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Hi Robin in trouble

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Robins mum, Jun 1, 2022.

  1. Robins mum

    Robins mum Member Registered

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    Hi all,

    Despite all the support and advise I have received on this wonderful forum I find Robin is too much for me now!

    I really cannot see any way out, it is breaking me into pieces he is such a wonderful guy and really, really tries his little heart out to do what I ask.

    Natural instincts are too powerful to overcome though, aren't they!

    I am unable to hold this dog when he jumps at cats he drags me then I have to release before I hit the deck. He is then free at around 30mph on the roads.

    I don't need to say how dangerous and life threatening this is for all around. I have tried to distract, tried to take charge, nothing is working yet. I want to live, Robin wants to live, other people want to live!

    He needs open space to run, like we had access to when we lived in Cornwall! There is less here in Market Drayton than I had thought when I moved here! The tow path is over run with cats! There are sheep, cattle and horses in close proximity! I just cannot turn without there being something to leap at and chase!

    He is obviously becoming frustrated! His garden is too small for him, people don't want their dogs to run and play with him because they think he is going to swallow them whole ( he is the most gentle dog on this planet!)

    He needs to run FREE! Long walks are not enough for him he has to play and bounce! Rock and Roll with other dogs.

    It's gonna tear me apart to get rid of him! I love him so much, but I have to do what is right for him!

    He is just getting more and more frustrated that he is not able to run like the wind!

    Today, we passed a squirrel at very close proximity (about 3'!) he remained at my side just looking and a tiny bounce! That was AMAZING for him! He continues to try so hard but I am so very fearful we are not gonna make it to safety!

    Its gonna break me apart if I have to give up on him! He has tried and tried and made so many Ve+ changes for me, but I just seem to be stuck at this hurdle! If he would accept cats life would be great!

    How may I help him?

    I have him booked in for castration, but I really do not think that will change who he is!

    I have contacted a dog behaviour person called Gabriel, seems to be alright I guess, bit bossy, but that seems to be how he works, tell the dog and expect it person, no hitting just insists, has anyone heard of him? I was recommended to him by a local person, not sure if that is good or bad!

    All sound thoughts and sensible suggestions VERY greatfully received, we are getting there, just this last hurdle....................seems a million miles away! :(

    TIA Robins Mum
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Oh, hugs :-( I haven't got time for a full reply right now, but this stood out:

    The last thing a sighthound needs is a bossy trainer who insists on the dog doing what they're told. And it won't help the situation when R launches himself before you've even spotted what he has. Do you have any more info for this trainer? Do they have a website, Facebook page, etc.?

    Have you looked for enclosed fields, or considered a dog walker? I think we discussed headcollars before and you didn't think they were appropriate for him. Make sure that you're not at risk of injuring yourself and/or having to rehome Robin because of a theoretical risk that the headcollar might injure him. (I'm not saying that it would be safe for him, just that you might want to research the matter, ignoring all the sensationalist 'I used a Halti and my dog's head fell off' type stuff).
     
  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Can you post the behaviourist's website, maybe we could take a look?
     
  4. Robins mum

    Robins mum Member Registered

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    Judy to the rescue again! :) I have lost all the safe places for Robin by moving to Market Drayton, sadly, I had no choice and thought with it being more agricultural and the tow path so close, it would be fine! That was an error poor Robin is paying for! He is going to implode if he does not get a good SAFE run soon! I lost him again tonight after the same poor cat! This trainer is called Gabrielle (male) says he can take a dog and stand in a room full of cats and it won't move!!!!! (glued down????) I agree I need to get control of his head, but he still is so very strong and this is doubled with the speed of reaction! There are cats everywhere here, my priority in reality is to desensitise him to them, but how? This person suggested the headcollar too, he also suggested the figure of 8 lead, but I don't think that would be of any use at all. He did say that the harness was a bad idea, and I agree in part that Robin braces against it, but it does give me something to hold just in case he will not sit and stay for all dogs that pass us, so it acts as a gentle reminder he should not be moving. By the way the cat situation has doubled since I have been here ( 4 months now) as it is a busy market town and hundreds of narrow boats pass through and many of them sport cats who they just allow to roam around so Robin says, thanks very much - PLAYTIME! Im not keen on a dog walker currently because I would not put them in the position I am in constantly, even younger ones either don't see the risk or are simply not strong enough to contain him. The last dog walker I had was great but the very last walk she took him on before we moved here shook her rigid she never saw the dog Robin had seen, she had her dog with them and thought that would encourage Robin to stay with them - WRONG! She said he took off like a bat out of hell after a dog in the distance 2 fields away, she had not even seen!

