Bullmastiff muzzle training and recently attacked - HELP!!!!

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by LDNBM, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. LDNBM

    LDNBM Member

    Hi all
    I was wondering if anyone can help me as I'm out of resources.
    My BM has shown signs of fearful aggression towards strangers by our house and on walks. We saw a trainer who suggested out of safety we should muzzle train him.
    I have worked hard on a daily basis to desensitize him to the muzzle - lots of treats and games. He can wear it full strapped on in the house but as soon as we step outside he pushes it off in an instant an panics.
    I have been strict with making sure this has been a slow and positive process. I have even noticed that he will take treats out of the muzzle outside but backs away from it.
    Does anyone have any suggestions or more advice as to how can I can make this a better experience for him?
    A couple weeks ago he was brutally attacked by a 9 month old german shepherd and hasn't been the same since. (Gets nervous and instantly poops when we approach the area where we was attacked) Bane has also NEVER been aggressive towards dogs but since this happened I've seen him snap at a few. Any advice to how I can resocialize him would be great too!
    His original trainer is uncontactable - I've tried to contact a few others for advice but all say the same thing to just keep on with the muzzling;
    Thank you SO much in advance :) I know someone always has great advice on here!
     
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  2. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    It's so tough, isn't it? I sort of remember you, so I looked to see what else you've posted. Is this boy the one you posted about in December of 2014? If so, then he's not quite four years old? Can you tell us more about his personality? Your training techniques and how much training he's had? Where are you located? Did you get him from a breeder and at what age did you get him? Would you have called him a confident dog before this incident?

    My initial thoughts are that yes - keep working with the muzzle, but step it back to smaller than baby steps outside. Do you mean that directly outside your front door he shuts down with the muzzle? Front door? What about a quieter back yard? How is he outside if you don't put the muzzle on? Can you expand on how he was able to snap at other dogs? Were these dogs he knows or where you somewhere else. What did the trainers you've spoken to have to say about how he's been reacting to other dogs since that incident? Just muzzle training? No mention of working on the fear aspect of his reaction?

    I apologize for all the questions. I actually have a lot more, lol. Any small detail may be very helpful. I'd really like to see you working with a certified behaviorist on this.
     
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  3. LDNBM

    LDNBM Member

    No thank you so much for replying! Honestly I will take all the advice I can get at the moment :)

    Yes that was probably me! He is four in november.. I've answered all questions below :)

    Can you tell us more about his personality? He's the sweetest, lazy and dopey. He's an attention seeker but is happy chilling in his own space when he's ready to have a power nap. He's great with kids, he's still okay with dogs after his attack but has an issue with dogs his size. He's so unsure so when a dog comes for a sniff he snaps. Always the protector of the group of dogs in the park, always watches out in the distance for any concerns but is still happy running back and forth chasing whoever.

    Your training techniques and how much training he's had? I firstly introduced him to the muzzle whilst giving him high value treats. As he shows no interest with dog biscuits or meat treats. But he loves ham and chicken etc. First I had him comfortable putting his nose into the muzzle over a period of about a week - then slowly increased the time he stayed with his nose in the muzzle by counting. Before the muzzle he had always responded well to counting and he gives me eye contact whilst doing so. He knows the command 'get ready' and then he goes straight for the muzzle. He is comfortable wearing the muzzle in the house by counting so that is when I started to bring the training outside because he knows going outside brings good things like going toilet and going for walks.

    Where are you located? Greenford west london

    Did you get him from a breeder and at what age did you get him? Got him at 8 weeks. He was from a family dog who owned the mother.

    Would you have called him a confident dog before this incident? On a scale of one to 10 in confidence I'd say a 7. Only because he had always shown natural protective behavior

    My initial thoughts are that yes - keep working with the muzzle, but step it back to smaller than baby steps outside. Do you mean that directly outside your front door he shuts down with the muzzle? Front door? As soon as we step outside he attempts to take the muzzle off. We have a driveway as soon as you get out of the front door which is is walled all around. I've tried to walk him around the drive with it on and he still attempts to take it off and won't concentrate on anything else

    What about a quieter back yard? Unfortunately we don't have a back garden :(

    How is he outside if you don't put the muzzle on? He's okay, he'll sniff around the drive, pee a bit and watch out for anyone. If someone walks past and he barks uncontrollably I immediately take him inside.

    Can you expand on how he was able to snap at other dogs? Were these dogs he knows or where you somewhere else. They are dogs that he has met before. One was an alsatian who is a little bigger than him. It was the first time seeing him after he was attacked and bane snapped at him when he came over to say hello. Bane was on lead at the time.


