BUNNY 911 – If your rabbit hasn’t eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, call a vet immediately! Don’t have a vet? Check out VET RESOURCES

The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

       What are we about?  Please read about our Forum Culture and check out the Rules


Home Forums THE LOUNGE Dog Section & POSITIVE training (woof woof!)

Viewing 25 posts - 51 through 75 (of 113 total)
  • Author
  • #1845962

    How’s everyone’s dogs doing?
    Vienna, any improvement with Baloo around other dogs?


    Hi Jersey – thanks for checking up.

    It’s swings and roundabouts for us… or mountains and valleys – or whatever the right saying is.

    Baloo seems to have slightly more respect for me (oh, YOU, my owner?) when I call him, but he is still a nightmare outdoors on lead.

    When I say a nightmare, I mean when he sees another dog he kicks off from energy 4 into 10 within a millisecond and barks so ferociously that people cross the road to avoid us !!

    However, I have had another behaviourist come check him out with her dog (a 15yo very wobbly lab) and she says he’s got a great character and the barking is frustration not aggression.
    We went out on an organised ‘educational’ walk with 12 other dogs at the weekend and Baloo barked for the ENTIRE 90 mins. No, I fib, he stopped barking for the 10 mins I let him off the lead.

    When he is presented to other dogs, balanced dogs, on lead, he behaves and is ‘polite’. But the barking is pretty amazing and so strangers are NOT interested in interacting with us (understandably).

    He is whining and then barking at the buns when they have a chase and nip session or when Henry scratches at the litter box. I think this is getting worse as he woke me up at 6 this morning by barking which is the first time.

    So I’m obv not using the right training to get him to stop. I’m torn between a NO and a positive redirection (squeakie toy).
    Whatever I say (positive or not) it seems to wind him up even more. However, if I ignore him, he doesn’t calm down on his own either…..

    I give him naughty time out in the entrance hall which seems to work a bit, but it’s almost like a kid who says something naughty then goes and sits on the naughty stair by himself. Baloo barks loudly, looks at me, and goes and sits by the door to go out !! LOL

    So we are still very much on a flat learning curve, one that is not yet moving upwards !!! *sigh*

    We are working on clicker training indoors to encourage him to look at me more when outdoors, but I really can’t see a quick solution to this.
    Nor really, tbh, a solution at all !
    But I try to remain positive about it as off lead he seems to be OK. (Though he hasn’t yet met a dominant male off lead yet… *gulp* )


    Had ‘quite’ a good short walk round the icy block yesterday eve (it always OK when we don’t meet any other dogs!!)
    Alhough he escalated very quckly and aggressively when we passed a house with dogs barking, he only took about 100m to calm down rather than 200m !!

    He does “sit” very well when he knows there’s a click and treat – but only when he’s in his comfort zone away from the distraction.

    I’m also teaching him “silence” and “bark” (you can’t teach “silence” if at first you haven’t taught “bark”) and although at first Baloo barked very tentatively when I asked it, he now knows the command and loves giving a loud solid BARK !! (WHEN I ask!).
    I’m hoping it will pay off in the future when he barks at the buns or at front door or at anything he ‘shouldn’t’. Hmmmmm, Watch this space !! LOL

    What I DO know is that the GENTLE LEADER halter has saved Baloo from going back to kennels, because although I’m a strong person, he is stronger and would have pulled me over by now. It works exactly like a halter for a horse does enabling a hooman to control the head.


    Watching this space. I think it’s wonderful what you’re doing.


    Vienna: I’ll trade Otis for Baloo if you want! Otis doesn’t react much to other dogs at all, he either tries to avoid them or stares at them like they have two heads. Our neighbor has a giant hairy monster of a dog, he charges and barks at us every time we go out the door. I was worried this might have a negative effect on Otis, but now I feel like it’s desensitizing him to rambunctious dogs, he doesn’t seem to care much anymore. I really wish I could let him off the leash without him speeding off, I gotta wrap the leash around my hand a few times before opening the door just to make sure he can’t get loose. 

