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ArrowOwner

Statuing: Waiting It Out Vs. Letting Dog Know Whose Boss

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Hi All:

 

I posted this in a related thread, but am really curious for any input you all might have...

 

Regarding Freezing/Statuing: Does anyone have thoughts about "waiting it out" vs "letting the dog know whose boss"?

With ours, if we wait it out, we've learned it could be a looooong wait, and we just don't always have time for that in our hectic schedules. With the harness, I've begun to immediately lift her up and forward when she statues (it may take two or three times, but it tends to get her going). Sometimes I worry it is too forceful, but it doesn't seem to bother her and I feel she is beginning to show signs of self-correction when she starts to statue, as if she knows it's not going to stop the walk from proceeding. When she does get going I give her lots of praise and I try to be very consistent with an encouraging "let's go" whenever I lift the harness up. It really beats picking her up and carrying her. Any thoughts on this approach as opposed to waiting it out?

Edited by ArrowOwner

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Gently tugging on the leash, turning around and going in the opposite direction and wrapping the leash around the back of the dog's thigh's and gently tugging has worked for me.


Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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As you know, I have the same problem with Petunia. Should we look for a group buy on camping chairs that we can take on our walks? Or maybe just buy two Radio Flyer wagons for them and get it over with? Someone else suggested that I bring a book - the book is for me. :bgeorge

 

LaFlaca - the usual things don't work on these two. They are just about the worst statuing hounds I've seen posted here. Mine is a broodie so I think that's the issue - she wants to be in charge. It's a good thing she's really cute....


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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

 

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"Letting the dog know who's boss" isn't going to work... it'll probably make it worse because the dog likely isn't statuing to be obstinate but because she's uncertain/afraid. There's a difference between "being the alpha" and just being confident. Sometimes just confidently saying "alright, we're going" and walking forward (or circling around) will work because the dog is reassured by your lack of fear. But in many cases we're talking about dogs that are new and don't quite know what to make of their new humans yet (there isn't a strong bond there that we can draw from).

 

It is best to let these dogs examine their surroundings while providing lots of positive reinforcement (praise, treats if they'll take them). We can also try going for a car ride. Sometimes if we get out of the vehicle in a random place things go more smoothly. Sometimes we live in a busy area and we can take a short drive to a quieter neighbourhood which is less scary so we can be more successful, and then as the dog settles in and becomes more confident we can start working on busier places.


Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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I hear you, though with our dog, I feel it is generally less fear based. She is quite confident, and often much of her freezing is clearly about wanting to go greet other humans, pets or seek out smells rather than staying the course of the walk. Sometimes this is fine, if it's a friend or someone who wants to engage and I always try to be generous with her time for sniffing around.

 

But for example, if we pass the mailman, he doesn't want to engage and will just keep going in the opposite direction on his route. This can completely upend a walk that was proceeding nicely, as the dog is just intensely curious about the mailman and wants desperately to turn around and get to him. She's extremely social, always the life of the party, and I feel that this is a big part of her freezing - she just has her own agenda on the walks. So it's tricky, I want her to be able to explore and meet people and so on, but sometimes we need to keep going.

 

My tendency lately as been to take her to a field or empty lot and just kind of let her take the lead and sniff around wherever she wants, then I take her home. It's not ideal but I feel it helps to let her do her own thing for part of the walk. We're now at the 3 month mark. We love her so much and everything else is a dream, be we really hope this improves. Holding out hope for a change with the warmer weather.

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Hi. It sounds like you're already finding an answer to the question. It helps me to get inside my dog's head when I just hold the lead and let him choose often where he wants to go (within reason of course). Sometimes he wants to take me somewhere, or nowhere. Sometimes he wants to go straight ahead instead of turning right. Sometimes we rest in the shade in the park for 5 or 10 minutes. Sometimes he wants to explore, or sniff the pee-mails or other scents, or nibble on grass shoots, take a swim in the cool waterhole, or go home straight away when there is thunder. A '30 minute' walk often takes us 45 minutes or an hour to complete, so I always allow 60+ minutes. On a day-to-day basis, routines are also important. :)

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Both waiting it out and the lifting and moving technique have their place. If you have time and it's not a dangerous situation then the gentle art of persuasion is the way to go but if they freeze when crossing the road, you need to get them moving because of other dangers, time constraints or you have to go a particular way then having the lifting and moving technique in your repertoire is useful.

 

In my own experience having tried persuading, waiting and high value treats with little success I used the lifting and moving technique two or three times a day over a couple of days which more or less cured Grace of freezing.


Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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It's good to hear the lifting and moving forward technique has had some success for you! Mine is still freezing, but I feel like that technique along with treats is beginning to thaw out the really deep, 30 min freezes. Now often times if I just touch the harness where the handle is, she starts moving.

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What is "box walking" ?!?!?

I have a fenced yard, so fosters would be let out to "go", and after a few days, we'd start leash-walking outside the yard. For the ones that statued, or acted like jerks on-leash, I'd start "box walking".

 

Put the leash on, go right behind the house. Walk forward 10 feet (ish). Stop. Turn 90 degrees. Walk 10 feet. Stop. Turn 90 degrees. Walk a box, with stops at each corner. For the crazy ones, we didn't start moving again until they settled. For the skittish ones, we didn't start again until they were cool. Repeat, repeat, repeat. The skittish ones got less skittish. The crazy ones got less crazy. No corrections at all. The scenery never changes. Just walk, stop, wait, repeat. Mild praise. I didn't fuss about "correct" side, or length of leash. Just move with me, stop with me. They could have the whole 6 foot leash if they wanted to be that far away. I always said "let's go!" and "Ok stop", so they had a verbal cue of what we were doing. (My neighbors absolutely thought I was nuts, but after they saw me carry a 70 lb greyhound home one time that had statued in front of their house, they started to "get" it.)

 

Always a really nice treat and praise when we were done, even if it was the first time and they were clueless through it all.

 

When they "graduated" and did the box walk well, we'd go out of the yard but KEEP IT SHORT! Quick, successful walk, Back home, and praise! Next day, a bit longer, etc. Always make the graduation walks short enough that they always succeed. For many, a quick box before the walk was a really good start to the walk. Get centered, feeling good, now we we go out.

 

Anybody that reverted (it was usually the jerk walkers) got the box treatment again next time. Out the gate, you start lunging, back in the yard, do the box a couple times, now we can go out in public. They knew what it was, so when they got "demoted" to the boring square, they straightened up right quick. I never had a statue hound need to go back to the box walking. The worst was my own Diana, a very young, hyper lunging dog. Even years after we'd had her sometimes she'd revert back to her crazy ways on-leash, I'd turn right around, go back to the yard, and do the box walk. One square, and she was "fixed" for walking on-leash. She knew that acting out got her the "Boring" walk. I NEVER scolded or punished. Just "ok - we'll walk in the back lawn today". Fine by me!

 

It gave confidence to the skittish ones (OK, this leash thing is boring, and nothing bad happens, so I can do this in other places) and removed stimuli for the hyper ones (OK, this leash thing is boring - I don't get to go see anything cool if I lunge and jump).

 

I always let them relieve themselves at any time even if it meant a bit of a detour from the square when the urge hit. Quick beeline to the tree!!! Then back to the square for a round or 2.

 

I think I only did 5-15 minutes at a time, at the most. It's quirky, but it worked for me. It's more about the dogs training themselves, and gaining confidence, and recognizing what is acceptable behavior on-leash, by their own choice more than anything else. NEVER let them see it as a punishment, just as a learning tool. Always be happy, upbeat. They get a little exercise, a little confidence on-leash, get to relieve themselves, and want to do something else.... cuz this is boring!!!!

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Great! Thank you! This is very helpful. I will integrate this into our routine. She's improving, but still has some learning to do.

 

Much appreciated! :gh_bow

Please let me know if it helps.

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UPDATE:

 

So I have started box walking Arrow! She haaaaates it and is verrry bad at it. It's making me realize that she's really not prepared for big walks and maybe we rushed into them. I think she was used to walking with a group of foster greys, and she usually walks fine with a group. The freezing didn't emerge as an issue until she started doing solo walks regularly, which she maybe has never done before. She wants to be the leader and is very curious.

 

So accordingly she is not good at me directing the walk in such a regimented way. But it makes me feel more determined to keep doing it. Would you keep it to the back yard? There is a small park a few blocks away, but there are lots of smells, sights and sounds along the way and even getting her there and back is a struggle. She wants to smell everything extensively and also seems to occasionally get spooked by the sound of a nearby train. It's a real eye opener seeing how badly she does at box walking. It's going to be a long term project to get her to improve I think. How long does box walking usually generate an improvement on longer walks for you?

 

Thx!

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UPDATE:

 

So I have started box walking Arrow! She haaaaates it and is verrry bad at it. It's making me realize that she's really not prepared for big walks and maybe we rushed into them. I think she was used to walking with a group of foster greys, and she usually walks fine with a group. The freezing didn't emerge as an issue until she started doing solo walks regularly, which she maybe has never done before. She wants to be the leader and is very curious.

