Jump to content
BC Boards

Dobbys car fetish!


Vahlen
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello, I'd posted a topic before about little Dobby barking at people and dogs, he's getting much better now but he's developed an obsession with wanting to chase moving cars. I always try to put myself between him and the cars but he pulls like crazy! He pulls so much he starts heaving, it's upsetting because there's nothing I can do about it, I sit him down and tell him no but as soon as we start walking he does it again. He even stalks the cars before trying to running after them. When my mum looked after him she said pressed him against a wall with her leg every time he wanted to chase a car. I tried this yesterday and it seems to work alright, he still watches the cars go past but he can't chase them. Is this chasing cars business just a puppy thing he'll grow out of?

 

Oh and one more thing, because he pulls so much I hold the lead behind my back to he can't walk in front of me, he either has to go beside me or behind me, I've found this works well because when I stop, instead of him trying to pull me to carry on walking, I can put myself in front of him so he stops too and can't get passed until I want to walk again. Does anyone have any other tips to make him not pull so much?

 

Thanks (:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He will NOT outgrow chasing cars. It's a self-gratifying behavior and it will get worse. It may very well get him killed and/or you hurt. Restraining him does not correct the behavior, it only stifles it, because his mind is still on the behavior even if his body is pinned against your leg. He must be trained away from this.

 

The first thing to ask is, how is he on obedience elsewhere? In quiet situations, can you get him to walk at heel on leash, and sit quietly on and off leash, and stay until you release? If not, work on that and get it down, before you take him anywhere near cars or streets again.

 

If he likes treats, feel free to use them to encourage his obedience. Use small bits that he can eat in one bite. Cheese or hotdogs are great training bait! :)

 

Get his obedience in place at home and among friends. Make sure he's really listening to you. Join puppy training class if you can. YOU must take charge of this pup's training and obedience. Your family must back you up, as well, and enforce the same rules amongst the whole family. It's imperative and may save his life.

 

Good luck!

 

~ Gloria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another thought - if he's fine on obedience elsewhere and this is just bad-puppy behavior, I've one idea. Though I know it may not be popular. B)

 

Get a small empty soda or water bottle and put in a small handful of gravel. Then when he lunges and pulls, just whack him with it and in the same instant yell NO! Then make him sit. The bottle won't hurt him, but the whack and rattle make enough noise to jolt him out of his frenzy. I've used rock bottles to correct unruly behavior here, and none of my dogs suffered from it.

 

Just a thought. I now await the screams of horrified outrage. ;)

 

~ Gloria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I used for Fergie was what my cousin, a dog behaviorist (or is that behavioralist?) suggested. I got a soda can, put some pennies in it, and taped over the opening. If Ferg started to look at a car, I gave it a hard shake just by her head and said "NO!" It took about a week. But it sure worked. It really got her attention. Widh I'd thought of that when I was raising 3 kids.

 

Have to admit it did have a side effect. When a car came, she'd go into her best "down" until the car passed.

 

At 15+, she now ignores cars. And just about everything except her doggie friends, her human friends, and squirrels. For them, she perks up and trots a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Star wants to be a car chaser to. We are far from getting her to ignore cars but are now at a point where she's listening when one comes. I tried an earlier suggestion of making her lay down and "leave it". It works, but I must do it every single time. She still watches the car go by but won't move to chase it. She also chases cars while in the car. It's annoying, distracting and I think unhealthy for her. We've started doing the same leave it command in the car with the kids help. Again, it works, but must be done on every oncoming car (on a two lane--she doesn't bother on wider roads). It's very tough--as Gloria said it's so self rewarding; when she chases it "runs away". Every time. I'll be follwing closeley for other suggestions.

 

