Discussion in 'Your Training Logs' started by Shamas' mom, Mar 7, 2018.
Fantastic!!! Onwards and upwards, excellent stuff Shamas!!
Whereabouts do you live, btw?
This was such a lovely up-beat post. Well done for all your hard work.
Back to normal today. Chased the younger cats twice, (still an improvement, given that they like to sit and provoke him)and collecting water bottles from all over the house to trade for food...whether still in use or not XD
The kids want to know why I trained him to steal water bottles, I told them I'm not teaching to steal, I'm teaching him to clean up! If they're going to leave the bottles laying around, I don't want him taking them to his crate to chew- so I trained him to trade them in for treats instead. He loves the idea, and so do I. If the teens don't like it, we have plenty of bookshelves and tables to put them on, where he won't take from XD
Mom logic LOL!
He's laying beside me on the couch now, waiting for his walk after the youngest heads out for the day.
Canada, Southern ONT. We have a lot of dogs hereabouts, and many are on-leash when we walk. I have noticed that in my area not many are well trained. If I go about 4 blocks, they get much better, so I usually leave the area to walk him. We've been nearly attacked a few times, and Shamas actually did get into it once with a dog whose owner wlak him right up to us, though we stopped to let them cross away. And there's a Shephard who regularly causes trouble for dogs passing, and has been known to attack, who lives at the corner, near us. And a 100lb lab at the same corner who lunges right to the sidewalk. We try to avoid that corner, but must pass it to get to the church. I have told the owner what time we go, and asked her to keep Chance inside, which she does. I walked him for 2 years, and tried to train him. He made improvement but regressed as soon as I stopped walking him. I'm waiting for Animal Control to take him, in all honesty...the neighbourhood will be much safer. I have provided her with a sturdy collar, leash and harness, at my own expense, to keep him secure.
So I thought I'd take advantage of Shamas' state of mind today to see what his threshold is for main roads currently. He's in a good mood, but a touch reactive. He behaved well on his walk, but I wouldn't have chanced letting him near another dog today. We ducked over to a nearby cafe when a dog came towards us. I had him sit 15 feet off the sidewalk and watch it pass by, rather than try to walk towards it. That went fine, he stayed perfectly calm and ate his treats.
So the current threshold for a busy street is about the length of a school racetrack...100meters? or a city block. His first reaction is to lick his lips and turn around...That's when I stopped. we sat for about 5-10 seconds, had some treats, and then turn the corner so he couldn't see it any more and walk away. He pulled me for about a block, but not badly....more like he was rushing to get away.
Shamas just successfuly sat through Helen provoking him, and didn't give chase!
Normally she stays in her room until I put him in my room for the night, but she must have thought I'd done so, because she came creeping out, and when she saw him, she started grwling. Shamas' head went down, and he looked like he'd lunge, so I stepped in front of him, dropped into my best "nevermind, you're a good boy tone" and proceeded to quietly praise the living daylights out of him. I got his attention on me, with only glances in her direction, then he sat, laid down, and eventually half-closed his eyes as I sat petting him, with half an eye on the growling ball of fury in the next room under the diningroom table.
Maybe once Shamas learns to ignore her peevishness, she'll learn to calm down a bit. She's more to the tune of Fight than Flight, so having Shamas lunge when he sees her get defensive doesn't help any. Helen is my most recent, and least dog-friendly of the cat rescues. She's from a hoarding situation, and took quite some time to acclimate. I expect her to take time to acclimate to the dog too, once he learns to behave. She was doing well, almost ready to meet him at about a month into his stay, when he lunged to chase her....it's been war ever since.
I've tried the treats every time he looks at the cats technique, and he's doing well witht he other two...Matt's his friend, and Midnight's about 50/50 as to whether he looks for treats or chases the cat. depends if Midnight moves in the direction of food, or runs(those two things set off the dog)...if he sits and looks back, or moves slowly, Shamas can contain himself.
He can't contain himself with outside cats yet, which is why he's still leashed and harnessed with only 15 feet in the yard to go pee if I don't step out with him. Squirrels, fine...cats skunks and bunnies....nope
Shamas had a minor issue at Petsmart today. No one's blaming him, because we think he just spooked. There was a cutelittle dog, who was calm and friendly, and wanted to say "hi" It was going well, but the dog came in around him, and I think maybe he didnt see where it went? it was about halfway down his back, and stood and put it's paws on his shoulder....and he snarled and took it's scruff. It squealed and we seperated them...no one was hurt, but one of them peed a little. They both wanted to re-join(friendly), and neither was bothered but we went our own ways instead.
I talked with the owner to apologise for Shamas'response and ensure that his guy was Ok...and it turn out this little guy had the same thing happen at the dog park a few days ago.. he was a bit non-plussed as to what to do about it. I explained that it's "bad manners" to jump like that, and that dogs will correct the behavior amongst themselves. I suggested that if he wants to help his dog avoid the correction, he could give him a few seconds, then seperate or correct himself before or if necessary as he does the jumpy thing. Then he can meet and have a limit on his allowed interactions, learning the acceptable range of behaviors. His little guy isn't the least bothered by the corrections, so he should learn quickly. He seems smart enough, and the owner said he was playing alongside the last dog he jumped on and got corrected by too.
It was a young, quiet dog, so the jumping up was not in the lest hostile....more like he was trying to see what the top of Shamas looks like. I honestly don't know if Shamas would have reacted the way he did if he'd known it was coming, but he looked surprised, and reacted as if to an unknown threat. We'll have to keep dogs to the front half of him from now on, just to be sure he knows where they are.
