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Meghan

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  1. I'd also recommend a 1:1 behaviourist who specialises in helping with these types of behaviours. Bailey's trainer has been wonderful at teaching US how to teach him and offering support. It's a difficult thing to try and do alone, and you want to make sure you're teaching him the right things the right way. I'd highly recommend looling for someone who focuses on positive reinforcement to avoid amping up any further aggression. It might be a bit expensive, but it's worthwhile trying it, for both Tucker and for your peace of mind. <3
  2. I'm afraid i don't have any answers for you, not having much experience myself, but wanted to say I'm so sorry you're going through this and sending you a big hug xx
  3. Hi everyone! Looking for some friendly sense check/advice please! We're going away for our first extended break (1 week) with Bailey on Saturday and have been thinking about ways to keep him calm in the new environment. He's just turned 1 and is prone to overexcitement and difficulty settling when away from home. To add to the mix, on this break there will also be 5 other family members and another dog (who is very old and not that well bless her, so won't be in the mood to play with Bailey) - so we're coming up with an action plan to help Bailey, and everyone else, settle in to a nice calm routine as quickly as possible. Our ideas below, any others are welcome! - Nice big walk when we arrive (It's a 5.5hr drive), and of course lots of walks/exercise throughout the week - Ask my family to completely ignore Bailey when we first arrive until his excitement eases, only give him attention once he's managed to sit calmly - Take both dogs out for a short 'sniffy' walk to get to know each other calmly - Introduce him to one room at a time, with lots of bathroom breaks/training of where he can/can't go (he has a tendency to try and mark when there's another dog in the house) - Puzzle feeders, snufflemats and lickimats (we use these anyway) - Lots of chews - Crate (possibly as optional for him, he no longer uses it at home, but we'll put his bed in there in case he wants a quiet space) - Treats to reward calm behaviour/continue practicing relaxation protocol - Stick to a similar routine as much as possible Anything we've missed or other top tips? Thanks in advance! Photo attached as a thank you!
  4. I do this too! Bailey is also reactive, although more in a desperate to go say hello/get in other dogs face amd let them know I'll friendly kind of way (no snapping or baring teeth, but the intense collie stare and whining, pulling, sometimes barking) - only on lead though, he's got no issues with it off lead. Our behaviourist explained he has barrier frustration which is what we've been working on engage/disengage etc. Definitely seen some improvements, although it's still a work in progress and a head on meeting is still a big no go. We avoid meeting other dogs on lead where we can, and turn around/cross the road where needed. It's not always possible to avoid other dogs entirely and he's not hugely treat motivated so that's where the ball comes in - if we have to walk by another dog we whip out the ball and Bailey lasers in on it as if nothing else in this world exists!
  5. Our Bailey is 10.5 months and aldo grew up during lockdown and stay at home orders. He is also reactive, although to a lesser extent than it aounds Sunee is, but here are some tips that we've had some success with. We have a stairgate at the lounge door that Bailey goes behind when we know someone will soon be at the door, or once there is a knock on the door. He can still see the visitor which helps calm him, as being shut in another room sets him off. We also have a sign on the front door saying dog training in progress and it may take us a minute to answer the door, so we don't panic amd rush. Where possible, Bailey gets treats for staying calm behind the gate. Ideally he'd go sit on his mat/bed by the gate but that's still a work in progress! We ask visitors to ignore him completely until he's calm and sitting or lying down behind the gate. I second the relaxation protocol, it's been wonderful for Bailey! And it includes practice building up knocking quietly on the wall/door, doorbell etc, and pretending to have a conversation with someone, and then you reward the pup for staying calmly on his mat. We've gone through twice with good results, although i think we should do it again now we're opening up and getting more visitors again Hope this helps!
  6. That's what we're thinking Bailey might enjoy, and to just mix things up a bit I've seen it done with tennis balls too, so no special ball required as far as i can tell
  7. Hi all! I'm curious, has anyone else heard of/taught their dogs "Sheepballs"? Our trainer recommended it for Bailey to help him improve his focus, and i think he'd really enjoy it. Although he'll fetch his stuffed toys at home, he doesn't like to return/fetch a ball when out, but seems to prefer to just be a goalie and stop the ball then move on to another one! I've posted the link to the inventor below to anyone who is interested! https://www.learningaboutdogs.com/welcome-sheepballs/
  8. @Journeyit used to be daily with his 'pack' at the park, but he became increasingly demanding about wanting to always go there so that has been scaled back to 2 or 3 times a week only. With the pandemic we haven't been able to have other puppy interactions (at home/in the garden etc) how we would like to. @Rosaleeit is really hard and makes walks stressful. Walks used to be the best part of our day when he was a terror ay home, but now it's the opposite, he's wonderful at home but you never know what the walk will end up being which is stressful. We decided to get help from a professional behaviourist as it's such an important time in his development, and frankly, something we can't afford to get wrong and allow to continue to adulthood!
