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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9486
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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Just had a very disturbing event with my 17 month old jack

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Just had a very disturbing event with my 17 month old XXXXX XXXXX/poodle mix. We rescued him at 6 months from the SPCA for being a nipper and growling at the children of his first family. He was brought in to be put down but the SPCA found him to be a good candidate for a second chance. We fostered him for 1 month and then adopted him (I fell in love after a week) We have had 2 family dogs before him. However never a little breed. I took him for puppy traing and he did very well. He is smart, loving and demands attention all the time. Something our large dogs didn't need. Today, (it has happened twice before) he went after a young student walking through the field as we were playing off leash. It is a large soccer field that we go to with other dogs, but today we were alone. He didn't notice the boy at first but then when he did he went running after him, yapping and barking and darting at him as small dogs do. The boy was startled and I quickly called to him to remain still and I would come to get my dog. Yup...all doggy training out the window. My dog ignored me , ran from me, and continued to try to get at the boy. Darting behind him as if to try to nip his legs! I put myself between the two and after what seemed forever managed to walk the boy towards the opening in the fence so he could leave. My dog still would not come to me and really I don't know how but as I got low to the ground he approached close enough that I could grab his collar. I then "pinned" him to the ground on his side and held him. Play time was over and I walked him home on leash . He was very aware that I was upset but I am really concerned that I don't have control over him and I don't have a dog I can trust even if he is only 20 pounds.
Hello, thank you for using this site to help you with your problem. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been in the dog field for 25 years. It will be my pleasure to help you today. Please understand that I may send an information request so that I may gather what I need to better help you with your problem.

When you train in dog class he is always on lead correct?

Do you practice come on a daily basis? Have you ever used the come command before when he was loose in a yard or area and what was the outcome?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes , in class he was on a leash. The trainer alerted me that he was having "conversations" with other dogs and I was to get in front of him to break his gaze. There was a lot of "talk" from our trainer in the class and we were expected to pratice at home which I did and he was always ready for the next class the following week. Yes I have used the "come command" and usually worked with treats, but today he would not come if I was holding a was a dog with a focus and it was the poor student! I know he is territorial and jealous , this event in the soccer field has happened twice before with people who were cool with dogs. This is not going to be the case every time. Is it possible he will always be a dog on leash? He needs to run and chase his ball but I can't do this if I don't trust him to respond to me.

Thank you for that information Kate. Sometimes dogs need to be on leads all the time because their focus is so great. But what I would try is practicing come on a daily basis, but since you have used the word come and he did not come he has only learned that come means nothing:) So we want to change the wording to "Here Moe" Or "Moe here" and we want to start first inside the home off lead in a room with the family with all of the family participating. Each will have some cheerios in their hand and only when he goes to the right person does he get the treat. From there you want to move to the outside in the yard but use a 20 cotton training lead on him. We use this lead because it is lightweight and the dog forgets he has it on. This way if he does not come right away you can guide him back via the lead. He is not ready to obey the command until he comes back to you on that lead every time you call him. In the back yard you can use hot dog slivers for reward , then ,move to the area where there are more distractions such as your field, again with the lead attached and up the reward ante to chicken slivers. When a puppy class is given most do well in class because they are used to the dogs there, taking them in the world is a different story. So always when Moe comes it is a two handed praise and lots of the yummy treats you are using, not just one treat.

The reason I want you to change the wording is because I don't want Moe to associate old behavior with old commands so for Moe who does not know the English language he will be learning something new:)

You also want to get the leave it command down 100% because this can stop a problem the moment he sees something before he takes off.

I would train him in daily obedience for 10 minutes at a time but do it throughout the day and it does not have to be outside every time you can do this as you go about your home routine, but what this does is show the dog you are consistent in how you want him to act when you speak.

Once you have rated my answer I would like to schedule a free follow up with you to see how things are going or if you need more help with this problem. Should any new problems arise, you can open a new question and request me if you wish for me to help you again.

Here is a great video on recall
Sally G. and 2 other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Kate,

I am just checking in to see how training is going with Moe.


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