    Regarding the training, I guess it all depends very much on the individual dog, what works for one might have the opposite effect on another. Sounds like Baloo is making progress, so that’s great!  It’s funny you mentioned the gentle leader, I’m about to try the same thing, pretty much. I’ll use a slip lead looped around the neck and snout in a figure eight, it’s basically a poor man’s gentle leader.  I hope it will stop him from pulling, he’s way too strong. How long did it take Baloo to get used to wearing it?

    I’m also planning to get the walky dog bike leash for him, I think  running him with the bike will be a great way to get that excess energy out.  Yesterday I read that dogs aren’t supposed to run on asphalt until they’re grown though, does anyone have an opinion on that? I’d hate to have to wait that long but there aren’t any dirt roads around as far as I know.


    Hazel, dogs can’t do agility here until they’re a year old. The Kennel Club recommends you wait until the dog is fully grown until you start doing any heavy duty exercise. There are differences between breeds and you should wait longer with large breeds. I don’t know what scientific evidence to support this there is though.

    I have a friend who did inline skating with her dog (a lab cross) on asphalt and he completely wore down his foot pads, so you should probably start with short distances so the foot pad skin can get thicker gradually.

    Are there no nature trails you could use?


    I was wondering if Baloo took to the Gentle Leader. Yay! One less stress so you can concentrate on the other things.
    Vienna, would he respond to touch rather then voice to regain his attention when he starts barking at dogs when you’re out?

    Hazel, that slip lead trick is neat. Ive been trying Danny (my sisters dog) out by putting lead high around neck and walking around the yard and he fights it every time. He does not like his head being controlled! The gentle leader harness worked well for a while but he grew out of it. He’s now only walked with a slip chain and he pulls. But he has improved.


    Hazel – Don’t tempt me. I would SO SO LOVE a non reactive dog !! OMG it’s my only dream at the moment.
    People cross over the road when Baloo is barking as he is SO aggressive in his barking.

    It’s really not that much fun at the moment with him doing that. I turned around on the walk last night after 10 mins because he was so aroused he was barking into thin air. Like a small child in full hysteria tantrum mode. There was no getting through. Even with calm distractions “ooo look there’s father Christmas flying through the sky!!”

    re Otis rushing out the door, I presume you are already doing the ‘”can’t go out door until calm” routine…
    Opening door tiny bit, closing it when he head butts it to get out (lol), then doing it again… and again and again….. up to 20 / 30 / 40 times if needs be.
    it takes soooo long, but once they catch on, by golly they catch on quick !! Baloo has, tries once now, forgets, then sits and looks up at me as if to say ‘ok ok I’m calm, lets go’…. LOL

    Watch this link at 5:15

    I think I think the same as bam – it was 1 yr for dog agility here…. it’s a bit like asking a small child to jog regularly and run a marathon – they might be able to do, but until all bones and joints have finished growing/fusing, the pounding or jumping won’t do them much good into adulthood.

    Jersey – I don’t understand how Danny can ‘grow out of’ gentle leader harness… “pleeeease explain”… (lol)
    The whole idea is that they tone down their pulling as their head turns if they pull. That won’t work with a slip chain. It works better with Baloo, I can still feel him pulling, but it doesn’t translate to be as hard or powerful as with a collar from the neck.

    He’s not impressed by it on his nose, he rubs up against me and all hedges to try and scratch it off, but then other things are much more interesting to be barked at
    But if means me being able to walk relatively normally then he’ll have to have it on until other things fall into place !!


    I meant to say I’m seeing another behaviourist on Tuesday (the first one is good but is pregnant and not taking on any more individual coaching !) who is happy to go for walks with us and see him in full action and then go from there…


    Oh! And it is THIS coming weekend I will attempt (using acting skills I don’t have, or friendly smiles that i do have) to prise some information from ex-owner (the nice one) or acquaintancies of hers to see if Baloo has always been like this (I don’t think so or she wouldn’t have kept him for 6 years…).



