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Muphys memoires

Discussion in 'Dog Diaries' started by Mad Murphy, May 22, 2018.

  1. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Speaking as someone with a high prey drive dog I would say that coming back to the whistle from chasing swans is AWESOME and you should be delighted with him rather than putting him in the doghouse!! I bet he had a wonderful run chasing them :)
     
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  2. Rhythmpig

    Rhythmpig Active Member Registered

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    I agree with JudyN,give him a treat for breaking off the chase. Look on the brightside,a least it was a pair of swans. The prey drive is so strong in mine sparrows aren't safe.
     
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  3. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Thanks @JudyN and @Rhythmpig .. Its nice not to get an ear bashing about not letting high prey drive dogs off the lead and youre right, he did respond but Im glad the swans came from the lake end and toward the enclosed end of the field and not toward the lake which is where the opening is..

    Lord knows how far he might have gone then. Once he came to me I did give him a treat but I had OH yelling 'why are you giving him sweets I could have had a heart attack chasing him' But training has taught to reward any good behaviour and he did come back without getting wet or muddy thats got to be a plus. But it does make us more nervous about letting him off, obviously more practice is needed.
     
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  4. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'd have definitely gone for full-on treating when he came back!

    When Jasper was young he did disappear over the horizon a few times. But, being a velcro dog, once he'd given up the chase he always came back to us even if he was so exhausted he had to drag himself back and then couldn't get up again for about 20 mins. This is quite standard for lurchers and to be honest, I only really worried if there was a chance of him reaching a road. Though we have stopped walking him in the New Forest as there are deer everywhere and he always recognised where we were and pretty much stopped listening to us before he even got out the car. And we stopped going to one bit of local heath for a couple of years as there seemed to be a boom in the deer population - I have mixed feelings about their apparent decline since then.
     
  5. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    I agree with the above!

    I thought you were going to say he caught one of the swans :eek:
     
  6. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    @Mad Murphy ,
    I’d tell OH that he needs to bear in mind, U are rewarding what is being done now - everything that happened B4 the instant of the reward is prelude, & immaterial; for the dog, it’s what they are doing now that they remember, & will pair with the reward.

    That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to set up a chain of behaviors such that the dog does something undesirable in order to be redirected, & then be rewarded; jumping up is one such, as it’s a self-rewarding action, so the dog is BEING rewarded merely by doing it.
    Then U tell the dog to sit, dog complies, & is rewarded a 2nd time for sitting. // U can see how that could become a repetitive pattern. :)


    In the case of recall, or any variation thereof - such as check-ins from a distance, where the dog pauses, turns, & looks to U to ask for instructions or to confirm a mutual heading, etc - they should ALL be rewarded.

    Praise is also good, but praise alone is a very low-value reward aside from its accumulated past associations with food, toy play, petting, attention, etc. Dogs who don’t have a prior history of wonderful events accompanying praise, for instance, puppies, have no reason to find praise solo very rewarding; they are more likely to find it boring & assume it’s just “more verbal noise”, since humans have a near-compulsive need to yammer all the time, even when or especially when they have nothing to say. :oops:

    If U want something that is not intrinsically rewarding (such as praise) to become rewarding, U need to make it a predictor of Good Things. :)


    When I am teaching a dog or pup to come when called, I start small - & I mean reaaallly reaaallly small. I start with the dog on a leash in the house, wait till they’re engrossed in some mildly interesting activity, say their Sacred Name, then my cue word / do my signal, & wait. // No responses? - let it go, try again in a few minutes or a half hour.
    Sooner or later, the dog will respond: their ears will perk at the sound of their wonderful happy Name, they will look at U inquiringly, somethin. // Whatever it is,
    reward it - & build on it.

    I start teaching recall in the house, teaching it in various rooms, then I call the dog from just out of sight, then from down the hall, then from another room, then from a different floor, etc, then we move outdoors, & I start adding more Ds: Distraction, Distance (from handler), Duration (of behavior).
    Inside the house, the dog moves from leash to long-line (hand-held), to drag-line,
    to off leash; once outside, it’s back to the leash to begin, then long-line, drag-line, off-leash in a small fenced area, then a larger area, then outside the fence, etc.


    Proofing is inherently boring to humans, but it’s necessary. ;) Practice, then practice some more... & more. Make training happy, be encouraging, not critical.

