Dismiss Notice
Hello Guest, Welcome to the new version of Sheltieforums.com. If you have any questions regarding the new software, please post in the following section: Forum Upgrade

Difficult subject

Discussion in 'Sheltie Chat' started by Scout’s Mom, Jun 28, 2021.

  1. Scout’s Mom

    Scout’s Mom Premium Member

    77
    255
    75
    May 20, 2021
    Gulf Shores, AL
    I don’t consider a small vibration to be physical punishment. I have read extensively on ecollars and if the shock option is used, I would agree that is physical punishment; however, a small vibration to alert the dog that he needs to stop what he is doing is no different than a tug on the leash.
     
    Piper's mom likes this.
  2. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    7,686
    9,210
    585
    Feb 25, 2008
    It's very easy to become reactive to our dogs' behavior and use the wrong training method which makes things worse. I can see the frustration in your post and strongly suggest that you consider consulting someone experienced in behavior training for Shelties. This can be a tall order since not every behaviorist has handled the Sheltie temperament, which is much softer than many other breeds, but they are around and well worth the effort. Avoid using a trainer who advocates "alpha" training, it will NOT work with a Sheltie.

    A few sessions with an experienced trainer can put you on the path to success with your puppy and give you valuable tips for continued work with him.
     
  3. Sandy in CT

    Sandy in CT Premium Member

    2,192
    6,911
    505
    Aug 5, 2018
    CT
    There are a few things that you can do along with your chosen correction mode.

    Our Brodie is a bit 'excitable' to say the least and at times has jumped, grabbed on to my arms. It's mainly been when I walk out our front door and then back in that door. In/out through the basement or back door is not an issue; for some reason me and the front door is. I have really loudly yelled 'OW' so loud I frightened him. I have loudly yelled 'NO' but only once he sort of got what 'NO' referred to. He is 2 1/2 and I still have to remind him to be a proper gentleman at times. This happens only with me.

    Deacon gets excitable with our doxie, Kooper. Deacon has not yet concurred the 'NO' expression so I have at times grabbed him by the ruff and strongly, sternly given him a 'NO'. Honestly, he behaves a few days and then forgets and we start again. Deacon has a really strong herding instinct and he herds using ankles (ours, Brodie's, Koopers) while wrapping his body around and leaning in. He's probably be great with sheep even though he's small! We're working on the ankles with him; he is young and doesn't always listen or remember what exactly it is we mean.

    I use many, many different tools with my dogs. Language, body language, loud voice, super soft whisper, I have an ultrasonic device I've used for barking, cheapo dollar store water pistols. I don't think anything is ever a one and done unless you have a sensitive dog, but then I think that if you have a sensitive dog, you may never have to deal with bad behavior associated with excitability. Shelties are sensitive dogs, mine are quite sensitive to my moods, if I am upset, if I am super happy, they are super happy, if I am not, they want to lick me or become determined to get me to play. But if in an excited state, they are off in their own world at times and not much fizzes them.

    My trainer says when you correct, your goal is to get their attention in a way they won't forget immediately, although they will forget. You gotta try stuff, going slow to see where that line is with your pupper. You start off softly, increase if that doesn't work, find your level that your dog reacts to. They are like humans; each unique. You never want to barrel in and scare them. When you find what works, that is your puppers level and you don't exceed that or you risk scaring them and you don't want a frightened dog either. One pupper might react right away to a normal level 'NO' because they don't want to disappoint that human they love so much. Another might require a bit more, but do take caution not to scare. Working with a trainer as Ann suggested can help you get to know what your dog reacts to.

    Some things that may help Scout see you as above him might seem silly, but they do work. Making Scout sit and wait for YOU to give him permission to eat the food that is on the floor in front of him is one way. Making Scout sit at the door, you entering and exiting before him is another. With Deacon and Brodie, Deacon is more submissive and has always let me walk in/out the door; he waits for me to 'allow' him to come along with me. Brodie barrels in and wants to be first. They are really like raising kids; just some are like perpetual 3 year olds (that age is so much worse than the supposed 'terrible twos'!)

    Making Scout work for things. He wants a toy, make him sit. Sometimes reward with a treat, other times a pat, sometimes just expect him to do stuff. At first as you are working with him, reward, reward, reward for good behavior. As he starts behaving, cut that back or you will become a slave to the treat and eventually you want him to behave just because.