    I wish you could bring Q8 with you, Vienna. She’d threaten to throw a potato on the ex-owner if she doesn’t cooperate. And she’d throw the potato too, if it came to that.

    The We don’t go until you stop pulling/whining really works, but you do need patience until you’ve gotten the point across. Video was disappointing, though, I was hoping to see Balou being terrible =)


    Oh sorry, yes, i can see how you thought it may have been Baloo…. i would love to get Baloo on film… but need someone else to do that…
    One thing at a time.

    Having written the above post about 2 hours ago, Baloo tonight seems to be listening to “STAY” and “SILENCE” said with a bit more force, when he starts whining and working up towards the buns…. he’s on the couch me and i stick my foot out to stop him jumping down, and as soon as he looks at me he gets a YES and a treat…. yay for tonight.

    I did give him 2 loads of Bachs remedy rescue earlier. i wonder…..


    Haha, was it the regular kind or the pet one? The regular one does contain some alcohol…

    Oh lookie! I found this “alternative” Bach remedy, for people.  Clicky.  

    Jersey – I don’t understand how Danny can ‘grow out of’ gentle leader harness… “pleeeease explain”… (lol)

    Oops sorry!  I meant the Easy Walker!!  The one that goes around the body.  

    I hope you do get onto the former owner. It will be super interesting to know about his history, especially since he was a sort of therapy dog, right? 

    People cross over the road when Baloo is barking as he is SO aggressive in his barking. 

    It’s really not that much fun at the moment with him doing that. I turned around on the walk last night after 10 mins because he was so aroused he was barking into thin air. Like a small child in full hysteria tantrum mode. There was no getting through. Even with calm distractions “ooo look there’s father Christmas flying through the sky!!”

    He must be super stimulated when you go out.    

    I watch a vid last week where the owners thought the dog was being aggressive when out but it was actually just him being amped up and wanting to interact with other dogs. I’ll need to go back and view again to remember specifically. 


    Ahhhh Easy Walker…. thats understandable!! Haha.

    I would love to see that vid, that sounds exactly like Mr B.

    He’s not stimulated when we start, although he is v alert and aware of everything…. its when he sees or smells another dog…. and i find if i say anything, like anything, it sets him off. But if i don’t say anything, he goes off on one anyway….


    Posted By Vienna Blue in France on 12/06/2017 1:43 PM 
    The whole idea is that they tone down their pulling as their head turns if they pull. That won’t work with a slip chain.

    Actually I think it would work the same way, depending on where the metal ring is positioned. I’ve seen people do it different ways, but if you have the ring sitting under the lower jaw (same spot where the leash attaches to the gentle leader), it should turn the head if the dog pulls. Hopefully. I guess I’ll find out. 

    Yes, we’re doing the waiting by the door thing, and he’s actually not too bad about it. I have him sit, and open the door. Then I wait for him to look at me, and release him. I’m mainly afraid of him getting loose once we’re outside. He has this nasty habit of suddenly lunging with all his might to get back to the house. It seems that sometimes he hears something and it makes him freak out. Could be a car, or a bird, or the wind…  He’ll keep lunging so hard that he does a 180 in the air when he hits the end of the leash, then he’ll stop for five seconds and try again. I have to constantly brace myself for this, he does it very randomly. I thought it was some kind of fear phase, but he’s been doing it for a long time now. He’s gotten loose a couple of times because of this, and once he realizes I let go of the leash, he’s gone.

    Can’t wait to hear how it goes with the new trainer! 

    jersey: Yeah I bet Danny didn’t like it much. When you’re used to running around all over the place, I guess it’s kind of a bummer to have to walk nicely next to slow humans all of a sudden.  I reckon Otis won’t appreciate it either. 

    bam: We live close to a wildlife refuge with wonderful hiking trails, but unfortunately they don’t allow dogs. 


