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Lawnmowers, ATV's, and other tools

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It's just turning into spring here and I went out for some yardwork. 4 month old Ben barks non-stop at whatever tool I am using (shovel, rake, hose, etc) and barks at and chases the lawnmower and bites at the wheels. He even started in on the weed whacker (had to lock him up for that one). Then at work I figured I'd try him behind the quad (he did very well with the snowmobiles), but he kept running in front and barking at the wheels.

 

I know most dogs hate lawnmowers, my last dog (BCxAussie) sure did the same thing, but the quad behavior is dangerous and counter-productive at work.

 

Anybody ever solve this problem with quads?

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Dew had a simular experience with a chain saw last fall. It didn't end well but she's still here. Her nose was almost ripped off her face. Now she gets put up when sharpe things are taken out.

For the 4 wheeler. I had to really work on them to understand not to bite at the wheels or come in close. Both my working dogs would love to try working the darn thing. They are allowed to bark when I fist start it and then can run along way in front of it or on the side or even behind which hardly ever happens but if they get close they get corrected.

If you can't manage to train them to stay away then put them up.

Mick decided one day to chase my Dad's wheels on his suv. Never chased a car till that moment. DIdn't end well either. He's still here but if he even looks at a car, suv or truck he gets corrected.

IT's a matter of life or death....Don't take chances.

Kristen

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Ditto for lawnmowers. Don't know about your mowed areas...but mine, as often as I walk it before mowing, ends up with odd things showing up now and then - which can get kicked out by the blade. Dogs are ALWAYS put up when I mow. Period.

 

diane

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I always put Black Jack up when I'm doing law work or any work that could be dangrous to him. It's just safer for him and easier for me not to have to watch him.

 

I knew a BC that always liked to herd the lawn mower. His owner thought it was funny and let him do it every time. Well one time something caught his eye on the mower and he came running at it, just as he got to it his owner yelled at him to stop and it scared the dog. He slid on the slick grass and slipped under the mower. He lost one front leg and almost lost two others. But they saved them with a lot of surgery and work.

 

I think it's worth the time to put them up before you do anything dangerous outside.

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Young dogs easily develop obsessions with moving/noisy objects. I've had the same issue with a youngster of my own. Put him up for now (a crate is great, out of sight and in the house). This is one problem that needs to be nipped in the bud by avoiding or (better yet) making the youngster know from the very first time he's exposed to the machine, that it's unacceptable to bark, nip, chase, etc.

 

At this point, since it's already an issue, I would use the crate for his safety and yours. Best wishes!

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Hank has issues with any object with a pull start, but only while they are running. Hates weed eaters with a passion, my other (shep/x) decided she likes to check out power tools, while they are being used. So so it's kennel time until the yard/house work is done. Did some time as a vet tech while in college so have seen my share of yard equipment accidents. As far as the quad goes; cars, quads, boats, and motorcycles are of no consequence, but they both traveled with me exclusively as pups as I was on the road constantly for work .

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Both of mine have problems w/ machines that have a pull start on them. Power tools (i.e. saws, nail guns, etc.) not so much...they just kinda go away and hide.

 

My dad kept insisting that "they need to learn to behave around stuff like that" (which is true to an extent) but wouldn't hear of it when I objected because of our safety and theirs. Well he decided to try and start a weedeater that refused to start while the dogs were outside and Navi came up from behind barking and eventually bit my dad. Now he doesn't really put up much fuss when I tell him to "give me a minute to put them up".

I hate that it happened, but at least now I have some respect concerning what is best for MY dogs in my own family.

 

With all of this being said I have tried to desensitize them but I've resigned myself to the fact that it IS safer for them to be put away when those types of motors are out. They have learned to stay away from the mower IF it is the riding mower (not the push) and only if it is already started before I go through the gate in the back yard.

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Let me tell you a quick little story with a not so happy ending

 

A friend of mine and her late husband own what use to be an orchard 160 acres, to get around, and at time exercise the dogs she used a quad allowing the dogs to run with her. They had a wonderful smart silly bitch named Tess who loved to do this. One day Bev's son was coming up their long stone drive, Bev was on the quad with her dogs and Tess saw the pickup truck coming...you know where this is going dont you. Well her son was towing a trailer Tess ran between the truck and trailer and was killed instantly she was only 7yrs old. Having a dog chase the quad can be lots of fun, but full of inherent danger.

 

Our Meg also has fits about lawn mowers and weedwackers, she is inside until anything that involves an engine and sharp objects is put up

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Oh what a sad story.

