The New Kid – Pt. 2

Having determined that everything she could reach was fair game as a play thing, the following was no surprise:

Within a few minutes, she had managed to have a drink, splash water everywhere, and tip over one of the water bowls. We’re not sure what Ray thought about it all, but suspect that he was just tolerating this high energy intruder!

It did not matter where Ray went, she was after him and wanting to play bite!

For all her uncontrolled puppyness (?), she is very cute and, while Ray was initially inquisitive, he soon became quite indifferent to her!

40 thoughts on “The New Kid – Pt. 2

    • Hi Madelyn. Ray used to lunge and bark at anything that moved within about 40ft of him! We found a trainer who had it all figured out in about 10 mins, which then gave us a strategy to work on. Ray is now “Mr. Social”! 🙂

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      • Have you written about how you went about it? Tink is very smart and amazingly amenable to training in other arenas, but this one is tricky because the fact that the dogs seem to go away when he barks reinforces the behavior. I reinforce “quiet dog” so it is getting better, but it would be great for both of us he was as friendly toward dogs as he *always* is toward people.

        If you’ve described it, can you leave me a link? THANKS!

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        • That’s a tough one Madelyn because dogs, like people, have different triggers based on numerous “life” factors. In Ray’s case, the trainer studied Ray as various dogs were brought towards him. She noticed that just before he tensed up to lunge and bark, he made a very slight turn of his head towards us. That was the key! She suggested that his slight turn of the head was in fact a look to us for direction. In the event that he didn’t get any (what did we know!), he simply took charge of the situation.
          This was complicated by Ray’s initial fear of everybody and other dogs. We started to deal with the fear of people by putting a muzzle on him when out in public. When was the last time you patted a dog wearing a muzzle? It gave him instant space!
          This was also complicated by a fear of other dogs!
          In summary, he started adjusting to people when they stopped encroaching his space. We gave him treats when we saw his head turn re approaching people so he made the connection that people = treats. It was a simple transition to teach him that dogs = treats.
          You must also factor in trigger stacking, so you must know what situations trigger a response, and have a plan B (at least initially) when trigger stacking occurs. Hope that helps. 🙂

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          • I SO appreciate this lengthy reply. I will watch closely for Tink’s “signals.” Right now I have been picking him up and holding my hand loosely over his muzzle with the first growl when a dog approaches – and praise him like crazy for being a “quiet dog.” I’ll start adding treats to the mix in these situations, even though he responds well to praise in most situations. He associates treats with tricks currently.

            His barking at dogs started when he was just a little guy — “attacked” by a couple of pits who shook him like a rag doll by his topknot, thank GOD! (nice dogs, I’m sure, and only playing with this little 4.5 pound toy, but the girlfriend who was walking them on extension leashes couldn’t control them).

            Tink had slipped his halter – which turned out to be a GREAT thing in this case, since he was able to run home (we were only in a shared back yard – and he stood quivering at the door when I ran off in hot pursuit). His head was sore, I’m sure, but he was otherwise unharmed, thanks to the immediate action by the GF and me working together.

            Good thing I am not afraid of powerful dogs, as I was able to separate Tink. His current halter fits his 11 pound body more closely, btw, but the smallest size at the time was – obviously – too large still, even tho’ it was supposedly adjustable.

            The pits no longer live behind us, but it’s been a struggle to calm Tinker when dogs of any size come into view – most breeds, but not all, interestingly. He’s getting better and we’re still working on it, but pits and similar large dogs still drive him NUTS.

            I sincerely appreciate your time to explain how you worked with Ray, since it’s not in my budget to hire a trainer at this time. Thank you VERY much.

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            • Two things to stress Madelyn – 1. The timing of the treat is critical because you don’t want to be seen to be rewarding for the wrong reasons. i.e. Tink thinks it’s cool to get all worked up because he gets treats! 2. Limiting barking is a bit of a tightrope and you don’t want to deter him from barking if he feels it necessary. He must get his treats before he thinks about barking. Good luck.

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  1. Perhaps Ray thought “if ignored, maybe she’ll just go away.” It does appear that Ray’s training has become a more natural response for him. Good Boy!! Java is so cute though!

    Liked by 2 people

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