For starters, there seem relatively few opportunities when the Whippet is in the right 'head zone' to learn. Then, when he does engage in the lesson, he quickly becomes bored and tunes out again. Indeed, training a Whippet has taught you a whole new level of patience and meant you embrace small improvements with the sort of enthusiasm you once reserved for a complex trick with a GSD.
Anyhow, the good news is you and your Whippet are getting there.... albeit slowly.
To successfully obedience train a Whippet means taking advantage of their more lucid moments, and engaging in brief bursts of training activity. Also, only use reward-based methods which major on encouraging the dog to behave, and be prepared to have the patience of a saint. That said, when all the stars align you will have a happy, well-trained, and obedient dog that will give you an immense sense of satisfaction at what you have achieved.
She jumps up people at every greeting, I anticipate it and say “down” just before the greeting but it seems like it is just not getting through to her
Hello Linda, Check out the article linked below. When you and family members/willing friends are coming home and she jumps, practice the "Step Toward method" from the article linked below. When you have guests over and she wants to jump, practice the "Leash method" from the article below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Once she can handle not jumping on you, practice the method with more difficultly by getting excited, jumping up and down, waving your arms, and sounding excited...When she jumps, enforce no jumping with the Step Toward method - the goal at this point is to practice her not jumping EVEN when she is excited - since she will be that excited when guests come over. Help her develop self-control ahead of time too by practicing during times of excitement with you once she can handle normal situations with you and not jump. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi, I have had Winston since he was 8 weeks and although we had a tough time with using people as chew toys we've got through.. He can sit on command and getting there with recall.. He also knows the word "pee" for doing a toilet (solid or wet!!) my problem now is that he will go for a walk in the rain (with a coat on) but he point blank refused to "do wee" outside when it either raining or the floor is very wet. I've taken him for walks and he's held on till he got home to go into the bathroom (downstairs bathroom) and do his business. When it's dry he takes himself off to the loo. Unfortunately I live in hull (East Yorkshire) so it gets wet a lot!! Any ideas? Thanks in advance - Charlie. (ps. My other dog is a lab retriever so he never cared about the weather!!)
Hello Charlie, First, if there is a creative way you can have a dry alternative for him to go potty when it's raining, that will be easiest. Using a real grass pad on a dry concrete area is one idea, building a little outdoor space somewhere that stays drier during rainy times, looking for areas outside that naturally get less wet, ect... Since the above suggestion may not always be an option, the second option is to wait him out in the rain. Obviously this isn't the most fun, but right now he is probably holding it to try to come back inside as soon as possible because of the weather. He is doing what keeps him driest in his mind - not venturing into the weather, taking the time to sniff and relax, and potty, and instead trying to return home as soon as possible despite needing to potty. It sounds like he already knows "Go Potty" and is being given treats when he goes potty - if he doesn't know that yet, start saying "Go Potty" every time you take him potty and giving several small treats or pieces of dog food after he potties outside to teach him the "Go Potty" command. When it's raining, be prepared to get very wet, take him potty, tell him to "Go Potty" and walk him around slowly on the leash - you absolutely have to go with him and slowly walk him around outside to get him to leave the door and sniff at this point. If he potties, praise, give several treats and rush back inside. If he doesn't go, stay outside until he goes (yes, in the rain). As soon as he finally goes (which might take a LONG time at first), praise, reward, and rush back inside quickly. You want him to learn that the quickest way to get out of the rain is to go potty, so that he actually learns to go potty EVEN faster while it's raining - so he can go back inside sooner. Pottying = getting out of the rain. Start now while the weather is warm enough, so he isn't out in freezing weather for too long when fall and winter come. You want him to be faster at pottying by the time weather is super cold. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Hello fellow whippet owner! I just rescued a 4 yo whippet and could use some suggestions from someone familiar with the breed. I live in an apt., and she is seemingly AFRAID of everything. Other people, noises in the hall... makes it extremely challenging to even get her to walk down the hall without pulling me all the way when she’s afraid. She is only 28 lbs but really has a forceful pull on her. Doesn’t even seem aware that I’m on the other end of her leash!! Can they learn not to be so fearful and actually walk on a leash like any other dog? HELP... thanks for any info
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When Jenson gets excited he starts to lose interest in his toy and focuses on biting my Fiance or me. What is the best method of stopping that?
When dogs are out of the puppy nipping stage and are adults and exhibiting this "playful" behavior, the best thing you can do is make no eye contact, get up and leave the room and make sure to shut the door behind you so he can not follow you. Many people scold in the moment which seems to make dogs more excitable. They are getting the attention and reinforcement they are seeking and don't care if it's positive or negative. Dogs are incredibly smart, but often they can not distinguish when you're returning playful behaviors, or pushing them off because you are annoyed with their behavior. Since he is wanting to seek attention and be playful, your cold absence from the room will quickly relay to him that his behavior is NOT how he gets play time with you.
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I have two whippets, male and female, both have been neutered. They are 6 weeks apart in age and from different breeders. They have lived with us since they were 10 weeks and 8 weeks and are extremely close. We also have two other, older dogs, of different breeds (a Great Dane and a Doberman/Pointer X).
When I walk them, they bark and are very aggressive towards other dogs. It has become very embarrassing and means I can't always let them off the lead for a run if there are other dogs around. I have tried gently introducing them to other dogs, but they behave in the same way. I would really appreciate some help in how to encourage them to behave better around other dogs.
Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make her concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at his (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!
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Introducing him to our 2 indoor cat and not have him chase them.
Hello, Check out the videos linked below for teaching calmness around cats. Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Work on impulse control in general with pup, by teaching things that increase impulse control and calmness - such as a long Place command around lots of distractions. Practicing the command until you get to the point where pup will stay on Place while you are working with the kitten in the same room. I recommend also back tying pup while they are on place - safely connecting a long leash attached to pup to something near the Place just in case pup were to try to get off Place before you could intervene. Make sure what the leash is secured to, the leash itself, and pup's collar or harness are secure and not likely to break or slip off. This keeps kitty safe while practicing and reinforces to pup that they can't get off the Place. The leash should be long enough that pup doesn't feel the leash while they are obediently staying on the Place because it has some slack in the leash. You want pup to learn to stay due to obedience and self-control, and the leash just be back up for safety. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Below are some other commands in general you can practice to help pup develop better impulse skill/self-control - impulse control takes practice for a dog to gain the ability to control herself. Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Pup is very young so also try to be patient with them since it will take some time for puppy to learn self-control and various commands. When you can't supervise the animals together at this age, I would crate train pup, and give pup a dog food stuffed chew toy in a crate or exercise pen to keep them from potty accidents, chewing things, and chasing the cat. You can also tether pup to yourself with a hands free leash as needed. Most 6 foot leashes can be made hands free by adding a small carabiner to the handle and clipping it to a belt or around your waist then back to the leash. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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