BROKEN FINGER due to Bella

12 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2012-10-28

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 Today as we were leaving for a nice walk and adventure together, the neighbor went by on his motorcycle.... I did not see or hear him until he was ery close... blind corner. Bella was almost under control when she lunged towards him, my right ring finger was caught in the long leash. 



BADBAD BAD MAD< no walk for her!

A trip to urgent care for me, luckily there isnt much pain, I iced it continually and MK drove.

DOES ANYBODY KNOW HOW TO TRAIN for this??? unfortuneately there are very few cars ( less than 15 each way each day= 30 over 10 hours...) on our road so desensitizing her here would be extremely boring

 I will be fine, jes' no tug o war on all fours for a few weeks



 pb an' me, Julia

talisin's picture
Joined: 2011-02-25

no idea how to train against this behavior, but wanted to say how sorry I am about your finger!! dealing with my husband's broken hand right now so I understand the issues.

What is it with the month of November that things have gotten so bad for so many with broken bones and then this flu/sinus thing......seems people are getting both.....Hope I don't

Get better, do you have leash burns ??

Bearshade's picture
Joined: 2013-08-24

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goodness ! I hope you heal quickly! I am no help on this one Dallas  was picked up in TX and had three long months of truckstop walking before he got to our quite home in NY.

andrew's picture
Joined: 2013-01-11

As I have said before, we live on a busy main road. Our bushwalk starts by walking up this road and this is really where the Terrible Two earnd their name. I have found a combination of correction by short jap of the chocker chain, return and sit at correction point to start walk again properly, and reward treating for ignoring such events has slowly introduce the correct behavor over time, though far from exemplery, we are getting better. Age and experience are helping.

The ruccus they make and the strength required in the early stages was demanding, every house owner up the street has now meet them purely from the interest from the noise of their bad behavor.

They have sprained my wrist, hurt my shoulder and nearly knocked me over. The short and simple of it is that you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Never rap up fingers, never go off balance to walk around / over an obstical and always approach blind spots as though there is an elephant stampeeding around the corner. because if there was, you would react the same way they will when its a bike or a bird etc.

Hope this helps

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Yes Thank You Andrew this advice does help alot! 

At our place there is 1-200 yards of mostly deserted road between our doorstep and the trail where we let her off leash 1/2 the time. And she does not like sports cars or motorcycles! She does not bat an eye when the old trucks lumber slowly by. 

 And thanks for your kind words Bearshade and Tal

The finger bone is cracked between the knuckle and next joint, and it is twisted at the end. The skin is fine.

I have sustained many injuries because of Bella. Her exuberance for life and her strength are mostly to blame. I used to have quicker reflexes I guess:) 

This a.m. we were retuning from a very active walk and were digging a hole beside the road... when a Porsche came up. Luckily, even with one hand I got her collars into my other hand and yelled BAD at her, this is the reprimand that sinks in. I was glad to have this opportunity the very next day!

If she is off leash, which is quite rare nowadays, she will stand in front of a car and literally block them from getting by her with barking. 

I hope in the spring to get the fence up, its going to be about 3-400 feet so she will be able to use the dog door and run around the house.

btw, her heeling and loose leash walking are excellent, even with other distractions such as wild animals



I think you are missing a part of the whole process of your training. You're wanting to train Bella not to chase the car (prey). What you want to train is heel (which is a command of position not motion) and your recall (come to you no matter what's out there).  You said Bella was "almost" under control". I can assure you, she never was under control. You also said that her loose leash walking is excellent! Your broken finger tell another story.

What would be more beneficial for you would be to back up in your training. Start over with "heel". Low to no distractions. Don't try to get 100 steps. If you go two steps and Bella is in position, reward it. Add more steps over time. When she's consistent with healing and you can make a short walk (low to no distractions) and she stays in position your almost there. Then you start using corrections when she gets out of position. You don't have to yank her head off, just a little snap of the lead to get her back, when she's there reward her. A good position for heel would be no more than 12 inches from your leg. Which leg?, pick one. Unless you're competition training, left side, right side, doesn't matter. Heel starts with a sit and ends with a sit. I like automatic sits. Dog sitting, you move, you stop, dog sits. Never let the dog just leave from a command. If you sit the dog, you HAVE to release the dog (I use "free" as this command) or you give another command. An example would be if I tell my dogs to sit, they'll stay sitting until I tell them to do something else or release them. "Stay", isn't even in their vocabulary. It's not needed. Sit means sit, not get up when you want to.

