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Help... what breed for second dog?

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Cla_ire, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. Cla_ire

    Cla_ire New Member Registered

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    I have done a load of research on which breed to get for my second dog, but I'm still no closer to coming to a decision. I'm totally paranoid about getting the wrong dog, because I did a ton of research about my current dog (Berger Blanc Suisse) and he still turned out to not be what I was expecting. Though, the breeder when allocating the puppies, said "I think you need a sporty dog" which I agreed with as I wanted to do lots with him.... turns out sporty dog is code for "Headstrong Lunatic" ... next time I'll be asking for the calmest female in the litter.

    My boy is 40kg and crazy.... not an easy combo to handle. So for me I would like a smaller dog (so if it turns out to be a nutter I can handle it). But for him, not too small as I don't want him to injure it when playing. Was thinking about 20kg.

    I would like a dog that will play with him and keep up with him... but also maybe have a calming effect on him.

    There are so many breeds and crosses out there, it's a minefield. I was thinking Cockapoo, but they are maybe too small for playing with him. Goldern Retriever is possibly too big for me. Are shepherds and spaniels too crazy? (to be fair all dogs seem calm compared to my nutter).

    Any suggestions gratefully received.
     
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    What if it went the other way though, and your current dog's bad habits rubbed off on the new dog?

    Obviously it's your decision but would it not be worth trying to train calmer behaviour in your berger? How old is he, and if you want to share what you are struggling with, we might be able to make some suggestions.
     
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  4. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Managing a crazy dog and a new dog at the same time is likely to be very difficult whatever the size of the dog. You may well end up with two crazy dogs! Can I ask what training you've done with your dog, if you've consulted a behaviourist and followed their advice, looked into your dog's diet and daily routine to see if any craziness could be due to that? How well does he play/interact with other dogs, and does he show any aggression in any situations?

    @JoanneF , we've done it again:D
     
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  5. Cla_ire

    Cla_ire New Member Registered

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    Yeah you’re right.... I know!!

    it’s very hard to describe his behaviour. It’s hyper but with no attention..... like adhd. At home he’s super clever, will do anything as motivation for food! Actually he’ll try every trick he knows if a good treat is on offer. Outside though... it’s not just that he won’t listen or obey, but he’s pretty wild, leaping around like a kangaroo to get to other animals!

    off the leash if he’s allowed to play with other dogs, he’s super friendly. On the leash he’s just a nightmare. Can’t walk him off leash because despite recall training (he knows it perfectly well) he’s a gonna if he sees something remotely interesting! Too much of a risk.

    Dog trainer wasn’t much help!

    Was kind of hoping a sister to play with might help. I don’t have many friends with dogs, so he doesn’t get much opportunity to do “dog play” and he loves it!
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  6. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    How old is he? How do you normally react when he kicks off? What kind of thing (apart from dogs) distracts him, and is there anywhere else you can walk him where you can avoid dogs and other distractions, or an enclosed area he could safely go off lead?

    Would you consider walking at silly times of day (e.g. 5am) if avoiding other dogs made a huge difference to his trainability?
     
  7. Cla_ire

    Cla_ire New Member Registered

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    2.5 years. I already walk early and late in the day and avoid narrow paths etc. But there is always some dogs about and no totally safe area. I let him of the lead at the lake to swim/fetch/frisbee. if I’m on the ball and quick enough I can distract him with his lake toy and send him into the water if I see a dog before he does.

    NOTHING is more interesting than chasing animals not food, not toys, not me .... that’s my main issue!
     
  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'd try to discourage playing with other dogs. You want you to be the focus of his attention - I can't remember which of the big trainers says it but his mantra is BMFI - be more xxx interesting. So I'd be working on two things; engagement games to get his focus back on you, and impulse control (video below).

    There are three main reasons in my view why a dog doesn't comply with what we ask.

    First, he doesn't understand. That's where training comes in, you need to teach him what you want, and reward when he gets it right so he knows he has done the right thing.

    Second, the motivation or reward of doing what he is already doing is higher than the motivation or reward of doing what you are asking. This is why some dogs won't, for example, recall when they are playing or chasing squirrels. So make sure what you offer is of far higher value - or, if you can't beat something like a squirrel chase, don't allow the opportunity for it to happen (i.e. don't set him up to fail). Use a leash or a long line to keep control. If your dog's weakness is other dogs, keep him far enough away from other dogs that he is aware but still focussed on you. There will be a critical distance, it might be ¼ of a mile, but it will exist. The reason he behaves indoors but won't listen outside is because there are more distractions outdoors and he is already over threshold - you are, in effect, trying to apply the car brakes after you have driven over the cliff edge.

    Third, you are working against a deeply rooted breed trait that the dog has been selectively bred for over centuries. There is a reason why we don't use terriers to herd sheep - it can be done but it is a lot harder. With your dog, he should be responsive to you, shepherding breeds have to be handler focussed.

    So the video about impulse control is below, also check out Kikopup on YouTube for short videos on everything from basic manners to cool tricks.

     
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  9. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Also... the reason he jumps up and goes nuts is (I suspect) frustration as the lead stops him doing what he wants - it's the equivalent of a toddler having a tantrum. What worked for me was to calmly wait my dog out, like a parent ignoring their tantruming child in a supermarket. I avoided open areas as he'd be more likely to kick off there, and when he did kick off, I'd turn away and face a tree, pulling my arms in (or wrap the lead round a fence post, or whatever) and wait while he raged. The moment he got four paws on the floor again I'd praise and treat him and we'd carry on. At which point he'd kick off again, so I'd repeat the above. One day it took about 20 mins to get the last 200 yards home....

    You might also find that your dog is worse towards the end of the walk, as he's got so much more stimulated, in which case you could try shorter walks (maybe adding an extra one to compensate). Try to make on lead fun - let him go where he wants (though not at the speed he wants!), and if you put him on lead after some off lead time, don't end the walk there but do something he enjoys.

    Have you tried a head collar, like a Halti or Gentle Leader? They're regarded as aversives, therefore not good, by many, but I used one with my dog for a short while and it really did help. He realised that lunging at other dogs really didn't work any more, and I had much more control. As being a tw@t wasn't working for him any more, he started walking nicely and when that happened, I'd treat & reward. After a few weeks, I didn't need it any more. You just have to be aware that it is a bit like leading someone by their hair - you absolutely don't want to yank, but use gentleness.

    At 2.5 your dog will still be hot-headed so time is on your side - do everything you can to encourage/reward calm behaviour and model this behaviour by remaining calm and Zen-like when he kicks off (easier said than done, I know). This will be a work in progress for some time, but it will be SO worth it in the long run. Introducing another dog at this point would make your task about 10 times harder.
     
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