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gypsy84

*sigh* The "Teen" Years

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No more innocent innocent puppy. Now I've got a stubborn, sneaky, determined 5 1/2 month old adolescent doggy.

 

Today we (me, my BF, my young cousin, and of course Little Miss Gypsy herself) were in the front yard playing with a soccer ball. Everything's going fine. Although Gypsy's recall has been getting a bit worse lately, I've been trying to work on it and it has been getting better, except she still gets distracted fairly easily. She was offleash (we live on an out-of-the-way street where there's little traffic and I had a pocketfull of treats) and two women walked past on the opposite side of the street with 3 gorgeous BC's between the two of them. Gypsy saw them and of course wanted to go over to see them, but I called her back. She came about halfway back to me, stopped, and turned around to stare at them :rolleyes: I walked forwards to get her collar, and she started off towards them again. I told her "GYPSY STOP" which usually makes her stop moving, and she slowed down a bit but kept going. I asked the women if the dogs were friendly (just in case), and one of them replied in a snarky voice "Not if your dog runs up like that". She wasn't running up, or being a rude dog, or acting aggressive or anything - she was cautiously approaching the other dogs (but she was enough ahead of me that I couldn't get her yet). She's never met a mean dog yet and thinks that everyone wants nothing more than to be friends and play with her. The other dogs just went absolutely wild, barking and snarling (although it seemed like more of a show than anything, I don't think they would've bitten her if she'd gone right up to them) but I ran up and got her collar and pulled her away anyways. Then the other woman said in an even snarkier voice than the first "You should keep it tied up." :D

 

I know her recall is getting fuzzy, which is why I was working with her. She didn't hurt anyone (and never would) and although I know it was more my fault than anything (my dog was offleash, theirs weren't), I didn't expect them to be so rude. Had they never trained a puppy before?

 

I guess I'm a bit upset at Gypsy for ignoring me, myself for being a not-quite-perfect dog trainer, and offended by the snarky old ladies with the barky doggies.

 

In the house or the backyard, her recall is 100% The dog park it's about 95% Outside the front yard or around the block it's more like 80% It always seems like when you have the most attention from those around you, things seem to go wrong most often. Just another one of Murphy's Laws?

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Best thing to do in this situation is buy one of those really long leads, and hook it to her when you're outside and have her drag it around. That way you can grab it up, or step on it if she takes off...therefore not giving her the opportunity to disobey you. Once she figures out you're just going to drag her back to you anyway, the praise and treats will outweigh all else. :rolleyes:

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I agree. I would keep her leashed and work with her extra hard in those areas where she is distracted. I had to go through that too, not long ago too.

 

Mine are only a little over a year old. And they're not perfect yet either...

 

These months it is normal for them to test you..lol. And they enjoy it! :rolleyes:

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It doesn't sound like Gypsy did anything wrong towards those dogs, other than not obeying your recall.

 

And of course it had to happen right with some BC owners! I never had good luck making friends with any BC owners I've met, and that's frustrating as hell, since I love the people who gather on this board, and they are all BC owners! And I am a friendly person, I swear I am!

 

My latest bad tasting adventure was a couple of days ago when I was walking Ouzo in the morning and we turn a corner behind a building and run into a new neighbor who happen to have an older BC. Never seen him/her before. Cool, exciting, a next door BC!!! BC who happen to be going to the bathroom right on our path. Since I have a long extendable leash, I just couldn't pull Ouzo all the way close to me, and he went wagging his tail to sniff this new dog. The owner body blocked Ouzo, almost pushing him with his knees, while his dog started to bark and snarl. I apologized for interrupting her bathroom break, and we walked away pass them. Then I hear behind me, in a very snippy voice " What kind of dog is that?!". I turn around and say smiling, "A Border Collie, just like yours". And keep walking. Then I hear in an ironic tone "Really?!" "Yes, really". I keep walking.... "Full Border Collie?!" Guy's not letting it go. "Yes, full BC". We almost crossed the street when I hear again his annoying voice: "Really cool dog!"

 

Moron!

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Just learn from what happened and don't let the ladies reaction bother you. You've still got a puppy, and she is going to forget and get distracted. So, for the time being, it sounds like she would be better off on a leash so you can remind her not to blow you off. Remember other dogs are the biggest distraction for your dog. Solid obedience comes with lots of practice in a variety of situations.

