Jump to content

Shutting Down


Guest charlech
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest charlech

I have a young Grey we rescued at 6 months, we began agility soon after we're still in classes and he is almost 18 months. he sits, downs, can do a moving sit and moving down, he's not as reactive as he was. Some times he will not do the downs or sits no matter what I try (usually during test time) if I keep trying he seems to totally shut down and then he has tears in his eyes and the funniest look on his face. The instructor says that that's just the hound they can be very stubborn.

 

I talked to a communicator when we first started who said he likes the physical part, not the mental. I've taken a Zin class with him that has helped with him calm down a bit. I tried a regular obedience class (with an instructor who had no experience with Greys) and it only lasted one day, he got so freaked out that he jumped straight up and snapped me in the face (the instructor tried to get me to do something that I knew would not work.) The Controlled Unleashed book says you should know your dog better, that you should be able to read their body language, and never do anything that you know will have a negative reaction. I learned my lesson the hard way.

 

I have now found a Greyhound only obedience class that we will start soon (he's still jumping up on me) and still reading "Controlled Unleashed" hopefully that will help. Is this a Hound behavior or is there something else going on?

 

Any suggestions I would appreciate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hard to say what is going on without actually watching.

 

One thing I have found about some hounds (oddly, terriers do this too) is that they are not big on repeating the same task over and over. My Joseph will sit till the cows come home; my angel Batman, forget it -- you got a certain number of sits per session and after you hit the number, you'd better ask for something else 'cause you weren't going to get another sit. So what I try to do during training is really mix things up -- instead of a sit-stay every time, a down stay or stand stay, for example, interspersed with fun things like shaking hands, flying finish to the heel position vs. "walk around me" finish, etc. Working on something new more often than not is also helpful.

 

I've also found that most hounds respond best to over-the-top behavior on the part of their handlers. If you're excited -- excited voice, excited movements, GREAT treats -- the hound gets jazzed and stays interested longer.

 

I'm sorry you had to learn a hard lesson but glad you did. Important to trust your instincts and not push the dog too far, and know when he's shutting down and needs a silly session. I've left classes before for 5 minutes to give my dog some "let's go outside, sniff around, and relax time," then gone back to work. I've also let trainers know when I'm going to sub a different exercise for what's being asked in class.

 

Dunno if any of that gives you some ideas to help your pup. Wishing you best luck.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greyhounds are opinionated and often refuse to do things they don't want to. You can try to motivate him with really stinky treats like banana slices, precooked chicken, etc. It's also possible in the agility class you're pushing him too far too fast. Can you let him rest for 10 - 15 minutes when he shuts down, or is there a time limit on the class sessions? Remember that agility looks purely physical to us, but there actually is quite a lot of mental work involved for the dogs.

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

Visit Hound-Safe.com by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

:gh_bow

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds as if he is simply not enjoying what's going on. In my (admittedly limited) experience, dogs shut down for three reasons. One, pain from injury or disease. Two, they don't understand and get frustrated. And three, they simply don't enjoy what they're being asked to do and they're not 'switched on' enough to do it for you anyway.

 

IMHO, there is absolutely no point in trying to make them continue in the same way if this happens. You need to find a new approach, and I think you're wise to do as you're doing and switch trainers. The fact that your grey snapped at you in a class when asked to do something you knew he wasn't ready for suggests that he was feeling over-faced and frustrated, and this was a displacement activity for him. A little misdirected aggression. He was frustrated enough to be very annoyed, and didn't know what to do - he had nothing but you to be annoyed at.

 

Trouble with training can be a hound thing, in that they're not 'people pleasers' like labs, collies, and GSDs etc.- partly because they're bred to work independently. But I've recently read a great book on training using the clicker called 'When Pigs Fly' which I've found very useful. The author owns bull terriers and calls those dogs who aren't people pleasers 'Pigs might fly' dogs. The first thing she does is 'switch them on' by making them do the thinking, so you end up with a dog who works for you because he wants to, not because you say so. You get a willing partner, and the training is solid. Within days of starting her method with Sid, I had him touching a cardboard box with his nose and he was so keen, he'd go up to the shelf where I kept that box and look at me, asking for a training session! I must admit I was impressed. Sid's 'wait' is pretty solid, and we're working on 'stay' and 'come', but I'm afraid I'm a fairly lazy trainer and don't get out there with him as much as I should. He does love his training sessions though! He's only got to see the clicker and he's straight up off his bed and following me hopefully. It might be worth a look for you. :)

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest charlech

Hard to say what is going on without actually watching.