  9. Hi D'Elle, Thank you for your advice on this, we've been looking into your suggestions and advice further over the last few weeks and have consulted a behaviourist for help. Bailey has always been a bit excitable as a pup, but now that he's hit adolescence it's got far worse which is apparently fairly common. He's what is known as a frustrated greeter, completely fine off lead but really struggles to stay calm when on lead. Unfortunately it's not possible to avoid dogs all the time as even in our street there are multiple dogs, but where possible we walk him in quiet areas and are working on engage/disengage and keeping him calm while reducing his distance threshold. With Covid and lockdown it has been difficult to have puppy playdates, but we're going to work with our behaviourist and her dog to teach him
  10. @D'Elle oh definitely! We're going through plenty of other behaviour changes/issues as part of adolescence, so training is definitely still continuing! But this one issue for us has seemed to resolve itself at least! At this point I'll revel in the small victories!
  11. I'd suggest taking the time to sit with her in the garden on a short leash to desensitise her to the cars, and rewarding calm behaviour. We've had success with Bailey with this (he's 7 mo now) as he chased cars on the road. There's still a couple of busier roads he struggles with, but my regular calm exposure and making it boring we've seen vast improvements
  12. @MB25 we went through a very similar thing with Bailey, and like you tried so many different things but can admit we weren't consistent enough. Good news is that when his adult teeth came through at 5-6 months he just stopped! He is occasionally still a bit mouthy, or might give a little nip if he is overexcited, but now it's so rare if he does it's very easy to follow through on the consequences. We also toned down the excitement in our house that really helped!
  13. Completely understand, we sometimes feel the same. Luvkily Bailey now seems to have decided the sofa is the place to be and is quite happy to flop down on it after a walk for a good few hours of snoozing. We tidy up all his toys and other distractions and just leave him to it, although he will sometimes wake up amd get into mischeif. It probably helps that we both work from home full time so he's had to learn that during those times we're busy and boring, so he may as well just sleep! I notice working on mat work, she doesn’t really chill on the mat, not tense or stressed out or something, just focused on me and waiting for what is next so maybe this will help the whole “relaxing” thing to click in a bit. I will say that Bailey isn't exactly relaxed during the exercise, but is aware that I'll be giving him a treat/doing something etc. But the gaps inbetween are getting longer, and once we're done he's usually in a generally calm place. I hope it helps!
  14. Hi D'Elle, We can certainly work on building that up for him, and we can get a nice calm sit with no distractions, or with dogs that are a fair distance away and not walking towards or near us. So we cam definitely work on slowly decreasing that distance. Unfortunately i don't see how we would avoid him meeting/seeing dogs at all, for example on walks and even just round the block as there are plenty around. I've also heard that socialisation is really important at this age again. So would a combination of working on the calm sit while decreasing the distance threshold, and also when we do pass a dog on a walk work on the 3 second meet and greet and move on (even if he is excitedly pulling towards them) be a compromise we could work with? We find the biggest issues arise when he isn't allowed to see/meet the dog at all. If we do a quick hello/sniff and move on he quickly snaps back into focus, albeit a bit more excited, but not OTT.
  15. Hi again, I'd appreciate advice on another topic for Bailey, as we think he's enterred his adolescence/fear/sensitivity phase and we're not sure how to address it. He's started alert barking/growling at things over the last week. He seems fine out and about on walks, but it has been random points when he's at home. Some examples below: Catching his reflection in the tv/door Lawnmower Pigeon on a roof A dog on the TV Seemingly nothing, but i assume something he senses outside at night - or a ghost He goes all alert and goes to the back door, has a low growl and starts barking. It's difficult to distract or reassure him, we've tried the 'show me what it is' idea, trying to get his focus back on us with treats or toys, patting him for reassurance etc. But he just keeps on going. A lickimat worked more but he kept getting up going back to the door to bark once or twice, then going back to his mat. What is the right way to deal with these situations? Should we just ignore it? It completely came out the blue to i assume it must be due to his age (6.5 months) and hormones and hopefully isn't a long term behaviour? Thank you!
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