 

And try look at it from the ladies perspective - they're out walking their dogs (on leash) and some misbehaving (they don't know what training you've done or how you've worked with Gypsy) pup who is off-leash comes and starts annoying their dogs, and the pup won't come when called. How would you veiw the situation if the roles were reversed?

 

Keep up the training, and two years from now you're going to have the dog with impecable manners that everyone ooo's and ahh's about :rolleyes:

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And try look at it from the ladies perspective - they're out walking their dogs (on leash) and some misbehaving (they don't know what training you've done or how you've worked with Gypsy) pup who is off-leash comes and starts annoying their dogs, and the pup won't come when called. How would you veiw the situation if the roles were reversed?

 

As someone with a reactive dog, I have to give the ladies' point of view. Buddy, off leash and especially on, gets very worried when approached head-on, too quickly. He's great if dogs creep up and better if they actually do a dead stop (that "10 yard stare down" thing) and give him time to accept they're not going to hurt him. But a quick approach, to my dog, means a potential attack. So, to me, it means the potential for Buddy to overreact and snarl/growl at the other dog. Which makes the OTHER owners snarl at ME. ("My dog is just saying hi! Why is your dog so mean?!") I will say that teenage dogs are Buddy's worst triggers. They're just so darn bouncy and happy to meet everyone! :D

 

So... if I see another dog and person we don't know, I always leash Buddy and try to steer clear, giving them a wide berth and a chance to see that I don't want physical contact between the dogs. It's really challenging when the other person lets her dog run at Buddy despite my visual cues, and often despite my telling her that Buddy will snap at her dog if he runs at us. You'd be surprised at how very many people don't listen to me, especially if I speak in a friendly tone.

 

My guess is that the owner you met has had this experience way too many times, and has had to learn to make her case very quickly and forcefully, in order to be taken seriously.

 

On the other hand, I understand how upsetting it is to have people comment negatively on your dog and your training when you're doing your best, and have worked hard with your dog! Try not to take it personally. The other person probably has bigger issues with her dog than you have with yours, and her tone is probably coming from defensiveness rather than sheer cussedness! :rolleyes:

 

Mary

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Gypsy will be fine, she's just testing her limits a bit, which they all do. I second the idea of having her drag a long line. Then if she blows you off, just step on it and reel her back in.

 

Sounds like the ladies over-reacted a bit, don't let them get to you! (I know that's hard, though)

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Sounds to me like you are working hard with Gypsy, don't worry, keep it up and it will pay off. You've just got to make it past this darn teenage stage.

 

I will say that I understand the ladies reaction, at least to an extent. Griffin, my male border collie, hates teenage type dogs who run up in his face. He especially hates it when he is 'working' whether that is fetching, doing agility, or even on a walk (heeling is important to him, don't know why). He will react with a big show that could include snapping and making contact with the other dog. I'm always trying to work on that reaction so I do get annoyed whenever someone else's dog blows off a recall and comes running up, making him have a reaction and undoing the work we've been doing. I also don't want to be responsible for my dog putting a hole in another dog, even if it's not at all his fault and he's on leash and the other dog isn't. How would you feel if Gypsy had gotten too close and one of those dogs had hurt her? Mad at the owner? Probably a little. Even though those people were doing all they could to keep their dogs and your dog safe.

 

Anyhoo... good luck with that recall work. I second everyone else's recommendation of getting a long line for her to drag around. Will make your life much easier.

 

Olivia

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Thanks for all the replies.

 

The long rope idea is a good one, I would've had one before but I never needed it since she used to have a perfect recall. It seems like she's just growing up and wanting to test her limits a bit more now though.

 

And I definitely see the ladies' point of view, my dog was offleash and not listening (not under my control at that moment) and their dogs were on leash. They were just very rude when they didn't need to be, although other people might not have respected them if they just asked nicely.

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Well, chalk it up to you got to test out Gypsy and now you know where to go from here.

 

I too would be miff'd if someone's dog ran up to mine and mine were reactive, esp since I wouldn't know why kind of training or effort they bothered to put into their dog. I see a lot of bad behaviors go un-addressed at the dog park as well. Though I'm a passive aggressive and usually just give mad faces and remove ourselves from the area - rather then say something snarky.

