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How do I teach her the horses are okay?

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  • How do I teach her the horses are okay?

    I just got a new dog!!!

    Now to the important stuff...how in the world to I train her to not bark at the horses all the time?

    She is a 9 week old (as of 9 January) Australian Shepard who is scared of horses, well right now anyways. Gypsy cowers behind me and barks constantly at the horses anytime they're out of the stalls. What can I do to make her stop? Is she going to grow out of this as she gets older and is around them more or what?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Devil Pup 13 May 2010
    Veni, vidi, nates calce concidi
    Molly~4yo Blue Heeler & Dakota Nov 09 Baby Heeler

  • #2
    Such a baby...I would work on distracting her at this point, rather than punishing her. Ask her to watch you, or to sit, or lay down, or whatever else you'd like to work on, and praise and treat when she does what you ask.

    I would keep her out of the barn and away from the horses unless you're paying attention to HER full time. Keep your session short and end on a good note.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Simkie View Post
      Such a baby...I would work on distracting her at this point, rather than punishing her. Ask her to watch you, or to sit, or lay down, or whatever else you'd like to work on, and praise and treat when she does what you ask.

      I would keep her out of the barn and away from the horses unless you're paying attention to HER full time. Keep your session short and end on a good note.
      Smart and well said.

      She should calm down with time. My dog would originally bark when she was younger, but it now almost 2 1/2 and has since calmed down when she sees them. She knows their bigger, so she steers clear of them, but doesn't bark.
      www.justworldinternational.org

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
        Such a baby...I would work on distracting her at this point, rather than punishing her. Ask her to watch you, or to sit, or lay down, or whatever else you'd like to work on, and praise and treat when she does what you ask.

        I would keep her out of the barn and away from the horses unless you're paying attention to HER full time. Keep your session short and end on a good note.
        I agree with distracting her with a toy or something if possible. Or just walk the other way after she has acknowledged the horses are there. She will outgrow this as the horses become familiar to her.

        I do not let a pup this young off lead around horses unless they are locked in stalls. I usually walk the puppy up and down the aisle, or along the pasture fence where they can see the horses but not interact with them. (On lead if outside). Eventually the huge horses become background to the dog, and they love to eat horse manure as we all know!

        If the puppy is at the barn with you, crate it or lock it in an empty stall while you are fooling with your horse. A squished puppy is a terrible thing!
        Last edited by leakyb; Jan. 9, 2009, 08:06 PM.

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        • #5
          She'll eventually grow out of it. My corgi used to bark like a maniac at the horses any time I took her to the barn - after about 4 months she gave it up and now just sniffs around eating poop.
          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

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          • #6
            Find the nicest horse you have, throw a bale of hay in the corner. Put ear plugs in and go read a book with puppy on your lap. When she quiets for a decent amount of time (about 1 min to start) praise her. Then repeat every day till she learns. Aussies are smart and it is instinct to herd so the timidness will go quickly. Good luck and where are the pics of the wee one?
            Proud Mama of a BOY rider

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            • #7
              Originally posted by eventchic33 View Post
              Find the nicest horse you have, throw a bale of hay in the corner. Put ear plugs in and go read a book with puppy on your lap. When she quiets for a decent amount of time (about 1 min to start) praise her. Then repeat every day till she learns. Aussies are smart and it is instinct to herd so the timidness will go quickly. Good luck and where are the pics of the wee one?
              I'm sure this is just a different approach but can I say... HOLY SH!T, I would never, ever do this?

              When my dogs are at the barn, I want them watching ME. I want them paying attention to ME. I want them listening and waiting for ME to say something. This doesn't mean that they need to be right here, all the time, but I need their little brains waiting and listening for my next request and for them to be 100% ready to act on it. I consider this sort of attention absolutely vital to dogs being at the barn.

              Bringing up a horse and letting the dog bark itself out is so, so contradictory to what I want the dog to be doing at the barn. My puppies go out on leashes and we work on obedience until they get that "here!" means "Here RIGHT NOW." They don't get to go off leash until I know I can call them off a running rabbit.

