Re: Won't permit anyone to put on a collar, examine her, etc.

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eestrebe's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-09

We have two female dobie pups, siblings aged 8 months.  Both are very loving and sweet, do well with other animals and people, and seem well adjusted in general.  We live on a well-fenced two acre property in the jungles of Costa Rica, which has got to be a dog's paradise.  We haven't done much formal training, but they're reasonably obedient.  Fergie, the more dominant dog, refuses to allow anyone to "control" her in any way.  She strongly resists (by running away) even putting a collar on.  She won't permit anyone to examine her, remove ticks, etc.  I took her to the vet the other day, once I finally caught her and got her in the car.  I had to carry her into the vet (no resistance, but NO assistance).  She was clearly frightened on the exam table, but, held down gently, permitted the vet to do his work, including injections.

I would like some advice on how to - what?  Gain her trust?  Establish myself as alpha?  I'm not sure what the underlying problem is.  We have no trouble handling her sister Ani, but Fergie positively freaks out at the first hint of "control."  Ideas and advice are welcome.

What you are describing is normal reactions of an untrained unsocialized dog. You are probably pretty lucky the other doesn't act the same way. You need to start back with the basics. The dogs have been allowed to go pretty much natural for 8 mo you've missed some important windows of prime training periods. This doesn't mean that it is hopeless just more difficult as some things are going to be harder to break and work through.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Yes, it is a classic case of the dog being the Alpha and not the human. You definitely need to get control of the situation, for it will only get worse if not corrected.

BlueDobie's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-02

I would read Ceasar Milan's book "Be the Pack Leader". He writes very clearly and it is easy to read.

eestrebe's picture
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Joined: 2009-08-09

OK, I've been WAY too lax with the pups.  I did a bunch of reading, then this morning put both dogs on a short leash and worked with them separately.  Ani did very well after an initial hissy-fit.  I was amazed that, after a much longer and stronger hissy-fit, and a lot more general resistance, Fergie did pretty darn well also!  I only spent about twenty minutes with each of them, but by the end of their time both dogs would walk around our very large yard with me without fighting me.  While we were all worn out afterward, everyone ended the session happy - especially me!  We'll repeat this session this afternoon, then work on two-a-days for a while.

Maybe I just needed a little kick in the butt myself?  Thanks for your helpful responses.  I may well have more questions as we go, but the point is, we're finally on our way.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Sounds like a plan.