    What did the trainers you've spoken to have to say about how he's been reacting to other dogs since that incident? Just muzzle training? No mention of working on the fear aspect of his reaction? I spoke to a few, one of them said as soon as I can see his is uncomfortable when a dog or person is approaching to turn the other way and keep doing this repeatedly. Another said the first step is muzzle training him, and wouldn't book another session until he could wear a muzzle with no issues. Another said to just keep up his normal routine and keep him socialising with other dogs.

    Hope this answers everything! Thank you so much! As you can see, I have had different advice from different people which is why I am hesitant to find a trainer or behaviorist because I'm unsure as to what is the right thing to do.

    Thank you SO much
     
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  4. CeeCee

    CeeCee Well-Known Member

    It may be that there are a couple of issues here. One is the muzzle, but it sounds like he can wear it comfortably inside, but going out the front door is where he protests it. Have you tried having him wear it in the backyard (which I am assuming he does not associate with going out for a walk)? See if you can get him comfortable wearing it outside, but not associating it with going for a walk. You may have to start with wearing the muzzle outside for three seconds and then return to the house. I would also play with keeping it on after being outside just so he doesn't associate it with going outside. Build on the outside durations once he stops protesting. If he does protest, firmly disagree with the behavior. A firm "eh eh" and redirect him to something else. Then slowly start to move away from just the back yard...maybe around the house and then down the driveway and then one house down, etc.

    Also, you mentioned that he gets nervous and poops when you approach the area where the attack happened. A few questions:

    1) When you walk - no matter where you are walking, where is Bane in relationship to you? I would recommend that he not be out in front of you - as a matter of fact, I would put him behind me so that he can see very clearly that you are addressing the world first and are in control.

    2) When you approach the area of the attack, what are you doing? Thinking? Feeling? How are you carrying your body? What is the conversation that is happening in your head? What are you saying to him? If you are reliving that experience or worried that he is, then you are both stuck in that moment. Without having the answers, I would think that your mental and emotional goal is one of confident indifference. By this, I mean you want to be confident in your thoughts, actions, and body language that you are will handle anything that comes you way and that you will keep Bane safe. So head up, shoulders back, body loose, NO TENSION ON THE LEASH, and move past that spot with indifference. (If you can, try approaching it from a different direction.)

    If you are not in that mental place yet, then avoid that spot. Walk a different route and come back to when you are stronger and Bane has more confidence in your confidence. :)

    I will share that when I muzzle trained Zeek, I noticed that he too was more hesitant and less confident on our walks (he was not attacked), but I think he knew that with his mouth taken away he was more vulnerable in general. So I had to step up my leadership and demonstrate to him that I knew it was my job to keep him safe and that I would. The Universe was and is great about proving opportunities for me to demonstrate this to all of my dogs. For example, being charged by a dog whether the dog is behind a physical fence or an invisible fence, confidently step ahead of your dog or step to the side that places you between your dog and the offending dog. You never need to address the dog itself, but just having your dog see you take that lead role can be extremely powerful to them. Once the dog is away, move on with calm confidence like it was absolutely nothing. Same with if you stop to talk to a neighbor or a friend on the walk. Don't let Bane decide where to place himself or what to do. Put him where you want him and give him something to do i,e, sit, watch me, down, etc. When talking with my neighbors or friends out on our walks, I also ask them to let us walk away first so that my dog can see I am making the decision as to when we move on.

    Keep us updated. :)
     
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  5. LDNBM

    LDNBM Member

    Thanks so much for your response. I've answered your questions below :)

    Have you tried having him wear it in the backyard (which I am assuming he does not associate with going out for a walk)? Unfortunately we don't have a back garden :( Just the walled driveway

    1) When you walk - no matter where you are walking, where is Bane in relationship to you? I would recommend that he not be out in front of you - as a matter of fact, I would put him behind me so that he can see very clearly that you are addressing the world first and are in control. - Bane is either next to me or in front. Sometimes it can be difficult having him walk behind me as he thinks i'm playing 'chase'. I will try to practice this more on a shorter lead.

