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Dog training
Don't know what to do

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#1 enigma

Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:26 PM

Does anyone have any good recommendations for a dog trainer who will come out to the house to give tips etc on how to stop some habits of a dog.
A bit of background info. We have a rescue 6yr old cocker. We have had him for a 4 days and are at this stage only fostering him until we either adopt him or he goes to another family. he has not had any training except for what we have been trying to teach him. He is very strong willed, he will sit if  we force him to, he won't come to us unless he wants to, he continues to hump our little dog and is so obsessed by him that once he starts he is very hard to stop or to get his attention. He is a gorgeous boy and I feel so heartbroken that maybe we just aren't the right family for him sad.gif I don't want to give up on him, but I am getting so frustrated with not being able to teach him not to do it.
So any suggestions of who to get in touch with or any tips on what to do.
I don't want o give him up

#2 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:45 PM

It sounds like he hasn't had any positive training experiences at all. As in "completely untrained".

Where are you located? You could look for a private trainer on the DogsNSW website, if you're in NSW, or the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) anywhere across the country.

I'd also recommend that you get copies of Karen Pryor's Clicker Training books, and use that.

There is no point in physically forcing a dog to sit - that is counter productive in the long term, not to mention a bit rough on their hips. Can I suggest that you use small pea sized pieces of liver treat to lure him into position? He'll eventually work out that sit = good = food reward, something that most spaniels enjoy. Similarly, offer small bribes to reward him for coming to you.

You've only had him for 4 days. Please don't expect him to regard you as his pack yet, or to have worked out who is in charge. He's probably still confused from multiple changes.

The humping is a dominance thing. So, he needs to be desexed if not already, and you could try keeping him on a lead so that you have more control over the dog interactions.

#3 enigma

Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:55 PM

Thanks spikey. We are in SA.  We did start trying to get him to do things for a food reward but I wasn't sure if this was setting us up for him not doing things without a treat.
He has been desexed but I have a feeling that he wasn't done until jury this year.
I will have a look at the books etc that you suggested.
He really is a beautiful boy and if we could sort the humping out I think we wouldn't be so worried about everything else.
He is currently on the lounge snoring lol.
Thank you once again

Edited by enigma, 21 November 2012 - 09:07 PM.

#4 VioletRose

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:16 PM

At our house the rule is all good things come to dogs who have their bums on the ground.
Want a pat?  Sit
Want to go out? Sit
Want this tasty treat in my hand? Sit
Not sure how to get what you want? Sit
There are many many chances every day to practice being polite, after all if their bum is on the ground their paws are not on your shoulders.
To teach the magical sit I'll guide the dog into a sit (guide = hand over back and a finger on either side of tail gently tucking the dogs legs under. Don't push hard on the hips like so many people do ouch).
Then I quietly wait for the dog to trial the sit. Yay for dog and reward. Open door/pat/praise/treat. Whatever it is that they desire.
The thing I like about this method is once you teach the first dog in the household in my experience the other dogs will pick it up really fast.
For extra lazy training. Do whichever tricks and behaviours your own dog does in front of the new dog. Dogs learn well from watching another dog.

#5 enigma

Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:23 PM

Thank you violet rose for this info. I will try that as well. I am also looking at the books that spikey has suggested. I have always wanted a cocker and now that I could potentially have one I am not wanting to give up . Just hope we can sort out the humping issue

#6 midstudentcatie

Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:20 PM

We have the 'bums on ground' rule at our place too, although we've extended it to 'drop' and 'wait' for dinner - ie they have to be in the drop position and wait for our command to eat.

If you're in SA, Mark Singer is your go-to guy! He does quite a bit of work with rescues, and is very very good. We've used him for our rescue girl (she's a barker...although getting better!), DP's parents and cousin have used him for their dogs too with great success. It's amazing, he just has this commanding presence with dogs. Mooch usually goes off her tree when someone new (or male) walks into the backyard, when Mark walked in she barked twice, then just stopped and watched him. He didn't walk in any differently to how anyone else would have, she just knew straight away that he was the boss-man, and to do what he said.

And...where are our photos? It's totally against the rules to post without them! biggrin.gif

#7 enigma

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:19 PM

Thank you everyone for your tips and advice. We are no closer to resolving the problem. Am trying o work out how to get the money to have mark springer cme out to show us how to train him correctly. But at 345.00 it is beyond our means at the moment. I am in two minds about spending the money anyway . If we keep him of course we want him to be trained and not so rough etc with Oscar, but if we only end up fostering until he gets a new home then that is 345.00 we have spent for someone else to benefit from, but also if we do then we at least have given him a good start and the next forever family will have a well trained dog and he will be a good member of his new family.

We have only had him for a week, he has learnt some things, like sitting in his basket when I am cooking tea, he knows how to sit, beg, and lie down. He doesn't wee inside during the night ( which we were told he was not house trained)
The bad part is his humping and being so exuberant and rough with Oscar. He may be 6 yrs old but he is still a puppy at heart. I don't want to give up on him, but really don't know what to do.
Anyway I will try and post some pictures
Sorry if they are big, I have no idea what I am doing

#8 PurpleNess

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:33 PM

Why don't you call Mark & see if he could consider a payment plan in your case.

Honestly doggie needs longer to settle in but agree you need some form of training.

Please don't take this the wrong way as I know what it means to be financially tight...but what if your doggie had a medical emergency? Is this training just not as a priority for you as you feel you may not keep the dog..if so i understand but as you said you'd be setting pup up for a happier life and not hand balling the issue should you choose not to keep that adorable creature ;-) In the grand scheme of things it isn't a lot of money but it is a lot to come up with in a cash amount, so ask about the payment option. Can't hurt.

I'm pretty sure the dominance thing will settle down, as long as you keep up the work, it may take a few weeks..but don't lose faith, cockers a fab dogs. Wishing oyu all the best, he's quite adorable :-)

#9 enigma

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

I will give him a ring and see what he says.

#10 Mischief Managed

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:55 PM

Hi enigma,

We had "scholars with collars" come out - she was super friendly and amazing with us and our dogs.  Her prices aren't excessive either.

Good luck with your decision original.gif

#11 beaglebaby

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

Talk to the person who coordinates the rescue organisation.  When we first got our rescue and had an issue to sort out they recommended someone who did a discount rate for rescue dogs, not in SA though unfortunately.

You sound like you've taught him a lot already.  Try to anticipate the times when their will be a problem and distract him with a command.  You could teach "watch", where he gets rewarded for looking at you (gazing adoringly in the words of our obedience instructor original.gif ) or touch, where he has to touch your open palm to get a treat.  Start working on recalls too, so that the moment you say COME he knows that he will get a treat for coming and sitting in front of you.

Best of luck. Cockers are generally ruled by their stomachs - use it to your advantage!!

#12 enigma

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:19 PM

Oh boy he certainly is ruled by he stomach lol.
For some reason tonight he is infatuated with Oscar, will not leave him alone. Licking his ears and biting him. I have had to separate them just to get him to settle.
I will get intouch with the rescue place and let them know what is happening and also see if they can help in anyways.

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