vkumbier SSF Goat Farm

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    Thanks for the help with the "Buster B" issue.
    He is a delight and I have been working with him on a lead. I would not think of a shocker collar. I have a Annitolian Shepard that is 5 she is great. A Great Pyrennes cross, and a English Mastif who is 1. So, I have some training with those breeds. I am working on the come, stay, sit, off and will now incorporate and "emergency" down. Not quite sure what that is but I will speak with the trainer in Dodgeville about that. He is such a good boy otherwise. Love him to death. Very Loyal. Thanks for the help. I will post later with more
    V Kumbier
     

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