    2) When you approach the area of the attack, what are you doing? Thinking? Feeling? How are you carrying your body? What is the conversation that is happening in your head? What are you saying to him. - To be completely honest, I don't get nervous when I approach the area where he was attacked. If anything I try to give him positive 'good boy' comments when we walk nearby. My issue is since his attack and I get anxious when other dogs are in the distance (big or small). I never had this issue before, albeit I never thought Bane would be attacked in such a violent way :( I look at him constantly, to see if his ears are raised as he always does this when he goes into 'protector mode'. A behaviorist we saw before told us that if we saw this happening I should quickly redirect Bane the other way. But this is easier said than done as he just looks back at the person who was approaching us. When in the driveway and a dog or stranger passes by - he barks/howls out of fear. How can I correct this also? We've just moved into the area and I'd like him to be comfortable with people walking past our house and driveway and would hate to get a complaint from a dog hater!

    Just read how you trained Zeek, do you suggest I get a shorter leash? I have definitely seen him lunge at someone who he has sized up and doesn't like. Difficult for me to step in front without him thinking I am about to run ahead (then he would naturally follow)

    Thank you so much this is all helpful. Again, the most advice I have received from any trainer I have tried to get in contact with!
     
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  6. CeeCee

    CeeCee Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the additional information. First, please know that I am not a trainer. I'm a just a dog geek who has had a lot of hands on training from professionals; including Animal Farm Foundation, Dogs Playing for Life, and K9 Connection - probably over 200 hours. You should also know that I use a balanced training approach - which means that I use all four learning quadrants and move in and out of them as the dog tells me is necessary. Whatever I say, take what resonates with you and leave the rest. :)

    So let's take the issue of Bane reacting (barking/howling) when seeing a stranger approach. Do not allow this. Try to catch him BEFORE he reacts. Then, step in front of him - facing him - in a firm, deep voice tell him "No!" and move him back - actually make him move his feet away from what he is reacting to. Initially, you may need to startle him get get him to move back without him thinking about it i.e., a loud clap of your hands or a loud stomp of your foot. If he doesn't move back on his own, keep moving into his space until he does. The second he moves, you stop moving into him - as a matter of fact, you can take a step back. This is pressure and release. You stepping back immediately after he does, is a marker that teaches him how to release the pressure. You don't need to wait until it's a stranger. Take whatever opportunity for you to disagree, interrupt, and move him back. (I did this with Pru when she was rushing ahead of me toward the door to go outside. We were then able to transfer this to other areas and other behaviors - inside and out.) Start with low arousal situations. If you were to do this initially in a high arousal situation, you could potentially run the risk of Bane redirecting on you.

    On to walking...
    I'm not sure what length leash you are currently using, but I'd say a 5 or 6 foot leach is fine. I love using a Working Walk and Drop N Go technique. The beauty of this is that it teaches the dog to walk beside you, it uses pressure and release WITHOUT kicking in their Opposition Reflex (what it is that makes a dog pull away from tension on the leash and/or amps them up if they are being reactive on leash). Here's a video that show this. The basics of the walk are 1) hold the leash in your right hand and use you left hand to pick up the slack. You want enough leash length so that the leash buckle drops perpendicular to the ground and the dog is at your side, but does not have enough length to walk ahead of you (so their shoulder cannot pass your body). 2) If your dog moves away from you, drop the leash in your left hand and move in the opposite direction that your dog has moved, but MOVE WITH YOUR FEET. To help you move with your feet, you can tuck your left thumb in the pocket of your pants. 3) When he is back in position, pick up the slack again with your left hand.

    So when Bane starts to focus on the spot or a stranger, drop n go with your feet. You can even pick up your pace which will "force" him to turn his head away from what concerns him and bring his focus back to you. Once you have this body movement solid - like 95% reliable, give it a name. I use "This way." After time, you can just say the name and they will automatically follow you.

    If you are not already doing so, you may want to start using a Head Halti with him. This will give you better control of his head, but as he is a young pup who is still growing just be aware of the pressure on his neck. If you use your feet to move him - instead of trying to move him with your arms - you will significantly reduce the risk of putting undue pressure on a growing boy.



    As for the area of the attack, good for you for knowing his cues!! Be aware of how much looking you're doing at him. Glancing is good, but make sure that it's not so much that he may be interpreting this as you looking at him for direction.

    Okay, I feel like I've done a brain dump. Please let me know if something doesn't make sense.
     
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  7. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    CeeCee always has great advice and has a lot of experience. All I'm going to add to what CeeCee has said is to make sure to do your best to work under threshold. I think that if the dog is reacting then you're too close to the trigger and you need to step things back. Work heavily on focus training.

    CeeCee did put a warning at the end of the paragraph containing this advice.

