One step forward two steps back

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Just Whelped
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2023 10:23 am
Tell us about yourself: My name is Frederik, adopted Ozzy nearly a year ago, he saved my life and I want to make sure he gets the best life possible.

One step forward two steps back

Post by Painteater »

Hi all, Frederik here.

Longtime lurker first/second time poster.

So a bit of backstory I’m sure will sound familiar to all here.
Age on adoption 1 year 6 months, no history.
Current age 2 years 5 months.

I adopted Ozzy the end of May last year, I’d recently moved to a new country and when I saw him on the rescue page immediately felt a connection. Like I said I’m sure this all sounds familiar, I’ll try and cut a long story short but I grew up with police dogs, protection dogs and felt I was up to the task.

The first few months were rocky but he warmed up to me, we had our moments and I’ve got a few permanent reminders. He had not been socialised at all it seems, had the bare minimum in terms of basic training and was/is a stubborn boy.

Triggers I’ve picked up on over the past year, high visibility clothing, the sound of a van reversing (when indoors his reaction is one of pure terror and concern), when a flashlight is pointed to the ground he spins, he never spins (this was a recent one a friend noticed on an evening walk) he is generally nervous with cars though its a lot better than it was however he know almost seems to wait for the car in the hopes of meeting it head on???. Unfortunately his past is a total mystery though i have my suspicions based on our first few weeks together.

I wouldn’t call barking at the sound of delivery men, neighbours or knocking at the door a trigger as he generally listens when I say quiet. Plus he’s a dog and its a lot better than it used to be.

His recall varies between amazing and non existent as stated, stubborn but I feel perhaps a lack of respect at times? He will eventually return though I would appreciate a more immediate response if ever there were any danger to him or myself. He is generally fine with other dogs and has fast made friends with the locals, as one of the first things I worked on was socialising him, though he can get a bit vocal he is not aggressive.

Saying that there is a local dog known to be a bully and though the owner is a good man the dog had tried to pin Ozzy but left with a bloody paw, I did not praise this behaviour but mention it to help with his profile I guess.

I’m lucky that I live next to the coast and walk him 3/4 times a day though atm the length of the walk varies based on his behaviour, I have two kong extreme balls with climbing rope through them that I use to exercise him and this tends to tire him out. On average he has around 2/3 hours of running, smelling, exploring.

Overall his progress has been amazing but, and here’s the problem/s
I feel that at this age there are behaviours that need correcting, that cant go with him into adulthood.
I felt I had leave it, come, stay, drop figured out. But as time goes on I feel he has me figured out and am unsure of how to resolve this.

One main issue before I forget is he will eat napkins and banana peels, most things that seem like food being that he’s let off lead It’s impossible to stop so ideally I need to work on correcting this and at the very least perfecting drop.

I should add that where I live there isn’t a trainer I could see working with us as its mostly puppy classes, I’ve not managed to find anyone suitable and the only person who was ghosted me.

Anyway sorry for the long story long ha, if this is in the wrong section or you have any questions feel free to let me know, regards Frederik.
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Posts: 3580
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:42 pm
Tell us about yourself: Owned by Hondo and Mustang - two MAD rescue dogs.
Location: Cutler Bay, FL, USA

Re: One step forward two steps back

Post by centrop67 »

Dealing with dogs that trigger easy is really frustrating not only for this breed.

Relaxation, engagement, and counter conditioning are required, but it is a long process of small wins.

Without the benefit of a nearby trainer you might want to take a look at online training from Meagan (aka the Collared Scholar).

She has some free articles and videos that are helpful, but she also does a step by step workshop for exactly what you are looking for. It includes access to a support group of other dog owners going through the same thing.

Good luck.

Got any new photos of Ozzy?
Location - Cutler Bay, FL USA
Image RIP: Leela, Radar, Tequila, and Snickers
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers
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