 

Surprisingly the only lawn equiptment that Blaze has any issue with is the Blower. Everything else only brings on a minimal response.

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Brew is also a lawnmower, chain saw, weed wacker chaser. He is always in the house when these are being used. It definitely is not worth it.

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4 month old Ben barks non-stop at whatever tool I am using (shovel, rake, hose, etc) and barks at and chases the lawnmower and bites at the wheels. He even started in on the weed whacker (had to lock him up for that one). Then at work I figured I'd try him behind the quad (he did very well with the snowmobiles), but he kept running in front and barking at the wheels.

 

... but the quad behavior is dangerous and counter-productive at work.

 

Anybody ever solve this problem with quads?

 

Since your pup is still young I think it should be fairly easy to correct him when this behaviour exhibits itself. I wholeheartedly agree with others about all of it being very dangerous. Even the lawnmower. Focussing in on those wheels or moving objects could, one day, translate into running after cars and being killed. When Skye was around this age she showed a distinct hatred for the vacuum cleaner -- I nipped that in the bud right away (less for safety's sake, more for annoyance :rolleyes: ). Now she leaves the room when I'm vacuuming. This works much better!

Good luck,

Ailsa

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Thanks all, I understand the danger very much (especially after losing a dog to a car). Aside from whacking him with a little stick how do you correct a dog from the seat of a quad or pushing a mower? Any creative ideas? I use the quad a lot for tansportation at work. On the whole my work environment is very safe for a dog, being usually in the middle of the woods.

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Thanks all, I understand the danger very much (especially after losing a dog to a car). Aside from whacking him with a little stick how do you correct a dog from the seat of a quad or pushing a mower? Any creative ideas? I use the quad a lot for tansportation at work. On the whole my work environment is very safe for a dog, being usually in the middle of the woods.

 

Whacking him with a little stick won't work. And I wouldn't recommend you start training him while he's untethered as you are doing the job. I would suggest either having him on lead with another person while you're working (safety first!) and having them re-direct his attention elsewhere, i.e. having him do a sit, stay, lie down, etc. or you doing that work while someone else is on the machines. I would do this for a limited time while the machines are active and follow it by taking him back indoors, so he's not overwhelmed by the session and loses interest. And I think it is important to be working on the "leave it" command as well.

I'm sure others have more ideas for you.

Ailsa

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If the point is that you want him at work with you, why not build a platform/basket on the back of the quad and teach him to ride in it? That would solve the biting issue. If you want him to be able to follow along, then you'll have ot train him to do that. I know lots of folks that exercise their dogs from off ATVs (I've done it with mine as well), but I would constantly worry about one darting in front of me and me not seeing it and hitting it. Also, I think that such dogs then have to learn that there's a difference between cars, trucks, other farm equipment and ATVs. If you really want to train him to follow the ATV, then I would work to make sure he knows what a correction is (i.e., a voice correction like "AAhht!," "Leave it!," or "No!", and perhaps use a squirt gun with water and vinegar in it or some other aversive to support the verbal correction. You'd have to drive very slowly at first and correct him, with voice and with weapon of choice (squirt gun) if necessary EVERY TIME he moves to pass the ATV or tries to nip at the tires. If he has obedience on him and knows a heel command, then you can train him to transfer that to your ATV. People do it with horses all the time (i.e., train dogs to ride along with horses and stay in a particular position relative to the horse). If you really want to do this, then you need to take it slow and make sure you've trained it well--there are no shortcuts.

 

For all other equipment use (lawn mower, chain saw, weed whacker) I'd put him up/tie him (if you're taking the ATV to various locations to do some of this other work, I'd make sure to have a tie out with me and attach him to a tree, the platform on the ATV, or something else--that way he can come with you to do chores but still be restrained to prevent accidents while you're using other equipment). It's too risky to take the chance that he'll break the training you've put on him and go after, say, a chain saw, with likely disastrous consequences. Even if you think he's safe because you've trained him to the ATV, remember that lawn mowers can throw things out at dog eye level. You'll also need to be vigilant around all other mobile equipment because if he's learned it's okay to be in close proximity to the ATV, he won't necessarily be respectful of other wheeled equipment, and many, many dogs are accidentally run over on farms--they go lie under equipment or try to pass between tow vehicle and trailer as described above and in a moment of inattention by the dog's owner the dog will pay the price.

 

J.

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Katie never chased the tractor but she had to be locked up when the chainsaw came out though the funniest was when The Fabulous Ms. Leslie tried to SWEEP holy mackerel. Bark, attack, herd that broom or when she went ot spray the plants? that was hysterical.

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