Dear Adam: I have 2 neutered males: Sweet docile Tarzan (11 year old Chow) and crazy hyperactive Hudson (4 year old American Eskimo). Hudson definitely thinks he’s the alpha and I’m working on understanding that behavior and how to go about nipping it in the bud with your book. What I don’t know how to address is the fact that Hudson is hyperactive and wild.
When we get ready for our morning walk, Hudson attacks Tarzan as soon as they both get outside (sometimes while they’re still in the house). He bites and tears his fur and humps him. When he knows I’m going to make him stop, he humps faster and whips himself into a frenzy that goes as quickly as it began (like “okay, I did that. You now have my attention for what’s next.”) Hudson weaves back and forth on the leash, wanting to lead the way.
Tarzan is the usual well behaved angel. I need a few tips on how to walk BOTH dogs together. The worst, however, is if we should encounter another dog. I walk them at 6 AM trying to avoid another pooch, but the situation is literally horrible when Hudson sees another dog (squirrel, bird, cat, deer, don’t have as negative an effect). He goes ballistic! Shrieking hysterically, flopping around in the leash, straining, howling, tangling himself, me and Tarzan, and wailing “let me at it” in dog talk. I used to walk my boys twice a day, but there are just too many dogs out in the early evening. We’ve been walking for almost 2 years. Sometimes I think he’s got it and is semi calm, but it’s always because I remove him from the target dog and go in the other direction. Sometimes the sighting is unavoidable. He also wails like a banshee and tears at the fence when a dog is being walked past our house and he’s in the yard. HELP! How can I teach my beastie to calm the heck down because I’M THE BOSS NOT HIM! I’m at my wits end. My boyfriend has a dog we’d like to introduce into the pack. I fear Hudson will prevent that. Tarzan is an angel all the while Hudson is hysterical with a puzzled look on his fur-face, wondering what’s going on. He never retaliates any aggresive behavior displayed toward him, even when Hudson pulls out the hairfrom Tarzan’s tail!
I’m currently using a restraing halter to walk him, which I know is probably incorrect. I’m afraid to use a pinch collar because I’m nervous that he’ll twist and squirm his way out of it. Also, I have 2 artificial hips that keep me from bending and affect my range of motion. I HAVE to control this animal for the safety of everyone concerned.
I realize Hudson is a hyperactive crazy. I refuse to be driven insane by him and sincerely hope you can help me teach him to behave. Thank you in advance. I am already your devoted fan. reading your e-zine weekly, listening to the training tapes (great idea!) and praying for insight and strength.”
Thank you for the e-mail.
When you say, “I’m afraid to use a pinch collar because I’m nervous that he’ll twist and squirm his way out of it. Also, I have 2 artificial hips that keep me from bending and affect my range of motion. I HAVE to control this animal for the safety of everyone concerned.”
… what you’re really saying is: “I’m too afraid to do something to change and improve my situation.”
Often times, the lingering problems that people have with their dogs are merely a reflection of the owner’s own inability to take action despite already having the solution in front of them.
Obviously, you are smart enough to realize that you have a problem. So that’s not the issue. And physically… I doubt that’s the reason, either. It’s MUCH EASIER to walk a dog on a pinch collar than to do what you’re currently doing. I can guarantee this.
There is no way he can twist out of a pinch collar. Even if you’re paranoid, then simply double ring it with a slip collar. Common sense, no?
You have intelligence. You already have a solution to your problem (page 82, 173, 224). You’ve got the dog. SO… GET OVER your fear of success and start training your dog!!!