Who is training whom?

Discussion of behavior issues, training and solutions here....

Moderators: Barb Wright, Lisa

Who is training whom?

Postby pietrzyk » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:47 pm

I recently adopted a lovely, sweet-tempered 7-year old Britt girl and we're working on helping her to adjust to her new environment. Her early years didn't include a happy home life, so her introduction to the pleasures of indoor living was started in her foster home and I'm trying to reinforce her potty training.
She didn't show much enthusiasm for my back yard, so I decided to take her to a nearby county park one day. She seemed to enjoy it and promptly got down to business. So we went the next day. And I loved seeing how much fun she was having at the park. Soon it became something of a routine.
Now she will go to the door and ask to go outside, but once out she'll head straight to the car. If I tell her that we're not going in the car, she wants back in the house immediately, if not sooner. Going anywhere else in the yard is entirely out of the question. It's get into the car or nothing. Since going to the park is not an option all the time, I found that I could take her in the car to another site--a school campus just a block away--and she would walk there and do her business. But we can't walk to the school, we have to go in the car.
Apparently she has now decided that going potty requires a car ride - but driving around the block and coming back to my yard won't work. Then she just wants to go back in the house as quickly as possible.
Go ahead and laugh. It is pretty funny. But it won't be in January.
Does anyone have some ideas of how to get her to take care of business closer to home? She's my 4th Brittany so I'm no stranger to the breed and their particular single-mindedness, but I'm stumpted. No the front yard is no better than the back yard.
Gail and Skye
pietrzyk
Puppy
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:24 am

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby Barb Wright » Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:09 pm

Only two things I can think of.....1. Bring home some of her droppings and put them in the back yard. 2. Invite some other dogs over to visit and hopefully they will do some marking and that will entice her.

Thanks for giving her a good home....if this is the only issue I'm sure you will get a handle on it :)
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13
Barb Wright
The Grammar Police
The Grammar Police
 
Posts: 6800
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby pietrzyk » Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:45 am

Thanks for the suggestion. It might help if she would stop and sniff but she gets such single-minded focus on getting to the back door if she's not going in the car, that it's virtually impossible to dissuade her. Once she's headed to the back door get out of her way!
pietrzyk
Puppy
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:24 am

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby Barb Wright » Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:51 am

Hmmmm.....very curious. I kinda think you are being manipulated, though why she won't walk to the park is mystifying in itself. Have you tried just taking a chair, a book, maybe some dog treats, out in your back yard (away from the door or car) and just sitting and waiting her out? Also, you could give her a really yummy treat when she does her business away from the house, then use the same treat to bribe her to "produce" when she is in your yard.

Had one other thought.....have you recently fertilized or had chemical treatments on your lawn? If so, there may be residual chemical odors that can be quite off-putting to some dogs, and thoroughly watering down the lawns might help. If not, well, I think I'm out of ideas. Hope someone else has some input for you. Please let us know when and how you solve this...it is an interesting problem.
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13
Barb Wright
The Grammar Police
The Grammar Police
 
Posts: 6800
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby pietrzyk » Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:04 pm

I have been trying to get her more comfortable with being outside in general. I'll sit and read on the back porch waiting for her to stop signalling her desire to go back indoors and just lie down and relax. It takes over 30 minutes. The yard isn't fenced, so I'll hook her leash to her harness and wait some more until she is relaxed. She trembles and shivers at first. Then I open the gate and... she heads straight to the car door and is not interested in anything else. Not treats. Not sniffing. Nothing. She has very little interest in food which makes using treats to reward behavior something of a challenge. Her favorite rewards are "going inside" and "going in the car" which are the behaviors I want to modify. I've managed to get her to come away from the car a short distance and praise and reward her with a treat, if she's interested. After two repeats of that I generally let her go inside where she clearly feels safe.
I really am pleased that she does enjoy visiting the park because she is very timid about so many things. I can see her confidence growing with every walk.
We've been so puzzled about the issue with the yard because it's completely au naturale (mud and moss and crabgrass and overgrown stuff - no chemicals or anything like that) and when she sometimes does go into the yard she often finds something worth rolling in. It's just getting her to break her obsessive desire to go inside or in the car that's the real challenge.
Thanks for your encouragement. I know we'll work this out eventually - even if it does take time. At least the weather is nice.
pietrzyk
Puppy
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:24 am

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby Cindy » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:54 pm

