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#1 Runzbarrel

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 03:58 PM

We live on a fairly busy street where most people don't adhere to the speed limit of 25mph. It's a busy neighborhood in general. We take Brock out to potty in the front yard. When cars go by he fixates on them and then tries to go after them after they've passed. I want to nip this behavior in the bud but not sure how to go about doing it. Taking him out in the backyard is not an option.

#2 Sue R

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 04:43 PM

First off, I would not ever take him out front without him being on a leash.

I don't know how long this has been happening but the sooner you can get to work on it, the better. If it is already ingrained, it will take a lot longer to overcome.

You can try a few approaches. One is to teach Brock a "look at me" command that will be a default - when you need his total attention and his eyes, ears, and mind on you, you will use this. If he's looking at you, he's not looking at something else.

Make sure you get a very solid "down" on him, one that he will hold in spite of distraction.

You will need to be proactive - be aware that a vehicle is approaching before he is if you can, so that you can redirect his interest before he looks at or focuses on the vehicle.

I'm in a rush, I doubt that this is much help, but I am sure others who can give much better advice will chime in. The time to work on a problem like this is before it becomes a habit, when you very first see a problem is about to happen.

Best wishes!

If he will not focus on you, you may have to "read him the riot act" each and every time when you see him focus on the vehicle but hopefully that will be a last ditch effort.
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#3 urge to herd

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 05:27 PM

Sue gives good advice, make sure you start working on watch me, down/stay, etc, in the house or another quiet, very low distraction place. Once he's got it solidly in your kitchen, say, move it around a bit. Practice in other parts of the house. Add in distractions sloowly and one at a time. When he whips his little head around at your cue, in other high distraction environments, then he's ready to work on this in the yard.

For now, take him out on leash. Is there any chance you can put up a visible barrier, like shade cloth? That might help and shouldn't be too expensive.

Do a search for car chasing, it's almost an FAQ. If you get this taken care of now, while he's still a pup, it will be much easier than dealing with it later.

Good luck!

Ruth

#4 nancy

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 07:24 PM

Of course, keep him on leash. And get a soda or beer can, rinse it, dry it, put in a handful of pennies, and tape the opening. When he lunges on the leash at a car, yell NO!! and shake the can next to his head. Gets both attention and the message across.

I learned this from my cousin, who was a behaviorist dog trainer. Sure worked a treat with Fergie.

#5 Runzbarrel

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 07:30 PM

He's always on a leash. Sorry I didn't make that clear. We are working on commands daily in the house.
I just wasn't sure if I should bring treats outside with me etc. I do try to be proactive and get his attention before the car passes us. Sometimes it works other times not so much. Depends on how fast and noisy the car is. We have a very 'short' yard so we're usually always close to the road.

#6 gcv-border

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 07:49 PM

.....
I just wasn't sure if I should bring treats outside with me etc. ...


When you have a pup, you should bring treats with you EVERYWHERE! In the house, outside, in the car, or if you go to a dog park or on a hike. You get the idea. There are training opportunities a thousand times a day when you have a pup. Think of yourself as a walking/talking Pez dispenser.

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#7 bcnewe2

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 06:49 AM

In my experience treats are not enough for car chasing, it's something that overpowers everything else in the brain. Depending on his age I'd correct in a manner that has him knowing you are not happy one little bit. But careful, puppies are sensitive and if you come out like gang busters you might cause other issues. But you do have to equal the energy he is using to go after the cars or you won't get through his little head!

Such a scary thing.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll get this under control.

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#8 jvw

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:06 AM

My third pup started out to love to chase cars. We lived on a busy road but our yard was fenced. Didn't matter. I did not want him interested in cars, or bicyclist for that matter. As soon as he went to start chasing I went at him with a big mean voice "What are you doing? Knock that off!" and walked him down a bit. As soon as he stopped I changed back into the fun machine like nothing happened. I watched him closely and tried to get on him just as he got the look in his eye, before he even started running. I know some people don't want to get so tough with pups but to me this is a matter of life or death. I will not tolerate it. I tested him by hiding and waiting for cars/bicyclists to go by to make sure he understood this was not allowed when I wasn't right there with him too.

Of course we also worked on recall and other commands a great deal also.

It didn't take long at all for him to realize it was no fun to chase cars or things that zipped by.

BTW this was a somewhat soft pup and it did not damage his psyche one bit.