 

So accordingly she is not good at me directing the walk in such a regimented way. But it makes me feel more determined to keep doing it. Would you keep it to the back yard? There is a small park a few blocks away, but there are lots of smells, sights and sounds along the way and even getting her there and back is a struggle. She wants to smell everything extensively and also seems to occasionally get spooked by the sound of a nearby train. It's a real eye opener seeing how badly she does at box walking. It's going to be a long term project to get her to improve I think. How long does box walking usually generate an improvement on longer walks for you?

 

Thx!

Full disclosure - box walking isn't a proven training method. It was something suggested to me, and it worked for me, for some dogs. I just thow it out there as one of the options you could try.

 

But - you've learned some stuff by trying it. She's not ready to go for walks into the big bad world I'd absolutely keep it as close to home as possible based on what you've said. And - my original premise stands that box-walking happens right outside your door. Going nowhere. If you have to go somewhere else, the distractions could be rough, and undermine the point of it. I used the backyard because it was RIGHT there. Safe. Close. That's the point. You never leave home. Box walking training won't work if you have to walk to a park to do it.

 

And yes - she's going to hate it, and be terrible at it for a few days. All of mine took 2-5 days to figure it out, doing it 4 times per day. The point isn't her getting good at box walking, the point is her gaining confidence on-leash. Sooooo.... maybe you could circle walk! Right outside the door, walk in a big circle over and over. Gain confidence. Maybe the structure of the box doesn't work for Arrow. That's fine. Do a circle. Close to home. Gain confidence! Then we move on! But stay home. That's the thing.

 

The longest I ever box walked my spookiest foster was 6 days. He hated it and was confused for 3 days. He got into the routine after that, and became confident. He wasn't ready for the scary sights, smells, etc out there before that Then we went outside the yard a half mile, he peed, I praised, and we we right back home, and I praised and gave him a treat. Every walk was a little bit bigger after that.

 

You need to figure out what works for Arrow. The world is too big, and too scary for her right now. Narrow her world. Let her gain confidence in a small world, then expand slowly.

 

Arrow has a an owner that cares enough to try really hard, and reach out of help. She's a very lucky grey.

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If your grey is anything like mine there won't be any improvement until suddenly they get it and look at you as if there was never any problem and you get a feeling that's a mixture of relief, happiness and realise that you have the best hound in the world. So don't loose heart and keep going,

 

I agree with sobesmum, Arrow is very lucky to have an owner who cares and is prepared to put in the work.


Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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My hounds both plant themselves firmly when they smell something they cant see, when they see something they cant have, or when they choose not to walk the same way as me ( or each other!) I give them a minute to savour the moment then say ok lets go in the same excited way I say it at the start of the walk. That works about half the time. Other times I need to add myself skipping along after letting the lead go completely slack to give myself a running start. The excitement encourages them to move. Of course, occasionally I have to just quietly lean away with my weight on the lead until the hound gives in!

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With new kennel dogs that seem a bit hesitant I just set off walking at a pretty fast pace and keep going, so they don't have time to think about stopping! As they get more confident we stop and look at anything they want to see and then move off smartish again. Works fine for me and the dogs are soon perfectly OK with walking out past most things.


Sue from England

 

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With new kennel dogs that seem a bit hesitant I just set off walking at a pretty fast pace and keep going, so they don't have time to think about stopping! As they get more confident we stop and look at anything they want to see and then move off smartish again. Works fine for me and the dogs are soon perfectly OK with walking out past most things.

That's exactly what I did with most of mine. But for the outliers..... gotta do something different. I was 9 foster in before I had to get "creative".

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Yes, our Arrow (who is the greatest in every other way) is a deeply committed freezer. But I shall say we may be starting to turn a corner. Two new things are really helping:

 

1) Going on walks with other dogs who know how to walk on a leash. The next few walks after a group walk she does exceptionally well, as if she's understanding how it's done.

2) Learning her frequent freezing spots and giving her a big sniff of a high quality treat before we hit that spot. This way she's often focused on the treat and breezes through the freezing spot. I'm also trying to give her treats as rewards for walking well rather than throwing them out in front as lures. That worked when the freezing was really bad, but I don't think it's a great tool in terms of improving the freezing over time.

 

More suggestions welcome!

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Woo hoo!! Progress!!! Good for you for trying different things, figuring out what helps, and adapting! Greyt job!!!! You're really making progress pretty quickly (although I'm sure it doesn't feel like it in your shoes).

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We adopted a 4  1/2 year old female last Friday. She has been great except for this "Freezing" behavior that is extremely perplexing. We have tried using treats but she doesn't seem to like any dog treats and even little pieces of cooked chicken she didn't care about. She stands perfectly still with all 4 feet glued to the ground for up to 30 minutes. She doesn't seem to see anything around...and it sometimes happens right in our driveway, sometimes just on her walk. No movement when called or coaxed by gentle pushing from behind. We know not to pull on her collar from the front. Helpful hints?