    www.gabrielsdogs.com
     
  5. Robins mum

    Robins mum Member Registered

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    Hi!, yes of course! www.gabrielsdogs.com
     
  6. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Are you within reach of this enclosed field in Market Drayton? Market Drayton - The Dogs Paddocks

    That trainer's methods, and their underlying philosophy, are completely outdated. And as for getting a dog to ignore all cats... think about it. Chasing cats for Robin is the BEST GAME EVER. One of his absolute favourite things, and really, really exciting. To stop him doing that without actually glueing him down, he would need something so negative, so scary, so much to be avoided that it would balance out those positives. And that level of unpleasantness is likely to be traumatising for the dog (imagine being starved, having a plate of food put in front of you, but being given an electric shock every time you reach for it). Or, I suppose, a reward that was EVEN BETTER than chasing cats, but is there really such a thing? Even the most foodie dog is unlikely to be distracted from his PURPOSE IN LIFE (in his mind) by the tastiest treat ever.
     
  7. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Contact Jim Greenwood who is a lurcher/sighthound specialist and will travel. And Emma Judson, who doesn't travel but knows loads about this type of dog and has owned them too! In fact, I'd suggest you talk to Emma first.

    DO NOT CASTRATE. It'll just add more issues for him and you to cope with. He isn't hunting with his balls, and bitches are even more predatory than dogs.

    I know it all feels like the end of the world at the moment, but it's all do-able. Just takes more than with other types of dogs (which present issues you never get with sighthounds).

    Don't let him romp with other dogs - I can see why others get nervous at a big bouncy sighthound, no matter how lovely you know he is. Also it's easy to injure himself when he is galloping about with them.

    When - not if - you hire a fenced paddock, check the fencing is over 6ft high and has an overhang. These fellers can jump!

    Stay with us. Several of us have a lot of experience with this type of dog. and love them.
     
  8. Robins mum

    Robins mum Member Registered

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    Thanks Judy! That field is REALLY tiny and not the cheapest either! Robin went only once and I witnessed so much bullying from the dogs and one aimed at poor Robin! Who came and hid behind me for the duration of the puppy session, one dog nearly got its ear chewed off! Nope! not for me! Robin used to be slightly treat orientated but of course no longer! You are right that chasing cats is the best game, but what do I do? His life is in danger EVERY time I set foot out of the door, and that puts EVERYONE in the vicinity in mortal danger (multiple pile ups!) What can I do? I can't hold/control him fully, so I'm about as much use as a chocolate teapot! The only thing is return to breeder or put down! I don't think the breeder is having a great time healthwise currently so didn't seem overkeen on having Robin back when I spoke with him again yesterday :( Poor Robin! You really cannot get a more loving and trying to be good dog!
     
  9. Robins mum

    Robins mum Member Registered

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  10. Robins mum

    Robins mum Member Registered

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    Thanks :) I located a field but the size is miniscule! Not happy with the way the dogs interacted and although it had a 6' fencing, it was in very poor condition and poorly erected (no overhang either!) so I never returned and Robin didn't like it either! ( see my reply to JudyN)

    This is the 2nd Borzoi I have had, they are so different! (she was a she and he is a HE!!!) LOL

    I will most certainly find this Emma Judson, thank you for that!

    Will keep you all posted! Meantime Robin will have boulders tied to him to slow him down! :(
     
  11. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    I've just found out from somebody I really respect who is knowledgeable about sighthounds to say That Jim G. is not as suitable as i thought he was. So apologies for that. Do contact Emma. I know her personally and she really knows her stuff. Also has a new book out about modern kind empathetic dog training, which might be useful for other issues but doesn't cover this one.
     