Just my experience.
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#9 Root Beer

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:18 AM

Whether or not one has success using treats to help a dog successfully learn to be calm and trustworthy around cars can depend a great deal on how one uses treats. Treats would not likely work if one were to take the dog right to the cars and then wait until the dog had gone into "chase mode" and tried to use the treats. But as part of a step by step protocol, designed to help the dog learn to stay in his right mind around cars, they can work, and have, successfully and reliably, for many.

I did change my dog's mind about chasing cars safely, effectively, through use of reinforcement only. And it didn't actually take all that long and my dog's safety and well being were always my first concern.

If the OP is interested in some information on changing this through reinforcement, feel free to drop me a PM and I'd be happy to point you in the direction of some resources.

Edited: I have removed the original quote from this post and modified the post slightly to reflect that.

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#10 bcnewe2

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:31 AM

Just to set the record straight Kristine, I said in my experience, not that treat training or clicker training can't work, but in my experience treats did not work.
For some reason it always feels like you are putting down other ways. Maybe that's how I come off to you :huh:.

For me the thing about cars is I don't have a long period of time to proof a dangerous issue such as chasing cars wiht slow methods. While I work on the treat training process, the dog could end up dead. Not acceptable for me and mine.

To the OP, hope you find a way that works for you.

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#11 Runzbarrel

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:47 AM

I wouldn't say Brock is soft but he is sensitive to my 'loud' voice as I have a rambunctious toddler running around lol He is pretty darn quick to catch on to a new command/correction. Usually 2 days and he's got it. Not sure what method might work best for him.
Thanks for all the replies though!

#12 Root Beer

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:59 AM

Just to set the record straight Kristine, I said in my experience, not that treat training or clicker training can't work, but in my experience treats did not work.


And my experience has been different. I think it is useful for people to know that.

For some reason it always feels like you are putting down other ways. Maybe that's how I come off to you :huh:


It is unfortunate that you took it that way because I was not putting you down. I was offering a different, and equally valid, perspective.

I think it is good for people to know all of their options. Our experience has been different. Knowing that opens up options to those who might hear "it didn't work for me in the way I tried it" and think "it can't work".

For me the thing about cars is I don't have a long period of time to proof a dangerous issue such as chasing cars wiht slow methods.


Neither do I.

I am not saying that I used a slow method. I am saying that I used an effective method. It didn't take very long at all, actually.

While I work on the treat training process, the dog could end up dead. Not acceptable for me and mine.


The dog ending up dead is not acceptable to me, either.

I am not saying that I used a method that put my dog's life at stake, or that is in some way unsafe. I am saying that I used one that kept the dog safe throughout the entire training process.

Thanks for the chance to clarify that.

Again, I am happy to provide more information by PM to anyone interested.

Kristine
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#13 Sue R

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 02:41 PM

And my experience has been different. I think it is useful for people to know that.

Then perhaps it would have clarified things if you had prefaced your opinion with "in my experience" like Kristen did.
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#14 bcnewe2

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:41 PM

It depends on how one uses treats. Treats would not likely work if one were to take the dog right to the cars and then wait until the dog had gone into "chase mode" and tried to use the treats. But as part of a step by step protocol, designed to help the dog learn to stay in his right mind around cars, they can work.


Not sure I want to go here but....

I live on a highway, grant it it's a 2 lane highway and not very busy (except when it is) I have no fencing and lots of ground by the road. So...how long do you think it would take using your treat training method to totally proof a dog on this road?
I have sheep to care for, dogs to exercise, chores to do, throw in work on top, so on and so on. I don't have much time to worry about a dog chasing cars before it would be to late. I will stick to my methods and you yours. I just don't want to feel like you are snipping at me for my advise which I think I was pretty clear that it was my advise and no one else's. Instead of using my words to set up your example you can go with what I did, In my experience
Thanks

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#15 Root Beer

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:22 PM

Then perhaps it would have clarified things if you had prefaced your opinion with "in my experience" like Kristen did.


I don't believe I was in any way unclear.

My experience is not a unique one. There are many others who have achieved the same results through the same, and similar, methods, none of which were created or thought up by me to begin with.

While my experience has been different from Kristen's, my main point was not simply "I have had a different experience", but to give some additional information on a valid option, if the OP should be interested in exploring reinforcement based options.

Hopefully that clarifies things further.

