Kona issues-help please (long)
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Thread: Kona issues-help please (long)

  1. #1
    Kimmers's Avatar
    Kimmers is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultKona issues-help please (long)

    My having been home a lot this week due to taking boxes over since I'm moving back...has caused me to notice that Kona has some real behavior/training issues. Apparently my parents are aware of them-but not really willing to admit that they may have caused them, and they haven't tried to fix them. All I keep hearing is "I don't want a dog that does this, our other dogs never did etc. etc. etc.). She's a different little girl, that's for sure. But she's not a bad dog. She's almost 2, so I know she's still young.
    -Kona chews-a lot. Anything she can get her paws on. This I'm attributing to boredom. Because it's always when she's left alone with Sam. (fyi.Sam doesn't chew on anything but his stuff). She chews her blankets in her crate, and when she's not in her crate-it's anything else if she doesn't have HER toys. And even then she gets bored. When she's in the canopy of the truck-she chews the canopy. She's ruined 3 sets of brake light cords apparently.
    -She won't let you know if she has to go to the bathroom. You have to make SURE she goes, because she won't tell you. Potty training issue here.
    -She's hyperactive. Very. This dog needs so much exercise it's unbelievable. And even then, she's running around like a madman when she's tired! The only time she calms down is at night when sleeping with Sam. Every other time it's "Oh my God, there's people here! YAYYYYYY!!!!" or "A ball..YAYYY". You get the picture. I'm thinking lack of real attention, but I could be wrong.
    -I took her to the park, alone. She doesn't know how to play. She gets along well with other dogs, but as soon as another dog tries to play with her-her hackles go up and she starts growling. Being very defensive of herself. She's not a very confident dog. And that's probably because she's ALWAYS with Sam.
    -She knows basic sit, come and lie down. But she will not stay, and her recall works maybe 1% of the time.
    I'm not even touching on everything. That's how much I've noticed-and now that I'm moving back home-I don't want her to keep being like this. Something has to be done.
    I've contacted Sam's trainer, and talked to her about it. We have an evaluation session with her next week so she can see Kona for herself. She has a program called "Doggy Boot Camp". It's not really what it sounds like. She takes dogs with behavior/training problems, and works with them 1-on-1 for 3 weeks. I've seen some of the dogs she's worked with-and you wouldn't believe what she can do. She is truly amazing. I'm a little hesitant, because it requires Kona to be up there for 3 weeks. But there's also the option of re-doing some obediance classes. But IMO I don't know if this will be enough-because it will be ME doing this with her. Not my parents.
    Opinions? Other options I may have? I really want to turn this little girl around. I didn't realize she'd gotten so bad-but not seeing her every single day-it kind of slips by me. :-\

    Kim & Crew

    Beautiful BC, Canada
    JL Member since July 1, 2002


    Fear Nothing. Live for Everything.

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  3. #2
    Kimmers's Avatar
    Kimmers is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kona issues-help please (long)

    Bumping-anyone??

    Kim & Crew

    Beautiful BC, Canada
    JL Member since July 1, 2002


    Fear Nothing. Live for Everything.

  4. #3
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    DefaultRe: Kona issues-help please (long)

    Sorry, way out of my league. Hope you get some help though.
    Lana

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    DefaultRe: Kona issues-help please (long)

    Well I think you hit the nail on the head in that most of her problems are the result of boredom. That being said if she is your dog its not your parents responsibility to take care of her its yours. This is all correctable behavior.
    In my opinion I would do more one on one training with her at this point over doggy boot camp because no matter what she learns at camp, your the one that needs as much of the training if not more. Barbara Woodhouse, a famous old-school trainier once said, "I can teach a dog what I want it to learn in about five minutes, people take a little bit longer." If the one on one doesn't work then you can resort to boot camp.

    The chewing redirect it to things that are allowed and eliminate the things that aren't. Remove the blanket from the crate and let her sleep on the bare floor. I know its harsh but she is also going to be safe. When Oona, was this age I can't count the number of beds and towels she destroyed. She slept on the bare floor in the crate and she had a cheap bed in the living room. She was out of the crate when we could watch her, and she dragged around a 6 ft leash so she could be corrected. If she put her bed in her mouth we gave her a correction. In my opinion this is a better method than yelling at the dog, because at times, just like children, the dog is soliciting attention, and negative attention is better than no attention at all.

    As far as the behavior with the other dogs, I would have to see it myself to make a judgement. Growling in and of itself isn't anything to be worried about, more often than not they are play growls, (if you heard Oona's you would be worried). Its bluster and posturing. The dog equilivent of trash talking. The raised hackles are a little concern. At our dog park their is a black Lab pup named Asa. Asa is kind of a bully in that when she meets a submissive dog she plays too rough. I have pulled her off of a couple of dogs in the past, and when she didn't listen to Oona when she wanted her to stop Oona had to nip her before she got the message. The solution was for Asa to come to another dog park where there were several adult dogs that wouldn't put up with her monkey business, and it worked. If she trys to dominate the older dogs they flip her over and she goes completely into puppy mode. Maybe if you got into a group obediance class she could learn that other dogs aren't a threat? An additional possibility is to get her into an agility program. It would give her time with you, she would be burning off energy and challenging herself mentally and physically while at the same time gaining confidence.
    I hope these suggestions help.
    good luck
    Olie

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    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kona issues-help please (long)

    Wow. That's quite a list! Here are my random thoughts:

    I am going to vote against "boot camp." What would be bad about you being the one doing the training? I really believe that doggie boot camp teaches a dog to obey the instructor. I've never been ultra-impressed with the boot camp graduates I've met. Never seemed too obedient to me, but their owners are so proud and just brag about how they sent them away to school. : Sorry...really not a fan! I think if you want a trained dog, you must do it yourself. You want them to bond with YOU.

