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Old 05-22-2005, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some advice. Back in March, we adopted a beautiful 2 or 3 year old chocolate lab. She is a very nice dog, still trying to figure out why she was left at the shelter. She is great with the children, fetches whatever you throw, has a good level of basic obedience (come, sit, sorta stays, walks fairly well on a leash, etc.), she doesn't bark incessantly, etc. My dh, who isn't really an animal person, is becoming quite fond of her; he is glad we got her, and has said he thinks she is a very nice dog. (quite a compliment, coming from him!) I'm sure the dog isn't the brightest bulb in the box, but nevertheless, she is very sweet and good-natured.

However, (and here is the problem) she likes to run over to the neighbors' houses. She will come back eventually (or if I go over after her), but obviously, this isn't a good habit. Short of confining her or tying her up, is it possible to keep her at home? Can we train her to stay home?

Here's the other question. She likes to chase the cats. Can we teach her not to do this?

We really like this dog, and would hate to part with her unnecessarily. We also don't want to invest in an expensive fence if we don't have to (although we would put up the fence before we found her another place to live).

Thank you for your thoughts!
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Old 05-22-2005, 11:36 PM
 
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Have you thought of an invisible fence? I have never used one but I have heard good things about them. Honestly, i dont know how you can teach her to stay home without a fence, after all, dogs tend to follow their noses. Shannon will bel ots more help.

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Old 05-22-2005, 11:38 PM
 
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I would put up the fence .. I know it's expensive but some dogs just do better with a clearly defined boundary. I think a fence actually gives a dog more freedom to run, since they can go out unsupervised whnever they're in the mood to romp around. Our old house didn't have a fenced yard, and our dog ran away every chance she could get .. we've been in our new house for a year and now she won't even run off when we accidentally leave the gate open.

I've never been successful in teaching a dog to leave cats alone .. hopefully someone will have ideas for you!
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Old 05-23-2005, 12:45 AM
 
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do you keep this dog outside all the time?
bring her in so she doesn't run off so much
Most cities have leash laws/loose dog laws that can be stiff let alone the dog getting hit by a car factor

Well, I would either put my dog on a tie-out to go potty or you can get 4'/5' welded wire fencing really cheap.
You could make a dog run with that & metal posts.

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Old 05-23-2005, 12:46 AM
 
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Yep, put up a fence or install invisible fencing. Invisible fencing is beneficial if you live on a large property where it would not be financially feasable or nice looking to put up a conventional fence (this is our situation) but also is handy because it can loop off your front yard as well, removing the chance of her getting out the front door if a kid leaves the door open.

Boundry training while possible is NEVER 100% reliable. My Havoc is trained about as much as a dog can be trained, but he loves to swim and if he thinks he can over to the neighbors pond (you know, rather than the one he has on his own damn property) he will. It is also very labor intensive, you would need to spend 30 min a day for a minimum of 8 weeks and then a minimum of 60 min a week thereafter--and like I said, that will certainly not give you a guarentee.

On the cats, are these your cats or just neighborhood cats?? (because they're totally different circumstances to a dog)
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Old 05-23-2005, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by shannon0218
On the cats, are these your cats or just neighborhood cats?? (because they're totally different circumstances to a dog)
Oh, I want to hear this - if my case, they're my cats (or cat, now) and my border collie follows the cat around, eggting closer... and closer... and will stay with her nose 2 inches from the sleeping cat for an hour or two, in watchful alertness. She does sometimes snap at the cat when the cat is moving - not biting her, more snapping at her heela. The cat used to eventually turn and hiss, and Nana would back off temporarily, but now either it doesn't work or the cat doesn't bother.

I'm been assuming that this is just a border collie thing, it does seem to be like a compulsion for her... we'll be tripping over her and she'll be there nose to nose with the cat. The cat doesn't seem too perturbed, but it seems like there are time she would want to go somewhere and doesn't because she doesn't want to deal with Nana. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, though.

I should note that she's an all-around tweaky dog. She was seriously troubled when we got her - wouldn't voluntarily leave her crate for 6 weeks, just lay there - and she is still a bit nearotic, and scared of a lot of things (if someone throws a ball within 50 feet of her she'll slink off and hide; if I leave a ball on the floor she'll push it under a table to hide it... stuff like that).

Sorry for the hijack...

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Old 05-23-2005, 01:31 AM
 
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Hmmm Dar, my answer isn't likely the one you want
Ummmmmm, she's a border collie, getting her to stop herding cats would be like getting a beagle to stop sniffing :LOL
Honestly, a friend of mine's bc's stopped stalking her cats when she got them working on sheep instead, after that the cats bored them.
But even my younger shepherd stalks everything, I almost wet myself when she spends an hour stalking a robin who just flys away :LOL
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Old 05-23-2005, 01:36 AM
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Yes, well, that's what I thought, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something :::sigh:::

There probably aren't any sheep anywhere near us, although I've considered it. She enjoys herding dachshunds at the dog park, too... we have an amazingly huge dog park here.

