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Fear or demanding?; Confused by behaviour
Topic Started: 19 Jun 2014, 17:46 (1,309 Views)
MistyTwix
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I've had a thread running in chatter called 'torn cruciate'. The whole background to this question is there if you are exceptionally dedicated and keen to know the whole story.

Basically after enforced cage rest after her cruciate repair Dani has become a bit naughty. She is barking at people and dogs passing the garden gate. She has grabbed the paperboys trouser bottom to try and force him to play ball with her. I've blocked up the gate and this has helped but the clothes pulling freaked me out a bit. She's been v grumbly at other dogs when on lead ( more so the pre injury) but is easily distracted by a ball. She previously did Flyball and we are hoping to be back at light training July/August time.

I thought it was fear and frustration that was behind the deterioration but it has been suggested in chatter that it may be perhaps confidence and demanding behaviour as she is desperate for us to play with her. I feel I cannot leave her unsupervised in the garden - it is secure but I'm afraid if someone came in without my knowledge that she would do something silly.

Any suggestions/ ideas?
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woofgang
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I don't think that dogs do demanding behaviour like people do. How do you know that the trouser grabbing was because she wanted to play with him?
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MistyTwix
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He's a new paperboy. The old one usually kicked her ball a few times for her whilst delivering our newspaper. The new boy stepped over the ball and walked away. She ran after him pulled his trousers then ran and got her ball. She is barking at people and if they don't get a fright and walk away from the gate then she dashes off to present her ball to them.
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woofgang
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Oh ok. Well yes I certainly wouldn't leave her alone on a garden where people have access....but then I wouldn't do that anyway. She does sound rather wound up and I can understand why. Is flyball and ball play the only thing she enjoys?
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MistyTwix
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Afraid so. If I was a giant tennis ball then my life with her would be a breeze. She even refuses high level treats for a ball. She is due a booster soon. I will speak with vet and see what she thinks and who she can recommend.
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missuswilderness
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You have my utmost sympathy and understanding. As anyone who has spent time around Holly Sprollie will confirm she is a demanding little madam who has a tantrum if you don't play with her and the ball. The best thing in the world for a Holly is a tennis ball (and her giant running egg which hurts when she manages to spin it onto your legs). It isn't so much demanding more being completely focused on what she wants - her ball to move!

What we do with Holly is we have time when she has a ball - when we are playing with her for short periods - then they go away. She can't see them, she can't get them, play with balls is over. She has access to lower value toys as they are scattered around the house, but balls are removed.
She also only gets her giant running egg when we are out of the field with her, not as she demands. With her I decided that clear boundaries and being clear about when and how we played was important so we gradually reduced the time she had them for but made sure it was positive and fun when she did. I remove when she gets too hyper. I have also encouraged independent play (for my sanity, not hers) and worked with toys she has to move herself rather than humans do it (the egg thing - huge success and knackers her out).

Interestingly Flyball with Holly was a complete nightmare. Once she worked out that hitting the box released a ball she just refused to move and kept on hitting the box, or the next box along, or going behind the box to raid the bin with balls in. We weren't popular :rofl:
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MistyTwix
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We have hi level balls. Tennis for garden, special ball for walks and special special for Flyball ( she won't drop Flyball balls for a tuggy like the really good guys!). We don't have balls in house but maybe I should restrict in garden. I'm hoping it's just a blip and when we get back to training she will revert back. She has been good this weekend. My neighbour asked what was wrong with her as she didn't bark when 2 people went past. I was in garden and reading so hadn't noticed so that was pleasing.
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DawnT
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Chance is another tennis ball obsessed girl but I have taken the opposite approach. I am sure she would love flyball but instead we are learning agility and particularly the self control needed to be able to take part. All of her agility training is reward based and for her the reward is her precious ball which she is running to. So she needs a strong wait so I can throw her ball and release her to get it only when I say, to release the ball when asked and, she also needs to learn to follow instructions before she can get her reward - so for example if she knows the command for paw or sit, can she follow that when she is looking at a ball - for Chance the answer to this a few weeks ago was no - but we have been working on it :laugh:

Last week at agility I was really pleased with her as for the first time I could put her ball at the end of a line of jumps, walk her away from it off lead and then send her over the jumps to get it - even if the way I wanted her to go initially was in the opposite direction to her precious ball.

I am not suggesting you do agility but it does sound like you could do a lot more self control work and general training to earn the ball rather than just the ball itself. We do things like sending left and right round cones, throwing the ball and only getting it once asked to, all of which Chance enjoys every bit as much as just chasing it and I am sure it is easier on her joints.

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MistyTwix
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Dani will do tricks and spins for her ball and I'm happy with her general obedience when using the ball as a reward. I'm not sure how restricting her access to the balls will help with the problems in the garden barking as when she has the balls its takes her attention away from people going past. She isn't in the garden now unless I'm with her. She can go out to the back garden and there the only triggers are the cats which I don't have a problem with her barking at them. The big ginger cat sits on the other side of our fence and deliberately goads her - Dani hasn't quite worked that out for herself yet! I'm positive its all really based on her frustration at not being fully fit and unable to train at flyball. If in August we decide that she isn't and never will be back at flyball then I will have to think of something else to allow her to expend her energy.
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Nikirooshka
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Lots of ball play can lead to a permanently high adrenaline level which then bleeds into every aspect of life so it certainly can make the people problems worse!

When I first got River she was a sod for chasing cars - I learned about the ball issue (she's a tad obsessive, being a colliebrain) and restricted ball play for a few months and the car chasing stopped all by itself.

Likewise Rai was totally wired all the time until I stopped any and all ball play altogether for about 6 months, then very carefully reintroduced it with low value balls building up to high value over a number of months. In the early days, one walk with any balls would make her wired and a PITA all round for over a week!
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MistyTwix
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She's actually very calm in the house. I work full time so I feel that her time outside has to be fun and enjoyable for Dani. She gets a short walk at lunchtime without balls and two good walks at either end of the day with a ball. Balls are not allowed in the house although she is allowed chew toys. She's not really wired to the point that she can be a pain. The barking at folks passing the garden is very new, prior to her op she played in the garden alone/with me and ignored anyone passing by.
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MistyTwix
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With the nice weather I've been out more with Dani in the front garden. I've been throwing a ball for her if she ignores people walking past and this seems to have helped the situation immensely. If I'm not there when someone goes past she actually comes to look for me instead as she knows I will toss the ball for her. Its not 100% tho. Every day a woman passes with a german shepherd and a collie. She walks from quite far away to see her mum who lives on the opposite side of my house. The dogs are never on a lead and the german shepherd is always way ahead of her. The collie is a lovely calm girlie. This woman knows when she comes along our road that Dani is going to bark at her dog as it comes bounding up to our garden but she does nothing to call her to her side, she just continues to walk on the opposite side of the road ignoring the mayhem. I always get Dani away but she doesn't even acknowledge the part her own dog plays in this. The GS will get knocked down one of these days as it just launches itself across the road (even when Dani isn't in the garden) and we do have traffic on our street. Silly woman but it doesn't half get me annoyed.
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Jazzlet
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Ace that you've made so much progress Dani comes looking for you, it sounds like you have nailed it apart from that one dog. :goodjob: What a stupid woman :mad: I hope the dog doesn't get run over. :fingers:
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MistyTwix
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Thanks Jazzlet. Its not foolproof by any stretch of the imagination but it is so much better.
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