 

It is nice when people are sympathic to your cause rather then mean (like when Diesel got in a small fight w/ the pointer over the pointer's frisbee and the pointer's owner was very understanding and nice - it helped that neither dog was hurt). I'll keep that in mind for future encounters for myself :rolleyes:

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If an adult offleash dog ran at one of mine who was on leash, I'd probably be pretty snarky - Sara's pretty laid back about it but Katie's reactive [she'd want to play!]. If it was a pup or half-grown dog and I saw the owner making an effort to control the dog, I'd probably be more tolerant. However, I can see how it would be frustrating for you when you're making the effort and someone is rude to you about it.

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I went to Dollarama tonight and got a 10m length of rope for $1.13 :D I tried it out on Gypsy when we went to the park, and of course since she was on the rope, she was PERFECT. :rolleyes: We were at the park for about an hour, worked on a bit of recall and played on the play structure a bit (Gypsy loves it). Then we came home, and me and Nick were sitting in the front yard with her just dragging it around. No dogs went past tonight, but there were a few people that held her attention enough to try and ignore me - but a little twitch on the rope brought her right back every time. She got the hang of it after 2 times, and the third she started to turn away from me when she saw me pick up the end of the rope, and came right back :D It's nice training such a smart dog.

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Cool that the rope is getting such good results. What a smart girly!!

 

I used the rope method on one of my foster pups at one point and she was so wonderful with the rope on but would go back to blowing off her recall as soon as the rope came off. I finally started cutting a few feet off the rope every couple of weeks so it got shorter so I had to trust her more (had to get within 30 feet instead of 50 feet to enforce the recall). That way we kept challenging ourselves but the rope stayed on. I finally cut it to only a couple of inches and she wore that for a while. One day I took off her collar to give her a bath and threw away the rope. She had a wonderful recall for the rest of her time with us.

 

Olivia

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Hey- You sure you didn't have MY dog with you? He's never met a stranger he didn't love. I would be upset and maybe a little frightened, not for me, but for my dog if another dog came running up. First, I'd totally lose control of Usher. I don't like to do that. But chalk it up to a learning experience. I have a lot of chalk. LOL.

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Glad you got the long line; my girl blows me off quite frequently but the line is the great equalizer! We are working on herding commands and using the line. It works great for stop; even works most of the time. Narita in AZ

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I'm using a longline with my teenager, too. :D I got some light braided cord and tied it to a tiny little lead snap that swivels. It's strong enough to check and hold her, but not so heavy that she's constantly aware of it. Electrical tape wound round it, or tying knots at intervals, makes it less slippy, if you ever have to snatch it up or step on it when she's moving full speed ahead. :rolleyes:

 

Don't feel bad about the rude ladies. I try, with both my horses and my dogs, to look at "scary" situations like loose dogs, etc as bombproofing opportunites. :D Maybe one day they too will accept the fact that stuff happens and learn to react a little more gracefully. Just think what a great thing it was for you to find out you needed to work on recall. :D

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I'm training a teenager right now, too. I feel your pain. My puppy's once rock solid recall is not so rock solid anymore, as he has begun to gain some independence (and attitude :rolleyes: ). But, I was expecting that, so I'm not too worried. I know that he'll come back around as he gets more mature and I continue to work with him. I also do understand those ladies' reaction but I don't see the need for them to be so snarky. It doesn't help anything. I've also experienced the "my dog is friendly" reply as an excuse to allow a dog to run up and get in one of my dog's faces. It annoying, but I don't think that was what happened with you. Obviously you aren't one of those people; you were just trusting your puppy a little more than you probably should have.

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We worked with her for another hour outside today. Today we did "STOP". She will do it coming towards me or moving away, and also if she's heeling she'll stop dead when she hears the "S" word. :D

 

A little dog went past on the other side of the street tonight, I told her to stop, and she did. Instantly.

 

Rope has got to be the best invention ever. :rolleyes:

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We worked with her for another hour outside today. Today we did "STOP". She will do it coming towards me or moving away, and also if she's heeling she'll stop dead when she hears the "S" word. :D

 

A little dog went past on the other side of the street tonight, I told her to stop, and she did. Instantly.

 

Rope has got to be the best invention ever. :D

 

 

I am glad this thread came along, I too have noticed Quest (4.5 months) testing his limits, especially at the dog park around other dogs. It gets me VERY frustrated, but its hard to remember he is still a puppy, and will be for awhile...

 

Outside in the back yard and in the house I reward like crazy for listening, and I triple reward while out in the front yard..and until he is out of the teen/puppy phase, only then will the payback be evident..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* I hope :rolleyes:

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