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4 hours ago, Reminaz said:

We adopted a 4  1/2 year old female last Friday. She has been great except for this "Freezing" behavior that is extremely perplexing. We have tried using treats but she doesn't seem to like any dog treats and even little pieces of cooked chicken she didn't care about. She stands perfectly still with all 4 feet glued to the ground for up to 30 minutes. She doesn't seem to see anything around...and it sometimes happens right in our driveway, sometimes just on her walk. No movement when called or coaxed by gentle pushing from behind. We know not to pull on her collar from the front. Helpful hints?

Did you adopt one of our Petunia's puppies? :rotfl

Get a harness. The only way you will be able to maintain control of the dog and force her to move will be with a harness. The collar is too risky for an injury.  The 2 Hounds No Pull Freedom Harness is what we use for Petunia. She can plant her feet like they are cemented to the sidewalk. I can still move her using the harness and force her to take steps until she decides to walk willingly. The harness gives you much more control of the dog overall. 

Normally we try a high value treat first - something like dehydrated liver. That treat is only used for this one purpose - to get her to walk. We hold it in front of her and start moving. We hold it just far enough away that she has to follow it, and when we get to a landmark, like the next street sign or next shady spot, we will give her the treat with lots of praise. The process usually has to repeat multiple times to get her to walk.  If she just flat out refuses and nothing works, I take control of the leash right where it meets the control loop of the harness, and only then will I pull her forward to get her moving. Using the harness, there is no strain on her like there would be with a collar. 


rocket-signature-jpeg.jpg

Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

 

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1 hour ago, Time4ANap said:

Did you adopt one of our Petunia's puppies? :rotfl

Get a harness. The only way you will be able to maintain control of the dog and force her to move will be with a harness. The collar is too risky for an injury.  The 2 Hounds No Pull Freedom Harness is what we use for Petunia. She can plant her feet like they are cemented to the sidewalk. I can still move her using the harness and force her to take steps until she decides to walk willingly. The harness gives you much more control of the dog overall. 

Normally we try a high value treat first - something like dehydrated liver. That treat is only used for this one purpose - to get her to walk. We hold it in front of her and start moving. We hold it just far enough away that she has to follow it, and when we get to a landmark, like the next street sign or next shady spot, we will give her the treat with lots of praise. The process usually has to repeat multiple times to get her to walk.  If she just flat out refuses and nothing works, I take control of the leash right where it meets the control loop of the harness, and only then will I pull her forward to get her moving. Using the harness, there is no strain on her like there would be with a collar. 

I don't think she is Petunia's relation but sounds identical anyway!  Thank you, we had wondered if that would help. Our Molly is 65 pounds with medium neck size for collar. We were actually looking to adopt a girl named Petunia from Southern AZ in Tucson but timing wasn't right. So does Petunia walk without needing to insist on her walking with the harness?  Molly loves walking but all of a sudden will stop dead. No apparent reason that we can see but then, we don't see as well as her.  Do you take the harness off when the walk is over? Molly's collar stays on all the time but didn't know about harnesses. We are so new to this world!!

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41 minutes ago, Reminaz said:

I don't think she is Petunia's relation but sounds identical anyway!  Thank you, we had wondered if that would help. Our Molly is 65 pounds with medium neck size for collar. We were actually looking to adopt a girl named Petunia from Southern AZ in Tucson but timing wasn't right. So does Petunia walk without needing to insist on her walking with the harness?  Molly loves walking but all of a sudden will stop dead. No apparent reason that we can see but then, we don't see as well as her.  Do you take the harness off when the walk is over? Molly's collar stays on all the time but didn't know about harnesses. We are so new to this world!!

Petunia loves to walk but as far as we can tell there is no rhyme or reason to why she statues. It can happen at any time during the walk. Sometimes she proceeds to walk after a few minutes of stopping, but sometimes I have had to have my wife bring the car because I can't move her.  She is pretty much a stubborn broodie.  There's a part of me that thinks after walking for a half mile or so that she might have some joint pain, but there were also days when she walked a mile and half without stopping and no sign of anything wrong. She is a great little walker until she statues - then it's a complete unknown as the whether we will make it home or not without calling for the car.  We currently have a second hound staying with us, and she is much better when there is another hound along for the walk. 

I only put the harness on her for the walk or if we are going in the car. She does not need to wear it the rest of the time and usually just has a tag collar on in the house. 


rocket-signature-jpeg.jpg

Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

 

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