    "Then, step in front of him - facing him - in a firm, deep voice tell him "No!" and move him back - actually make him move his feet away from what he is reacting to. Initially, you may need to startle him get get him to move back without him thinking about it i.e., a loud clap of your hands or a loud stomp of your foot. If he doesn't move back on his own, keep moving into his space until he does."

    I know this works for many dogs, but I do want to add a strong caution to anyone reading this that you should really know your dog before attempting this. As CeeCee said, redirection can happen. If you aren't 100% positive that your dog won't redirect then I wouldn't try this. That's just my opinion.
     
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  8. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member

    I'm going to toss a few different things to work on - to build on Boxergirl and CeeCee's recommendations, above...

    1. Teach a "focus" cue... I use "look at me", but if you want something with fewer syllables, maybe "face" or "eyes" would work. Just pick a word and be consistent. In the house, put your dog in a sit in front of you, hold a treat in one hand way out to the side... and don't let the dog have it... he has to sit and wait and look you in the eyes before he can get it. As SOON as he looks you in the eye, say "GOOD" and give the treat. Once he knows to look at YOU to get the treat, put the word to the action... every time he looks you in the "EYE", praise and/or treat.

    Once he's got the "eye" word down inside, randomly have him sit when out walking and wait for him to look at you... when he does, "Good EYE!" and a treat or a pet, and a "let's GO!" to continue your walk.
    If you see him start to focus on something you don't want him to, you should be able to stop walking and ask for an "EYE" (catch him before he gets TOO excited about the 'target')... with lots of good treats and praise when he does stop and focus on you instead of the target. This would be what I would start with instead of the "NO" suggested above... but if he doesn't stop obsessing on the 'target' with an "EYE" (or "Find it", below) command... the "NO" might be better to get through and break his bad brain wave.


    2. Teach a "find it" game... this one is just pure fun, but it works amazingly well... randomly (anywhere & everywhere) drop treats and say "FIND IT!"... you don't even have to get his focus before calling the "game" in action (with "FIND IT!")... just drop a treat (or a handful of treats) and "find it!"... dogs pick up on this one QUICK, and if yours is anything like mine, will drop EVERYTHING to start sniffing the ground looking for the lost treats. It's a GREAT way to interrupt a bad brain wave.

    Continue random "find it" games when out walking.
    If your pup starts focusing too hard on a target to give you an "EYE"... drop a treat and say "Find it!" and see if that breaks through. Then lots of praise... ask for an "EYE" and praise some more!

    The whole goal of both of these exercises is to get your dog to look to YOU for direction and not worry about any "targets" that might be visible or approaching when out & about.


    When he's full on enjoying the "find it" game... use that around the spot he had the bad experience (as you approach at first, then closer and closer to "the" spot), and turn that location into a treat mecca.
    Reclaim his neighborhood for both of you. Help him relax and enjoy his walks again, and break any fear/anxiety brain waves as soon as you can so he forgets those habits.

    The "find it" game can also help you redirect to something besides strangers walking past the house... so people approaching start to indicate the beginning of a treat-game instead of something to worry about and focus on.
    If Denna gets too focused on strangers outside, I have an "enough" command... and if that doesn't stop it, I'll ask her to "go get a toy" and we'll have a game of tug, or we'll go outside for a quick game of "fetch" (which for her is more of a "keep away" game, but... it's not barking or scaring strangers, so, I'll take it!)


    Another idea... for the muzzle... since you can't walk out the front door with it on... go to a NEW place... maybe a nice quiet park on the other side of town... even if you have to drive to get there... and start over with the muzzle training like you did in the house. If you can get him comfortable with it in one new place (besides at home), that is HUGE. Each time you can add a new place where the muzzle is "ok", it should get easier. Hopefully with just a few "other" places on the "ok" list, he'll stop worrying about wearing it out the front door and on your walks in the neighborhood. Can you put it on him when in the car? It would be huge if you could go to a new place, and he's not allowed out of the car to explore until the muzzle is on... but that might take some doing.


    On another note - I'm kinda surprised your getting some recommendations to "keep socializing him with other dogs"... when he's known to have fear aggression potential... that could be setting you up for a very bad experience - unless the situations are very controlled with known non-reactive dogs.

    Good luck! Let us know how it all goes!
     
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  9. LDNBM

    LDNBM Member

    This is SO helpful, thank you! Especially the standing in front of him before it happens part. We actually already do this when someone knocks at the door (he used to charge to the front door when someone knocks) but we stand in front of him and tell him 'no'. I mean, he still barks/howls but he knows to stay still. Success for my amazon deliveries, ha!