Also, I had started using an anti pull harness on Star last year. She would pull so hard she'd cough and gag and I hated that. The harness puts pressure around the legs and chest when she pulls. She hated it at first (would turn and give it an irritated look when she pulled), but doesn't pull anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tips guys, I will try the food option first as Dobby loves sausages! He was on just a collar and a material lead but today we bought him a harness, this has made me and probably him happy too as he doesn't choke anymore, he's also a lot easier to control with his harness and did actually seem to pull a little less. At one point when he was chewing things we used coins in a jar but he eventually got used to the sound but now he chews a lot less and my dad recently found a repellent in the kitchen, it's got citrus in it or something it smells lemony, and I've sprayed that on the side of the couch he was ripping up and he didn't want to go near it which was great! I will keep up to date on the car training, and will hopefully be taking him to training classes when I get some more money in and contact a trainer. As for obedience everywhere else, he's beginning to come back when he's off the lead (he likes to run after other peoples dogs which is very annoying!) we only take him off the lead on an open field where we can see where he is. The other day he saw another dog and ran after it, it was really far away and he went over the hill but when he realised we weren't behind him he came back which was great. He's very good at tricks, sit, lie down, roll over, paw, and is beginning to finally learn to stay. It's mostly when it comes to practical things (chewing things you've already told him not to chew, trying to get past the bins in the garden time and time again even though he knows he can't considering the amount of times he's tried) that he is much more disobedient. But perhaps with a little enticement from some food he might reconsider disobeying something important. I'll keep at it and keep you all posted :)

 

Oh I forgot to add, in quite places (no people or cars) he's a lot more reserved but he does still pull a lot, it's like he's fixated on something constantly. I do wonder what he's thinking and where he actually wants to go or thinks he'll get to by pulling..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sometimes too, replacing the behavior works. I'm not a dog trainer by a far stretch, but recently was successful with this with my puppy on a different item--she kept getting into the kitchen trash--kept in the pantry trash can. I taught her to close the pantry door, and rewarded her (at first) every time the door was ajar and she closed it, never letting her walk by it with it open without having her do her trick--thus she's become compulsive about closing the door to the pantry and therefore thwarting herself from getting into the trash.

 

I was recently reading Control Unleashed, and the author does something similar with cars for car fixated dogs. She teaches a "look at that" game--training the dog TO notice the car and clicking the moment they look toward the vehicle. This way it becomes just one more "trick" that they do for their owner's praise/treat/whatever. They'll look at the car, be rewarded, and then, because it is not reduced to a "trick" they aren't as fixated with it, it's JUST a trick in their minds, and once done with giving it the token look to get the reward, they are done with it. In time, it can be faded OUT of their trick repertoire even once it is clear they are only making a show of noticing (mostly looking at you to make sure YOU noticed they glanced at it.) Anyway, that's one other "reverse psychology" way to approach it that I've heard of. I've not personally tried it in that context, but replacing behavior did work for me with Hollie and the kitchen trash.

 

The others had excellent suggestions. I think I'd try Gloria's idea myself if my pup gets an interest in vehicles--which I hope won't happen. While it might not be popular, I think that a slight physical "startle" in a situation like this is far gentler and kinder than letting such a life-threatening behavior take root.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My BC also wanted to chase cars as early as 8 weeks old. In his first year, he would also lie down and stare at them as they approached. I didn't want him to "practice" this behavior, so I quit taking him for walks. (He got plenty of exercise since we have an acre fenced in, and I also took him to parks. A walk isn't enough exercise for most BC's, anyways.) Took him for plenty of car rides where he could sit in the car and see cars moving around us and get used to car movement. We also started taking herding lessons. Also agility classes every week. So maybe it was a combo of: 1) not letting him practice the unwanted behavior, 2) giving him work with agility, daily ball and frisbee fetching, 3) herding lessons when possible so he was getting to fulfill the herding instinct. Now at 5 years old, he can walk off-leash along our not-busy street and shows no interest in cars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 19 mo old BC is an ankle nipper. Do you think the soda bottle with pennies would work in that situation? She knows all of our neighbors quite well, but the excitement of someone coming up to the door, she nips, not a bite, she only nips lightly, but it is still teeth on skin which is not acceptable. Opinions???

-Kelley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, Kelley, you can try the shaker bottle on your pup. The trick with using a bottle (pennies or pebbles) is to time it exactly at the same time as your correction.

 

But don't rattle-rattle-rattle and holler a bunch of words. The dog will stop heeding it. Instead, just one hard *WHACK* of sound at the same instant you say one solid, "NO!" or "Leave it!" And don't yell or shout, just make it a very firm, deep-voiced word of command.

 

The idea is one jolt of surprise, one command, and that's it. No nagging! :) Then get away from using the shaker bottle as soon as possible. Decelerate to the simple verbal command as soon as he'll heed it.

 

Uh ... and if we have any real trainers on this thread? Please forgive me for sounding like a know-it-all! This is just one technique I've found works when conventional stuff seems to bounce off. :)

 

~ Gloria

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...