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#1 rollazuki

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:19 AM

OK, Hi there, new member, new to Border Collies also.
Ive had a few dogs, and am currently studying Canine behaviour(hopefully to degree level).
We adopted Meg now 14 months, BC Bitch. Lovely little dog, who we thought was just very nervous at first. Initially seemed very dog aggressive, went mental at the sight of another dog. We started using BAT to help her over this issue, but as time goes by, we are wondering if it is fear aggression.
She seems to be 100% BorderCollie, giving eye, then stalking the other dog, and will instinctively lunge and bark/nip. However if the other dog is off lead and she is allowed a loose lead approach seems very friendly and will sniff, and relax in the other dogs presence.
So....We are now working on impulse control exercises, working to build a control word to give her a cue her ball is going to be thrown in the opposite direction, hopefully breaking her off, or at least giving us a look back.

Anyone out there got any great impulse control type games to play that they recommend? anything that leads to the dog snapping out of eye, or stalk, and getting back into control. I am considering putting this on a whistle, maybe the shrill noise would get attention better?

Ian

#2 Donald McCaig

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:33 AM

HEY!!!

Donald McCaig

#3 Smalahundur

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 06:47 AM

HEY!!!

Donald McCaig

That works for me too :lol:
By the way what does BAT stand for?

"Milli manns og hests og hunds hangir leyniþráður"


#4 mbc1963

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 07:05 AM

LOL!

After 5 weeks of living in my house, my fearful and reactive dog suddenly saw the ceiling light fixture, and went mental. Hours of barking and growling and over-the-top fear. Called my trainer, who had no advice. I thought it might be an epileptic seizure or something.

Next morning, started up again, and I was exhausted, and I yelled "NO!" in my loudest, scariest voice, and that was the end of that behavior. :)

Mind you... working out Buddy's reactions to other dogs out in the world took a lot more time and patience. But the alert to the loud yell was pretty dramatic.

Mary

#5 rollazuki

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 07:41 AM

LOL!

After 5 weeks of living in my house, my fearful and reactive dog suddenly saw the ceiling light fixture, and went mental. Hours of barking and growling and over-the-top fear. Called my trainer, who had no advice. I thought it might be an epileptic seizure or something.

Next morning, started up again, and I was exhausted, and I yelled "NO!" in my loudest, scariest voice, and that was the end of that behavior. :)

Mind you... working out Buddy's reactions to other dogs out in the world took a lot more time and patience. But the alert to the loud yell was pretty dramatic.

Mary




BAT is 'behaviour adjustement training' Basically a slow methodical introduction program for fear cases, the reward being to leave the mild stress situation(and maybe a treat).

What Im really looking for is games that get the dog to take control mentally, as opposed to letting her natural instincts and motor drives take over. To break her off in the 'eye', or 'stalk' stage, as opposed to it getting out of control and becoming 'chase' or 'bite'

A bit like <stay> throw ball then hold dogs attention before giving <fetch> command, or having a partner withold a thrown ball until <fetch> command is given.

Its my first time with a Collie, and any kind of games to bond and increase concentration seem a good idea for a dog that comes pre-programmed to chase after and herd anything that moves.

(My Girl seems to have had little or no socialisation before she came to us, so has poor manners when meeting a new dog or person anyway, made worse by her stalking it!)

#6 SS Cressa

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:26 AM

:) what is her body language saying before she start her stare? When Cressa starts staring at other dogs(1st it really rude and threatening for the other dog) I would either go a different direction or stand in front of her and tell her "LEAVE IT!". The border collies(or at least mine and my roommates dogs does it too) used the stare and stalk in their play. They stare and stalk up on their choosen dog till someone starts to run then it a chase that leads back into a stare abd stalk game. Or they stay like that till someone yells BREAK

Also be careful(not that you aren't) about releasing her to chase a ball. She still "knows" where the other dog is and could still go after it.


Stella S.