    Bad news : New trainer due tomorrow has been put off due to snow this evening and freezing températures over night.
    Pavements are ice rinks, so we’ll push it back a few days…. I don’t want to fall and with Baloo’s arthrosis he’ll slip around like Bambi.
    That’s the bad news.

    The good news – the OH so exciting good news is that I have been able to speak to Baloo’s ex-owners (the nice ones, not the nasty man) who have been able to give me ALL Baloo’s history.
    It has filled in ALL the gaps and dotted all the “i”s and crossed the “t”s.

    Due to serious medical issues and a very excitable Baloo (yup, he has always been so) they gave him up at the beginning of this year to a man they thought would take care of him. He didn’t. I showed them the skinny Baloo photo – they were devastated. The woman cried.

    Baloo has been the companion of a 20 something year old lady since he was 3 months. He had a backyard but was never walked by the lady (too strong & excitable) but could be by her brother who trains dogs (to attack! ring?) and I don’t really want to know by which methods he trained Baloo… in his presence Baloo behaved. Hmmmm.

    So basically, Baloo was very rarely taken outdoors, socialised very little with other dogs and has a tendance to be dominant when he does meet them. Oops.
    He has always barked!

    So we have work to do, but I gather he did not pay any notice to the lady’s commands, so that’s changed for him in my house!!

    And with the behaviourist coming soon I am hopeful we’ll be able to get into his head !

    But is great with people and kids.

    It was lovely meeting the girl’s parents and time will tell if she is happy enough to speak to me and even see Baloo again (in a while when he knows I am now his family!).


    Oh wow! What a great update. Im really glad you were able to get onto them. Very interesting!! I think they’ll be very glad to have met you and know he is in good hands with you now.


    I’m sorry about the trainer =( But it’s force majeure and not in our human control. We have plus degrees and almost an inch of snow. Effi was very excited about the snow today. I hope it’ll be gone tomorrow or I don’t know what to feed Bam the grass slayer.


    Trainer is coming tomorrrrrow….


    So, how did it go with the trainer?


    Oh yes, sorry, gosh… well she came for the home visit on Weds to see Baloo, the house set up, the problems we have and went for a walk to see how he reacts to other dogs (we saw some, he reacted, i’m glad, so she saw him in action).

    And then she returned the following day for a home training visit.

    We have since been out in the woods together (with Baloo!), met lots of dogs (some cool, some bark-worthy and one reactive Jack who attacked) and are due to have 4 more sessions this week.

    The problem at home is that he barks unnecessarily and loudly at the buns. Sometimes it is because they are moving and sometimes he just turns looks and barks. Their puppy pen takes up a third of the downstairs open plan area. It stretches from the living room into the kitchen area so we pass it every tilme we move basically.

    Trainer reckons he is barking to get my attention as I do react when he barks loudly enough to shake the walls!!

    But I don’t understand why he then gets up all alert and excited and barking when I’l giving him my ALL attention, laying on his back with me scratching his belly…
    The buns moving has become the trigger within the trigger (my presence)

    So it’s still a catch-22 situation.
    He onlead gets very frustrated seeing other dogs as he wants to go say hi.
    But instead of frantically wagging his tail and keeping calm and polite so we can go over and say “hi” to other dog and owner, his frustration shows in barking, and barking loudly and aggressively and so others don’t come near us.
    The advantage of being in the woods is that other dogs come to say hi to us offlead, if they want to.

    Baloo seems polite (although tensioned) and sniffs in all the right places. When they leave when their owner calls, he gets frustrated again and starts barking !!

    I suppose it’s like me being starved for a week then someone waving a huge scrummy chocolate cake in front of my nose, allowing me to take a lick then taking it away again !!

    So we have to work on that. And it’s a LOT of work.

