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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19956
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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my rescue dog jack was starved and cruelly treated

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my rescue dog jack was starved and cruelly treated for the first two years of his life i have had him for nine weeks the only major thing he has done is rip to bits my neighbours conservatory sofa to bits for the first week he cowered and crawled around on his tummy with lots of love he has gained inconfidence and is super with my two year old granddaughter. he displays seperation anxiety even when iam in the house by whining and scratching the carpets he is an intelligent sprocker off the lead he will come back two out of three times given a dog biscuit but then on his next walk he will blatantly ignore me and run off crossing a beck to get across to run amok in another field he knows he the rules but refuses to respond twice now i have had to crossa the swollen river because of the rain to get him back on the lead help

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
What kind of obedience training are you doing with him?
Do you have a set time and place for the training?
When is he scratching the carpet? When you leave him in a room alone?
If he runs off and doesn't respond immediately are you scolding him when he eventually responds?
Are you giving him a treat then?
How often are you calling him back to you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

oing sit and stay shouting jack come here when we go on our 3 walks
tting a treat when he obeys .goes off scratching in different rooms even when i am sitting in sitting room stops when i shout jack stop scratching when he comes back i say no in a raised voice and put him on his lead he knoes he has been naughty this is when we r on our walk but main worry is i have to go and get him as he totally refuses to come back eg wading over a beck and running after him until i get him on the lead. does not get atreat in these circumstances. on an hours walk call him about4 times.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Lesley,
Thanks for the additional information. I really don't see a separation anxiety issue here. With separation anxiety, a dog will bark, defecate or become destructive when the owner leaves them alone. You describe a dog that will leave you to go scratch in a different room.
Dogs scratch for various reasons. Often they scratch after defecation or even urination. Sometimes they will hear tiny noises from insects or wildlife in a crawlspace and scratch to try and find the source of the noise. In other cases a dog will scratch the floor to try and naturally wear down their nails. Dogs also scratch as an instinctualy behavior from when they used to scratch an area and circle to tap down dirt and leaves before laying down to rest. If you have been yelling at him for scratching the floor, he would learn to go away from where you are to scratch.
Instead of yelling at him for scratching, direct him to his own thick fabric bed that he can scratch before he lays down. Also go ahead and be sure his nails are trimmed to avoid that possible cause.
You also need to start a formal obedience training schedule. A class would be great, but many people can't arrange that. It does need to be a regular structured training session. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
http://www.cairnrescue.com/docs/NILIF.pdf
Use hot dog (frankfurters) cut into paper thin slices for the treats. Dogs work well for them. Obedience training and the NILF program will help the dog continue to see you as the boss and listen all the time the first time despite distractions.
Many dogs don't come when called because they have learned that the only time they are called is when fun time is over. People call their dogs to them to make them come inside or to stop chasing prey (cats) or to be put on leash (end of free running time) or even crated. The only association they have with the come command is negative.
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Additionally, dogs find chase to be a highly amusing game and have learned that if they get close to a human, the human might chase them. They love a good game. So what you need to do is make coming to you more pleasurable.
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The easiest way is to reward your dog with small tiny treats and praise whenever your dog comes to you when you give the command. Do this even when the dog wants to come to you. After a few treats, the dog will associate coming to you with getting treats and praise. Outside, you will want to use a long lead. Do not drag your dog to you, but say the command and if the dog doesn't come, give the leash a short tug. Start with short distances and gradually extend the distance as your dog becomes more familiar with the command. Over time, you will reduce the treats and increase the praise until praise is the only reward. Another thing to remember is to never call a dog to you to discipline it, go to the dog. During training I don't call a dog to me unless it is going to be pleasant for the dog. I usually don't have much of a problem since the dogs quickly learn that I have thinly sliced hot dog treats just waiting for them to obey me.
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I alway recommend starting inside since most dogs are more than willing to come when inside. You can even have a helper and both call the dog to them in turn rewarding the dog for coming to you.
It is going to take some time but most people see improvement in just a couple of weeks of training, so keep up the training. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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