Southern by Choice's Teaching Moments- Indoor LGD! Badger

Southern by choice

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I decided to start this thread based on the many calls and e-mails we get on "how to" work with pups, started pups, adults etc. As things come to mind I will post the scenario's. I also thought it beneficial to share the moments we have on our farm with our pups in training. Some posts may be "praise posts" whether our dogs or others that we get feedback on and the things the dog/s are doing that is a "big-deal". Young dogs make big steps and I believe it encourages others to keep an eye out for those big things their own dog is doing and praise them for it.

Because this is a "Backyard" farming group many have LGD's on very little land and the dogs are being raised in the family farm environment... quite different from those covering hundreds or a thousand acres. Often these dogs have a strong relationship with their masters, this is a good thing. :)

I wish there was a way to categorize the posts.:\
 

BlessedWithGoats

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Yay!! I love this idea Southern, thank you so much! I'm sure I'll be able to use some of the info you post here on my LGD!! I already started to "set him up", as you had described in a post where a LGD pup growled at a goat. You set him up, corrected him, and then the next time he gave the behavior you were looking for! Tysm!!
 

Southern by choice

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Teaching moment! :)

Let me preface this with saying we raise our dogs to eat together, we do not condone aggression but do allow dogs to eat their food without having everything steal their food. Generally we put several large troughs out, put the food in and they will go back and forth between troughs, eating together.

This didn't happen tonight. For whatever reason only one very large trough was out. Too many heads in the trough.

Two pups (they will be six months tomorrow) had a go.
It was a doozy! :eek:

Before I continue, please remember I train, I know when to end something, when to let it go, as well as how far. NEVER will I allow any dogs in my care to cause injury or fight to a point that is unhealthy. EVER. Mostly noise and tussling and it is all done. Very rare happenings with our dogs.

The two pups went head to head and I walked down went in and stayed there... it was ALOT of noise but both dogs were ok and it then increased to "I will win" stage. One pup was on his back on the ground the other overpowering him. The one that had overpowered him had done so 3x but each time the other managed to get out from underneath and get in position.

Keep in mind this was a very quick event. In no way was this a "dog fight" - I would never allow such thing. I watched and waited and finally broke it up. I broke it up by saying "ENOUGH" and put my hand on the neck of the one on top. He backed off. The second dog was fine but boy was his pride wounded. He knew he'd "lost" although the reality is he really didn't. I'll explain in a minute.
He walked away head down. Totally humiliated.

I went to the second dog, knowing how humiliated he was.
YES! They do "lose face".
He would not look up at me. I took his face in my hands and lifted his head so I could look him in his eyes.
My words to him- " You did great boy, you held your own! You are a great dog, I am so proud of you. You never gave up! Good dog!"
Gave him a head rub and a kiss (yes a kiss) and left him to regroup.

I was sharing with someone the other day that they are very guardy now and I have no doubt they could take a coyote.

Why did I wait and watch and what was I looking for? What did I see?

First I am watching for dominance and to see if true position.
Second their methods and strengths. Then how they handle getting out of a situation. I am watching to see will the dog being overtaken submit? Give up? run away? Will the downed dog stay in the altercation, continue and persevere?

These things let us see whether the young guardian stay in it? If so then you know that this dog will lay it's life down for it's livestock. This dog will never give up.

There is always more to see in the one getting the worst of it. It shows you what the dog is made of.

Conclusion- Both dogs have tenacity. Neither dog will ever give up.
The dog overpowered proved himself to be a dog that will absolutely stay and fight off a predator to the death if necessary.
The dog that overpowered handled the changes in position and how the 2nd dog moved. Both showed great skill, speed, and focus. Yet still responded to their master which is required at this age... of course that will change as they mature.

This is why I say the one pup really did not "lose" but showed incredible fortitude.:)

Questions welcomed.
 

animalmom

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It isn't that I don't have questions but rather I don't know how to phrase them. i understand the need to reassure the second dog.

How, outside of your vast million year experience with dogs, do you know when to stop the argument? My three ranch dogs, not livestock guardians, have their job of keeping things in the pens in the pens and things that don't live in the pen out of the pen. They are good at that, so good that when I load goats into transport cages they will follow the truck out wanting their goats back in the pen. Single minded.

Rarely do they get into down and out disagreement with each other, nevertheless, I worry about what to do if there is a real fight. What does one who is not trained and experienced like you do to stop an escalation prior to a real dog fight?

The three dogs are: a border collie/red heeler spayed female (top dog) who is 5 1/2 years old, a Rhodesian Ridgeback going on 4 years (very submissive but in the one and only dog fight she gave as good as she got and "stayed in the fight", not spayed, and her son a Rhodesian/lab neutered male almost 11 months old, who's favorite word is "What?".

I don't know if you have suggestions, and it is ok if you don't. This thread will be an education regardless, and I appreciate your sharing your teaching moments. Dogs are only trained as well as the owners are trained and I am willing to learn.
 

Southern by choice

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I'd ask you and anyone else reading to try this exercise.

Get a stopwatch or clock with a secondhand- now do NOTHING else but for 1 minute- to 1 minute 30 seconds. YEP 60-90 seconds do nothing... no reading, no talking, simply nothing but standing there with no distractions and to where you are not even visually engaged.

I'll wait for you to do this before I explain. :)
 

Baymule

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My female GP and my female Australian Shepherd despise each other. Polly the Aussie will attack Paris the GP and the fight is on. Or Polly will snarl at Paris and that is an affront to the Queen's dignity. The fight is on. I go to great lengths to keep then separate.

Breaking up the fight? Last one took my DH and me to pull them apart and Polly went to the vet to get the gash in her head stapled.

If we didn't jump in, Paris would kill Polly. Polly has always been the instigator and goes down fighting, but she would lose.
 

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