    Am I able to start/practice this in the driveway? It's walled and I can always see when someone is approaching before he does. As he is very protective in our home area.. Or shall i practice this in the park first?

    We have a head halti, he hates it -___- probably just as much as the muzzle. He will do everything in his power to push it off once we leave the house.

    Also, shall i focus him on wearing the muzzle first before the stranger aggression issue?

    Thanks so much again in advance!
     
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  10. LDNBM

    LDNBM Member

    Thank you for this! Bane reacts well to me intercepting his reactions and standing in front of him. I just have to make sure I do it before he gets 'triggered' - is that right?
     
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  11. LDNBM

    LDNBM Member

    This is really helpful! Your first point on focussing - shall I work on this first before or after muzzle training? But you are right, he does get so distracted outside. 1, he's always in protective dog mode, 2, his recall is shite because of this, 3, he's always looking into the distance for 'danger'

    In the house he's super treat focused, outside it takes more - think chicken pieces, steak - all the human stuff lol!

    If we walk (no distractions in sight) he can stay, sit and look at me on command. Throw an innocent stranger or cat into the mix and it's the polar opposite, meh! A trainer we saw before suggested any 'cautions' that may come I should either cross the road or walk in the other direction. I've tried this but Bane will just be facing them and walking backwards until they are out of sight? It didn't desensitize him to strangers or passer bys - if anything it just taught him that if he watches them for long enough they will disappear.

    I'm still unsure what issue to tackle first as essentially they all tie into eachother
     
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  12. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    Honestly? I'd work on focus first. We use "watch" as our cue.
     
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  13. LDNBM

    LDNBM Member

    Sounds good to me, I'll be going through loads of chicken but I won't give up! Watch sounds like a good one syllable word for him :)
     
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  14. CeeCee

    CeeCee Well-Known Member

    DM, LOVE the Find It game!! We use it on our walks all the time! If the circumstances aren't right for us to create space or we find ourselves facing too much distraction, Find It is great!! And fun!!

    It's great that you are already standing in front of him so take it to the next step and make him physically move away. Keep the pressure on until he becomes quiet and then immediately release that pressure. :)

    Success is the most important thing so practice in whatever place is going to make you all most successful. :) It may take some experimentation.

    You can also try using the same protocol that you used for the muzzle, but use it for the Halti.

    Remember the Halti can also be used as a muzzle of sorts as you can close the mouth wrap so he cannot get his mouth around anything, but make sure he can still open his mouth and pant. (Maybe it's the Gentle Leader that offers this. I forget. :( )

    The long timers here will remember that I got a vest for Zeek that stated "Dog In Training. Give Me Space." It was a HUGE help in that people did exactly what it asked which lessened Zeek's reactivity and allowed us to continue to work, experience life, and have fun!

    upload_2018-9-11_16-45-34.png

    upload_2018-9-11_16-43-12.png

    We got it from here: http://pawsitivedog.com/DogInTrainingVest.html

    Here's the muzzle training protocol my trainer has me use with Zeek. I'd say you can use the same thing with the Halti. Instead of having him take the treat out of the muzzle, you can place a treat on the far side of the Halti/GL so he has to stick his muzzle through to get the treat.


    Positive K9 Muzzle Protocol
    A muzzle protocol is designed for short term use in aggression cases. Whether your dog is showing aggression toward humans or towards other animals, a muzzle gives us a way to safely perform the behavior modification exercises necessary to lead us to rehabilitation and more predictable behaviors.

    Choosing a proper muzzle is important. We will help you select what is appropriate for your dog. Dogs, like humans, are all individuals and some may take longer to adapt to this protocol. Remember, be patient and use calm praise during this exercise. We never want your dog to view the muzzle as a punishment.

    Use a treat of “high value” and only make that treat available during the exercise. I recommend chicken, dried liver treat or baby food.

    Day 1-4

    Place the treat in the front of the muzzle (in the basket) and let the dog reach in to get it. Use lots of praise. Do not try to push the muzzle over your dog’s nose. After your dog gets the treat, put the muzzle away. Repeat 4 to 5 times per day.

    Day 5-9

    Perform the same routine as above. After the dog reaches into the muzzle to take the treat, clip the muzzle for 30 seconds to one minute. Scratch his head as you give praise. (This will help as a distraction.) Repeat 4 to 5 times per day.