 

One thing I have found about some hounds (oddly, terriers do this too) is that they are not big on repeating the same task over and over. My Joseph will sit till the cows come home; my angel Batman, forget it -- you got a certain number of sits per session and after you hit the number, you'd better ask for something else 'cause you weren't going to get another sit. So what I try to do during training is really mix things up -- instead of a sit-stay every time, a down stay or stand stay, for example, interspersed with fun things like shaking hands, flying finish to the heel position vs. "walk around me" finish, etc. Working on something new more often than not is also helpful.

 

I've also found that most hounds respond best to over-the-top behavior on the part of their handlers. If you're excited -- excited voice, excited movements, GREAT treats -- the hound gets jazzed and stays interested longer.

 

I'm sorry you had to learn a hard lesson but glad you did. Important to trust your instincts and not push the dog too far, and know when he's shutting down and needs a silly session. I've left classes before for 5 minutes to give my dog some "let's go outside, sniff around, and relax time," then gone back to work. I've also let trainers know when I'm going to sub a different exercise for what's being asked in class.

 

Dunno if any of that gives you some ideas to help your pup. Wishing you best luck.

 

Thanks for all the suggestions & info, all sounds good. In our next class I will try giving him a break because it is pretty repetitive. The Pigs Fly book sounds interesting, I'll look for a copy. I've learned that Greys do have a mind of their own and are not pleasers, very different than what I'm used to. This is my first one, i'll try to take it slower with him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another thing you always want to remember is to end training on a good note. Something he will do and can get rewarded for and then you both walk away from training with the positive experience at the end, so the next time it isn't all a memory of frustration.

 

A lot of trainers that I've read suggest training multiple times a day, for *very* short lessons and not much repetition. We want it to be fun, not a chore, and not overtaxing. I don't think that greyhounds don't want to please us, but that they don't know that they can try to figure out what we want. Some dogs when trained using aversive training (punishment instead of lure or clicker-reward) will learn to not offer behaviors and will not want to try new things because maybe they'll do them wrong and be corrected. I think greys were never introduced to the concept of offering behaviors and getting rewards (their lives are kind of regimented), so this may be a completely new concept and it may take a while to teach them not only tricks or lessons, but that training can actually be fun (as silverfish has done with Sid, obviously!).

 

I personally have a very active and incredibly [too] intelligent keeshond who caught on to offering behaviors immediately, and Monty who looks suspicious when he's asked to do things because he doesn't have her drive and desire to be active and thinking. He just wants the treat, thank-you-very-much!

 

just my $0.02

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Swifthounds

It's hard to tell what's really going on without seeing it first hand.

 

For my own dogs, when we hit a speed bump in training, I simply ignore it and move on to something else. Whether it's that the dog "isn't getting it" or is shutting down, whether it's confusion or frustration, if it isn't working, it just isn't working.

 

Generally speaking I train my hounds alone and in groups. I usually train for only a few minutes, and try to keep it as fun, rewarding (verbally and treat-wise), and interactive as possible. For a generally reserved and shy person, I really make a fool out of myself for a dog.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest rachel2025

We had really good luck taking Pike to an obedience class that used clicker training and 100% positive reinforcement. It was a "regular" class, with all different dogs, but the trainer was excellent (and a huge fan of sight hounds, very understanding of retired greys, which didn't hurt either). One thing to note: Pike was definitely not like the other dogs. It took us weeks to get him to sit, for example, but he definitely excelled in certain tasks... i.e. a rebound so enthusiastic that it knocked me over. LOL.

 

Good luck! Sounds like you are on the right track.

