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TOPIC: 3 yr old rescue dog

3 yr old rescue dog 05 Mar 2015 16:34 #9830

  • Dennis
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We have just taken on a 3 year old Akita from the local RSPCA. She has never had any basic training.
Her first 3 years were spent living in a small back garden with a Mastiff for company and an upturned wheelie bin to live in. She was fed by the 'owner' throwing scraps of food into the garden and sometimes from a bedroom window. The previus owner is now being prosecuted by the RSPCA.
We have started training classes where she is great, but as soon as we take her for her normal walks, she pulls very hard for the first 15 mins and then eases off slightly.
We have had her for 4 weeks and so far, we have managed to get her house trained and sitting for a treat.
I know that we are in for at least 1 year of training, but my main concern is her howling like a wolf and jumping up. When I first come downstairs in a morning, she jumps up and I have to force her down. When I leave to play golf, she howls until either my son or partner come downstairs.
Any advice would be gratefully accepted.
She has also not been spayed. This will be done in April.
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Last Edit: 05 Mar 2015 16:42 by Dennis.

Re: 3 yr old rescue dog 07 Mar 2015 00:25 #9831

Oh bless her and thank yo uso much for taking her into your home, it sounds like she's had a very bad time of it. As you know it will take some time to get her settled and calmed, but you will get there

Taking her to training is a great start, she'll get into a rutine and that will help her settle, she'll begin to trust you and you'll learn how she responds to you. When I first got my Asia she had no street training and she was very spooked on her street walks, she pulled on her lead, she barked at every dog she saw and she leapt up into peoples faces I used a stern but calm tone in my commands to her and it didn't work, it just seemed to excite her even more, so I used a more softer calmer tone to her instruction, just a sort of relaxed tone, it had an instant reaction, she responded to me and began to walk nicer and calm down, she also stopped jumping at people You can try using a canny leader or halti along with your regular collar, you might have to get her to wear it indoors before you take her out on it though because they can take a little time to get used to Once you find a voice tone and the commands you know work stick to them, consitancy is very important, also remember akita's are very stubborn and can be single minded, that's why we suggest no of lead walks, akita's tend not to do recall once they maketheir mind up they stick to it

As for the howling, akita's do howl and I would suggest you try not to respond to it, for example if she howls, this will be hard to do but wait till she stops howling before anyone comes downstairs or contacts her, then just ignore her and go about your business, eventually she'll realize that she gets nothing for howling and she'll stop, hopefully.

The same sort of reaction goes for the jumping up as well, you have to ignore it. The tecnique I used with my old Benny was this one.....you come downstairs in the morning... she jumps up... you fold your arms in front of you and just look up in the air, you stand with folded arms looking up into the air while she is jumping up at you, you completly ignore her, if she gets rough you just push her away and continue to say nothing and not to look at her, she will eventually stop jumping up at you and calm down, when she calms down you can maybe pat her on the head without any fuss and go about your business. what she learns from this kind of reaction is that she gets nothing for jumping around like a nutter but she gets noticed with a pat on the head for being calm, but don't give her a big reaction when she calms down, just a little pat to start with, if she starts to jump up again go straight back into the arms folded and looking in the air again. As time passes and she progresses she can get bigger fusses It doesn't take long for this training technique to work, but once again be consistant

Do basic training with her every day for about 10 mins, it has to be fun and not for too long, akita's get board very quickly

It's hard to explain but I hope this is of some help, please get back to us and let us know how things are going
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Re: 3 yr old rescue dog 07 Mar 2015 22:16 #9832

  • Dennis
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When we take her to training, we have to use a collar and she does behave quite well (only been twice so far). When we take her for walks, if we use the collar she pulls and takes us for a walk and does not respond to any commands. If we use a harness for walks, she is quite the opposite and is starting to obey the basic commands

Re: 3 yr old rescue dog 08 Mar 2015 00:27 #9833

whatever works for her is good if she prefers a harness then stick to the harness My Asia wears a harness and she's very good on it, apart from the times her akita stubborness kicks in I carry treats with me all the time, when I first got her I found that she responded well to treats andshe still nudges my hand for a treat when she knows she's been a good girl, I cut up very small cubes of cheese as her treats, she's a cheese nutter do you reward your girl with treats when she's a good girl some dogs are treat orientated and some have no response at all to treats But I'm glad she's starting to obay basic commands. You've got very rewarding time ahead of you, it might be a slow process to get her out of some of her "difficult" ways but it's worth all the effort

Please keep us updated on how she progresses
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Re: 3 yr old rescue dog 12 Mar 2015 10:41 #9848

  • Zooey
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Your story is quite similar with ours (Kam and I)

I completely agree with the advices given by Bensonsmum

That's what we did (having the added drawback of Kam being death ), but basically ignoring bad behaviours and rewarding the good ones did wonders.

She also loves her harness and walks way better with it ! We have one with a handle, which can be quite handy !

If she's food driven I would definitely use it to reward her (not too much, also use your voice and cuddles )

If you have trouble ignoring, you can also "redirect" her attention. But that comes when you've established a relationship
So for instance, when Kam howls, I do the sign I do when I'm gonna do a mental exercices, or I show her a toy, etc.
I make sure to redirect her to something different than the last time each time I use redirection so that she doesnt equal "howling = playing with zoe"

Good luck with your girl, it's been 16 months for us, and we're finally seeing how much work we have achieved and there's nothing more rewarding !
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Re: 3 yr old rescue dog 13 Mar 2015 17:59 #9858

  • Teresa
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Awww thank you for rescuing her, it is a wonderful thing you have done and shes a lucky girl

Positive reward based training all the way, ignore the bad behaviour. So when she is jumping up in the morning, turn your back and ignore her. When she calms, make her sit and then say good morning.

Shes a very pretty girl by the way
If your dog doesn't like someone, then you probably shouldn't either !
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dennis
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