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What are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Violet Turner, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    I was out walking Doris and a lady approached me with her dog. Doris was being very vocal and the dog trainer told us to completely ignore the barking so I was doing. The lady then shocked me when she said, “If you fill a plastic water bottle up with stones/gravel then shake it when Doris barks she will stop, and when she does stop reward her with a treat.” This actually shocked me because this could scare Doris and make her worse. Doris does seem to be getting better with us ignoring the growling and barking and then rewarding her when she is quiet. What are your thoughts on bottles filled with gravel? Is this good or bad?
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Very bad. The probability is that she is reacting to the other dog because she is anxious. Scaring her further (because that is what a rattler does) will make things worse, not better.

    Dogs have an invisible radius of space around them where they feel secure. It has a name, flight distance, because anything closer triggers the (stress) fight or flight response that you may have heard of.

    Keep her just outside that distance so she is relaxed - the edge of a park is good. Reward her calm behaviour. You might have to cross roads, or walk at unsociable hours for a while.

    Gradually over weeks, not days, work on reducing the distance.

    Remember the three Ds - distance as above but also Duration (she might be tolerant for 10 seconds but not 15) and Distraction (a calm dog might be ok but a bouncy loud one might not).

    And the stress hormone stays in the bidy for up to 48 hours so her tolerance for any of the above is lower after any incidents so you have to compensate accordingly.
     
  3. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Thank you @JoanneF that is really helpful. I wasn't going to do it anyway but it really shocked me.
     
  4. Kayak

    Kayak Active Member Registered

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    It's a distraction technique, it would work for some dogs with a more confident temperament. Not really something that should ever be recommended. I've used a rattle bottle in the house in the past when 6 dogs would go mad at the door, but can't say it would come in handy now. I think it got used about four times. I wouldn't use one outside ever, especially where strange dogs are involved, and I don't think it's really necessary for single or double dog houses. When there are a lot of dogs going mad in one house, it's a quick way to get everyone quiet for long enough to be told they're good dogs.

    I'm not sure why there's so much negativity surrounding rattle bottles, my only guess is that it's due to the way they're misused (being thrown at the dog, shaken repeatedly, no praise, used as a punishment etc). All it is is a distracting noise if you're using it how it was intended.

    Like I said, not something that should be recommended and if you're not sure about it then it's not a tool that should be considered.
     
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  5. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    The shaker idea is an old fashioned one, I think it came from the same era as choke chains and dominance theory training ideas.
     
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  6. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Thanks :)
     

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