(5H)MACH 2 Cresent Moon MXF, 2011 PGP Nat' CH (Handle by Denise Thomas), 2011 Speed Jumpers 5th placed finalist (Handle by Denise Thomas). ~Thanks to Denise Thomas for handling Cressa so well at agility nationals and when I wasn't able to.

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#7 Ninso

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 09:55 AM

The book Control Unleashed has a lot of good impulse control games. I would probably work a "leave-it" in gradually more challenging situations. You might also think about teaching an auto-watch or doing some LAT in addition to doing BAT. I have a deaf border collie that is fear-aggressive with people and she would stare before reacting. It was very difficult to break her out of the stare, as anything I would do would set her off. We just had to keep it under threshold and teach her that looking to me anytime she saw a scary person got rewarded. We are still in the early stages, but her look-away and back to me is getting pretty strong and it is really helping to cut off the stare if I keep her appropriately below threshold. We are doing BAT too and it's really helping her.

With reactivity issues, you may want to re-think using the toy. Toy play increases arousal and can actually be counterproductive if you are trying to teach the dog to be calm and control her impulses around scary stimuli.
Tania, Lok & Jun
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#8 rollazuki

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:21 AM

OK,
when she plays (I have 2 other dogs) she never eyes/stalks. Just runs round like a crazy thing with the others. When we play fetch, I can tell her 'wait' and throw a ball maybe 20 feet away. She looks at it, then me, then it etc, but never gives it the 'eye'. She will only do the stalk thing on other dogs, approaching people, and kids playing ball.running around etc(Im very careful near kids, I can understand what would happen next). Why she doesnt do it when playing I dont know, I guess she is mentally fulfilled playing and running, and manages to keep self control in what she is enjoying(if that makes sense).
I can see why using a ball may increase arousal, but Its pretty much the only thing Ive got to work with any kind of success. When she breaks off the stalk and goes for the ball, she looks pretty stressed, like its taking her all her concentration to break off the stalk action.
I have been building up the 'leave' command, and in low stress situations its pretty good, and will leave food or balls and walk past them, and a few times if I catch her in the first moment, will break her off the stalk behaviour, but its hard to keep her distracted as she will immediately turn back to look for the dog/whatever.
Now Ive never heard of LAT, whats that? a new tool in the armoury is always good to have.

#9 rushdoggie

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:28 AM

The book Control Unleashed is exactly what you are looking for here. LAT is a game in CU called Look At That. If you have a CU class in your area I would highly recommend them as its really helpful to practice with help in a nice controlled environment. Even reactive dogs tend do do fine in CU class because each dog has a station and the instructor will control entering and exiting so that she won't be able to practice undesireable behavior.

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#10 rollazuki

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:49 AM

Thanks very much for the replys, Im looking for a copy of Control unleashed as I type. Looks like my next read after Ive finished Pam Dennisons book......so many books theres no time left for training!
It dooes look like it would be a good read.

This is my first BC, Ive had a Kelpie mix and a Saluki before, and worked with many other dogs at training class and thru college, but Ill be honest, Im finding the BC a bit of an adjustment. She is so reactive, both in good ways and bad. Loves it when I get home, will work/play for hours, never gives up, but is highly strung, and very nervy. Been doing some relaxation exercises with her in various places trying to generalise the idea for her, and as we progress I can see definite improvements. Her recall is great, (unless there is an enemy dog around) her basic training(we think there had been little training or socialisation before we got her) is coming on great with down/sit.wait/leave all getting very good.

The last 2 months with her have taught me a lot.

#11 Northof49

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:06 AM

Another good book to get is Click to Calm

#12 Carlasl

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 11:13 AM

Another vote for Control Unleashed. I also wonder if you are familiar with Dr Karen Overalls, "Protocol for Relaxation", http://www.dogscouts...relaxation.html it might be helpful in your situation as well.
Carla
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Skye (4 yrs old)


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#13 ejano

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 08:39 PM

Another vote for Control Unleashed. I also wonder if you are familiar with Dr Karen Overalls, "Protocol for Relaxation", http://www.dogscouts...relaxation.html it might be helpful in your situation as well.