    It sounds like maybe she needs more interaction than she's getting. Perhaps some organized play dates would be good for socialization. I am also not a fan of dog parks, particularly for an under-socialized dog, because they can be a bit overwhelming. She felt threatened and she showed her hackles. Understandable. I can imagine what it feels like to be rushed by strangers like that when you're not used to it, friendly or not. Start small, with one or two dogs you know and trust.

    Hyperactive...more exercise? More mental stimulation? Obedience training would also be good for this.

    Chewing...does she have toys designated for chewing? Nylabones? We really don't have a ton of problems with chewing inappropriately, because I make sure there are very, very few opportunities. Not to say that it never happens, but mostly they stick to their toys. Linda/zoesmom once said she had a trainer tell her that dogs need 100 toys. I'll bet Linda really has 100, too! ;D We don't have that many, but there is a great variety. Whenever someone is chewing inappropriate things, they are directed to chew something that was meant for that. After a while they get it. Don't put blankets in her crate. The boys only just recently graduated to bedding for this reason. Try to limit temptation as much as possible. Bitter apple. Make sure she always has access to her toys.

    Really, none of this sounds terrible. Annoying, yes , but not just horrible. She is young, you're right, and maybe now that you are back home and can devote some time to her things will get better!


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kona issues-help please (long)

    Maybe if you got into a group obediance class she could learn that other dogs aren't a threat?
    Very good point!

    Angus and Simon have both acted a little dog-shy at times, but after so much exposure to them at obedience classes (and these are all very well-behaved, well-socialized dogs), they do very well now.

    But I still won't take them to dog parks...


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Kona issues-help please (long)

    A course of obedience (doesn't have to be 'board/train, regular obedience will do) will help you out immensely.

    She sounds like a dog needing a job. So, give her one. Teach her to retrieve a variety of objects, and she can help around the house (putting her toys away, picking up laundry, getting the phone, etc etc).

    She also (it seems to me) needs to learn to relax.. not every dog comes with an off switch, and you'll need to install one. Karen Overall's relaxation protocol is very useful:
    http://home.gci.net/~divs/behavior/index.html (including:
    Basic Program for Deference
    Relaxation Introduction
    Relaxation Exercises )

    Good luck... and try and get everyone in the household on the same page. Mixed signals are just going to prolong the issues.

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    DefaultRe: Kona issues-help please (long)

    I did the doggy boot camp with Gabby. It wasn't because she needed extra work or anything, I just needed her to be somewhere while I was doing law school finals. I was very comfortable with the trainer- I had done private lessons with him before, and I went for lessons three times a week when she was there.

    It wasn't like I got a trained dog back. And we still practice every day. But she learned some commands faster than she would have with a rookie (me). I think it was worth it.

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    DefaultRe: Kona issues-help please (long)

    I considered sending Buck to boot camp as well when he was only 14 weeks old! Talked to the lady and she pretty much told me that just because she'd train him stuff does not mean that he'd come back fixed a 100% I would still have to put in a lot of work with him. Yeah, he'd learn how to do certain things a lot faster with her teaching but I'd have to continue to do all the work after I brought him back home to maintain and increase that level of obedience.

    I ended up talking to a few trusted friends about this and ended up deciding to just do the training myself. Buck is my first dog so I was very unsure on doing the training myself which is why I considered boot camp.
    But we just ended up enrolling in puppy kindergarten and then continued onto higher levels of obedience training. This really helped Buck and I bond. We constantly work on obedience stuff at home. It's his first birthday today and he is still very much a puppy as well and needs constant guidance and attention.

    I don't see anything wrong with sending your pup to boot camp but do realise that Kona won't come back being a perfectly obedient dog. You will still need to continue working on obedience with her. She needs you to be her trusted leader and that will only happen if YOU train her and guide her and give her the attention she needs.

    Good luck with Kona! She's a good girl who just needs a little nudge in the right direction
    <3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3

  12. #10
    Kimmers's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Kona issues-help please (long)

    being said if she is your dog its not your parents responsibility to take care of her its yours.
    Just to clear something up, she's not my dog. She is my Dad's dog. I'm 22, so I know a wee bit about being responsible Just thought I'd mention that. Thanks for that long reply though Ollie, really appreciated!
    Sam is mine. But he's been staying with my parent's because the place I'm in now is too small.
    And also, just a little something-neither of the dogs really listen to my Dad. Which is where I think part of the problem is. He doesn't really spend a whole lot of time with them-but expects both dogs to listen to him unconditionally.
    Kona never got any formal obediance training as a puppy-it was just kind of hodge-podged.
    Kona needs a firm but gentle hand. Even the slightest raised voice is enough for her. My Dad is still the oldschool "smack them with a newspaper if they do it, and they'll never do it again" type. I am not.
    I agree that the group obedience class would do wonders for her, but I feel that since Kona already listens to me-it would more to one of my parent's benefit to go instead of me. Because everyone needs to be on the same page. And I won't be at home for more than 6 months. I know what she needs, but being consistant is a real problem with everyone else.
    Group classes really helped Sam, he learned to listen. I'm thinking of taking him to a refresher class just because. He's regressed a bit since losing his eye-so this can only help.
    Anyways-I'm rambling.
    She LOVES to play ball. I play with her whenever I can. It's her outlet. Thanks for those suggestions Connie, I'm going to get both dogs a couple Nylabones this week after I get paid (I'm short on funds right now-haha).
    Kaytris, thanks SO much for that link. Very much appreciated, I'm definately reading that!
    You guys rock. Awesome feedback, very helpful as always!
    PS: Bitter Apple is my friend!!

    Kim & Crew

    Beautiful BC, Canada
    JL Member since July 1, 2002


    Fear Nothing. Live for Everything.

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