  12. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    For holding a big strong dog - apologies if I've covered this before - the double lead one off the collar and the other off the front of the harness is very helpful. Normally lead off the collar, but lean on the harness lead to halt an emergency. Because the attachment fastening is on the chest, it turns the dog towards you, whereas a mid-back fastening just lets them lunge.

    Ultra important is to hold the lead the way horse riders hold their reins. We humans seem naturally to hold leads in the weak way, but this gives us strength. Back of the hand uppermost, little finger towards the dog, thumb towards the handler, lead runs through palm of hand and the side of the hand takes the brunt of the lunge. If you have tiny fingers, take the lead between little finger and ring finger for extra strength. Ask again if this doesn't seem clear.
     
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  13. Robins mum

    Robins mum Member Registered

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    Thank you,

    This is NOT going to work with Robin. I have a harness AND a slip lead - he still gets away! There is NO warning, split a second into 50,000 and that is the time I get for a warning. zilch really! I don't get chance to breath, or think my hands automatically tighten on the leads, but no help at all! He pulls me flying down the road until after a second or two I have to release or I will smash down on the floor.

    I have made brief contact with Emma and will write her an essay in a moment, than you SOoooooo much for putting me in touch with her fingers crossed! Will keep you all posted!!! :)
     
  14. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Emma is excellent - I do hope she can help :)
     
  15. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Meanwhile, is it possible to exercise away from cat-infested areas while avoiding deerrabbitsfoxespheasants and so on? Squirrels are usually okay because they go up trees almost immediately.
     
  16. CoCo2014

    CoCo2014 Member Registered

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    This Gabrielle writes about having a natural"Alpha"dog & a pack. He is clearly a dominance based"trainer", certainly an outdated type & no way suitable for sighthounds or any other dog TBH.

    You write that you have a harness & use a slip lead, but they don't help you. Have you been to any training classes with him & been shown how to choose the right harness & how to use it & a collar & lead properly?
     
  17. Michelle Smith

    Michelle Smith New Member Registered

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  18. Michelle Smith

    Michelle Smith New Member Registered

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    Is there an enclosed paddock somewhere that you can hire we have 2 nearby us in north manchester they charge £5 for 20 mins and there are hurdles etc a 15' fence lets them run off all that energy and provides a safe space to exercise. I have joined a friend at one to try to help socialise her dog. The dog sounds much like yours he's a rehomed Spanish hunting dog and I see what you're up against. My friend has persisted with him and she has found someone who is local and knows a lot about this type of dog and has handled him on walks. Would there be someone with this specialist knowledge near you. Or contact Battersey Dogs Home may help you retrain him or have ideas. You have obviously worked really hard to change these unwanted behviours and I sense your passion for this dog. Getting the right help might make it achievable. Would blinkers help restrict field of vision? There must be experts out there somewhere. I would start with Battersey Dogs Home. Wishing you all the best.
     
  19. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    Excuse me for butting in on this post.
    The use of a harness and collar mentioned seem to be of no help.
    No one has actually suggested a "Halti", as with a horse or any other farm animal, it turns the head sideways and instantly stops the strength of a full on pull.
    We once had a dog who constantly put his head down when on the lead which aided his ability to constantly pull. A comfortably fitted "Halti" that is not too tight and cutting under the eye's ! was an absolute marvelous restraint for him. He walked with just a finger and thumb holding the lead and was an absolute gentleman when wearing it.
    There were "Breaking in" difficulties to start with but once he learnt there was no purpose in trying to pull he was a pleasure to take out on the lead. I could never walk him in a collar he always reverted to pulling.
    Hanesses are used for animals who pull sledges or carts, they put their shoulders into the pull.

    .
     
  20. CoCo2014

    CoCo2014 Member Registered

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    Haltis/headcollars are not a training tool, they are a walking aid, just a harness is. Harnesses do not encourage pulling, that correct type & used properly with a front ring having the lead attached to it as well as the ring on the top encourages dogs NOT to pull.
    Legally all dogs in the UK(with specific exceptions for working dogs) must wear a collar with an ID on it, so those who do not have collars on their dogs are breaking the law.
    Training is key to all dogs & TBH that is what this dog needs urgently, not walking aids
     
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