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Old 07-14-2017, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,681 posts, read 2,586,021 times
Reputation: 2573

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The short version: Highly experienced Doberman owner has a 16-month old, spayed female (after 2 heats - never did that before) from a stellar line. WAY too excitable when encountering other dogs - 4 trainers all concur: NON-AGGRESSIVE impulse control issue. It's an Ungodly sound that does not go down well at the vets' office or on walks. Raised with a 5-year-old female Collie and a (late ) male Pointer/Rottie mix. Got her at 12 weeks and none of the tactics work on her. All the mega physical exercising, brain puzzzles, Chinese herb call "Chen Calm," sit/stay for 2-3 minutes... NADA.

Any natural remedies that work (before I spend another fortune on her?) She's a FABULOUS, loving girl - great meeting people, extremely affectionate, but WIRED as can be - and I'm NOT new at this. She is my 5th Dobe, and I never had this issue. I will say that she did have 2 heats in 4 months. Don't know if that has anything to do with it...vet doesn't think so.

Any suggestions, and thanks in advance
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:45 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,181 posts, read 7,023,768 times
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I don't know if it would work but I have used "Happy Traveler" for my dogs for fireworks and thunder storms. It's Melatonin and Valeria Root, I usually just give half the dosage and they relax. Good Luck.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,681 posts, read 2,586,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogmama50 View Post
I don't know if it would work but I have used "Happy Traveler" for my dogs for fireworks and thunder storms. It's Melatonin and Valeria Root, I usually just give half the dosage and they relax. Good Luck.
Thanks, Dogmama! Worth a shot.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:59 PM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,208,960 times
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Natural remedies- and there are several that help calm- won't trump her lack of impulse control (or lack of focus). There are no shortcuts; you need to address the impulse control and focus.

The exercises below will put you in charge of resources, teach her impulse control, and teach her that you are the giver of all good things. While you are working on these exercises, manage her environment so that you aren't putting her into situations that make her go over threshold; once she is calm in low energy situations you can start upping the game and adding in small distractions. BTW, these exercises are life tools that should be used throughout the life of any dog to reinforce good behavior, provide gentle guidance, and teach boundaries.

My suggestions- implement all for a comprehensive approach to work on impulse control, getting a laser-like focus, and put yourself in charge of resources. These exercises are deceptively simple, but they are highly effective foundation exercises that can be adapted to teach any number of behaviors.

Grisha Stewart's "Say Please" protocol- effective way to put you in charge of resources (an adaptation of the NILIF protocol):
https://grishastewart.com/say-please/

Sue Ailsby's Training Levels (original)
Training Levels (originals) | Mind to Mind

Susan Garrett's Crate Games- about $30 worth every single penny; excellent for teaching focus and impulse control:
https://www.clickerdogs.com/crate_games.php

Leslie McDevitt's Look-at-that exercise as demonstrated by Donna Hill:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdraNF2hcgA

Susan Garrett's It's Yer Choice demonstrated by Cindy Briggs- to teach impulse control and working around distractions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipT5k1gaXhc

Last edited by twelvepaw; 07-14-2017 at 06:09 PM..
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:27 AM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,681 posts, read 2,586,021 times
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Don't use clicker training due to RA in thumb joints - hurts like hell. Been doing "Look-at-me" exercises since 16 weeks old. Works in many situations, NOT when we're outside. Thanks anyway.

Just did the "wait for treats" exercise. She loved that. I'll firm this up over the next week and then extend wait times. Thanks so much.

I should add that she has to sit-stay before she comes out of her crate, before she bolts outside, before she eats and most of all, when she sees another dog (but that's the one which never works). Doing well with all the others.

Last edited by soulsurv; 07-15-2017 at 04:35 AM.. Reason: more info
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:58 AM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,208,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsurv View Post
Don't use clicker training due to RA in thumb joints - hurts like hell. Been doing "Look-at-me" exercises since 16 weeks old. Works in many situations, NOT when we're outside. Thanks anyway.

Just did the "wait for treats" exercise. She loved that. I'll firm this up over the next week and then extend wait times. Thanks so much.

I should add that she has to sit-stay before she comes out of her crate, before she bolts outside, before she eats and most of all, when she sees another dog (but that's the one which never works). Doing well with all the others.
You can use a marker word "good" instead of a clicker.