 

p.s. I am a big fan of the Patricia Mcconnell dog training manuals. And theyre cheap! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Capri has shown the full range of response to training. She blossomed when she discovered she could communicate with us and get yummy treats for doing things. She had a little trouble learning sit on command, but once she understood what our hand signal meant, she not only did it easily but it became her first-offered behavior whenever she wants something. She now begs by sitting, and it truly looks like she's saying "mommy, want, please?" Very polite. :wuv

 

We got lazy with training and didn't do much after teaching her sit, down and wait. Then we had to teach her to roll over on command in order to do her teeth. Which is apparently exceedingly difficult for her to do on command despite it being a super easy physical movement. At least she's been super reluctant to do it. We use only positive methods and the clicker, but have had to resort to "leading her nose" around with a stinky treat. Almost crossing the line into bribery. There are times when she looks away, ignores the command, offers sits and downs to get the treat, anything else to avoid rolling over. I just wait her out and ask again after a minute, and then she understands that I can out-wait her but I REALLY want her to do what I'm asking. But I think the key, aside from being patient with her, is that I only make her do it once a day. I respect her opinion... to a point, she has to meet me in the middle, sort of. Do it once for mommy, and then I'll give the reward and take the pressure off. (A little tiny bit of negative training there, I admit.) We've been working on this one trick over about the last four months, and only in the last week she's actually OFFERED a rollover to us twice! So you have to have a lot of patience sometimes, but a greyhound WILL reward you.

Edited by jetcitywoman

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

Visit Hound-Safe.com by Something Special Pet Supplies for muzzles and other dog safety products

:gh_bow

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i started working felix in basic obedience at 12 weeks(puppy classes) and did a wide variety of classes from basic 1,2,3, rally back to basic 3 and then a short break of a couple of months. we needed to apply all the information to everyday life and he needed time to process it. then after a 4-5 month break we went back to rally and basic 3 for a review and then started agility. we went back to basic 3 for a review again, then more agility.

 

one of the things i do, which has kept felix's as happy as can be is i always play with him during down time in class. if he gets it, or doesn't then i reward him with fun play. the instructors that i have worked with believe in keeping your dog "glad". they encourage lots of breaks and even using a soft rug or blanket for a sight hound. in all of the classes we always did short, short training periods with each task. the other class participants were busy working away while we played and cuddled. he just could not work that long.

 

i do know that for a while we ran into a mental barrier w/ the tunnel. we just stopped it and then when training resumed 3 months later he flew thru the tunnel.

 

it sounds like your pup needs to find his "place" mentally and start enjoying life.from what i remember reading in controll unleashed, the author had one dog she purchased for obedience work and it just was not it's thing, right?

 

take your pup for who he is and run with it. be it a companion gardening(digging holes by your side), hiking or playing ball, that's all fine, as long as the two of you are happy. it's sorta like giving a kid music lessons when they are really physical or visa versa, skating lessons when they need to be in art clases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd personally suggest you do a bit more research on greyhounds in general.

 

I don't know anything about some of the techniques you're talking about, but there's a reason you don't see a lot of Greyhounds involved in activities beyond chasing stuff...

 

I see the words "unleashed" and "controlled" and "greyhound," and they just don't compute!


Hamish-siggy1.jpg

Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest mickie37

Cappy has taught me so much about hounds in the years we have been together. He learns at his own pace and is very food motivated. I have found I must have various treats available and to start with a low value treat and when he acts bored I increase the value of the treat. We have 5 levels of treats and combined with rest periods he has a fun class. Actually I may never compete with him but we take classes together because I enjoy being with him. He is a big goofy guy who works so hard at whatever we are doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you haven't already, go take a trip through this site ...

 

You'll see some awesome agility dogs and read the trials and tribulations Jen is having with one of her current young dogs.

Pam

GPA-Tallahassee/Southeastern Greyhound Adoption

"Fate is unalterable only in the sense that given a cause, a certain result must follow, but no cause is inevitable in itself, and man can shape his world if he does not resign himself to ignorance." Pearl S. Buck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest lovemyhounds

As a previous poster said, I too use a variety of treats with my hounds during our agility classes, starting with lower value treats. As the class progresses, and I feel my hound is losing interest or enthusiasm, I switch to a higher value treat to increase her attention. I second the above mentioned site, http://neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.com, for great info on greyhounds and agility. When dogs stress, they often shut down or do zoomies on the agility field. Could your hound be picking up on your stress during "test time" and becoming stressed himself? Shutting down while stressed is not just a hound thing. Some of my hounds also bore quickly so I have to keep their training interesting and not repeat the same exercise too many times, luckily, they are fast learners

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest charlech

I'd personally suggest you do a bit more research on greyhounds in general.

