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About corvus

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    Resisting hysteria
  • Birthday 07/03/83

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  1. Corgi. One with rubbish driving instincts. ;) Tibetan terriers are a nice sized dog that's pretty fun.
  2. Positive Puppies is in your area: Also Domineque at The Dog Brigade:
  3. This is classic herding dog behaviour, but herding dogs will revert to herding behaviours whenever they are uncomfortable. Trying to control things that scare them is a great way for a herding dog to feel more secure. If H goes still, there is a reasonable chance he is reinforcing this behaviour, because it's supposed to stop movement. Driving from behind is also a behaviour that is supposed to control movement, but this time move rather than stop. As such, this is getting tricky. If H doesn't stop, the dog escalates. Every chance the dog will escalate to something overtly aggressive. Jumping up is pretty confrontational in this context. If H does stop, he likely reinforces the behaviour, so there's no winning with those two options. The way might be for H to de-escalate (e.g. slow down), and someone diverts the dog. You have a behaviourist, right? I'm pretty uncomfortable with how this is shaping up online. Think you need a good behaviourist to work on strategies to lever the dog gently out of this behaviour pattern. Pre-empting it is absolutely key. Every time the dog is triggered but DOESN'T start this problematic behaviour pattern and everything turns out all right anyway, he's learning that another behaviour works just as well and is less confrontational. Most dogs prefer that, but instincts are hard to train away from. I actually would hold off on desexing. There is increasing evidence that desexed dogs are MORE fearful and aggressive than entire dogs.
  4. Usually in front or at the side. Side she is easier to call off. If she has got in front of someone and is barking at their feet, she is a bit more serious about whatever it is she thinks she's doing and a bit more aroused and so it's harder to interrupt. She is doing a lot better now than she was when we got her. Training has helped a lot, but she's also maturing and starting to get a brain. Phew!
  5. If you want to to introduce food in an attempt to counter-condition, I would have H throw the food behind the dog just before he gets up. That way the dog moves away from him to get the food and it breaks the dog's focus on whatever H might do that is worrying. I'd be reluctant to introduce food coming from H because you risk drawing the dog in where they are not comfortable, and then they get triggered, only they are closer than they should be, so more likely to react strongly. One of my dogs is leery about my dad. He does strange things around her sometimes, and she starts barking at his ankles. It is kind of a bail-up behaviour, but she's small and not entirely committed, so she doesn't follow through. I sure do not want to find out if that ever changes, though. I call her off and ask for a sit and play Look At That. Usually, with a bit of distance and focus, she realises he's not that threatening and settles down. If I can't call her off because she's too upset, I tell my dad to stop moving around and crouch quietly. She seems to think that most people when they do that mean to let her come to them at her own pace, and that seems to reassure her and she will come right in. Events sometimes overtake her. She's still young and pretty emotionally reactive. If we slow events down for her, she is better able to process it sensibly.
  6. I don't think picking dogs up makes them fearful of other dogs, unless it often results in other dogs coming over and investigating intensely, which actually can be the case. My little one still seems to prefer to be in my arms even though she sits there and snarls at a dog that comes close to us. We have had some big dogs try to jump up and grab at her while I've been holding her. Scary for her (and me), but still better than her being on the ground I guess, where she will almost certainly get skittled or trodden on or pushed around. I let my little dog mix with bigger dogs if she wants to. She can judge from their behaviour if she thinks she wants to interact or not, so I just help her. If she doesn't want to, I let her jump into my arms. If she does want to, I get her to be sensible about it and not too intense. I wish I could vet all dogs she interacts with, but I can't! We meet them on walks and we don't always have much choice. I am very conscious that she is little and can be easily hurt. I don't want to leave her to handle a dog on her own that she is frightened of. If the dog is friendly and she doesn't seem worried, I'm happy for her to handle an incoming dog on her own, but she's still young and kind of conflicted about dogs. I think given her size and temperament, it's sensible to err on the side of caution with her, because many unplanned interactions with bigger dogs can end up not very pleasant for her. But by the same token, every time it works out fine, she learns to be more relaxed about it. So, that's the balance we are always weighing up.
  7. Sounds like your dog is kind of scared of H. I would be very concerned the dog was going to bite him sooner or later. If H is not terribly committed to figuring things out with the dog, I would work on teaching the dog to come away when called and engage with you. Some people give dogs all the wrong signals, and if you try to get them to cooperate in counter-conditioning or desensitisation, they seem to accidentally make it worse. Better to just concentrate on being able to quickly call the dog off if need be. You can also pre-emptively soothe the dog when H does anything that might possibly set the dog off. If you can disrupt the response before it really starts, you will have better success than if you try to treat it after it has occurred.
  8. IME, local obedience clubs are pretty hit and miss. Sometimes there are good trainers and sometimes there aren't. I have seen a lot of dogs in training clubs that take forever to learn anything because the training is not good quality and the owners are therefore not learning effective training. Many dogs also learn to be obedient at the club, but nowhere else. It's the same for any place that uses trainers that may not be qualified. A good place to start is to ask for trainer qualifications and ask them for details about what quadrants of operant conditioning they use and whether they use respondent conditioning. ;) Might sort some of the wheat from the chaff. You may also benefit from classes for adolescent dogs run by qualified trainers. Are you in Sydney somewhere? I know a few more advanced training classes that are good. You learn to train by doing. It's just a matter of how much 'doing' you want to do and with how much one-on-one assistance. If you want the dog to be trained and then pick up where the hardest work has been done and continue on learning with a dog that already knows some things, board and train or day training are good options provided you can find someone you trust. Hanrob is about as trustworthy as most boarding kennels, which is to say, I wouldn't leave my dogs in their care if I could avoid it. I think day training is safer because you are still caring for your own dog.
