Using distance for desensitisation

The Miniature Schnauzer is a smallest dog in the Schnauzer breed and originated in the mid-to-late 19th Century from Germany. The Miniature Schnauzer is a cross between the Standard Schnauzer and other smaller breeds such as the Poodle. A miniature Schnauzer is a spunky, but aloof dog who does things their own way. They tend to be good guard dogs without the tendency to bite.
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Dawnspell
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Joined: 05 Mar 2013, 18:27
First Name: Alison
Dog #1: Barney RIP 8/3/19
is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 06 Feb 2013
Dog #2: Jasper
is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 25 Apr 2019
Location: Guernsey

Using distance for desensitisation

Post by Dawnspell »

I've been working for quite a while now on desensitising Jasper to certain things, mainly woofing at children, by finding his threshold point before he starts barking and rewarding for not barking.

Since he ran off the other week after getting the scent of a bitch in season, towards the end of a walk I've been finding somewhere to sit and doing basic focus training such as sits, down, give paw etc. He is very dog orientated wanting to play and say hello not bark and I stand no chance of anything I ask him to do being done if one is close by. Which is why he still gets walked on a long line on the beach :D

This morning we found a spot, he came up on the bench with me and was doing sits etc. Then caught sight of a dog and that was it his focus was gone. Now they say to keep reducing the distance as they become desensitised to each situation. This is a photo of the distance I'm up against. See the patch of beach in the distance? That's where he saw 2 dogs =))
Image
Our first family dog
Barney - Pocketpark Biali Eyebright 6/2/13 - 8/3/19 Gone too soon
Motto for owners who groom their own Schnauzers -"Never mind it'll soon grow back"

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zeta1454
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First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
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Born: 15 Mar 2012
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Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
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Re: Using distance for desensitisation

Post by zeta1454 »

I think with some dogs it can just be a question of accepting they are never going to be as reliable in every situation as you hope, especially breeds like schnauzers (and affenpinschers even more so) who have a mind of their own much of the time :ymdevil:
Some of our dogs are pretty good at focus and recall for super tasty treats but with one or two we just know they are never going to respond to us unless they want to and it us just about managing situations, as you say, using a long line on the beach or (with a couple of ours) keeping them well back with distractions when other dogs are passing near.

Love the photo in context - that is so funny =))
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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GoEmGo
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Re: Using distance for desensitisation

Post by GoEmGo »

Monty is also very dog orientated. He's great off-lead in the park and his recall is getting so much better, but the moment a fellow canine enters his sightline, he's gone! He bolts. Nothing can bring him back. He just has to go and say hello! He has a penchant for westies too - we have a lot in our area and they are all lovely playful little things who adore Monty. I'm not sure I'll ever be any match for the allure of another dog!

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Dawnspell
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First Name: Alison
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is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 06 Feb 2013
Dog #2: Jasper
is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 25 Apr 2019
Location: Guernsey

Re: Using distance for desensitisation

Post by Dawnspell »

I take a different high value treat everyday. Today it was juicy roast beef could have been a lump of chalk the amount of interest he showed :))

Weird thing is at home he shows the same level of focus when learning something as he does for dogs etc when out. He knows nose targeting as "Touch" but sometimes does it with his paw. So I thought I'd teach him paw targeting this week as a separate command by getting him to touch a plastic disc with a paw. 4 sessions of around 5 mins and he's nailed it. He even does it with either his right or left paw :-o
Our first family dog
Barney - Pocketpark Biali Eyebright 6/2/13 - 8/3/19 Gone too soon
Motto for owners who groom their own Schnauzers -"Never mind it'll soon grow back"

Oscar 12345
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Joined: 02 May 2017, 11:28
First Name: Julie
Dog #1: Oscar RIP Sweety
is a: P/S Mini Dog
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Dog #2: Otto
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 04 Jul 2017

Re: Using distance for desensitisation

Post by Oscar 12345 »

This made me smile Alison, my brilliance as a trainer really shows up when I am at home with Otto. I remember a trainer once saying to me that I had to make myself as interesting as sheep poo with Otto. It's so true, I couldn't compete with Otto's fascination of dogs when he was so young and he just hadn't experienced enough of them yet. I swear a year or so ago I could have been holding a whole roasted warm chicken dripping with juices in front of Otto but if dog too close he ain't interested. He's 3, it's just a wonderful age for him, he is so much more mature, I have never given a dog so much training and attention and it is all paying off now. He will still be very interested in some dogs and it will most likely be the ones that I think are inappropriate for him to get up and close to like large intact males but there are loads he will just ignore and of course he loves all girls. Just continue to mix it up, quiet places, busy places and let him get up and close to any dog that you think is appropriate. I kept a daily log of our walks, my situation was probably different to yours in that Otto reacted very very badly to all dogs so I was desperate to understand which dogs where ok, which breed, gender, age even colour, Made a note of every dog he met, what was the reaction, recorded the name so that I could always tell him who it was he was seeing on a walk. I don't know whether the suprelorin helped or put us back. Nearly a year of avoiding all dogs to then get to a situation where I can't wait to see other dogs for more socialisation. So time to mature is key and lots and lots of the right exposure to the point that they lose interest in some of it whilst not overwhelming. I don't use any treats at all but if another dog owner offers a dog treat to Otto whist out, it doesn't matter what the dog is he will sit down for the treat and any anxiety about the dog next to him just disappears, even a crabby old biscuit. My doggy owner friends here have helped me enormously by offering Otto treats. He never forgets a generous human. Also if I do lose his attention I talk to him about what he's looking at with a "look at that" so I can join in.
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

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Dawnspell
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Posts: 4107
Joined: 05 Mar 2013, 18:27
First Name: Alison
Dog #1: Barney RIP 8/3/19
is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 06 Feb 2013
Dog #2: Jasper
is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 25 Apr 2019
Location: Guernsey

Re: Using distance for desensitisation

Post by Dawnspell »

Leigh I've just remembered I bought a book you recommended ages ago, Your end of the lead by Janet Finlay. That's my homework this weekend I'm sure there will be some useful info in there.
Our first family dog
Barney - Pocketpark Biali Eyebright 6/2/13 - 8/3/19 Gone too soon
Motto for owners who groom their own Schnauzers -"Never mind it'll soon grow back"

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