    - terry


    .
     
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  7. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Well isnt it strange how things happen.
    Ive been grounded. I have a heel spur and Ive just started shockwave therapy to help get rid of it but the physio has told me no more long walks for at least a month ..Im allowed 30 mins max and then I have to rest my foot for 30 mins before I do anything else.. :( I wont lie, this is really difficult. But talking to OH this morning we have decided its the ideal cue for us to brush up on Murphys training ie; all the things he does know but has decided to 'forget'. So starting tomorrow there will be shorter walks but with a training session on the long line mid way where I wont have to walk and he will get lots of treats for doing all the things we know he can..
    Without the risk of him taking off after swans, deer or any other locals!
     
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  8. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I don’t just “like” it, I LOVE IT. ❤️ ... :)

    Interval training is very, very effective, b/c it briefly engages the learner, works on a specifIc task or skill or issue, & then gives them a break. That means training is short sessions, repeated over time - so time to learn, & then time between sessions to both relax, and critically, to file the learning memory so that it’s retrievable.

    He should refresh his past learning fairly quickly, IOW start complying at least as well as before, back when he was fluent in the particular exercise, & then begin improving. Yay! :D

    - terry

    .
     
  9. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Well Christmas was fun for Murphy and last night during all the new year madness we played a couple of games ( both treat based) to help him ignore the temporary war zone outside. Ive noticed that he is a calm dog who prefers to just lay under a table or behind a chair during this time and as long as the bangs dont get too loud or near hes fine.
    The problem is the terrible suffering we witnessed in Remy , the shaking, the running wildly looking for cover, the drooling, the fixed staring eyes and the wetting himself in panic have stayed with us. Its like the fear transferred itself from that poor little dog to us so that while Murphy snoozed most of the time OH and myself were on a knife edge!
    Maybe the games helped us humans more than Murphy but in any case he had fun and they cost nothing old loo roll tubes some pinched at the ends in a big bowl with treats scattered in them and the inside tray of a chocolate box which makes lovely scrunchy noises and can be prepped with spready things that have to be licked out or just little treats.
     

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  10. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Really proud of Murphy tonight..
    Have you ever wondered what your dog would do if you had an accident while out? Well this evening as we walked along I saw a JRT coming towards us and decided to cross the road to avoid it. (the owner lets it run barking at the end of its flexi line) but as I walked into the road my foot snagged in what I discovered later was a wire loop a bit like a snare and I fell flaton my face smacking my hands and knees onto the road. I'll admit I swore ...loudly!

    As I recovered and started to get up I realised that Murphy had not pulled or panicked but was standing absolutetly still right next to my head, he waited while I got myself up and checked my hands and only when I told him did he walk on.
    I hadnt let go of the lead but it wouldnt have taken much for him to pull away while I was laid out on the tarmac so Im really proud of my normally quite nervous boy for sticking by me and not leaving my side... He got big hugs and an ectra biscuit when we got home...

    (Ive got large plasters on my hands and a knee thats turning some great colours as the bruising comes out.)
     
  11. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    Hope you’re ok @Mad Murphy

    Dogs seem to just know when something like that happens. Dennis is super sensitive to anyone feeling upset.
     
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  12. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Owchy, MM, but well done Murphy!
     
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  13. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    Such a good dog, Murphy!... :)

    I am glad to hear that tho U are colorful & ouchy, no serious damage resulted! -

    those surprise falls are terrifying;
    in Dec-2009, i was returning from a brief shopping trip less than a block from home, walking on grass on a slight slope, & suddenly found myself falling headlong toward the concrete slab, where a 2 car roofed shed once stood.
    The shed had been taken down; the slab was left amid the grassy edge of the lot, & a little row of shops had replaced the 3 former houses.