One of the interesting items in this link is the food relation. My Brodie is nervy around other dogs but seems less so when his carb intake is up (though Overalls mentions protein as a factor).

Though I also use positive reinforcement and LAT for fear triggers, the occasional "HEY! KNOCK IT OFF!" is not without merit for bad behavior.

Another thought...if you are worried about aggression, it's important to avoid competitive situations - chasing the ball might trigger an unwanted response if the other dog(s) also decided to go after it as well. Teaching her to "halt" or "lie down", then "come" to you might be a better alternative to the stalking, but then we don't know the whole situation.

When you have a rescue dog, you've got a great deal of detective work to do.

What exactly is the stalking behavior? It may not be necessarily predatory or harmful unless you have evidence that she is plotting a physical attack Is she going into a "working crouch?" Maybe she has some misguided working instincts going on. What do you know of her history? How old is she? Where did she come from? How did you obtain her? What did the people you got her from tell you about her? Now that you've had her a few months, is it possible for you to go back to ask them some more questions based on what you've observed about her You don't have to answer all of these questions here on the boards...these are just some thoughts that you might like to explore - and here's another idea that helped me...

When we first got our rescue dog (whom we lost several years ago) I was advised (and it helped a great deal) to keep a journal about the dog and at periodic intervals during the day, just stop and observe the dog, to see what he was really doing and keep detailed notes so that what I was remembering about some of his quirks wasn't simply anecdotal. It helped a great deal to integrate Scotty into our home and I have since continued the practice with our pups, now two years old and the sheep we've added this year. I spend some time each day observing them, getting to know their habits, watching their interactions and their little idiosyncrasies. My journal isn't scientific, but it does help a great deal to look back at their "baby books" and see how they've developed.

P.S. Perhaps you've heard the old saying "Pick up a ball around a Border Collie and you've got a job for life." Choose which obsessions you train her into very carefully.... :).

Liz

No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."
---Louis Sabin - All about Dogs as Pets.

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Ladybug, Brodie, Robin


#14 rollazuki

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 04:29 AM

Another vote for Control Unleashed. I also wonder if you are familiar with Dr Karen Overalls, "Protocol for Relaxation", http://www.dogscouts...relaxation.html it might be helpful in your situation as well.

Yeah, use Overalls relaxation protocol already, getting used to jogging on the spot while the dogs eyes begin to glaze over! lol Good advice to get a solid wait and a relaxed dog though.

#15 Ninso

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 10:20 AM

Rollzuki,

My reactive dog never stares/stalks in any other context either. Unfortunately I cannot really use a verbal "leave it" with her as she is deaf, but I have been working on an attention cue that I can use when she's not looking at me (two taps on her butt with a finger). Like anything, it takes time and if she is over threshold she will not respond. It has to be built up in gradually more challenging situations. It sounds like you've only had this dog a few months? For some perspective, I've been working hard on these issues with Jun since January (I've had her for 3 years, but unfortunately the issues are somewhat new) and have made some progress, but still have a long ways to go. We still have setbacks on a regular basis And sometimes it takes a few tries to find the best approach for a particular dog. I have a cattle dog who is also reactive in different ways and for different reasons and I work these two dogs in completely different ways!

I really think you might benefit from LAT (Look at That). To simplify, start out in a below-threshold situation with the trigger far enough away that she won't go into a stalk/stare. When she looks at the trigger, even momentarily, click the look. You want to click right away, vs. letting her look for awhile. A clicker-savvy dog who is not over threshold will look back to you for the treat/reward. Do this until she is consciously offering the look at the trigger, and then gradually increase the difficulty level, trying always to stay under threshold. I believe the CU book puts the look on cue, but I never have. I like it to be automatic--look at a trigger and look back at me. What you are essentially doing is "re-framing" the trigger from something to be stared at/reacted to into something that can be looked at, but doesn't need to be obsessed about. I have had GREAT success using this method with my Cattle Dog. With my Border Collie I do auto-watches--similar, but the look back at me is emphasized over the look at the trigger. In practice, there is almost no difference, and the only reason I don't use LAT is because of the inability to use an audible marker with her.

