Following Circling and yapping

Posted by elaine-hyland
Oct 28, 2010
Hi I have a 18 month Patterdale Terrier called Mutley, due to the fact he looks like Cartoon Mutley. He is a rescue dog and we have had him 9 months. A friend rescued him from a flat filled with drug users and we only know he was hit and under weight and was scared of men. Ok thats the bad news. Good news is he is now healthy happy and great fun. BUT although he is now fairly good when off lead and 99% of the time comes back immediatley OK 80% but still ... He still sometimes and only sometimes sees someone walking across the field, not always men but usually and he goes over to them and barks and circles, at a distance of about 3 feet never closer.. Of course people panic and start shouting which makes him worse. Some people are really good when i say he is rescue wants to play but is scared of you, but others get angry and start to shout at me and no matter how calm I stay it takes a while to get him back under control to put back on the lead. He is never agressive. He is a terrific dog, but i understand this can not and must not happen as it is scarey for people and behaviour that is not acceptable. It is also makeing his play time stressful for me as I am constantly watching out just incase. Any tips. PLEEEASE
Posted by kjd
Nov 4, 2010

Thanks for rescuing Mutley. I wish I could give you more help, but right now I'd say you should expose him, on lead, to as many people as possible. As a drug dog, he may have been encouraged to do just what he is doing. You want to encourage him to approach all people calmly. You cannot do this type of training off lead.

Good luck and let us know how it is going,
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Nov 10, 2010
Hi Elaine,

Holly, one of my rescued dogs, was afraid of all men and anything longer than a foot when we first got her from Border Collie Rescue about 6 years ago. She barked at my husband for a couple of weeks!

When I first took her to dog training classes she just kept barking at male owners all through the classes! I asked those men to give her a treat everytime they saw her. I did the same thing at the dog park. She was a long time stray (underweight) so her food motivation was very helpful to get over the fear.

After 6 years, she has become a confident and well mannered dog that I am so proud of. I would like to encourage you that your Mutley will grow to a very nice and loyal dog if you can just give him time and a lot of opportunities for him to get to know nice men.

>He still sometimes and only sometimes sees someone walking across the field, not always men but usually and he goes over to them and barks and circles, at a distance of about 3 feet never closer..

This sounds like your dog is fearful but also protective. Holly did this and still does this when she sees some weird types of people that she never had come across before. One time at the dog park, she did this to a guy and I went over to apologize for her misbehavior and I smelled alcohol from him.

Please just be patient and as kjd said you might want to have him on a leash where other people are present. When he starts barking and circling someone, don't call him and wait for him to come back but go to him and grabs his collar, remove him and reprimand him.

While he needs to be exposed to many people, it always works best not to create the situation that he misbehaves and get scolded, in other words, avoid uncontrollable situations as much as you can. Good luck
Posted by kjd
Nov 15, 2010

Have you had any luck with Mutley? We haven't seen you back since October.

Posted by KOPCaroline
Nov 16, 2010
Hi Elaine,

Sorry for the delay in response, life can be hectic!

Would you consider keeping Mutley on a lead all the time, perhaps a retractable one, so that you can control him and pull him back to you when he tries to run off to someone across the field? Doing this would allow you to train him to another "come" command, perhaps "enough", or "attention". When you give whatever command (you can even use just here, or no, or whatever you usually say to bring him back to you), give a forceful tug on the lead, so he knows its business. If you can keep him strictly on lead for a while and see how he progresses with not rushing off to bark and circle strangers. Once he gets the idea, you can let him off lead more and more.

Alternatively, do you carry treats with you, or a squeak toy that he loves? You could try using these to tempt him back to you more.

You can also carry a can with rocks in it, to make a loud noise when he starts to trot off toward someone, to startle him out of the mindset. When he turns to see what the noise was, it gives you opportunity to call him back.

I hope these ideas are of some use, if they dont seem to work, let us know, and we'll figure up a plan B together