    Day 10-14

    Before you get the muzzle and treat, put your dog on a leash and step outside. Perform the same routine as above. Once your dog is wearing the muzzle, let him walk around a bit on leash. Let your dog lead you. Do not try to walk him. The distractions of the outdoors help to keep the focus off the muzzle. If your dog paws at the muzzle or attempts to take it off, give a firm “leave it” command, as you tug the leash. Try to so this exercise for up to 5 minutes. Repeat this 3 times per day.

    Day 15 to 20

    Continue the same routine as above. The next 5 days try to get your dog to walk wearing the muzzle 5 to 10 minutes. Remember to discourage any pawing at the muzzle immediately with the “leave it” command and tug the leash. Repeat this exercise at least 2 times per day.
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. CeeCee

    CeeCee Well-Known Member

    All of the techniques mentioned here are great because they increase your bag of tricks and give you more to pull from as you encounter things that you could never have anticipated. :)
     
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  16. LDNBM

    LDNBM Member

    thank you everyone for all your advice. So much more helpful than any trainer I've spoken to or article I've read online. I forgot how helpful actual forums are!
    Looks like I've got plenty to get on with! So just to clarify I'll be doing things in this order: Focus - muzzle - walks

    How can I fit the whole correcting him whilst people walk pass the driveway/house? Would this come before the walk training?

    I only say that because a behaviorist we saw said it is territorial behaviour - do we focus him around his common ground first as oppose to on daily walks?

    Ceecee, that step by step is great. Although when I tell him to 'leave it' with him trying to paw it off I literally do not exist - LOL. I've tried to distract him with treats but he will eat it then continue trying to take it off. He did get distracted once by a cat but obviously that's a negative signal.
     
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  17. CeeCee

    CeeCee Well-Known Member

    I would say that all of this can be done at the same time. If, for example, you are working on Focus and he sees something and gets reactive, then interrupt that behavior. Or if he is playing Find It and gets reactive, interrupt him.

    As for blowing off the leave it when trying to paw his muzzle off, you can try two different things. First, if you are walking around with him on leash, pick up your pace until he stops pawing. Mark and reward when he stops pawing i.e., "Yes! Good boy!". You can also get a squirt bottle, fill it with water (JUST water) and if he paws at the muzzle and ignores the Leave it command, you can say "eh eh" and then squirt his tuckas with a squirt of water. The second he stops pawing, mark and reward. If he blows off the water, try moving the squirt up his body. (By saying "eh eh" or whatever negative marker you choose, the eh eh becomes the predictor of the water and quickly you can get to a point where the water is not needed and the eh eh will stop him from pawing. (Technically the squirt of water is a positive punishment , but ONLY if it stops him from pawing - otherwise it's just a squirt of water. :) )
     
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  18. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    And I am of the opinion that getting an unflappable focus cue before going into a situation where he's going to react is very important. If you get that reliable response to "watch" then when you're faced with a situation where he might react you can use the cue to redirect his attention to you. The focus cue can be the interrupter if he's reliable with it. Work slowly and if he can't focus then there's too many distractions and it's time to step back just a bit. If he's not solid with your focus command then you may be asking too many things at one time and setting him up to fail.

    I don't see any reason the muzzle training can be done at the same time as the focus training, but I also would not use positive punishment (squirt bottle) in this situation. I believe it's important to make the dog feel good about wearing the muzzle. All the good things happen when it's on. Never bad things. I want my dogs to want to wear the muzzle because it predicts really great things happening. These are all my opinions only.
     
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  19. Boxergirl

    Boxergirl Well-Known Member

    ***muzzle training CAN'T be done***

    I meant to say that I think you can do the muzzle training and the focus training at the same time. Sorry about that.
     
  20. marke

    marke Well-Known Member

    couple thought I had reading this , might not be applicable …. you " have worked hard on a daily basis to desensitize him" , sometimes I see that to be a problem in itself , too much emphasis on what you want him to forget about …….. I was thinking fearful dogs need gradually put in scary situations and distracted , and then I seen CeeCee's reply which had plenty of emphasis on distraction ………… if you have access to any well behaved social dogs , socialize him to one of them , a bunch works even better , and take him out with them , they are great distractions and examples ………. using dogs to teach dogs imo is like cheating ………. ignoring stuff and distractions to me seem to have been the most important part of my ending up with socially stable dogs , that along with always having access to socially stable dogs to use …….. fearful dogs in a group of confident dogs get a lot braver , over time they can actually get fairly confident on their own …...
     
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