Dog and Tort Problems

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knight_visionn

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Alright, so first off, this is a bit of an odd conversation to have here, because it's not completely about my Sulcata.

My sulcy Keyser has been living outside for a few months now; he has a heated indoor hide to go to, and a large outdoor area to roam. This area is closed off by a chain link fence (it used to be a large dog run), which works great, but does make him viewable to my two dogs. They can't get to him, but they can see him.

My German Shepherd got over having Keyser out there rather quickly, but my Australian Shepherd never reached such a revelation. Originally, he would bark at Keyser off and on, depending on the day, but it was never a typical thing to hear. Slowly though, it became more and more common. Now, we're at the point where my dog will spend the entire day just staring at Keyser, growling and barking. We've tried typical dog training methods to get it to stop, but, with them both outside full-time, it just hasn't worked. One of the weirdest things about it is that, when this harassment occurs, it doesn't bother Keyser in the least. In fact, he gets up as close as he can to the fence and tries to shove his way out, directly at the 60 lb dog. I've made sure that he can't (and that he can't even stick a leg out, because that has disaster written all over it), but, at times, the barking looks like a two-way thing.

I've been considering, as a way to stop this, introducing the dog and the tortoise in an extremely controlled environment. Despite Keyser having eclipsed 10 lbs, dogs and torts together just makes me nervous, even if I'm there to supervise it. Has anyone else had experience using this as a solution? Are there any other solutions that others have used? Covering him from sight is another alternative I have thought of, but a lot more difficult to do (tarping the fences).
 

lynnedit

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I agree with putting up a sight block (pieces of plywood or the tarp if the dogs won't rip it) where the dogs have contact with your tortoise. Or, can you restrict the dogs to a separate fenced area?

Introducing the dog won't work. The dog wants to eat him.

You can PM Tom, who has Sulcatas and also trains dogs. Separately.
 

sibi

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Dogs and torts don't mix period! I have my sullies in a huge back yard where there are neighbor's dogs on all sides. I have concrete blocks stacked so that the dogs can't see the torts. I would ask you to read one of Tom's threads under my name. You REALLY need to read this now!
 

Tom

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First off line the inside of the enclosure with plywood before your tortoise hurts himself on the chain link. They need a visual barrier. Each sheet of plywood will cut into three 16"x8' strips, so you'll get 24' of 16" high sight barrier for every sheet of plywood. Use the thin stuff and prime and paint it if you want it to last a few years. They will cut it for you for free at most stores.

Next get an electric collar and hire a professional trainer to come show you how to use it PROPERLY. Your dog needs to: 1. Respect you when you tell him to "leave it", and 2. Have a negative association with your tortoise. He needs to think that your tortoise has the magical power to reach out and "touch" him from a distance if he barks at him.

This may sound simple but electric collars are a very powerful training tool and its very easy to create a bigger problem than what you have now if mis-used. I strongly recommend that you do not attempt this yourself and bring in a pro who is experienced with this. Try to find someone near you that does "snake break" clinics. Its the same concept. For snake breaking we are trying save the dog from the snake. For your purposes we are trying to save the tortoise from the dog. In either case the lesson for the dog is the same- Avoid the reptile.
 

erinw

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With complete respect to Tom, I would also like to point out that there are other methods to train a dog to "leave it." I myself prefer not to use electronic collars, as the negative effects can be costly, depending on the dog and how the collar is employed. (I have been working with dogs for more than 15 years.) Here is a link explaining an alternative method written by a well respected behaviorist/college professor: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/chase-this-not-that
The article explains the generic method...knowing that the tortoise won't be doing much running. :)
 

Tom

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erinw said:
With complete respect to Tom, I would also like to point out that there are other methods to train a dog to "leave it." I myself prefer not to use electronic collars, as the negative effects can be costly, depending on the dog and how the collar is employed. (I have been working with dogs for more than 15 years.) Here is a link explaining an alternative method written by a well respected behaviorist/college professor: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/chase-this-not-that
The article explains the generic method...knowing that the tortoise won't be doing much running. :)

With all due respect to you, there are hundreds of methods for training a dog. Cookies, distraction techniques and/or leash corrections are not likely to stop a high drive working dog who has no respect for his owner and is actively in "pursuit" of prey. Please pardon my sensitivity on this issue, but I'm the guy who gets called to fix these dogs after 3 trainers, 4 "behaviorists" and two vets have failed to fix the problem. There are several vets that know my reputation and when clients bring in "un-fixable" or "incorrigible" dogs for euthanasia with tears in their eyes, the vet tells them to call me first. Since 1991, doing this continuously and professionally, I've never failed to fix the dog, and I've only failed to fix the owner twice.