I guess what I'm getting at is that your heel is not clear to Bella. Dogs think in black and white, there are no grey areas. If your training is not clear and concise, the dog will be unpredictable. If it is clear and concise, the motorcycle doesn't matter.


Lady Kate's picture
Joined: 2009-10-28

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Hey Gunny.. thank you for those suggestions.. I truly appreciate it.. Our pups are so quick and sometimes they seem to react faster than we can think. To have them on 'auto-pilot' is the best way to go.

Jules... so sorry about your finger. Heal quickly so you can enjoy hanging those Christmas ornaments up higher than Bella's nose.. lol

Hi Julia , our dogs are big and strong and accidents happen .. It's really hard predicting their every move all the time . We live in a busy area and Mina has her dislikes !!!! I have now tried go get her ok before they approach . Although we turned a corner this morn and a poor jogger got lunged at ! Hope your finger mends .... You doing a great job with bella xx love Paola and Mina xx 

Joined: 2012-10-28

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Hi all, and Thanks very much, Gunny.

We are walking Bella much more in a Heel position and she is doing great for long stretches with few distractions. She sits automatically. We use "ok" when I drop her long leash and only hold the end of it. I am also re-enforcing 'come' command and using treats and praise for both. It's interesting about not using 'stay' command because we use it mostly inside the house when we hide her toys during the 'find it' game, or to make her wait when playing fetch. 

I am thinking about taking her to a back road (looks like our area) where cars and cycles go by , you know how the Harley riders congregate at woodsy and beer type places on the weekends.... and just watch em all go by for an afternoon, (or several) ... get her totally desensitized. Would this work or could she hate them more? Start out inside the car, then behind the car, then a nice picnic within view, and then maybe graduation will be taking her over for a good Motorcycle smell and a beer!

My hand is in a stiff cast like thing, they say I can take it off tomorrow so it wont be too stiff for the tendon surgery they want to do on the 11th :(((( I hope its not needed!!!!! I have to be  off  of my freelance work for a month:(


Woof from Bella and me.

p/s B destryed only 1 ornament last year, this year we go to my Moms:)

Happy Holiday Season! 

pics soon

Joined: 2012-10-28

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i had hand surgery yesterday, there was a twist, bone fragment and torn tendon as well as the fracture, so it was neccessary, and the specialist was great!

i still love b to death, she is 99.9% wonderful, and we are working her harder and better. its almost like she is a doberteener right now. she acttually surfed something from the table a few days ago!! never ever seen that before!

everybody be careful with your strong and sometimes impulsive young un's




sorry typos

big cast now

talisin's picture
Joined: 2011-02-25

Love the advice here will keep this for my own personal reference material these are hard things to do with no ability to walk a dog on a leash at all due to safety issues but I think I can work with this, thanks Gunny!!!

I hope your hand heals fast and 100%!!!

3sacrowd's picture
Joined: 2013-08-23

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I've only owned one doberman so I'm by no means an expert; take my advice for what it's worth ;) .  I took treats on walks (thinly sliced hotdogs) and had her sit when a vehicle, people, etc... went by.  Once she sat, she got a treat, and the distraction was gone.  From there on she seemed to lose interest in passerby's, vehicles, etc...  She will look and that's about it, and many times she sits automatically and waits for me to give her a treat.  Pretty funny stuff.  I've also found that she does better on walks when there's the collar is snug (not choking) and up higher on her neck.  She doesn't pull; she stays at my side, but I've also worked on heel with her.  Best of luck and sorry about the broken finger >ouch<  Hoping it heals quickly.

Stkychic's picture
Joined: 2012-12-01

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I'm sorry to hear about your finger. I had a similar accident on October 21. Heading out for a walk at rush hour time on a fairly busy city street, with my pug on one arm, and my Dobbie on the other, when my pug (who by the way, is other animal crazy. so crazy, I can't watch animal planet even, without him trying to get himself physically inside the tv) saw a dog across the street and before I knew it he tore the lease out of my hand and was one claw from being in the street. I dove after him and my foot got into a hole I didn't see in the grass and I rolled my ankle and broke it. Thank god I was just around the corner from my house and my neighbor came out to help me. The neighbor tried to take my dogs back to my house while I waited for a ride to emergency, but my Dobbie refused to budge. My neighbor finally did get the dogs to go home by using her dog as a distraction, but as soon as my gate closed my Lefty tried to jump over the fence to get back to me. How sweet, scary but sweet. Nonetheless, I had a cast for 6 weeks and just getting back to walks. Surprised my fiasco wasn't posted on you tube. 

So, your not alone, it happened fast and sometimes all the best training or control over dogs isn't enough to prevent an accident, hence the word accident. 

Be well