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Old 30-08-2009, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by vonnie View Post
Issues so far not resolved ....

Recall - absolutely terrible. He understands 'come', but is absolutley obssessed with any dog or human in sight, however faraway, so cannot be let off the lead. Don't seem to be making any progress here at all.

Biting - from the moment he wakes till the moment he goes to bed he will pester our older bitch with constant nibbling/biting. I know it's playfulness, but she doesn't want to play and he just won't take no for an answer. So it escalates and becomes quite nasty.

Chewing - anything at hand. I've bought no end of bones and toys but he's chewed phone chargers, cushions, socks, clothes, and now the handle of the OH's v expensive walking pole he needed for the Pyrenees in a week's time!

Aggressiveness - This has improved. At first he would bark like mad and lunge at any dog he could either see or hear. Now he's much better in the open, on the beach, where he'll strain to get to other dogs but not bark. Still not too good on a shorter lead walked on the street.

Pulling - again, terrible especially if another dog/cat/person is in sight. We tried a halti type muzzle and although it worked wonders in terms of calming him down, he gets very distressed and has scratched at his nose until it bleeds trying to get it off. I do think we'll have to persevere with this though.

Behaviour with other animals - He is very giddy with the cats. Bouncing, barking, playfulness I hope. They're used to putting dogs in their place and there haven't been any problems. With the chickens he has taken little notice, even when they have been inches away from him. That changed today when he cornered one that had got out of the run. I'm still distressed about it now. The hen is fine but missing a lot of feathers, but that staffy bite was very scary. Impossible to prise his jaws open. Its made me worried about the safety of the cats too now.
You need to teach Ninja the 'leave it' command. When he starts annoying the older dog, tell him in a firm voice 'leave it'. As soon as he steps away or even turns away from the other dog, treat him. You can also get him used to the leave it command by offering him a treat with one hand, using 'leave it' when he goes towards it, & when he pulls away from the treat, give him a treat with the other hand. Once learnt, this command can be used to stop him pestering the older dog, the cats, chickens, & other things that grab his attention, & can be used to teach him what he can & can't chew. You may well have to be persistant with it though.

The recall is something that can be hard to get 100%. Again, using positive reinforcement & tasty treats is great. Call him to you & when he arrives at your feet, plenty of praise & a treat. A clicker can be used too, so you would click when he arrives at your feet. Start off with short distances, then slowly build up the distance. Some dogs with high prey drives are stubborn, but a high pitched squeak or 'pip-pip' noise can get their attention & make them come looking for the sound.

The pulling isn't too bad to stop. Maybe an anti-pulling harness such as the Lupi or Mikki Walkrite would be better than the Halti. Using one of these in conjunction with teaching him the 'heel' command will help lots.
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