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Old 05-30-2008, 07:14 PM   #1
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Obsessive or Neurotic?

I own a wonderfull, well behaved 7yr.old spayed female JackRussell. That aside she FREAKS out when you start up the riding lawnmower, 4wheeler or motorcycle. She's always been like this and no matter how hard you try to get her attention she's totally zoned out! Whenever we go to fire up one of these things we be sure to put her in the house. She also goes to work w/me and only freaks out when a yorky, westie, or cairn terrier comes in (notice the other breeds are all terriers). Can I do something to help her get over her obsessive/neurotic behavior? Also, she's not afraid of these things by no means---She's out to KILL it!!
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:17 PM   #2
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this is a difficult one because the behaviour is so ingrained through the years it will lots of time and patients and two people to desencatize her. i would do the lawnmower and bikes first if you have them at your house hold. pop her on the lead and stock up with lots of rewards wether toys and food. walk her to the vehacles switched off then reward for her none reaction let her sniff and poke about all with a happy calm voice rewarding her all the time then take her in get your helper to switch one of them on and just ticking by out side if she does not react inside reward her and praise her, let them move the things out side all the time rewarding and praising for being quiet. if she barks or freeks egnor her and the behaviour as soon as she pauses reward and praise.

once no responce when in dors do the same with her on the lead but inside with door open, then just out side the door then walking past at a distance and first with just ticking over not being moved when you can approach the item switched on but not moving without reaction then do it moving but from a distance and gradually move her closer not the vehicle if she starts to freek move away this is the same when it is still too praise when not threating tun back away when freeking.

you can do axactly the same thing with the dogs praise as soon as behaviour pauses putting in a word like quiet or leave walk away as soon as behaviour occurs. also for noise desensitization a good cd to get is called crash bang wallop it has all different sounds on it including lawnmowers and bikes you start very low so you can hardley hear it as soon as your dogs ears twich put in a command like no and before a bark or reaction good dog and reward you gradually increase the sound until it is full it some times a good idea to use this before trying the real thing. never rush increasing sound too quickly as you dont want to cause the reaction but get her attention before it happens. the same applies for the above things too. hope i have explained it clearly and not confussed you and i hope it helps take it very slow trying not to cause the reaction if the reactions starts to manifest go back a couple of steps and try again. Good luck
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:03 AM   #3

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I agree with Dobetaztic. It is a slow process but dogs like JRT and border collies have those neurotic/OCD behaviors and you need to start and reinforce something close to what you want and then up the bar. When you are going this you need very high reward treats because the other behavior has been so rewarding.
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Old 05-31-2008, 01:59 AM   #4
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Thanks! I'm kinda the no patience type of person but this is going to be something I'm gonna have to take one day at a time. When she wasn't even a year old yet she sailed out of the passenger side window onto a grassy bank to get to a motorcycle, she tries to bite the tires. I totally get what you explained and will start w/her tomorrow. I've always found myself yelling and screaming over the motors and she just tunes me out. What's wierd is she can take offer after a squirrell and when I say, Emma nono she comes right back but the motorcycle, 4wheeler and lawnmower I can't compete with!
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:42 AM   #5
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I've brought home two Rotties that did the same sort of thing. One would even bite the tires of the lawnmower and actually punctured one once. It really didn't take long to get through the worst of it by doing exactly as dobetaztic described. One (DeeOhGee) still barks sometimes when I start the mower, but he just stands there and grins when he does it, he doesn't attack it any longer, and he stops barking once it's in motion. A big improvement, actually.
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