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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
Decker urinates when he gets scared. While shaping the way that I want him to play with toys, (I know, control freak-but I don't want the girls toys ruined instantly), if he insists on doing what I am telling him not to do, he gets corrected sternly, and sometimes lets his urine loose. Man, that is irritating! I might put a male wrap around him while he is in the house to help curb the damage caused by those slips. So I can't chase him through the house when he runs from me, because he is letting loose here and there! Working with that insecurity problem is tough. Kate was submissive and for her first two years of life, when ever she greeted anyone, she would flip over on to her back and let it loose a bit. Sometimes getting her butt wet too. But Decker does this as he is creeping away from me.
I don't like dogs that run away from me anyway. Stand up and face the consequences for the behavior! Tam started out running from me. Man, I chased her down a couple of times and let her know that was not the behavior that I wanted. It didn't take her long, I saw her actually stop in the middle of running away from me, turn around, and walk back towards me. I won! Now she comes even if she knows she is in trouble.
Decker does have that problem of trying to get away when I am correcting him. I just keep pursuing him until I catch him and drag him back to where I was when I started the correction. I warned my husband about his urinating behavior, and he looked at me with a "just great!" look on his face. He does try to help with Decker when he gets home at night. Matt's personal goal is to try to teach Decker not to body slam Kate when he gets home every night. We all try to protect Kate as she is our million dollar baby with two hip surgeries in her past.
Letting a dog get away with improper behavior is what got Decker in this mess to begin with. He growled and barked at a stranger, he was insecure anyway, his owner didn't know how to properly discipline the improper behavior and it escalated to biting. He is also a high energy dog and needs his energy expelled on a daily basis. He has fear aggression. Even Cezar Milan says that this is the hardest bad behavior to deal with. Real mean aggression is easier and faster. With fear aggression, Decker's confidence will have to be built up. That usually takes a while. The sheepdog herding will help and getting his energy out and so will a lot of exposure to the world. I think correction after correction will help toughen him up emotionally, and the urination problem should dissipate.
First thing this morning as Matt was leaving, I let Decker out to pee. Matt opened the garage door and startled Decker. He took off running about 15 feet or so and I was talking to him (in a low growling voice) to knock it off. I was trying to let him know that I didn't want him to react like and be scared, because there was nothing to be scared about! Depend on the human, not yourself. That is not your place, it is the pack leaders place.
This morning we went for a two mile power "pack" walk again. About a half of a mile in to the walk a cat starts coming up toward us. Decker was pretty cool about it and doesn't seem to want to get cats. When we got within about 10 feet, the cat decided to hiss and run away. On the way back there was a person riding her horse in an arena. Decker kept "keeing" on it. Ears perked and head turned, body tense. There was a chance that he had never seen horse and rider before, but he needs to let me handle the pack, I will protect the pack, not him. I kept letting him know that he needed to knock it off. Correction after correction, until finally he quick "keeing" on the horse and concentrated on what we were doing, migrating.
Later in the day, I took Decker and the girls next door to my neighbor's dog pack. She had another person there visiting and I phoned before I came over and gave the usual instructions not to look at Decker in the face. At first he was swarmed by dogs and was distracted by smells. Us three woman talked outside while all of the dogs were greeting, sniffing, and playing. Eventually my neighbor was able to have Decker approach her. A little later, I had my neighbor take the leash and walk away with him. He didn't cause any problems, accepted it, but kept looking at me. We will repeat this exercise a few times a week to see if this helps break his dependence on me. I don't think it will, but maybe he will at least start getting used to other people being in charge of him. That is what he needs, is trust.
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