PDA

View Full Version : Brennan's Trip to the Pet Store - Need Some Advice



Roxyluvsme13
01-27-2012, 02:14 PM
Well, I've been working on socializing Brennan, and last weekend we took him to Petco and Petsmart. He was a good boy in Petco, there weren't too many things to distract him, until he saw another dog :rolleyes:. We were in the check out line though, so I was able to get him out of the store.

Okay, round two, we head to Petsmart. We're talking to this couple about their dogs (they happen to have a Pit Bull and a Pom!) and Brennan is being good, he actually laid down in the floor on his side and was just hanging out there like a very good boy. And then he saw another dog... He yowled like it was the end of the freakin' world and like he was DYING. He wanted to get to the other dog to say hi, play with them, whatever. There wasn't any threat within him with his actions, he just REALLY gets excited over other dogs. So, does anyone have any advice? What can I do to keep him from having a freakin' conniption fit when he sees another dog? He was EXCELLENT, and he's doing really well with his prong collar (got it to keep him from pulling on his leash, because he's a BAD puller), but he's still not making much progress with not freaking out over other dogs...

Any suggestions are very much appreciated. We've been invited to a Pit Bull adoption event tomorrow and I'd love to take him, but if he's going to make a fool out of himself, I'm not so sure if I want to take him!

lolli94
01-27-2012, 05:03 PM
Our beagle does that when he gets excited or bored at auctions. We usually gently but firmly hold his mouth shut and say NO. You can try giving him treats for being quiet.

Sowa
01-27-2012, 05:31 PM
Hmm, I'm not really sure. What I'm doing with Clover is at home I'm teaching her to look at me. I started off just if she looked up at me for a sec on her own, click and treat. I taught her watch me from there to get her attention. I also call her name randomly through the day and click and treat if she looks at me so she learns her name means look at me. Basically a lot of focus work. We are starting to do this outside. Start off with less distraction and work your way up as he gets better. I really don't know if that will work when he's so excited but maybe if you can find something he really loves like a treat or toy you can keep him from getting to that level of excitement. Like if you see a dog coming, start working with him before he sees it or try to get him to play with his toy (or whatever he likes best).

I'm really not sure though, sorry I can't be more help! Be sure to keep us up to date, I'd love to know how you get it to work for you. (So I can do it too! :p)

Taz_Zoee
01-27-2012, 06:50 PM
I have this problem with Zoee. Only she raises the hair on her back and that is NOT okay. Yet if she approaches the dog she is totally fine with them.

Anyway, the suggestions Sowa gave were great. I volunteered in a leash reactive class and that is how they did it. Then you start going out into the big bad world very slowly. You want to go somewhere that you will not come face to face with a dog right off the bat. Go to a park or a place where are dogs far away. Do the look/treat method. Gradually (over days) move closer to the distraction always treating. Then only treat every other time and so on so eventually you can eliminate the treats. To get to that point could take months. Be consistent! That's the key and that's what I am not. :o But I have seen it work with other dogs.

Good luck and let us know how it goes! :D

Freedom
01-27-2012, 08:52 PM
I suggest you take group obedience classes with Brennan. You can find a place near you using this:
http://www.apdt.com/petowners/ts/default.aspx

You want a place that teaches positive reinforcement training.

Karen
01-27-2012, 09:03 PM
Yes, distract and refocus on you, even if it make you feel silly. And I agree, bribes with a bit of treat or a toy (if he likes tug ropes those are easy to stick in a pocket for outings, and less likely to get lost than a tennis ball) may help. He's still young, so he's a work in progress! (Which you can tell anyone who stares ..)

dab_20
01-28-2012, 11:07 AM
What Sowa suggested is a great way to start. Get his to focus attention on you by a command such as "look" or his name, and treat. I wouldn't start out at an adoption event. Group classes are great for this situation. If you can't afford that, just start out with walks in the neighborhood, that way its dealing with one dog at a time.

Sowa
01-28-2012, 11:14 AM
I have this problem with Zoee. Only she raises the hair on her back and that is NOT okay. Yet if she approaches the dog she is totally fine with them.



Clover does this too, it's not necessarily bad. Clover does it when she's excited to see a new dog. It might be the same with Zoee?

Roxyluvsme13
01-28-2012, 11:45 AM
Thanks for all the tips everyone :).

Lily and Brennan are going to the vet today to get their rabies shot, and I'm sure there's going to be other dogs there. So I think I'll take along some treats and see if I can get him to focus on me instead of another dog.

