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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20218
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My dog is a rescue from Romania. About three months ago we

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My dog is a rescue from Romania. About three months ago we had to put to sleep our older dog who our Rommie dog had followed re behaviour. I had also trained her well to recall with treats when we first had her and did not have too much problem with that. Now our Romanian dogs behaviour is changing. She will not come to have her lead put on at the end of a walk and stays just far enough away to not be catchable meaning that if we do not have an hour or so to enable us to encourage her to us, we are having to keep her on a long lead. She never wants to actually run away from us and is always nearby us. Treats have failed to work. She is also staying out in the garden and has made many small lying areas around the garden. She has now found the greenhouse , the door of which is stuck open, and she spends a lot of time in there and wants to stay out there at night. Again, getting her to come in from the garden is now becoming very difficult, regardless of treats and ignoring that she is out there. She also has a real fear of the car when it is actually going, and physically shakes in it, even though she knows she will have a nice walk at the end. Any advice of how to go forward would be really appreciated. It is almost as if she is going back to being a street / pound dog again.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I want you to know I am working on your answer and have some tips for you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you

Let me start by saying how sorry I am for you loss. I know how difficult it is. We lost one a few months ago and it still hurts.

When your older dog passed, the boss dog was gone. This made your romanian dog the top dog. Before the lower ranking dog followed the boss dog's lead. The boss dog made the decisions. Now the Romanian dog feels that it is her right now to make the decisions and she doesn't seem to feel that you are her boss and thus she isn't obeying you.

It actually isn't hard to fix but will take work. She'll need formal obedience training. This doesn't mean she has to have a formal class, but does need a specific time set aside for training every day and you will be practicing the same command over and over again until the dog listens the first time every time. Use hot dog slivers for treats while training. They are usually high enough in value that dogs will gladly work for them (obey). Each time a dog obeys a command, they become a little more submissive to the person giving the command. Once she views you as the boss, she should listen to your commands the first time every time.

The following site is helpful in helping owners train their 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.

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.

In addition, you need to work on the recall command (come). If you think she has desensitized herself to the word you use to call her to you, change it to something such as HERE. It sounds weird, but a dog that ignores come, might eagerly come to the command HERE once she realizes she get hot dog sliver.

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. 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.


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.


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.


Training should eliminate the problem pretty quickly. I think the fastest I've seen improvement was within a week and almost all clients see improvement within a few weeks.

I hope this information is helpful to you. 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 . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** a help. Basically it is back to basics by the sound of it. I will definitely try the hot dog , would that be the ones that come in a tin as we don't eat them, I have been using ham which she normally loves. I hadn't thought about it from the top dog perspective, but it does seem to make sense.

Ahh I see you are in the UK. They might be referred to as vienna sausages there. They are quite smelly and oily so the smell coats your hand and keeps the dog interested in you and your hand even if there isn't a sliver in it. I use a small bag that ties around my waste to put my treats in and fish them out to reward the dog. You keep the treat in your closed fist and open it to give the reward.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Any suggestions for the car fear at all ?

Actually I do. The medications might have different names there though. It sounds like she may be getting motion sickness and the motion sickness is causing the behavior issue. It may not be causing her to vomit, but is making her uncomfortable and anxious. Motion sickness is worse if you can't see out a window. Some people use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) to calm their dog before car travel and Dramamine is also used for motion sickness, but your Vet should be consulted before using Dramamine.

Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours. The dosage for Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate) for motion sickness is 2-4 mg/pound by mouth every 8 hours.

Any medication should be given an hour in advance to car trip. I have a dog that used to constantly pace and jump around the car as well and no training would help, but Dramamine helped even though he wasn't actually vomiting.

For anxiety, herbal rescue remedy is often used, but another option is a DAP collar that uses pheromones to calm a dog. It emits pheromones similar to those produced by a mother when nursing pups. You might try giving the medication, waiting an hour and then put her in the car and just move up the driveway slowly so she sees that it isn't the same as it is normally. She may still be anxious since she is used to it making her uncomfortable, so I would still use a DAP collar so she is calmer as well.