Staff was very surprised..they've all watched Shamas progress over the winter, and when they saw him snap at another dog, they came to see what had happened. It was interesting to see their concern....I had expected a negative reaction, given that my dog just behaved with aggression. Instead they stopped to comfort him, made sure he was calm, and gave him treats.
It could be as simple as this dog got out of line and Shamas issued correction. I'm a little novice on dog interactions, and don't want to excuse my own animal if he's in the wrong....but it feels like thats the case, given the complete lack of animosity on the part of both dogs
I think Shamas did well today...a little unsure about the body language. He and Midnight sort of stared at each other for a good 5 minutes. he didnt chase which is great. He looked at me 3 times, and was praised each time. After a couple of minutes of intense staring, he laid down, leaning forward, looking like he was ready to get up any second. Lips tight, worried face....then another minute, he started to blink at the cat. Then laid on his side. I think the cat won that interaction.
I sort of stood back and watched it all, as I had put Shamas on-leash when I saw his body language, which told me he'd have a tough time not chasing tonight. It was clearly a war within himself for those first couple of minutes, and I stood calmly beside him with the lead slack, letting him decide whether to move or not...and praising each look in my direction.
He did bark once, at the end, to run the cat down the stairs.....but I'll let that go, given his accomplishment of not chasing when he SO wanted to!
I gave themm both treats, before he barked...so the treats should be associated witht he good behavior
I would like him and Midnight to come to an understanding, as Midnight is not prone to picking fights witht he other animals, but does need more freedom to move around the house. He's an active cat and likes to roam the basement, but also cuddle in the cat room witht he teen. He has to cross the kitchen to travel betweeen "safe zones"
Shamas is very sick today. My son tried to make potatoes in the microwave, and walked away. The resultant charred potatoes were put on the porch to cool, and Shamas ate one when he went to pee. Vet says feed him rice and chicken broth.
On a lighter note, this morning I was cleaning, and moved the cat tower. I fed the cats some treats, and put Matts on the tower, to show him where it was....Shamas was very upset.....he couldn't reach high enough to steal Matt's food XD
Matt's very happy with the new placement, right in front of the window
So my arm is still very sore, and Shamas has his good days and bad days, as far as the pulling goes. I'm definitely going to continue working towards loose-lead collar-only...but my arm won't heal if I can't give it a break from the pulling, and I can't just not walk him when he's not behaving well.....so I'm going to buy a Halti Optifit to link to the second lead. I walk with two leads, one on the collar, and one on the harness. The collar is his no-pull, and the harness is his freedom to wander. So I'll use the Halti and collar to train, and continue to use the harness to allow freedom.
I don't find he's bad outside of the neighbourhood, so I don't see a point of using the halti as a general thing.....
I'm using the cat's harness to start conditioning...give him some time to get used to the idea of putting something on his face before buying the Halti. He wasn't conditioned to the Gentle Leader, when I first got him, and I didn't know how to use it...as a result, he became MORE reactive and I got rid of it. I was clearly not using it properly, as he was still pulling, and got bald spots on his nose. The Halti optifit comes with a training video, to show you how to properly use it, and is padded. Plus, reviews say it doesn't ride up into the eyes.
Hopefully this short period for me to heal will teach Shamas to look to me, as I turn his head towards me using the headcollar, and offer treats. That's been something he's not picked up on, and it's' a key part of the Bmod program. "look at me" is a command that I really want to get in my pocket for when he gets reactive and I have him on just a collar or harness....right now he just turns for home and physically drags me down the street, which HURTS :/
Day 1 with the Halti lead went really well.
I had conditioned him for a couple of days using the cats harness before buying, to make sure he'd accept it. then I fed him meals wearing it Yesterday, giving wet food instead of dry to create Positive Association. He puts it on willingly. before trying a walk, we wore it around the house, to show him how it worked, and what it felt like. If he wants it off, he rubs his face on me lol.
I put his normal lead on his harness and his Halti lead on a light 4 foot attached to my belt this morning, just to get him used to the idea of wearing it, and that if he pulled too far ahead he'd feel it. I used it just to turn his head towards me, and had him return and sit in front of me to treat if he got ahead. This went on until he spooked at a loud noise, and I removed the lead from his nose so that he could flee without the Halti upsetting him furter. We went into the park and I kept him there until his tail returned to normal, then I let him take me home.
This evening I put the Halti back on him and walked him along the field near the tracks. It's quiet there in the evening, and he could just wander a little. If he got to the end of the lead, I stopped and called him back with a soft word and light moving of his chin in my direction. Then treated him when he sat in front of me. As the sit is his default treat position, this part was easy for him lol. He's starting to learn to walk beside me now......for a few feet at a time. Lots of praise for walking where I want him, and treats at random intervals as we go to reinforce that position as a good thing.
From the tracks, he can see the street that runs parallel...and he got a little reactive when he saw two dogs walking. Tail and head went up and he got intense, but no hackles went up. I'd not have chanced letting him get close to them, given his excitement at that distance-it could have easily escalated to lunging at about 30 feet and he'd have been in a tug of war with his nose......which is the LAST thing I want him to experience on the Halti. That ruined the Gentle Leader for us, and caused Negative Association with the device from day one. Better to let him get settled on the thing before letting him near other dogs in the area. I already know how unpredictable he can be.