He's VERY food motivated so we'll see how he does. I'll update later when I get back!

Taz_Zoee
01-28-2012, 01:10 PM
Clover does this too, it's not necessarily bad. Clover does it when she's excited to see a new dog. It might be the same with Zoee?

Yup. And that is a universal sign for aggression. Other dogs and owners back away when they see this......as would I.


Thanks for all the tips everyone :).

Lily and Brennan are going to the vet today to get their rabies shot, and I'm sure there's going to be other dogs there. So I think I'll take along some treats and see if I can get him to focus on me instead of another dog.

He's VERY food motivated so we'll see how he does. I'll update later when I get back!

Good luck! :D

Sowa
01-28-2012, 04:19 PM
Yup. And that is a universal sign for aggression. Other dogs and owners back away when they see this......as would I.


Yes, commonly raised hackles is from fear or aggression. But also from excitement. I just meant it's not always a bad thing. Like I said with Clover, she isn't being aggressive AT ALL when she does this. She is simply excited to play.

BitsyNaceyDog
01-28-2012, 04:32 PM
I suggest you take group obedience classes with Brennan. You can find a place near you using this:
http://www.apdt.com/petowners/ts/default.aspx

You want a place that teaches positive reinforcement training.
I agree. It'd help with socialization and obedience. In addition to looking for a place that uses positive training, I'd look for a place that leash trains with a gentile leader, (way better than a prong collar, in my opinion).

MonicanHonda
01-28-2012, 09:51 PM
I would ditch the prong ASAP and switch to a front hook harness, preferably the Freedom harness. Since he is 'reactive' (not in a bad way, but is still reacting) to dogs, pulling on the leash, in turn adding pain to his neck, can eventually make negative associations with the dogs he's trying to get to and he may very well become dog reactive in a bad way. He doesn't necessarily get that the pain is from him pulling, he just knows that dog in view=pain.

The hackle raising is a sign of over stimulation, it doesn't have to mean aggression or fear. It's called pyloerection.

Sounds to me like you have a lot of work that needs to be done on impulse control. Teaching him to control himself around things that make him want to go crazy. If you find a good trainer in your area, they can definitely help you out. I always recommend positive reinforcement/negative punishment trainers. This may require finding his reactive point (where he can still work with you and not react to the dogs) and slowly building from there. (Know that this may be hundreds of feet in the beginning) No one said it would be easy. :)

I wish you luck! :)

Roxyluvsme13
01-30-2012, 08:48 AM
I'm part of a Pit Bull forum and everyone there uses prong collars, so that's why I've been using one on Brennan. I've been told that harnesses aren't recommended because they make the dog pull more, and gentle leaders also aren't recommended because if the dog is a really bad puller (which Brennan is), then they can cause a lot of neck damage. That's the only reason I went with the prong.

I've been looking into obedience classes, but don't think we'll be able to do one right now. The one I wanted to join was scheduled during one of my evening classes, and as busy as I've been lately, I've just been trying to work with him myself.

Thank you everyone for the tips though, they're very much appreciated.

Brennan was okay at the vets, he didn't get as excited as usual and I was able to distract him with some food.

MonicanHonda
01-30-2012, 05:57 PM
I am very good friends with a pit bull group from Cleveland Ohio. If you have facebook, you should join. It's called Pit Bull Zen. It's not just for Cleveland Ohio people. But they promote the breed in a very positive light. We do walks every week or so and mostly they are all pit bulls. They are walked on front hook harnesses. There is one who is currently being switched from a prong to a front hook. The last time we walked, he escalated because of the prong and the trainers who were there talked to her about it. (Dogs passing by). A harness is actually a better way to walk your dog (if not a front hook, then a regular) because anything around your dogs neck can cause back or neck problems when pulling. A harness isn't a sign for your dog to pull, you still have to teach them not to pull. They do get better leverage with a harness (not a front hook, as when they pull in one of these, their body is turned back towards you)

Here are some things to check out.

http://www.wiggleswagswhiskers.com/newsite/freedom-no-pull-harness.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFgtqgiAKoQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voW2Vkq0u6Q

http://www.pitbulls.org/blog/possible-dangers-prong-collars

And by the way, prongs are actually used on some working dogs to INCREASE drive. That's not what you want.

luvofallhorses
01-30-2012, 09:38 PM
Prongs aren't as bad as people make them out to be. Sometimes strong dogs need them. If used right, they don't hurt the dog. I think you're doing well Bri and the pit bull forum Bri is on is very informative and have been around the breed for a long time. It's a training tool that is sometimes needed! I would suggest training classes to get him to focus on YOU and not other dogs. Remember APBTs are prone to dog aggression so do not let him meet another dog unless you KNOW that dog and it's behavior towards other dogs. When he is with you, he needs to focus on you! So a training class should help with that. Good luck!