              Letting the puppy just go bark at the horse means that absolutely none of it's attention is on me. That's something I *really* don't want to be reinforcing!

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              • #8
                if she is barking and hiding, she is too close. Move back or keep the horses confined while you teach her that she doesn't need to be afraid.

                I would modify what eventchic33 said, I don't think she can focus on you right now, so I would put all the horses either out or away, find a corner where she can look and not be afraid, then mark quiet behavior, gradually working up to eye contact. The problem with asking for eye contact when she is feeling overwhelmed is that it is like having an elephant in the room and everyone pretending it isn't there. I want my dogs to alert to what they find frightening so I can handle the situation for them. Therefore they must look at what the problem is so I know what it is too.

                For me: I would want this sequence, look>turn back to get a treat, retreat behind me. Or

                alert(look)>come back to my side.

                and I would get that by marking any head turn and treating it. Mark it with a "yesss", and offer a tiny treat...maybe something the size of a pounce cat treat. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                  I'm sure this is just a different approach but can I say... HOLY SH!T, I would never, ever do this?!
                  It is simply a different approach. And it worked for mine. It let them see that "I" was not afraid and that they found security in me. I didn't have to "react" by doing the "its ok precious" crap and letting them think there was a reason to be afraid. It wasn't "barking themselves out" it was developing a massive amount of confidence in me.

                  This may not work for you or others. However we are talking about a 9 week old puppy here and this is not a training issue yet it is a confidence issue.
                  Proud Mama of a BOY rider

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Here are the pictures of my sweet puppy!

                    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/inde...lbumId=2515399
                    Devil Pup 13 May 2010
                    Veni, vidi, nates calce concidi
                    Molly~4yo Blue Heeler & Dakota Nov 09 Baby Heeler

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My puppy just turned 4 months old. My horse lives at the house. I have never had the puppy in with the horse, but I am do have the puppy paddock (which he is only in when we are playing with him) run on a shared fenceline with the horse paddock. Horse paddock has 2X4 non-climb. I work on getting puppy to accept the horse by feeding him kibble while I talk to the horse and feed him treats. If the puppy is eating kibble, he can't bark, and boy did he want to bark at first.

                      This is working so far. If you punish the pup, he will think that there is something to be afraid of, and I agree with Simkie, that I want the pup paying attention to me. Pup has a limited attention span. I only do this a couple of times a day, when we are in the puppy paddock or when I go out to do night check.

                      Have fun!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Train and confine are the tricks of success with dogs until well under control.

                        Train your puppy to pay attention to you and then practice with distractions, that eventually can be horses.
                        Don't try to train where the distractions are more than your puppy can handle now, get further away.

                        A puppy that young needs to be on leash any time it is not in the house, a small part of the house, I may add or the dog pen/yard.

                        As the puppy grows and is more manageable and attentive, then you can expand it's horizons and freedoms.

                        It is normal for a puppy to be scared of the horses and bark at them.
                        Try to get it's attention and then go on to do something else and if necessary take it away from there for a little.
                        You are right that as puppy grows it will get habituated to the horses being there and moving around and not care, at least until it's herding instinct kicks in.
                        If and when it does, you will have another problem, that by then you should have such a well trained puppy that you can control.
                        Horses and dogs that want to chase them is a recipe for trouble for both.

                        At nine weeks, that puppy will still be playing like mad, getting silly/afraid/cranky/irritable and crashing for a little, to repeat again in a little, many times a day.
                        Until they grow up a little, there is just so much you can do with them, most important to keep socializing puppy to the world around it, even if puppy is not too good about interacting with it yet, like barking at horses.

                        Are you signing up for some dog training lessons with some group locally?
                        The once a week you may spend there for a few weeks and how that time of working together around other dogs and people and in strange places helps so very much to train dogs, so they will be welcome with you any place you later want to take your dog.

                        That teaching the dog to listening and bonding to you learned and practiced there will help you later with control around horses.

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