Dog socialisation skills (Harry)

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Joined:Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:50 pm
Dog socialisation skills (Harry)

Post by troop » Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:25 pm

Ok so i have owned Harry for a year now (utonagon) he is around 4 years old and although we have settled in well together as a pack he still has issues with my male collie Jakob. They still cannot live together and although this is not a major problem i would like to exercise them together safely off lead if possible. I will point out that things have improved immensely and i can now have Harry on the lead within 5 feet of Jake without a major meltdown from his end. Jake is fine off lead and will not start a fight and bless him even when Harry has got to him would back off as soon as i tell him so its not a problem with him. Harry can be very reactive with some dogs and unfortunately until they have met its hit and miss as to how things will go. He can walk past dogs on lead fine but if a dog off lead comes to him all hell will sometimes break loose usually after i have politely asked the other owners to keep their dogs away at which point i get the "but my dog is fine" line ...... :roll: and the thing is Harry is not a fighter he will come off worse (he has had two fights with my Jakob and one arguement with a neighbours black lab that kept following us (no owner) about and got to close. It seems to me that Harry is very bouncy and loves to be a bit rougher at play, not with teeth just bouncing at things so i also wish to get him more polite if possible. If another dog tells him off for this he tends to get angry, although he gets on great with my two bitches and will take a telling off from them now if needs be. He had already been castrated when i got him from rescue centre he had been handed in after a few incidents which i will outline now....(apparently) His family unit broke up and he was given to a friend who couldnt keep him so he was given to their neighbours whom he bit within 24hours and was given into vets who he also bit and rescue centre took him on (they were scared of him if im honest) and i fostered him and he never left. He has been pretty good here with only one or two snapping incidents one of which when i sat on sofa next to him at which point he was evicted from sofa (we can now share it happily with no problems) he also suffers from lupus which can make him grumpy and he has grumbled at two people during his flare ups. He also does not like to be approached to directly either (which is understandable in my book) but im working on this the main issue is his relationship with Jake right now.......... any advise please and thank you.

Joined:Tue Oct 17, 2006 9:24 pm
Location:West Midlands

Re: Dog socialisation skills (Harry)

Post by emmabeth » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:38 pm

I don't think you can really contemplate walking these two together out in public until they are both non reactive to other dogs on leash and off.

The reason being, IF something kicks off, firstly you will struggle to control the two together and secondly they are as likely to turn on one another as they are to kick off at another dog jointly - they can also pass on each others fears and if they end up taking on one another then the relationship at home will also suffer!

Sooooo.. work on the reactivity more with both of them, and then at home, when you have a handler for each dog, work on the sorts of things you will do wtih them out in public - so them obeying cues prefaced with their name (so you can tell one to sit and one to down), recalling together, walking nicely on leash together.

When you can do that with two handlers, then do it with one, then when you can do it with one handler at home (assuming any issues outside of 'home' have been fixed) back to two handlers but 'out and about', (choose low distraction quiet places first) and go over the same ground you covered at home in the new locations.

The good news is, doing all this sloooooowly, they should begin to view time spent with one another as REALLY good stuff and their opinion of one another may well change for the better too.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

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