You may want to check out a couple blog posts: Patricia McConnell recently did a reactive dog case study on her blog, on a dog who sounds similar to yours. A trainer friend of mine with a reactive dog blog has done a great job explaining LAT and Auto Watches in this post. She also has several posts on impulse control games, and a lot of other great reactive dog content. And one of the best dog training blogs around is Reactive Champion, which tells the story of the writer's highly reactive dog and their journey together, in addition to doing GREAT write-ups on the many training seminars the author attends! It's the next best thing to being there!

Best of luck! It sounds like your dog is in great hands!
Tania, Lok & Jun
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#16 rollazuki

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:09 AM

Rollzuki,

My reactive dog never stares/stalks in any other context either. Unfortunately I cannot really use a verbal "leave it" with her as she is deaf, but I have been working on an attention cue that I can use when she's not looking at me (two taps on her butt with a finger). Like anything, it takes time and if she is over threshold she will not respond. It has to be built up in gradually more challenging situations. It sounds like you've only had this dog a few months? For some perspective, I've been working hard on these issues with Jun since January (I've had her for 3 years, but unfortunately the issues are somewhat new) and have made some progress, but still have a long ways to go. We still have setbacks on a regular basis And sometimes it takes a few tries to find the best approach for a particular dog. I have a cattle dog who is also reactive in different ways and for different reasons and I work these two dogs in completely different ways!

I really think you might benefit from LAT (Look at That). To simplify, start out in a below-threshold situation with the trigger far enough away that she won't go into a stalk/stare. When she looks at the trigger, even momentarily, click the look. You want to click right away, vs. letting her look for awhile. A clicker-savvy dog who is not over threshold will look back to you for the treat/reward. Do this until she is consciously offering the look at the trigger, and then gradually increase the difficulty level, trying always to stay under threshold. I believe the CU book puts the look on cue, but I never have. I like it to be automatic--look at a trigger and look back at me. What you are essentially doing is "re-framing" the trigger from something to be stared at/reacted to into something that can be looked at, but doesn't need to be obsessed about. I have had GREAT success using this method with my Cattle Dog. With my Border Collie I do auto-watches--similar, but the look back at me is emphasized over the look at the trigger. In practice, there is almost no difference, and the only reason I don't use LAT is because of the inability to use an audible marker with her.

You may want to check out a couple blog posts: Patricia McConnell recently did a reactive dog case study on her blog, on a dog who sounds similar to yours. A trainer friend of mine with a reactive dog blog has done a great job explaining LAT and Auto Watches in this post. She also has several posts on impulse control games, and a lot of other great reactive dog content. And one of the best dog training blogs around is Reactive Champion, which tells the story of the writer's highly reactive dog and their journey together, in addition to doing GREAT write-ups on the many training seminars the author attends! It's the next best thing to being there!

Best of luck! It sounds like your dog is in great hands!



Thank you, sounds very similar(not deaf, but ight as well be when the red mist settles) Great advice, Ill sift through it later at home and make some notes. Ive seen improvem,ents in what we have been doing so far, just on concentration and check in work. We have had her 2 months, and been working hard since she arrived, basic training and confidence building, plus forming a bond with her. Sometimes seems 1 step forward and 2 back, but when I look at the bigger picture maybe 1 or two weeks, I can see we have made definite progress. Ill learn more about the LAT, get some training time in, and see how we get on. In a way, similar to BAT, in the slow reduction of reaction distance.
Keep you informed.
Ian.

#17 gooddogs74

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:51 PM

I like this game. It doesn't relate specifically to other dogs, but still good for impulse control.




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