For the first 2 years that we had Pippa we called her our "inside dog." She wasn't like your dog - she did go outside, but mostly she'd be back at the door wanting in. Then all of a sudden she decided to become an "outside dog" and now we have to call her to come inside. Our friend has a 2 year old Brittany and when they first adopted her she refused to go in the nice, grassy front yard and would only hang on their deck in the back. It took several months and then one day she decided the front yard was OK. Sometimes I think these little Britts are just plain quirky :lol: :lol: Does she like any kind of toys? Maybe try playing with those outside? It may just take time so just keep trying. Another thought - is it possible to block her access to the door and/or car so she needs to find another place to go?
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
[url]Image[/url]
Cindy
Dual Champion
Dual Champion
 
Posts: 5711
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby pietrzyk » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:26 pm

It is reassuring to hear that there are other Britts out there with such "well-defined preferences" and I guess I can't blame her. She spent her earlier years living in a barn and I suppose she has a right to prefer being in the house to being outside. She has taken to the 'comforts of home' and it is still early days.
pietrzyk
Puppy
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:24 am

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby Cindy » Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:01 am

That's what we think about Pippa too. She came from Kansas and belonged to a hunter. The vet said she was most likely kept outside in a kennel because all the hair on her stomach was gone, probably from sleeping on cement floors. If that was my life, I wouldn't want to leave the sofa either!! But after 2 years of sofa sleeping, you "might" want to do something else :lol: :lol:
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
[url]Image[/url]
Cindy
Dual Champion
Dual Champion
 
Posts: 5711
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby Barb Wright » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:09 pm

Still thinking :) Got another question.....is she off leash when you're in the dog park?
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13
Barb Wright
The Grammar Police
The Grammar Police
 
Posts: 6800
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby pietrzyk » Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:26 pm

It's not a dog park, just a county park with hiking trails and ponds, picnic pavilions and stuff like that. It's got lots of tall pine trees and smells great and so does Skye when we come home. Pine-fresh! But she's on a leash the whole time. We usually do the 1-mile fitness trail, but when we have more time I let Skye choose which trails to take, and we went on one of the more ambitious hiking trails an hour-long tramp in the woods.
I'm going to try taking her to a dog park and letting her run off leash. She's very timid and trembles and shivers a lot when something upsets her so I want to be cautious about her introduction to other unfamiliar dogs. The dog park has trails, too, and if there are too many dogs there we'll just stick to the trails. I think it would be best if she started with just 2 or 3 other dogs so she doesn't get overwhelmed. I want her experiences to be good ones that build her confidence.
It is reassuring to see so much encouragement from the ABR community! :D
pietrzyk
Puppy
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:24 am

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby pietrzyk » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:27 am

We're making progress. Yesterday, Skye walked all the way to the school grounds, a block away from home, without a fuss. For a couple of days, I've been carrying her from my front yard down the street towards the school. I needed to help her refocus her attention from the car (parked behind the house) to the fun of walking around the school grounds. Now she understands that it can be as much fun walking there as riding in the car.
So the answer to the question is: We are training one another.
pietrzyk
Puppy
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:24 am

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby Barb Wright » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:24 am

WTG :D I had high hopes you would "out-figure" this gal :D Since you know the breed I was sure you would find a way to break that ever-so-strong ability of theirs to focus, really focus on something. That, and when they are unsure of the rules/situation they will seek to do what is a known, i.e. the house, the car, or even just make a purely dog decision. It sounds like she is finally getting more comfortable with her new world, learning the ropes of her life with you, learning what is expected of her, and this progress will just get better and better. Great report....thanks for the update :D
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13
Barb Wright
The Grammar Police
The Grammar Police
 
Posts: 6800
Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 12:45 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby Cindy » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:03 pm

This just made me laugh so THANKS!! So it looks like good progress on the walking but what about just letting her out in the yard. Still a no go?
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
[url]Image[/url]
Cindy
Dual Champion
Dual Champion
 
Posts: 5711
Joined: Mon May 10, 2004 4:26 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Who is training whom?

Postby pietrzyk » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:28 pm

We're making some progress on that score as well, at least after dark. At night I can usually persuade her that the car ride is not on the menu and then the yard will do, but if she thinks she can go somewhere more fun and interesting... well it's always worth a try :roll:
She may have not had much experience of the big wide world, but she a real quick study :wink:
pietrzyk
Puppy
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:24 am


Return to Behavior

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests