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 I feel like a really bad mum

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Staffylover
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PostSubject: I feel like a really bad mum   Tue 08 Jun 2010, 4:28 pm

Reuben seems to be getting more and more reactive to other dogs when we are out walking and I feel like I am short tempered with him all the time and I know today I did nothing but shout at him as he seemed really naughty, it was only silly things like he started to pull on the lead which he does not normally do and he did not come back when he was off the lead laying with Bess and Max, but that is because he is excited but at the time I could feel myself getting wound up by it.

Today he was in the middle of a poop in the park, I was distracted getting a poop bag put of my pocket and another dog walked past and he flew at it mid poop. As far as I know this dog did not trigger anything or stare at Reuben which has been the trigger recently.
We have had issues with some dogs for months now but it was under control and had always done really well with the look, reward method but today when we saw other dogs in the distance he immediatley went on high alert, ignored anything I said and I had to literally put the chicken under his nose to get his attention.

I was trying to seek dogs out in the park but it was dead as i need to get back on with the training. I dont know whether to go back to the gentle leader so I have control over his head when he sees them and basically start from scratch again. He hates the gentle leader and if I can avoid using it I will but I just feel lost at the moment.

Chloe has started to pee on the bath mat, every day now she is doing this. She is only doing it at night and i think she is reacting to the parrot sqwuaking. She is constantly upstairs either on our bed or in the bathroom or even scrathing up the carpet in the spare room and again I am feeling constantly wound up by it. As I type now I can hear her scratching the carpet trying to get into the bathroom.

I dont know if I am the cause of their bad behaviour as I am finding that I am getting wound up really easily. I dont want to be and really want to work through this with Reuben but I just feel less and less positive when we have an incident. I want him to interact with other dogs and think I am calm, I dont feel like I am wound up when we meet dogs as I am keen to see his interaction and am purposely walking where I know we can meet dogs so I can work on his training.
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Yasmin
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Tue 08 Jun 2010, 4:34 pm

Frustrating when you hit a wall and don't know where to turn.

Does a squeaky ball in your pocket not get his attention and then give him the treats? How does he respond to clicker training.

With the dog walking past mid poo and you being distracted getting a bag you cant be entirely sure what kind of look the other dog gave.

If you feel your gentle leader is going to help then use it, he wont be happy but will soon get used again.

With Chloe, does she need more mental stimulation? Id also stop her being upstairs when you arent with her just to stop the behaviour happening at all.

Hope tomorrow is a better day Jo
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Sandi
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Tue 08 Jun 2010, 4:46 pm

Awww Jo

For Rueben I agree with Yas, try thr Gentle Leader once more just for one walk and see if it makes a difference (yeah I know sods law you won't meet anyone). I can only reiterate that at the slightest sign of him seeing something in the distance that takes his eye, whack the treat in front of him and say "watch me!" if he takes your attention, give him the treat and go from there.

For Chloe I think perhaps she is finding some "me" time alone and scent marking where she wants to be, if she does it enough it will only smell of her and she will consider it her place. Solve this by not allowing her upstairs, taking her up with you if she is good give her a treat, if she is not stand with your hands on your hips and tell her that its not right, bring her back down with you and tell her she is a good girl if she has been good. If you have to go back up to clear up go alone don't let her follow you.

Its not you they are just going through a bad patch!
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Jo n Buffs
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Tue 08 Jun 2010, 5:02 pm

jo i cant say anything other than what sandi and yas suggest
but i can do this
((((((( jo ))))))))))
and say chin up hun we all have these days chin up and tomorrows a new day xxxx
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Jo n Buffs
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Tue 08 Jun 2010, 5:02 pm

and forgot say your a bloody good mum so dont ever say you feel like a bad one hun xxxx
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ems
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Tue 08 Jun 2010, 5:17 pm

aww hugs hun. I know its different but I get like this with my son and then blame myself that he is picking up on me being short tempered. I am sure you are not the problem. Hugs x
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Tue 08 Jun 2010, 6:25 pm

As soon as I finished that post I felt a bit silly so decided to kick myself up the butt and get out on another walk. I put him on his extendable lead so we could go to the fishing lake where there is a series of adjoining fields and hopefully have some positive experiences as I thought the lead may allow him to have a play if he reacted well with any dogs we met. As soon as we walked down the street his demeanour changed and it was like he was walking on tiptoes, tail erect just waiting for something, he then heard dogs barking and reacted with hackles up pulling on the lead obviously trying to find them.

I just ignored him and carried on with our walk

We arrived at the fields and typically there was no one about but then I spotted a lady in the distance with two large dogs off lead. We walked towards them but to the side of them if that makes sense and I allowed Reuben on a long lead. When the last saw us she put one of the dogs on a lead (this was a large poodle) and the other dog completely ignored her and came trotting over. Reuben was watching it, lay down (shock horror) and allowed this dog to come to him. He then jumped up and they were sniffing each other and then they started to play.

This was a very big dog (looked like an EBT x greyhound) as it had a perfectly formed EBT head but was exceptionally tall and thin. The lady then approached with the other dog and Reuben just went for it., snarling, barking and lunging at it, I apologised and off we went to the next field
We then came across 2 x border collies off lead, he was fine with them and he was jumping around really happy as they were playing with a tennis ball and he looked like he wanted to join in. I carried on with the walk and gave him lots of praise.

On the next field (which is two large football fields) we could see 2 dogs in the distance but I decided I would let him off as I had a tennis ball in my pocket and he loves his ball. He was that obsessed with his ball that he did not even bother with them. They left and then another two dogs came on, this time a lot nearer, he was still off lead and again did not bat an eyelid. So i figured maybe the ball woiuld work instead of the treats so we went on another hunt to find more dogs.

We came accross a lady coming towards us with a shitzu and behind her was Reubens nemesis, the dreaded standard poodle from around the corner so we stood in the field (he was on lead at this time) playing with the ball. The shitzue walked past, then a retriever which I have no idea where this came from and then the poodle got nearer and nearer. He kept looking at it but i kept throwing the ball and he was more interested in that. The poodle was only a few feet behind us and I felt that this was enough, we had done about 2-3 minutes without a reaction so off we went and walked home.
As we walked home a dog went mad in a garden, he immediately went into high alert so I bounced the ball and he chased the ball. Further up the street just as we were nearing home I spotted a male staffie on the other side of the road being walked by a child of about 10 year old so as soon as we got near it I showed him his ball but he was not interested, I think he was knackered as it was the second walk this afternoon, he looked at the staffie and ignored it!

I think the key now may be a tennis ball? When we were playing with it on the field and I offered him some chicked as reward he ignored it as he was so focused on wanting me to throw the ball.

So I think I will try the ball for a few days (I may have a squeaky one in my pocket to grab his attention - thanks Yas) and see if this helps.
If not it will have to be the GL
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suziet
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Tue 08 Jun 2010, 7:47 pm

Hi Jo

You could never be a bad mum - and I can tell by reading your post you are concerned & upset by this - so that could never make you a bad mum honey.

I think sometimes we can try too hard and when we dont see the results we deserve it upsets us -

I would probably try the squeaky ball great idea from Yas -

My only concern with using treats - is that if we ever reward at the wrong time then it can be seen as a reward opposed to distraction if that makes sense.

Try not to be hard on yourself hun xx

Have you thought of moving the bath mat - locking the bathroom door or even placing a puppy pad should Chloe really need to toilet -

Hope this helps and big hugs to you xx
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Staffylover
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Tue 08 Jun 2010, 8:37 pm

The bathroom door does not close properly. To be honest the bath mat does not seem such a big issue now, I was just a bit fed up before.
I think we need to tackle the parrot, he has started to do this god awful high pitched sqwauk and it must hurt her ears so she disappears upstairs and wont come down again unless we make her. As she is old though we want her to be comfortable so I may put a bed on the landing for her so she can relax until we sort the noise out
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suziet
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Thu 10 Jun 2010, 3:10 pm

Hi Jo

My sister has an African Grey and boy can he squawk lol - I think you may be right honey - do you cover the cage?

Hope you find a soultion for Chloe xx
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lindauk
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Thu 10 Jun 2010, 5:41 pm

come on jo you`ve got to be one of the best mams, any dog could hope for. yes
staffys always like to test there limits.
dell has attitude at times with certain other dogs.
and hes one of the most patient dogs i`ve ever known.
there just like us they have preferances of who to like or not.
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suziet
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Thu 10 Jun 2010, 7:26 pm

Well said Linda - exactly what I said to Jo too - she's a super mummy x
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Staffylover
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PostSubject: Re: I feel like a really bad mum   Thu 10 Jun 2010, 7:41 pm

Thank you ladies xx
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