    As with your human kids though, he will not always be good, not always remember. Training is an ongoing thing and shouldn't ever really stop.

    Good luck with Scout!
     
  4. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

    6,593
    16,518
    710
    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    I once had Riley grab my arm when Piper was a puppy and I’d caught him peeing in the living room. I was telling Piper how bad that was and Riley thought I was going to hit Piper so he grabbed my wrist. I only mention this because there are different reasons why a dog (or puppy) may react in this way. Riley wasn’t trying to hurt me, he was warning me not to hurt Piper (Riley was one of a kind dog...loved that boy) although someone could easily have seen it as him being aggressive.
    I do think it would be great if you could get Scout into an obedience class. Help to increase his confidence. Difficult I understand with lockdowns and such (we’ve been in lockdown for past 2 months, classes just starting up next week finally!) but it would help to build on your relationship with Scout.
     
  5. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

    6,593
    16,518
    710
    Jun 26, 2015
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Excellent advice Sandy!
     
  6. Scout’s Mom

    Scout’s Mom Premium Member

    77
    255
    75
    May 20, 2021
    Gulf Shores, AL
    Thank you for the suggestions. I know Scout is the most intelligent dog I have ever had and I have had a German Shepard and a Doberman that were incredibly smart, but nothing like my Scout. I have always trained my dogs and never had any problems I couldn't work through. I am seeing that shelties are a much different breed. As far as obedience training with Scout, he has aced everything I have taught him. I do make him sit before going inside and out and he also knows to sit and wait for his food. I am training him to “place” and stay, which is going very well. I have puzzle toys and snuffle mats for him, which he loves. He is great with the down command and up command.
    But when he decides he wants to do something he is not supposed to do, he does not listen to no or a leash correction. I am using a slip lead, which is better than a plain leash, but most of the time he ignores the correction. I dearly love him and he is very affectionate to me and my husband. He is an awesome dog and I know we will get through this. Thanks for your help.
     
  7. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    7,686
    9,210
    585
    Feb 25, 2008
    It sounds like Scout is a very smart boy. I suspect that's contributing to your problems! Not to trivialize this, but the smart ones are also more opinionated and stubborn. And, if I'm not mistaken about his age, he's about at the teenage phase where he's testing his independence. All this is by way of saying that Scout is being a typical Sheltie puppy. They ARE a different breed, far different than the others you've mentioned in terms of temperament, and they are bred to be smart, creative and determined herding their flock.

    This can be a tough but rewarding phase, depending on how you handle it. Cautious correction is a must. I use slip leads too and they're very effective in the moment, which is when you want to apply the correction. You've gotten some great suggestions here from others; try them all. One size doesn't fit all but I'm sure something will work for you. The training you're doing is excellent. The smart ones who are thinkers need a job, above anything. Games, puzzles, obedience, even rally or early agility configurations may be useful. Hang in there, Scout will get through this, and so will you!
     
  8. GlennR

    GlennR Premium Member

    1,458
    6,622
    505
    Jan 11, 2019
    Ontario, Canada
    Don't worry, sooner or later Scout will have you trained to his satisfaction, at least that's the way it went with my Willow. :)

    Is there anything that is irresistible for Scout? For Willow, it was a flirt pole. Sometimes dogs love fetching or frisbee where you have a chance to wear out your Sheltie before they wear you out. Once we got the excess energy and natural exuberance taken care of, I found Willow was easier to manage. No amount of walking was enough to accomplish that, only running games seemed to do the trick. We're a one-dog home so it was all up to us to control all that enthusiasm and, although it took work, it was well worth it.
     
    Sharon7, Caro, Sandy in CT and 5 others like this.
  9. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

    5,996
    6,772
    585
    Oct 15, 2009
    Yep that was the challenge with Spitfire. He never had the thing that was important. You were either on his list or not. And the list changed :ROFLMAO: Very unusual. Sca's kryptonite was food glorious foood. All else did not matter when food was involved including fetch which he loved. Angus loves food and getting petted. Yes Angus will do tricks just to be petted.

    Spitfire you have to be on his agenda if not.....good luck. Oh and he is ten so no teenage stage. Though as I said he is very untypical.
     
    Sandy in CT, Piper's mom, Ann and 2 others like this.
  10. KarenCurtis

    KarenCurtis Premium Member

    3,631
    5,571
    540
    Jan 30, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Agree 100% !!
     
    Piper's mom likes this.

Share This Page