You are certainly entitled to your preferences of whatever training tools you want, but any training tool can have negative and costly effects if it is not employed correctly. Basic choke chains can crush tracheas if improperly used. Dogs trained with only cookies and positive reinforcement are regularly hit by cars due to their failure to respect a command or their owner. Conversely, any training tool can also have a positive effect if employed correctly and this includes electric collars. I have trained multi-time National Champions with them and I have literally saved countless dog lives with the correct use of the e-collar. Having said all that, I rarely use them, but there are certain circumstances where they are the best choice to solve a problem. I see no need for bias against any useful and safe training tool.


... and welcome to the forum. Not necessarily how I would have jumped in for my first post, but to each his own. Do you have a tortoise? Do you have experience working dogs and tortoises? Ever participated in a snake break clinic?
 

alysciaingram

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Tom, would you recommend this practice for every dog with such a high prey drive?
 

abclements

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My dog was also trained with an electronic collar. She was a very active yellow lab and was our hunting dog. I think they work great! Especially with dogs that seem to have a one track mind... (all mine wanted to do was retrieve! And she was super good at that!) But unfortunately she wasn't much of a listener so we had to take her to a professional hunting dog trainer and he used an electronic collar that had two buttons. A tone button and a shock button. We pushed the tone button before the shock button so that she came to understand that beep meant a shock was coming if she didn't listen, up until her death she heard that beep and turned around and did whatever you wanted lol only used the shock portion for a couple of weeks and that was it. Sorry about the long story, just wanted to share my experience with the electronic collar.
 

wellington

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There are several ways to train a dog. The shock collar being one. I have used it myself. Usually, if the situation isn't too bad, or the dog catches on quickly, one shock is all it takes and the dog learns. Mine also had the buzzer button. That's all we have too use now and I have a Bull headed Bull Terrier. You also do need a sight barrier.
 

Team Gomberg

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I hired a trainer to help me use the e- collar with my great Dane. Loved it! If I ever have a dog again I'll start off training with one. (the About Turn Pager Method was my style of training since it focuses on the vibration feature first)

Hiring a trainer and learning to use this collar would be a great idea. Buying this collar and trying it out yourself would be a bad idea.

Sent from my TortForum mobile app
 

Jd3

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We also have working hunting dogs. A golden retriever and a lab/chessy mix. Both were trained with e-collars and still wear them when working. I wouldn't change it for the world. I've had dogs get hurt before and the e-collar has saved these guys more than once.

They work on hand and whistle commands but the e-collar is the insurance policy.
 

Livingstone

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Tom said:
erinw said:
With complete respect to Tom, I would also like to point out that there are other methods to train a dog to "leave it." I myself prefer not to use electronic collars, as the negative effects can be costly, depending on the dog and how the collar is employed. (I have been working with dogs for more than 15 years.) Here is a link explaining an alternative method written by a well respected behaviorist/college professor: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/chase-this-not-that
The article explains the generic method...knowing that the tortoise won't be doing much running. :)

With all due respect to you, there are hundreds of methods for training a dog. Cookies, distraction techniques and/or leash corrections are not likely to stop a high drive working dog who has no respect for his owner and is actively in "pursuit" of prey. Please pardon my sensitivity on this issue, but I'm the guy who gets called to fix these dogs after 3 trainers, 4 "behaviorists" and two vets have failed to fix the problem. There are several vets that know my reputation and when clients bring in "un-fixable" or "incorrigible" dogs for euthanasia with tears in their eyes, the vet tells them to call me first. Since 1991, doing this continuously and professionally, I've never failed to fix the dog, and I've only failed to fix the owner twice.

You are certainly entitled to your preferences of whatever training tools you want, but any training tool can have negative and costly effects if it is not employed correctly. Basic choke chains can crush tracheas if improperly used. Dogs trained with only cookies and positive reinforcement are regularly hit by cars due to their failure to respect a command or their owner. Conversely, any training tool can also have a positive effect if employed correctly and this includes electric collars. I have trained multi-time National Champions with them and I have literally saved countless dog lives with the correct use of the e-collar. Having said all that, I rarely use them, but there are certain circumstances where they are the best choice to solve a problem. I see no need for bias against any useful and safe training tool.


... and welcome to the forum. Not necessarily how I would have jumped in for my first post, but to each his own. Do you have a tortoise? Do you have experience working dogs and tortoises? Ever participated in a snake break clinic?

I almost fell off my chair, I laughed so hard at this. Nice response Tom.
 

Tom

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alysciaingram said:
Tom, would you recommend this practice for every dog with such a high prey drive?

Absolutely not. Every dog is different and every situation is different. I don't like to recommend much of anything without seeing things first hand. That is why I adamantly insisted that the OP bring in an experienced professional. I have seen many cases like the one described, so I'm comfortable suggesting a possible solution, but not without the aid of someone who really knows what they are doing.
 
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