Attempting to train my crazy dog...

milkandsam

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I have a small dog who is a complete mixed breed. We believe she has dachshund in her, as well as possibly papillon... Basically she's an everything dog!!

My parents found her running, crazy, and panicked on a major road in Lexington. They ended up trying to catch her for two and a half hours. She bit my father several times and they had to use gloves to get a rope on her to bring her home. She fell asleep in the floorboard on the way home (about 5-10 minutes)... she was exhausted but wouldn't have anything to do with my parents!! As soon as she got home, I walked out to the backyard and sat down and she came and sat in my lap and I picked all of the twigs and burrs out of her fur. Needless to say... she doesn't really leave my sight when I'm at home!! The rest of her life before she came to live with us is sad, but basically in May she was adopted by a family from the Humane Society and then in June or July was given to "some man" and by October she had either run away or been dumped out of a car and was found by my parents. She was terrified of men and really just overall is VERY skittish and VERY nervous around most people... Even my fiance and I!

She has never really been trained (she can sit and she might lay down...) and so now that i have had her for 6 years I think it might be time to start some preliminary training! She has a lot of issues with leashes and hates people bending over to put them on her and often pees because she is either scared or excited? We also just decided to put her on Prozac for her anxiety... but that has not taken full effect yet (we will see if it changes her behavior at all...)

Any helpful tips would be great... Hopefully this thread will update our journey of training...

Starting lesson:
Positive reinforcement when the leash is put on and she does not pee!
and
Positive reinforcement when she goes potty on command (I live in an apartment... and she hates even walking in the grass... needless to say she's a little spoiled....*sigh*)
 

ascott

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6 years huh? She has trained you wonderfully ;)

If she is a drop and piddle dog, why do you not encourage her to come to you vs you to her? You can figure a way that her attention draws her to you by either a fav treat/ a trade for something she enjoys doing, etc....don't beg her but invite her.

She has a lot of issues with leashes

Why do you offer her a choice on this one? Remember, there are things you can work on and then there are things that are not an option...if you are not convinced you certainly will never lead her to believe you either...

hates people bending over to put them on her and often pees

This is a stance that dogs generally are not naturally comfortable with...if the dog has had experiences where this motion has ended up with pain, fear or weakness...you will need to work this dog to come forward/to you and not tower over the dog in order to accomplish leashing....

We also just decided to put her on Prozac for her anxiety...

This is not necessarily the best option, the drug will simply mask the issues at hand and has a tendency to add to erratic and unpredictable behavior....this is also a drug that is hard on a humans system and even harder on an animal....I mean, is the Prozac for the dogs anxiety or for the human flustered on how to develop a mode of communication with the dog??? After all, training is a form of communication moreover than anything else....
 

milkandsam

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It's so difficult to explain her in text! She can come to you... and be super happy... and she pees. Or she looks like you are going to kick her because you are taking her outside o her leash for the 50 billionth time in 6 years.. and she pees. She won't let anyone except me put her leash on... and in regards to the prozac.. we decided to try it because she is so uptight. We have consulted with an animal behavior professional in Cincinnati and that was the possible recommendation. Over the years we have tried lots of things that I have heard worms for abused dogs. Like, don't baby them, you are reinforcing the bad behavior. The issue is that when she is scared she is TERRIFIED and listens to no one and wants nothing to do with anyone. This Super terrified stage is really the biggest issue. If she is the least bit nervous or anxious she doesn't want anything and nothing makes her happy. No treats, no loving, nothing. I'm pretty sure my dog is a big huge Pandoras box... :p

And I will be watching her for strange behaviors while on prozac. We are just trying it for now and if it doesn't help.. we will be taking her off of it. :)
 

AnnV

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I agree. Clicker training. There are many books. And for free, you can watch You Tube videos. There are quite a few on clicker work.
Dont try to start in the middle. Start at the beginning. She is a special needs case and you must start at the very most basic level and go slow and steady. Find a food she loves. Work on making her LOVE the food. Before you even start training. Make some treats and just offer one or two up a few times per day. Call her to you and give them. For doing nothing. :)
I find hot dogs work well. They chop up easily and you can microwave for a short time to make them drier and easy to handle. Most are too salty so seek out low sodium. Also, chicken gizzards and hearts come cheap enough. Boil them til tender in garlic salt seasoned water. Cut in tiny pieces. Microwave if you like til slightly dry.
Once you get the basic clicker focus going, she will start to look forward little short sessions. At first maybe only just a few seconds several times a day. You dont want to scare or pressure her at all in the beginning. Her focus and attitude will start to change. Once you notice that, you can start to ad more complex exercises.
The great thing about clicker training is its all positive and if done correctly the dog learns to love it.
 

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