 

I don't know anything about some of the techniques you're talking about, but there's a reason you don't see a lot of Greyhounds involved in activities beyond chasing stuff...

 

I see the words "unleashed" and "controlled" and "greyhound," and they just don't compute!

 

The book is "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CDBC, CPDT, and though it's not as popular, Greyhounds do participate in agility. And my young hound does very well with his leash down. He is a hound and subject to bolt i'm very careful where and when I drop it so I am taking him very slow. It can be done probably harder to do if he was an ex-racer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest charlech

As a previous poster said, I too use a variety of treats with my hounds during our agility classes, starting with lower value treats. As the class progresses, and I feel my hound is losing interest or enthusiasm, I switch to a higher value treat to increase her attention. I second the above mentioned site, http://neversaynevergreyhounds.blogspot.com, for great info on greyhounds and agility. When dogs stress, they often shut down or do zoomies on the agility field. Could your hound be picking up on your stress during "test time" and becoming stressed himself? Shutting down while stressed is not just a hound thing. Some of my hounds also bore quickly so I have to keep their training interesting and not repeat the same exercise too many times, luckily, they are fast learners

 

I'm familiar with the site (I need to go back and read it again, forgot all about it) and you are probably correct that he is picking up on my stress, I'm not a very good test taker. I have noticed that he gets bored easily, so when the instructor tells us to work on something I try to wait until she gets close to us before I start because if I don't by the time she gets to us he's had enough, I learned that the hard way. He has come a long way, he no longer has the zoomies very much, hardly ever now he just looks at the other dogs and waits for yummy treats. I take several different kinds and have began cooking him steaks, and chicken as the high value treats. Our final test is tonight (even though he has already passed pre-agility 3, and this is his 3rd time taking this particular class, I want him to do well) I don't have the stress of hoping he passes. If he checks out tonight I will just take him aside and have some fun with him and see how that works. Thanks for all the great tips.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could also use the time when you're waiting for the instructor to mix up a couple things to work on. People laugh at my Joseph because he's almost always offering a paw when he sits, but things like shaking hands or balancing a treat on the nose are perfect stress reducers -- easy and fun for the dog. Even learning is fun -- I mean, who knew you could get a hot dog sliver for sitting down and letting somebody pick up your foot?????! :lol

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest charlech

I'd personally suggest you do a bit more research on greyhounds in general.

 

I don't know anything about some of the techniques you're talking about, but there's a reason you don't see a lot of Greyhounds involved in activities beyond chasing stuff...

 

I see the words "unleashed" and "controlled" and "greyhound," and they just don't compute!

 

The book is "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CDBC, CPDT, and though it's not as popular, Greyhounds do participate in agility. And my young hound does very well with his leash down. He is a hound and subject to bolt i'm very careful where and when I drop it so I am taking him very slow. It can be done probably harder to do if he was an ex-racer. Though this is my first and only Grey, I do work with the Greyhound rescue and have been studying them. I'm not sure what you're getting at.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Swifthounds

I don't know anything about some of the techniques you're talking about, but there's a reason you don't see a lot of Greyhounds involved in activities beyond chasing stuff...

 

There's a reason, but not perhaps the best reason. I know quite a few folks who do things like obedience, flyball, rally, agility, etc. with their greyhounds. Sighthounds can excel at all of those things, in addition to being skilled at more traditional sighthound exercises and being good tempered. You don't see more greyhounds in things because the majority of the greyhound owning public are adopters of ex-racers, who seem demonstrably less interested in even sighthound specific events, let alone more traditional all breed activities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest charlech

Hope your final test went well.

 

thanks for asking it went pretty good. Here is another thing he's doing, he starts to pull the leash from me and shake it like he wants to play but he will not stop, he plays very rough. I just chalk it up to him being so young. He's 18 months now we started classes after I had him a couple months so we've been at it about 10 months now. I do see progress slow but sure, he had never had any training at the kennel so he was pretty wild. we've taken pre-agility 1,2,3, 3 again a zen class to help his reactive behavior and then pre-agility 3 again he graduated from 3 the first time but I didn't want to take him too fast so we repeated.

 

 

I just hope he likes agility we start beginning agility June 2nd. I'll let you know how it goes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...