I love my border collie, but I do think she's fairly nuts in a number of ways...

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Old 05-23-2005, 01:42 AM
 
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Hey weiner dog herding is not an easy task!! Those lil suckers will bite you quicker than any cat or sheep!
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Old 05-23-2005, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shannon0218
Hmmm Dar, my answer isn't likely the one you want
Ummmmmm, she's a border collie, getting her to stop herding cats would be like getting a beagle to stop sniffing :LOL
Honestly, a friend of mine's bc's stopped stalking her cats when she got them working on sheep instead, after that the cats bored them.
But even my younger shepherd stalks everything, I almost wet myself when she spends an hour stalking a robin who just flys away :LOL
Ok I totally have to laugh at this. We had a mix when I was younger and she used to herd our shed!
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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k, well, I was afraid of that, the fence thing, I mean. Talked to dh tonight about the possibililty of fencing a portion of our yard. He said that's fine, we can get the materials on Saturday to do a simple, inexpensive fence while we think about what we'd really like to do.

About the cats: they are mostly ours, but also the neighbors. She chases my parents cats when we visit their house, also. I've scolded her, pulled her back (had her on the leash yesterday, and she nearly pulled me over!), all to no avail. Drives me nuts!

One more question: is it possible to teach her to only poop in one part of the yard? I hate the thought of stepping in dog poop; what's worse, I hate the thought of my toddler getting into it! Very gross!

thanks!
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Old 05-23-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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It is definitely possible to teach her to go in one part. They tend to go in one spot anyway. Once that spot gets too full they pick another. Just by keeping that area clean you help her use the same spot.

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Old 05-23-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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You need to be able to give her a meaningfull correction to let her know you don't find that to be acceptable behavior. I would recomend a prong collar for a full grown lab, otherwise you are just fighting against the strongest part of her body and most humans just don't win--that and giving a true meaningfull correction with anything other than a prong on a big dog who's prey drive is engaged is extremely hard with a flat collar or a martingale and is simply dangerous with a head halter or a choke chain.
The thing is though that you need to have her on leash so that when she decides to go after a cat, you are there and ready to correct, without that timing, you're toast.

On the poop, yep totally possible, but again, it take diligence for at least 3 weeks. You need to go out with her and take her tothe spot you want her to go, then you praise her like she just discovered the cure for cancer and reward her. Soon she'll figure out that when she poops in that spot you make a big deal about it.
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Old 05-24-2005, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, can do the collar, that makes, that I would need a stronger way to hold her back.

I have been praising her like crazy when she poops in that one area. However, she has started not pooping until I let her off the leash. Like, I'll wait outside with her for a long time (40 min. the other morning, finally just put her back in the house 'cuz I had hungry children!), but she won't do anything. If I let her go, she poops wherever she wants, but it's not where I want her to. I know she must be about to burst, because she's been inside all night, how could she *not* need to go?! What do I do about this? When she does go where I want her to, I make sure she feels like the queen of the world - lots of praise, scratches on her favorite spots, and treats. What am I doing wrong?
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Old 05-24-2005, 06:35 PM
 
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If she goes elsewhere take it and put it in the area you want her to go, make sure there is always one or two piles where you want. Other than that, it just takes consistency and time--you'll know the day the lightbulb goes off
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Old 05-24-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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Hi-
I just wanted to say that I have a female choc lab too! She's 18 mos old, and in general completely crazy, but since I've had her since she was a puppy she seems so calm now!! Mine chases the cat, too, but I sort of let her because the cat needs the exercise lol. I've had some success with squirt bottle corrections (at least for inside things) so you might try that if she chases them inside. The prong collar will help you keep her in control so she can't pull your arm off too. Good luck with her, I'm sure things will smooth out over time.

Leah
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, thanks for all your replies, ladies. I appreciate your thoughts on the subject. It's been awhile since I've had a dog, and I've always gotten them as puppies, never adopted an adult dog. I've never had to deal with these issues, always just trained the puppy the way I wanted it to behave.

I think she might be getting a clue that cat-chasing is off-limits; we have a stray cat at the moment. Sonic (the dog) saw Mrs. Stray Cat (hey, the kids named her!), and wanted to chase her, but she looked at me first. I told her "no, leave the cat alone", and she laid back down in the grass. Granted, she was barely able to keep her body still, but she didn't run after the cat!
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:31 PM
 
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:LOL The last female we had "Tunza" used to vibrate so much she would actually move on the wood floor without moving her legs. She would vibrate for anything she wanted that we told her she couldn't have, the cat, a ball, our dinner, you know anything really--of course this was a dog I was training as a drug dog, so she also knew how to climb on the kitchen table, counter and even the top of the fridge.
She was not a normal dog though, she tried even my patience, I was heartbroken when she got hit by a car, but a week later I looked at dh and said "have you noticed how much more relaxed and clean the house is??"
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