    He is exceedingly wearing in the evenings. Tonight, after the walk, I have given him 2 stuffed Kongs and a rawhide bone, just to keep him chewing and not annoying. The buns have settled too, so that helps.
    Overnight he is fine. Early morning (6am) Henry attacks the litter tray with a vengance (I can hear him from upstairs!) and Baloo does not react one bit, not even a whimper.
    So, it really does seem to be ME the trigger which upsets me because I dont know how to correct it without me not being present !!

    But we have to work on it, we will work on it, and it HAS to work, it just has… or else the fun and enjoyment that taking on another dog was supposed to bring me, has failed, on a 5 year (atleast) scale…

    The work at home to work on is to get Baloo to sit and lay and stay from a distance. Like, me asking him to lay down from a distance.
    Sounds easy… not so. So I put him in sit, go into rabbits, he moves I return. Repeat !!
    Then I’ll be able to put him on his bed when I’m in rabbits’ enclosure and ask him to lay and stay. In theory.

    Current training is, I am on all fours, cleaning the buns out and checking on Baloo who is 10 inches behind me on other side of puppy pen. The minute he is not whimpering or barking I CLICK and throw treats over the enclosure to reward his good behaviour.

    He seems very frustrated, his compass is completely out of control and he needs complete consistency, which I’m maybe not giving, unconcsciously of course.

    Hence the trainer. And luckily she’s not too expensive if it’s just educative walks and not home visits. Phew !


    If you can’t do this, nobody can. Teaching him to sit and stay put might need to be done in veeeery small steps. But you know all that. Start by backing away from him, don’t turn your back. One step at a time if you need to.

    It takes extra time because he’s still learning to how to read you, and you him. That will of course also improve with time and training.


    Training walk in the woods and park this morning. Lots of dogs came to say hi and Baloo politely sniffs and wants to play but at moment he is still on lead. We spy people walking their dogs and trainer says, ok lets go frustrate Baloo, lol (not worth paying to go on a walk if we avoid all triggers!)
    So we were following a lady (65ish) who had a long haired pekinese off lead and she was looking back at us and hurrying along and looking back again. And we were walking faster than her… lol. So we caught up and she held her dog and when i said “its ok he is not aggressive” she smiled and let “Helmutt” (lolol) go who ran up at speed wagging tail, threw his head under Baloos belly to sniff his willy andd Baloo said nothing!! (Yay!!). So they turned around each other a few times and Helmutt left without any probs and even the lady stroked the barking Baloo.

    So hopefully… with more and more positive meetings Baloo will relax (at the moment he’s fine, but he’s not wagging his tail in a chilled out manner, maybe waiting for another male to come say “HEY YOU! yeah yeah whats your prob, wanna fight ???”)

    The key is chilled out dogs. So the woods and park is a good place as they are mainly dogs who are exercised regularly and properly and are chilled. As opposed to yappy little town dogs or dogs who are just taken out to go toilet and back home again and are just as frustrated as Monsieur Baloo.

    Check up at vets this morning and Baloo barked so suddenly and frustratingly ( i was obv taking too long to pay!! ) that a lady in the waiting room (the other side of a closed glass door!!!) jumped out of her seat !!!! It’s strange how people look as me very mistrustingly when i say, ‘so sorry, but he’s really not aggressive, he’s kind, go on stroke him!!! ‘. Hahahaha


    Happy New Year !

    Just before Christmas one of the walks in the woods set off an exceedingly frustrated and aggressive Baloo, with first one male husky ( also on lead) and then a guy with three VERY chilled huskies. My dog trainer said she often had problems with huskies, maybe they have a different smell… luckily the three group of three huskies were not reactive at all and the dog trainer could see how Baloo works himself up into a MEGA tantrum.

    But MIRACLE. Read on !!

