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Hi I am free spirit

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Free spirit, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Free spirit

    Free spirit Member Registered

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    I recently adopted a 4year old dog from the RSPCA and I love him dearly. It quickly became obvious that he definitely had lead aggression issues and no lead manners whatsoever. I don,t know his background but from his behaviour i assumed that he had not been taken out much whether his former owner couldn,t be bothered or whether his behaviour had made it too difficult i don't know. I have invested a lot of money which I can't really afford on one to one lessons with a dog behaviourist for the last 4 months and it has made not a jot of difference. Then it occurred to me that dogs have been living with man for thousands of years without the benefits of all these experts and I thought back to dogs i had as a kid who never had a training class in their life and had lived long and happy lives with my family. I have done my own thing for the last two weeks including correcting bad behaviour, using a slip lead and not tolerating his bad habits and not using only positive rewards. I have no axe to grind but would just like to tell others that his ingrained habits have been turned around. Walking him has become a pleasure and he is much calmer knowing i am in charge. I am so glad I listened to my gut and just applied a little horse sense.
     
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  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Welcome :)

    I'm so glad you've found what has worked for your dog. I'm very much in the positive camp, because corrections either had no effect on my dog whatsoever or made him throw a spectacular tantrum whereas rewards work like a dream. But all dogs are different, and it doesn't do to get too evangelical and bogged down in dogma. If it works, you're happy and your dog is happy, then that's a great outcome!

    Do just ensure your dog is happy and relaxed - I've seen some videos of dogs trained using 'corrections' who, although 'well behaved' are actually clearly very unhappy and shut down. I'm sure this isn't the case with you - just saying it because some people do see these videos and can't tell the difference between 'calm' and 'cowed', and think they demonstrate good training.
     
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  3. Free spirit

    Free spirit Member Registered

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  4. Free spirit

    Free spirit Member Registered

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    He is the waggiest dog in the village i promise you. He has made my life much richer too. At one point i thought I would have to return him to the RSPCA. He pulled me off my feet and attacked another dog far bigger than him. I can now take him out in the park with other dogs which is a delight to see before I could only take him where we would see no dogs.
     
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  5. Flobo

    Flobo Well-Known Member Registered Partner

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    That is good to hear, sometimes, even after 'professional' advice and tries, you have to follow your own instincts with animals, as you are the one living with them, getting to know them and loving them.. and if we can't always work out their foibles we work with them.. enjoy..got any pics by the way??:D
     
  6. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes yes to pictures! Please:)
     
  7. Free spirit

    Free spirit Member Registered

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    IMG_20180915_161543_burst_02.jpg
     
  8. Free spirit

    Free spirit Member Registered

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    Ain,t he just adorable
     
  9. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Awww, he's so cute :)
     
  10. Free spirit

    Free spirit Member Registered

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    I love him so much it breaks my heart someone would give him away he has a home for life now. I want to give him the best life he can have. I vary his walks every day for so he has as many different experiences e.g. Woods rivers parks and of course I live
    in a very rural area so lots of running off leash in fields.
     
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  11. Whippylove

    Whippylove Well-Known Member Registered

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    Welcome :)
    What a sweetheart he is :)
     
  12. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Your dog is beautiful. We also have an RSPCA boy who'd had a tough life and took a good while to calm down and trust us. But we're of the positive reinforcement camp. Though it takes longer- and you do need patience and self-control yourself as an owner- it will give results. Sadly a quick-fix can seem a good choice in the short term but negative responses to unwanted behaviour often result in a dog becoming tolerant of the stimulus- leaving you will fewer options unless you intend to increase punishment. Have you tried going back to the RSPCA for advice? Most rescues are keen to help with the settling in period.
     
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  13. Free spirit

    Free spirit Member Registered

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    Thanks for your kind advice but my little fellow is fine.
     
  14. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Aww cute, ,most of my dogs in the past have been rescues so I know each one had their own issues to work through and it took time to realise what worked best with them.
    Im really glad youve found what works for your little one. Murphy is the first dog we have ever taken to lessons because he is nervous around other people and so I needed a controled experience for him and its working well but that doesnt mean its for everyone.
    Plus what one person considers unacceptable is perfectly normal for another. My neighbour could not understand why we allowed our dogs to sleep on a chesterfield when they had beds of their own she thought we should make them sleep in dog beds, my thought was if they were happy and safe leave them alone...
    Each to their own, but Im glad you have found the path that suits you.
     
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  15. Shalista

    Shalista Active Member Registered

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    I'm glad you found what works for you! there was a time when i was in your camp thinking id have to give bax up he was so bad. its not a good feeling, feeling like you've failed. My thoughts when i decided to keep him no matter what was "if he's this bad they'll just euthanize him if i send him off" and i couldn't stand the thought of that. I'm glad everything worked out for you!
     
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  16. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    But in the 'unacceptable v normal' question surely there have to be boundaries? As we've become a more thoughtful and humane society what was once normal - dog fighting, tail docking, beating- is now not just frowned on but can be illegal. And the point I was making is no two dogs are the same, ok, but ALL dogs benefit from patience and positivity. While SOME dogs may become compliant by use of domination and punishment, others are miserably cowed and others become aggressive. Which is why these approaches are generally discredited and not used.
     
  17. Free spirit

    Free spirit Member Registered

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    I never even mentioned the word punish in my post but if a quick sharp jerk on his slip lead and a firm NO counts as punishment then it doesn't mean I am going to escalate to hitting him around the head with a 2x4 !!. I really wasn't asking for advice just recounting my experience, as an adult i make my own decisions.
     
  18. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I don't think this is the right place for the postive vs aversives discussion. Some dogs would end up a quivering wreck if you jerked their lead and said 'NO!!', some would reply 'Oh yeah? Says you and whose army?', and some would say 'Ooh heck, I'd better not do that again then.' And as Free spirit says, she/he has found what works for her and her dog and they are both happy:)
     
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  19. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Nor did I suggest you were. But you did say you weren't always using positive based training- and that is really what has been shown to work in the long run. I certainly didn't offer you personally advice but said that the RSPCA might well do- since you seemed bothered by having spent your own money with a behaviourist. So what I offered was either factual (positive conditioning is proven) or my own response to your original post. Which is what happens on a forum.
     
  20. Free spirit

    Free spirit Member Registered

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    The RSPCA recommended classes but they would not accept him as he was too disruptive. That is why I had to spend £35 per hour for a behaviourist. I would not be so presumptuous as to tell you what I thought you should do with your animals or children please extend me the same courtesy.
     

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