Kristine
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#16 Root Beer

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:45 PM

I live on a highway, grant it it's a 2 lane highway and not very busy (except when it is) I have no fencing and lots of ground by the road. So...how long do you think it would take using your treat training method to totally proof a dog on this road?


Not knowing the dog firsthand, I can't answer that question. You know that. It would be unusual that it would take an unreasonably long amount of time, but every dog learns at a different rate. Some will get it almost instantly, others will need more of an opportunity to master the concept. In order to get an idea of how long it might take for the dog to get it, I would need to know and work with the dog at least to some extent.

In my case, I did do this on top of a full load of life and work. It didn't take exhaustive amounts of time. And that particular dog was, at that time, untrained and quite undisciplined. It certainly wasn't an unreasonably slow, nor in any way, a dangerous process.

I just don't want to feel like you are snipping at me for my advise which I think I was pretty clear that it was my advise and no one else's.


It is unfortunate that you feel I was snipping at you, since that was not my intention. I quoted off of you because the perspective that I was offering was one that is in contrast to the one that you presented.

Instead of using my words to set up your example you can go with what I did, In my experience
Thanks


Actually, I am going to decide for myself what words I am going to use to express my own point of view. My choice was to discuss the methodology itself, not so much my own experience with it, although I did bring that in later on.

If you would like to discuss this further, why don't we take it off the board? This is getting far off topic and I feel it would best be handled off the board.

Again, my intention was not to "snip" at you. It was to offer a different perspective and to let the OP know that there are other valid options. Options that far beyond my own experience and are accessible to those who wish to explore them.

Kristine
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#17 Maralynn

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:36 PM

My third pup started out to love to chase cars. We lived on a busy road but our yard was fenced. Didn't matter. I did not want him interested in cars, or bicyclist for that matter. As soon as he went to start chasing I went at him with a big mean voice "What are you doing? Knock that off!" and walked him down a bit. As soon as he stopped I changed back into the fun machine like nothing happened. I watched him closely and tried to get on him just as he got the look in his eye, before he even started running. I know some people don't want to get so tough with pups but to me this is a matter of life or death. I will not tolerate it. I tested him by hiding and waiting for cars/bicyclists to go by to make sure he understood this was not allowed when I wasn't right there with him too.


This.

To me it's not enough that my dogs ignore moving cars, I prefer that they be slightly wary of them. Cars don't stop for dogs so I want my dogs to give them a wide berth.

And ditto on switching right back to a fun machine. And keep those treats handy and be watching to reward him for any and all good behavior!!

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#18 Gloria Atwater

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:48 PM

Ignoring the side-tracks on this thread ... To me, something like fixating on cars is not to be trained out of a dog nicely and over time. It's to be ended as fast and firmly as possible. No, I don't advocate terrorizing or beating a dog, for pity's sake! But I would much rather have a dog worried about cars and worried about my reaction to him around cars, than otherwise.

So, if this were my pup and I had this small front yard, I'd want to make damn sure he's not only uninterested in vehicles, he's actually a little adverse to them. One instant of him getting out an open door or gate at the wrong moment could lead to one nightmarish tragedy.

Therefore, my reaction would probably be a combination of Jennifer's "what are you doing!" and Nancy's can of pennies. (I am of course presuming Brock is probably an older youngster, between 6 months to a year.) Unless the dog is extremely soft, I don't think startling him each time he turns his focus to a car is going to damage him for life. But taking too long to break the behavior could. Just one moment of an open door would be all it takes.

Sorry if I come across harshly. Dogs and roads are just one of my all-time fears.
Best of luck to you and Brock!

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#19 bcnewe2

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:53 PM

Thanks kristine for editing your post. I see you were trying to appease me and I appreciate the effort. I've been a bit sensitive in the last few days dealing with Jazz and her passing.

What I originally posted was meant to be like what Gloria has posted. I've seen first hand the tragedy that comes from car chasing. It is dangerous for sure and I agree with whoever said I want my dogs wary of cars not just not chasing them.

People have given runzbarrles different ways, I'm sure she will figure out what way will work for her.
Let us know how it goes and what worked for you.

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#20 Runzbarrel

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:11 PM

Well Brock is still very young, 15 weeks on Wednesday. I tried the 'look at me' along with treats and he did very well. Even worked on some basic commands and he kept his focus on me. He's extremely food motivated (almost to a fault lol) so if I have treats his eyes are on me! With that said though I do agree with the idea of making him leary of cars because like Gloria said, one bolt out the front door and that could be the end.


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