  9. I think the training quality at Hanrob has increased considerably in recent times. I used to run Volatile Dog classes on their training oval, so saw a bit of what they are up to. I know some people in the States that do great board and train programs, and it can be really helpful for owners that need to get on top of multiple behaviours in young dogs in particular. Dog trainers are better at training dogs than owners are, obviously. I have done the odd day training job where I come in several times a week, do an hour of training with the dog and then show the owner how to maintain the behaviours we have been working on. At the end of the day, maintenance has to come from the home, because that's where the dog is living. But, that doesn't mean a trainer can't train the dog for someone and leave them with a dog that already has strong behaviours so it's only maintenance that is necessary.
  10. There are two keys to LLW: 1) consistency; 2) meaningful signals. I teach leash pressure signals, because it doesn't need food and most dogs pick it up super fast because it's relevant. Pressure on leash = go nowhere. No pressure = go wherever you like. But if you just stand there, the dog has to figure out for themselves what they have to do to make you go again. Instead, give a little tweak on the leash - enough to pull the dog back towards you just half a step. It's supposed to me more like "ahem" than "BAD!" It creates slack in the leash, so the dog has the opportunity to choose whether they leave the slack or take it. If they take it, the go nowhere and you create slack again. If they don't take it, you say "GOOD!" or whatever and walk on. Works best with a long leash - at least 2m. The more steps a dog takes on a loose leash before they hit the end, the more practice they are getting LLW, so longer leashes facilitate more success. You can help them accumulate more success by walking faster, and using light tweaks on the leash and verbal cues to coax them into changing directions slightly. Not u-turns, but tangents. You can also steer them around obstacles on the go to get them thinking about staying with you and paying attention to where you're going instead of just plowing forwards. I think it's a bad idea to have walks where they can pull and walks where they can't when they are still learning. How are they to know when it's a walk and when it's a training session? Just be consistent and they will learn it faster. The first few walks take a long time and you don't get very far, but my clients usually find they come good within a few walks, even if they have been dedicated pullers for a long time. I've had dogs that have pulled for years walking on a loose leash in 10 minutes this way. They want to go forwards, so you just have to make it clear how they get to go forward. You want clear contrast between leash pressure and no leash pressure so they can learn more easily what the criterion for going forwards is.
  11. Equally, stuff for small dogs that is actually functional. I had a ridiculous time trying to find a running harness for my 5kg dog. She runs for real, okay? Also, she tugs for real, and we need loooooong tugs because my arms don't drag on the ground.
  12. Sometimes dogs can use frantic "greetings" as a mad appeasement attempt. Or they can get so stimulated by a human actually being close to them that it's actually not very pleasant after all. A good, quick test you can do is ask for a sit when he's been trying to jump on you, but then take a step or two away, crouch, and invite him over. Do it several times and try with different distances. If he's not readily coming to you when invited, there's a good chance the jumping at you is actually an attempt to buy space. It's counter-intuitive, but learning theory proves the point.
  13. I'm aware of that. As I said, it's a terrible argument for not changing anything within the industry. It's illogical and irrelevant and the purpose is emotional framing, which doesn't count as an argument to me. That certainly was not my intention in offering a different comparison. I think the key is precedent rather than comparison. It would be nice if we could avoid conflating the two. Precedents for banning anything because some are not doing the right thing are often roundly criticised. E.g. bikie clubs, pitbulls... That's not a comparison of the issues involved. It's a comment on where banning things that are not inherently damaging through legislation has occurred before.
  14. The uni people involved are VERY "doggy". GRV is extremely interested in socialisation. I didn't really think the questions had a foregone conclusion. Depends on what your experiences have been with predatory dogs. Racing greyhounds represent a pretty unique sub-population that a lot of people don't really see much of. I know trainers that would answer both ways depending on their experience. Trainers that have a high success rate with greyhounds are systematic in their training and introduce the dogs to the conditions that cause the most distress on a track early on. "Keenness to chase" is highly sought after, and suggests both high motivation to chase, but also plenty of resilience. It's very easy for a dog to have a bad experience on one or more of their early races and suddenly they don't think it's so fun anymore. A dog that is resilient has a better chance of overcoming incidences like another dog running into them or growling at them on the track.
  15. Maddy, you were the one that complained about false equivalences. But as soon as someone brings up an arguably fairer equivalence, apparently that's an argument for not changing anything in the greyhound industry. Sounds like moving the goal posts with a straw man to me. If someone is making that argument, then it's a terrible one. Equally, banning a practice state-wide because some people are breaking the law over it somehow just doesn't happen very often. Nor does self-regulation often work, for that matter, but people are usually given a chance to make it work for a reason, and sometimes it turns out to be the compromise that allows a practice to continue. I don't see any sense in arguing bitterly about it at this point. The industry has a lot of work to do. They seem to realise that, at least in some states. We can argue that the industry will or won't change until the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is we get to find out, whether we wanted to or not. I'm interested to see if they can raise the bar for animal welfare in all animal-related industries. Some of them might find themselves left behind.