    As the ground rushed toward me, I was certain that I was about to smash my face & jaw into the concrete, falling face-forward & downhill uncontrollably, but thank God, I landed on my knees & palms. :(
    My left knee was a bloody mess, I was badly shaken, & I knew that if I didn’t get up & get home immediately, i’d stiffen as the muscles & ligaments twanged, & i’d be helpless.
    I crawled to my feet, hobbled home, used my arms to pull myself up the outdoor stairs to my 2nd-floor apt door, entered & thankfully dropped my shopping parcel & backpack, cleaned up my many wounds, & lay back in my motorized lounge-chair, picking gravel from my knees with tweezers, & feeling deeply grateful that my teeth were still in my head, my nose wasn’t broken, & my jaw was in one piece. :eek:

    That was Xmas Eve, Dec-24th; 5 or 6 days later, I tottered back there to try to see what in heaven’s name I’d tripped over. Hidden in the long bleached grass WERE THE POSTS FROM THAT LONG-GONE SHED, sawn off an inch & a half to 2 inches above the ground...SET IN CONCRETE, & lurking there for any luckless passerby to stumble over. :mad:

    it would be spring, specifically Feb-11th, before I could walk outside without a cane, to support the left knee, which was both weak & painful, & would “let go” without warning if unsupported. :confused:
    It was 2 full years before I could kneel on my bed & remove the curtains for washing, or put them back up, after cleaning. o_O The 1st time I knelt on my mattress to tuck the bedsheet corner tight, the pain was so unexpected & so shocking, I literally fell over in fetal pose, clutching my knee & gasping. // I have no idea what damage was done, as I never saw a Dr, being both uninsured & unemployed, at the time. :(

    It’s truly bizarre, how much a simple fall can affect U - I am so happy that U & Murphy are okay, & I hope Ur varicolored bruises & lumps quickly heal and vanish. :)
    Good on Murphy, too, not leaving U to enter the roadway! - cars move so fast, drivers cannot react fast-enuf to prevent many accidents. The accident happens as the driver is trying to comprehend what’s happening, in real time.

    Heal quick! - Murphy needs U, to get him back out in the woods & fields.

    - terry

    .
     
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  14. Nanny71

    Nanny71 Well-Known Member Registered

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    I had a cardiac event which caused me to pass out in the street. Dudley was sitting next to me, my home phone number was on his collar so husband and ambulance were called.
    This led to emergency open heart surgery.
    He was my true hero and I believe he saved my life
     
  15. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Wow,, indeed he deserves a doggy medal for that.. My only concern is that Murphy is not happy or comfortable with strangers so I think he might guard me if anything happened like that and not let help come close.
     
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  16. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    This morning we went to the woods and I walked for about 90minutes pain free! Last Friday I had my last shockwave session. When I started I had set out a treatment plan with my physiotherapist that would allow me to walk an hour without pain. That was all I asked and more than I expected . But I have to say the shockwave together with a couple of exersizes and some rest have allowed me to walk pain free 99% of the time. Im under strict instructions not to overdo things but he thinks that with careful increases I could be back to walking as much as I want by the summer.
    Im sharing this because if anyone hasnt heard of it shockwave is a good way to treat heel spur and if anyone has heard of it but doubts it I can tell you it has made a huge difference.

    Murphy absolutly loved his adventure in the woods this morning regardless of the rain, the hail, and then the sleet.. Even though the weather forecast was for some cloud and zero rain!
     

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  17. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Im not a great beleiver in karma but....

    We walk almost daily at the nature reserve on the edge of town. Murphy never barks at wildlife so we see loads.
    The last few days there have been a group of 'amatuer' photographers there with flash cameras and lenses as long as your arm. They wont say good morning and look down their noses as we pass.
    Since they've been there we have seen no deer or birds of prey..

    This morning one of them was messing about jogging backwards and forwards and messing about with his equipment.
    This spooked Murphy and he barked ..Just twice. I calmed him and as we passed I asked the guy in quite a friendly way 'are you looking for the otters'?
    'Yes' he replied 'but...' and he pulled a face and nodded in Murphys direction as if to say you and your dog have scared them off...
    I replied, 'sorry hes not used to people here its normally just us...and the otters of course'

    Well what Mr big shot didnt realise was if he had been a bit nicer I could have told him he standing in the wrong place the otter run is further along round the bend. But after his show of arrogant attitude I just left him standing there in the cold looking at nothing!
     

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  18. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    A book arrived in the post this week. Normally Murphy isnt interested in books but mum says this one is full of new adventures and shes already ticked all the ones who welcome dogs... Murphy likes this book !
     

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  19. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    'Ontdek de Friese natuur'...

    'Unlock your frisky nature'? I'm not surprised he approves:D

    Love his snowy smile xx
     
  20. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Haha come springtime he might change his mind. There are some lovely places quite close to home that we never even heard of .. So there are lots of trips and yummy picnics in the planning for this year.
     
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