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Old 10-25-2011, 11:45 AM   #1
JessicaR
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Car Chasing help!!

Right now I have 1 of Belle's puppies with me for training possibly rehoming.

Background story: Bailey is a 10 months old nuetured male sheltie. Owners work 8-10 hours a day, he is kept crated. They finally admitted to me that he doesnt get walked at all during the week and very little during the weekend. He supposedly pulled her husbands shoulder out. They do not have a fenced in yard so he doesnt get to run very often only occasionally when they visit a friend that has a fenced yard and 2 dogs. I was told he barks all the time, nips at them constintly gets into stuff, garbage, slippers, paper, ceramic decorations ect... he also chases cars, joggers and people on bikes.

Most of the behavior problems they are having I do not see and most of it is typical teenager naughtyness. THe car chasing is my main concern, I have not really had to deal with this because mine are taught from a young age it is not acceptable behavior. Now i have to try and change 8 months of bad habit, which I believe stems from boredom/lack of exercise.

When I was walking him yesterday he would lunge and spin at cars as they passed, so I put a halti on him to try and better manage him. After almost an hour of walking I could get him to stop lunging but he never relaxed, he stayed super alert and would stare at any vehicle going by. Which is also how he is at my house. He doesnt relax, he paces from room to room on high alert, even when he lays down he doesnt relax you can see his eyes constantly moving and his ears are always alert. And this is after running in the yard playingf with other dogs and walking for 45 minutes!

I am not sure what I can do to help him relax, and even if I do train him it is not going to do any good if they wont exercise him. He will just go back to his old self with them.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:35 AM   #2
ann_hawes
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sounds like he's developed a bad habit out of boredom.

keep something of high value with you on walks and before he focuses on the car coming, get his attention on you and give the reward as the car goes by. It's going to take awhile. I had a dog once that charged the fence, raising all kinds of hell, everytime anyone or anything passed in front of the house. I think it took several months to erradicate the behavior.

You have to find some way to interrupt the behavior and reward when he ignores his target.

Silence is golden,
Duct tape is silver.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:57 AM   #3
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right now i am having trouble finding a high enough value treat! Unfortunatly car chasing is such a rewarding activity to a herding dog. And he has had 8 months of this behaior with his owner to try and stop it. Patience is definitly going to be the key here!
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:23 PM   #4
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my heart goes out to you and the dog. I've never had this issue my choice breed is not a very active one. I'd say to just keep walking him and try to wear him out, you know let him use up all his energy, it will take a while and yes the high value reward treat idea is a great idea also.

It all seems like a pointless exercise though. If he will be returning to the same house with the same people who are going to not change a thing then why? this poor dog will lose all the training you have done with him once he returns to his old home and old habits.

Is there a way to train the owners too? because that is the issue. i hope it all goes well and please keep me posted on how it goes. wish i could have offered better advice. good luck!
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
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He may not be going back with his owners. I think they are starting to realise they may not be active enough for him. He is slowly improving with me, but yeah if he goes back to them and they dont follow through they will be in the same boat as they was before.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #6
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Have to tryed to keep the dog calm in the yard, then moving closer to the street slowly? Distraction training works pretty well in a lot of "pray drive" cases.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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That is what i have been doing and for the most part he is getting better, but there are times when a vehicle will go by and for some reason I cant distract him, especially if I am not paying attention. After watching his body language around cars I think it is a bit of a fear response, the old Im going to get you before you can get me! When we are walking if a car approaches from the front of him he is fine and will just watch it go by, but if it comes up from behind, that is when he starts to become anxious and tries to lunge.
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Old 10-28-2011, 01:01 PM   #8
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Sounds like progress is definitely being made. If nothing else, desensitizing is happening.

Silence is golden,
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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Glad to hear process is being made! I hope it sticks too, whether or not he goes back to his previous owners.

Another great idea with waiting for him to calm and then slowly moving toward the walk and the street. I've had trouble with my dogs pulling and being over excited when we were ready for walks and that was the same advice I received and it worked great! Good luck!
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Old 10-29-2011, 03:56 AM   #10
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Yep, sounds like fear. Maybe go to a parking lot and have someone drive a car up behind you at a distance. (10 -20 feet away). Make sure the windows are down in the car. As the car gets beside you (still moving VERY slowly) carry on a happy, upbeat conversation with the driver.

Judge the dogs reaction. If calm, move closer to the car. And so on!
Over time it should serve to put the dog more at easy.

The idea here is that YOU control the situation, it's not random like it would be on the street.
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