He hates the horseshoes! (VIDEO)

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DextersMom's picture
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I will try to add a video to this!!! This has to be seen!!!

Dexter is pretty mellow when action is going on around him. We took a wall down... He was right there. There was noisy banging, drilling, cutting going on during our kitchen renovation... He was right there. 

Thunderstorms or fireworks... no twitching, just chill looking at 'Oh look what is going on up there!'

My point is that Dexter is not scared of loud or odd noises at all. 

This spring we tried playing horseshoes in our yard. Dexter completely lost it!

He was barking and pouncing on the horseshoes, so we put him on the porch... where he barked like mad and tried to 'climp' over the rail. (About 6ft. high)

We moved him into the house and he would still bark when the shoes were flying, scratching on the door trying to get out. 

It is almost like he wants to kill them and we have no idea what makes him go crazy. If the shoes are in the pit, unused, he could not care less about them. As soon as we pick one up, IT IS ON!!!

I took a short video of him. The way he is acting is very mellow compared to how he usually responds to a flying shoe. 

-I have no idea why he is doing it. 

-What it is that he is actually doing (the noise he makes when he pounces is something I have never heard him do before)

-I have no idea how to stop this behavior. 

 

 

DJ's Dad's picture
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That is WILD!  LOL

LJ764's picture
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I believe he's playing with it. Then his prey drive kicks in and he get excited. JJ does the same thing with the garden hose. When I try to water something he attacks it. The more I use it the more exicted he gets, LOL.

Lady Kate's picture
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well imagine that.. a horseshoe playing Doberman.. I think he's having fun. And I'm wondering if you just keep playing ... give him his own horseshoe.. direct his toss,.. he'll get a ringer!! LOL

He sure is a gorgeous guy.. Love the way he moves... and BTW.. you have a pretty voice.

Thanks for the vid.. nice.

Echo's Dad's picture
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Haven't watched the video yet, but a suggestion comes to mind.  To change the behavior, redirect his attention.  Hold a horseshoe and when he goes nuts over it, redirect his attention to a ball, a toy or a treat ... don't give him the toy/treat until he is completely calm and no longer excited about the horseshoe.  Present a calm front and don't distract him with words, just use your body language and stop hand gestures.  Rinse and repeat.

Tip taken from the dog whisperer.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

I agree with everyone you can go either way, encourage him to enjoy the game however, there is the safety issue if these are iron he could get seriously hurt if he out runs the shoe and it hits him. So keep that in mind. But you could encourage him to play and throw his shoe elsewhere but then that will teach him to chase the shoes and he might not realize he has his own and you have yours.  OR you could redirect him with treats etc. while he not focusing on the game but he has to be calm before the treat. Give him a job to do to get the treat. Also you are throwing this "thing" away from you so he could also see it as something you want to be rid of and that's his job in his mind.....and since he leaves it when he gets it or its still would indicate the prey drive, he leaves it cause it is not moving any more which means its "dead" and no longer a threat.....

DextersMom's picture
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I do not want him anywhere near the pit! I am scared to death that he will get hit or chip a tooth when he gets to the shoe. I tried to focus him on other things. Did not work :( 

Treats. Did not work.

Tried blocking him. Did not work. 

Had him on a leash, and he snapped the buckle of a $100 custom made leather collar.

Just the sound of someone playing outside sets him off! 

Like I said in the first post. 'That was him being mellow about the horseshoe!'

It turns my well behaved/trained cuddle bug into a maniac :(

We play fetch A LOT. We can't use the word 'Stick' around the house without him popping his head up :) Be it a stick, a ball, a frisbee.... he NEVER acts the way he does with the horseshoes! 

Just normal fetch and the constant harrasment to keep throwing till you can't feel your arm anymore^^

talisin's picture
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Oh wow he's having a Goofy moment that's what I call totally irrational hyper focused behavior......can you hold the horsehoe in your hand while sitting on the ground and act like you are going to throw it and work with him that way??? to desensitize him???

DextersMom's picture
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I just got back inside... walked around wit the horseshoe in my hand, sat at the picknic table with it, watered my plants.... and Dexter is going nuts the whole time! 

The kids tried to play ball with him and throw his beloved stick. NOTHING! 

Just panting, twitching and barking. It almost looks like he has muscle spasms :(

Now he is laying on the couch next to me all tuckered out. 

talisin's picture
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wow maybe he was a horse or a blacksmith in another life hahahaha, what happens if you and someone else put about 4 feet between you and toss it back n forth to each other??? Have you tried the rubber horseshoes??? could it be the iron??? were these on horses before purchasing??? Does he have any history with horseshoes??? has he been hit with one somewhere?? Do the kids throw them while yelling maybe he thinks they are a threat to everyone's safety. I would sit on the sofa with one and toss it a few inches from me and see what happens, and increase the distance, but finding out if it's the metal ones versus the rubber ones, etc. might be helpful to figure this out.