Toby – Life with a new puppy

Formally known as Red Mallow Pepper – A Hungarian Vizsla

Archive for October, 2008

Toby needs more training….(or more to the point I need more training)

Posted by Admin on 11, October 2008

I have decided that “he’s just a puppy” is no longer an answer for Toby’s bad behaviour 😦

Graham is in USA again for 3 weeks, so I am ‘home alone’ with Toby (aka Toblerone, tobi one kenobi etc).  Toby has several faults traits which are less than desireable in a member of our household.  I have decided it is time to put them right before he becomes set in his ways and will never learn.

Number 1
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When we go for a walk Toby gets very excited.  He bites my shoes or runs off with my slippers and leaps around my feet.  After a while I try and put on his lead – which he decided is great fun and tries to eat it :-(.  Once we step outside the back door and start to walk, he thinks this means ‘lets play tug-o-war’ and pulls the lead and jumps in the air.  This has to stop.

So now I refuse to put on my shoes until he leaves them alone and every time he puts the lead in his mouth I stop and ignore him until he lets go.  This often means my right arm is almost pulled out of its socket (anyone with a dislocated shoulder should borrow Toby for 2 minutes, they would soon be sorted  out!!).  I ignore him completly and say NO TOBY.  Only when he leaves the lead alone will I walk on.  I have been doing this for a week now with absolutely no progress 😦  I will keep doing it until he gets the message (lets hope its soon)

Number 2
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If the doorbell rings he barks and barks and races to the door.  If I open the door he tries to push between my legs and stands there for a minute then shoots outside to jump up whoever is unfortunate enough to be standing there.  Not nice as he is one tall dog when he stands on his hind legs.

Now when the door bell rings I put him on the lead (see problem number 1) and make him SIT away from the door.  I then answer the door (most people have gone by now, but that’s another story…).  I then make sure he has to stay sitting before I let anyone in.  We do this every day – my poor teenage daughters are fed up with this already.  Again we are making absolutely no progress (well slight progress) but I am as determined as he is!

Number 3
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Recall – well this is a MAJOR problem for Toby.

When in the kitchen I can make him SIT and stay and when I say COME he races over to me.

When we are in the garden I can say COME and he races over to me.

When we are in a large (empty) field, he will look up and I will flap my arms and say COME and he races over to me.

HOWEVER – when we are in a large field (or anywhere else for that matter) and he finds something/anything remotely interesting (leaf, twig, sheep poo, wind blowing in wrong direction or ANY DISTRACTION WHATSOEVER), he is blind, deaf and dumb to my calls; running in opposite direction; screeching like a banshee or any other method employed to get his attention.  He completely ignores me.  I have no idea how to get his attention – he just looks up at me and then carries on with what he is doing.  If I walk in opposite direction he will eventually come over to me, but only when it suits him :-(.  I have tried having his favourite treats etc all to no avail.  I NEED HELP as I really do not know how to fix this.

99% of the time it is not a problem as we live in a rural area and walk in fields, woods, farmland etc and do not meet many other dogs or people on our walks so the fact that he does not come has not been problematic.  But I need him to come when called 100% of the time, otherwise that 1% will be life or death situation and I will not be able to control him.

Number 4
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Toby is was not allowed on the sofa! I have given up – he WINS 🙂

Number 5
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He likes to bring me something in his mouth when he sees me.  This can be anything.  Problem is all soft toys have been destroyed – he chews them to destruction.  He also likes to grab the cushions off the chairs (never done so much sowing as I have in the last few months) and chews them.  He is getting better at this (and my sewing is improving too).  He no longer has any “cuddlies” and even his sky kennel (very hard plastic) is looking the worse for wear in certain areas.  The door frame is wrecked and many other items – too numerous to mention.  He is getting better but I have to be very very vigilant with him. Please tell me this gets better ?

Number 6
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Eating unspeakable things on our walks.  Toby is very fond of fox and sheep poo (and any anything else that makes you go “YUK”).  However much I say leave or NO he ignores and then runs circles around me so he can go back to it, or worse still lies on the floor looking as if I am about to beat him to within an inch of his life – daft dog !.  I stand over the offending object and he WILL NOT LEAVE IT ALONE.  He runs off and then double back to go and roll in it.  I then try and put lead on him which leads us straight back to problem number 1 and we end up with him lying down, biting at his lead which I struggle to get over his head etc.  Nightmare!

I love him to bits and we have had some lovely walks lately.  This week I have kept him on his extending lead on some of the walks which has worked brilliantly.  He does not seem to mind and I have some level of control in making him LEAVE the awful stuff etc.  I give him plenty of time to stop and wee and sniff etc and we are both calmer as a a result. 

I feel guilty though for not letting him run free as I love to see him chasing across the field or running in huge circles around me.  the compromise at the moment is the short walk in the wheat field is lead free and the long walk elsewhere is 80% on the lead and 20% off.  Heaven knows if this is a good idea but keeps me sane right now.

Lets hope by the time Graham comes home we have some improvement – otherwise he will wonder what I have been doing the whole time he has been away.  Now must get back to the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, gardening etc. 🙂

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