Roxyluvsme13
01-31-2012, 10:41 AM
Prongs aren't as bad as people make them out to be. Sometimes strong dogs need them. If used right, they don't hurt the dog. I think you're doing well Bri and the pit bull forum Bri is on is very informative and have been around the breed for a long time. It's a training tool that is sometimes needed! I would suggest training classes to get him to focus on YOU and not other dogs. Remember APBTs are prone to dog aggression so do not let him meet another dog unless you KNOW that dog and it's behavior towards other dogs. When he is with you, he needs to focus on you! So a training class should help with that. Good luck!
I was hoping you'd chime in and validate my prong argument, haha.

Oh, I know about the meeting other dogs thing. I immediately redirect him as soon as we see another dog. I haven't had anyone actually try to bring their dog up to meet him yet, but if that happens, then I'll do everything possible to keep them away. He hasn't shown any signs of dog aggression as of right now, but he's only one, so I know it doesn't hit till later.

I'm going to keep looking for a trainer and see how much it costs. I know there's a class right down the road from me that's $15/lesson and you don't have to register or anything.

wolf_Q
01-31-2012, 11:27 AM
I've heard that prong collars can increase aggression sometimes. The dog is excited to see the other dog so they pull, they receive the pinch from the collar from pulling, then associate the pain with the other dog, which could cause them to react badly to meeting a new dog next time. I've used prong collars before and I thought that Nebo seemed to react worse to meeting new dogs while wearing the prong collar. (My dogs are pretty good with other dogs when meeting them off leash but they can all be brats when meeting on leash especially if I have multiple dogs.) I'm not saying this will be the case for you but something you might want to look into.

A random side note on the hackles...Keva and Skya are so weird. If they haven't seen each other for a while (like I took one to work) they both react with huge hackles up and growling when they see each other, never a fight, they just get their hackles up and growl then run off to play together totally fine. Strange dogs.

MonicanHonda
02-01-2012, 05:13 PM
Sorry, but prongs always cause pain. Explain to me how a prong doesn't cause pain, yet still works? However, they are a training TOOL and aren't meant to be a permanent thing. Your dog will learn to cope with the pain and the prong will no longer work.

MonicanHonda
02-01-2012, 05:20 PM
But obviously we here are not open to suggestions. I told you that the prong will only escalate your dogs problems and have given you different options. I truly hope that you find something that works for you in the long run. Good luck!

Roxyluvsme13
02-02-2012, 10:41 AM
Sorry, but prongs always cause pain. Explain to me how a prong doesn't cause pain, yet still works? However, they are a training TOOL and aren't meant to be a permanent thing. Your dog will learn to cope with the pain and the prong will no longer work.
If it's used properly, it doesn't cause enough pain to hurt the dog. Sometimes Brennan gets excited and yanks it a little too hard, and yeah, it hurts him. He learns not to do that though because he doesn't want to feel pain... He doesn't wear it all the time, I only use it when we go for walks or when he's out in a public place where he needs to behave himself.


But obviously we here are not open to suggestions. I told you that the prong will only escalate your dogs problems and have given you different options. I truly hope that you find something that works for you in the long run. Good luck!
I am open to suggestions, but I don't think the prong is going to escalate my problems, sorry. Plenty of Pit Bull owners use the prong with no problems, and it works in teaching their dog not to pull, which is the objective here.

IRescue452
02-02-2012, 01:47 PM
How often has he gotten to meet new dogs in a controlled situation though? The more dogs get to meet other dogs in a good situation, the better they get at it. He obviously can't learn what is the wrong way to act around dogs he wants to meet if he never gets to learn the right way.

Sowa
02-02-2012, 06:32 PM
This may sound dumb, but I've put the pinch on myself to see how painful it is. And unless you're yanking hard it doesn't really hurt. (which you're not suppose to do anyway. Should be a quick small pop and release) It's just suppose to pinch. That being said, I'll never use one on Clover. I used one on 2 of my other dogs and they became more excited and growling at other dogs as they got older. I doubt it's the pinch honestly, probably me being nervous. However, Clover is reacting very well to positive training, it just takes SO much more work then a pinch collar. I think if you want to use the pinch, then that's fine. A lot of people use them, but maybe take a training class with him to learn how to use it properly :)