    That same evening (maybe it was a full moon) Baloo was BONKERS with the buns.
    So much so that I remembered the water spray (ed: “Hi Walker” *wave* LOLLOL).
    I gave him a “silence” command, he didnt, i sprayed once, he recoiled !!
    He looked at me as if I’d given him a 5 min electrocution session and whimpered off to his bed.
    5 mins later the buns moved, Baloo started whining (pre bark) so I asked him “silence” again.
    He looked at me, whimpered and took himself off to hide in the toilet.

    And he has since very rarely barked at buns and when he has ive asked for “silence” and he does….

    So the whimpering is him bascially deciding to not bark, going against his bark reflexes which have been isntalled for 7 years.
    He is in effect stopping himself from barking. Which is the aim, for him to decide HIMSELF that barking is not the polite thing to do.

    He still does whine a bit and the odd occasion he barks, it is MUCH scaled down (a loud bark rather than an aggressive one) and when I ask for “silence” he licks his lips (sign of being uncomfortable and calming himself down) or yawns (again sign of stress) and when he decides not to bark he gets a calm but energetic GOOD BOY SILENCE from me which reinforces his decision.

    I spent the week of Christmas saying good boy silence to make him understand his good behaviour.

    Over Christmas he had some good meets with other dogs and some less successful ones.
    This still makes me upset as they are aggressive meets. i presume this is from being unsure and scared but we still need to make him uderstand that not a good reaction.

    Fight or flight i suppose and as he is onlead, he only has once choice.

    But the fact that he is much more zeeeen at home with the buns is a HUGE help to my mental state, LOL.
    And obviously his too !!!!!

    I asked dog trainer if the water spray would work outside, she prefers to leave it as the indoor tool. When he is barking in the garden, i only have to hold the spray at the window and he comes running, quiet, wagging his tail. Always a bone waiting at the door. Lol.

    So we will try an ultra sound collar outdoors or a lemon spray one. Used correctly, ie with big positive reinforcement when quiet, he may only have to have it sprayed once or twice as he seems to pick up on the training so so quickly.
    I would NEVER go down the electric shock collar route, but he seems to be very receptive to a firm NO or a surprise, as long as it is followed up with HUGE rewards for being good.

    Thats where alot of people go wrong, they think punishment gets results, meeehhhh, but they don’t then reward GOOD behaviour.

    Goodboyheal. Goodboy silence. Goodboy couché. Goodboygentle. My entire days are filled with gooooodboys.. LOL

    Next challenge, Outdoors….


    You sound as if you have a great handle on the positive training methods. It’s really encouraging to read these changes in him. I think with this method, it’s slower then some other training methods and people give up when not seeing results sooner. Do you think?

    So, what is the “silence” command? Is it you just saying the word or a hand gesture??

    I spent the week of Christmas saying good boy silence to make him understand his good behaviour.

    Goodboyheal. Goodboy silence. Goodboy couché. Goodboygentle. My entire days are filled with gooooodboys.. LOL

    I wonder if you also mutter it in your sleep and the cats are like “WTH???!!” You’ll have them convinced they’re both male dogs before too long.


    Oh gosh yes its so slow. That’s why I’ve given in slightly and tried the water spray. It wouldn’t work though if it is used too much. (Like smacks for a child…. sometimes you see parents smacking their kids, kids who have smiles on their faces. It has NO effect whatsoever!!!))

    I wouldn’t continue if there weren’t people saying it DOES work…. it’s hard.

    ( It hasn’t helped that my bunnysitter says it has taken her 7 year old dog 6 years to get better for his leash reactivity !!!! )

    The reason why i want to shortcut a bit this training is because i do believe he could be a danger in the streets if he reacted to a dog on the other side of the road and there were kids on my side.
    So if it takes a bit of discipline mixed in with the positiveness, then I’m happy doing it.

    Some total positive trainers would say the word ‘NO’ is not even allowed….

Viewing 25 posts - 51 through 75 (of 113 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.