There are no short cuts. You have to work each of the programs I gave you from step one- starting at home with low distractions and slowly working out to the yard, street, park, at all times of day, slowly increasing distractions. If she loses her mind, you have pushed her too quickly, and you need to back up.

You absolutely must be willing to use high value treats- e.g. tiny bits of cut up chicken breast, beef liver, hamburger- and you absolutely must be willing to treat liberally for desirable behaviors. You can eventually use other types of real-life rewards, e.g. belly rubs, sniffs, balls, etc.

Train her when she is hungry; walk her in public when it is quiet, and when she is tired and has already blown off steam with a good runaround. Then you can practice what you have been working with her on at home.

You must lay down a history of solid foundation work before you can expect her to be solid in high energy/high distraction settings. She simply isn't ready to handle it yet.

What you have been doing hasn't worked. Training your dog is a lifestyle, not a set of exercises you do once and then think she knows it. You have to consistently reinforce good behavior and be proactive to set her up for success by managing the environment and keeping her out of situations she can't handle yet. You need to break the cycle of bad behavior that she has been allowed to practice.

This comes down to the owner being willing to consistently work the program (do the exercises), reward the desired behaviors, and integrate your desired criteria into your daily life. "Sometimes" means "always" to dogs. You need to be consistent in your expectations.

I promise you that if you use the programs I gave you above, and work them the way the trainer describes, that you will see improvement. How do I know this? Because these are the same exercises and principles that I use in my classes, and I know they work. If you commit to working the exercises with your dog multiple times a day in short 2-4 minute sessions, and then integrating what she learns into your daily life, she will start settling down, but it won't happen overnight; it will take time, consistency, and patience to get her over this "bump", until she matures a bit more and settles down.

She also needs to get out somewhere that she can run undisturbed. I am not a fan of dog parks, but if you are in a city setting and don't know anyone that has a large fenced yard, then a dog park may be the only option. Being able to run, sniff, and play for an hour or so will help her blow off the nervous energy and raise her pheromone level so that she has lots of "feel good" hormones at work. That in and of itself will help calm her and make her more focused.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,681 posts, read 2,586,021 times
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Thanks, Twelvepaw. Been utilizing the impulse control exercises for about 2 months but will add yours. Funny...I was actually wondering about a hormone imbalance (vet says probably not). Raised her as I did all my others but could NOT continue puppy class because of her reactions to other dogs (which I could tell upset the trainer as well as the other dog owners (it was the old "oh-it's-a-Doberman" reactions which I despise). My other Dobes (2 boys and 2 girls) have done beautifully in multiple-level classes. I simply don't know what is different about this girl. Being single and having no children, I pretty much live for my dogs and am highly astute in terms of temperament, case-and-effect, etc., Yeah...this one has completely confounded me.

Thanks so much for your help.
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Old 07-15-2017, 06:38 AM
 
1,706 posts, read 1,208,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulsurv View Post
Raised her as I did all my others but could NOT continue puppy class because of her reactions to other dogs (which I could tell upset the trainer as well as the other dog owners (it was the old "oh-it's-a-Doberman" reactions which I despise).

That sort of reaction from a trainer is a red flag telling you to find another trainer.

I simply don't know what is different about this girl.

What is "different" is that even though you know the pedigree and have raised her the same as your other dogs, she has her own distinctly different personality and temperament. Puppies within the same litter have different temperaments, "personalities", tolerance levels, just like with people.

Your first dogs were easy. Now you have a dog that is going to force you to learn how to be a better handler and trainer in order to meet this girl's needs.

Whatever the reason, whether it is her inherent temperament or because she wasn't able to complete puppy class you now have to work with the dog that is in front of you Puppy class is possibly the most important class a dog can take as- with a knowledgeable trainer- puppy class will provide much-needed socialization and on-going counseling to address different issues and/or red flags. It is unfortunate that your trainer in puppy class didn't address these issues as they arose and give you tools to work with instead of, well, failing in her professional responsibility to one of her clients.
You now have a dog who- from your description- needs the work done that will provide her with the social tools to help her deal with these situations. You have some ground to make up, but if you work the programs I gave you, you will get there.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:38 AM
 
3,925 posts, read 2,556,333 times
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Twelvepaw has given her usual excellent advice. Good luck OP.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Kennett Square, PA
1,681 posts, read 2,586,021 times
Reputation: 2573
twelvepaws is indeed excellent - agreed.
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